“Harbanos Tacos Árabes” perhaps one of the most popular fast foods now in Yucatán

Harbanos Tacos Árabes (Photo: Bob Lissandrello)

This weekend we stayed at the ocean, and decided to visit a new restaurant in Progreso called “Harbanos Tacos Arabes”, owned and operated by Chef Armin Puerto. Harbanos Tacos Arabes are located on Calle 78 (x 25 y 27) opposite to the Bancomer ATM in Progreso, Yucatan.
Harbanos Arabian Tacos (literal translation), is a franchise and this restaurant is also located in Merida, we have one right by our house, and the food there in Altabrisa is not as good as Chef Armin’s here in Progreso.

Chef Armin Puerto has worked in many restaurants, and was one of the first Mexican Chefs to open a real Mexican Restaurant in Dubai United Arab Emirates, he also has worked in London, England and Dublin, Ireland.
As you walk in you are greeted by a very friendly waiter by the name of Pablo Venture, who by the way is one of the best waiters I have met here in Yucatan, and he attends to all your needs while you are there.

Harbanos Tacos Árabes (Photo: Bob Lissandrello)
Harbanos Tacos Árabes (Photo: Bob Lissandrello)

The restaurant is not a large place, but it is indeed extremely clean and cozy, with nice and cool A/C.

Pablo Ventura
Pablo Ventura

They have a Bar with a full liquor license, with Ice cold Beer and soda’s. Since I am a BIG Guy, I found the small wooden seats were a bit uncomfortable, but my wife says she was just fine.

Harbanos Tacos Arabes, offers, delicious Tacos made with the freshest ingredients and stuffed in a homemade Pita Bread, with tender meat, guacamole, and chicharrón, (instead of the regular Tortillas that we have coming out of ears!!).

Chef Armin in Dubai
Chef Armin in Dubai

We had their Tacos Arabes,  they really over stuff them, and they are delicious, the Nachos are also over stuffed with delicious meat and cheese, and crispy pita chips, with beans and guacamole.

We tried their special Harbanos Pizza, but being an Italian from New York, and having Pizza that is not made with Mozzarella Cheese and Tomato Sauce, is kind of strange for me,.its like a BIG TACO stuffed with meat, cheese and corn, a very good value for the price, but this is just my opinion, try it, you may love it.

They also have stuffed meat rolls called “Camellos” (Camels in Spanish) and Shawarmas, with meat and cheeses, and guacamole ,we did not try any of these, but a few people next to us had ordered it, and it looks delicious.

For dessert we had a ice cold Frapuchino, and the kind that gives you a brain freeze.

Harbanos tacos arabes
Harbanos Tacos Árabes

You may be asking yourself  what is a “Taco Arabe”?

The taco árabe, or “Arab-style taco,” is perhaps one of the most popular fast foods now in Yucatan, and Progreso.

Exactly who deserves the credit remains in dispute, but observers seem to have narrowed it down to the families of two World War I-era immigrants from Iraq: Jorge Tabe, who opened the city’s first taqueria, in front of La Victoria market, and Zayas Galeana Antar, who ran a busy cantina near the Variedades theater. Both expats reportedly borrowed the idea from sandwiches that most Americans would recognize as gyros.

After some experimentation and tweaking, the “Arab-style” taco as poblanos know it was born.

“The first tacos árabes were made with mutton (it’s said that ram meat was originally used for optimal results) and the flatbread was made to order by hand (at first the rounds were too hard, like inedible asbestos tiles, but little by little they were made softer) and grilled over a charcoal flame,” writes Claudio de la Lata, a food columnist for Milenio newspapers.

Some early cooks dressed the tacos with tahini or yogurt sauce, a practice that has since given way to chipotle and other special salsas to please local palates.


Purists today argue that real tacos árabes are made by layering pork loin and onions on a spit and then slowly roasting everything to perfection in front of hot coals. Variations, no matter how delicious, are just not the same, they say. But most diners have embraced the dish in all of its forms.
So, come down to Progreso and try Harbanos Tacos Arabes, meet Chef Armin Puerto and one of the best Servers around, Pablo Venture.

I give Harbanos Tacos Arabes 3 ½ Chefs Hats out of 5

3.5 hats

Great Job!!!

Location: Calle 78 (x 25 y 27) opposite to Bancomer’s ATM in Progreso
Delivery Phone: (999) 996-9437
Hours: 6:00pm to 1:00am
Chef Armin Puerto


Buon Appetito
Chef Bob Lissandrello

If you would like me to do a honest review of your Restaurant,
Whatsapp (999) 163-4050
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