It’s no secret that Mexico is a foodie’s paradise, and I certainly experienced this in Playa del Carmen. From mouthwatering local Mexican delights to a dazzling array of international flavors, there is so much to love about the cuisine in Playa del Carmen.
The only difficulty is narrowing down which places should make it onto your itinerary. There are just so many good options that it can be hard to choose.
The best places to eat in Playa del Carmen
Since my visit, I’ve put together a list of 19 places to eat in Playa del Carmen. These places will suit all budgets and tastes, and I am sure you will love them just as much as I did!
For authentic and absolutely delicious Mexican, I highly recommend El Fogon. Afterall, you can never enjoy too many tacos and quesadillas – and El Fogon’s are absolutely sumptuous. I tried the Al Pastor and El Chorizo tacos, as well as the natural quesadilla (no meat, just cheese) and it was all delicious.
Plus, this restaurant is extremely affordable – the whole meal cost on $4.50, including tips.
For something different to eat in Playa del Carmen, I highly recommend Bovino’s Churrascaria which is a Brazilian Steakhouse. If you’re looking for a huge meal, then look no further – there’s a buffet with a plethora of different options.
I had the no seafood option as steak and seafood was just a little too much, however I still got to sample a little bit at the buffet. This as well as the red meats were absolutely gorgeous, although I didn’t get to try the desert as I was just so full! All up, dinner cost $47 with tips.
For a healthy and delicious start to the day, I highly recommend 100% Natural. This gorgeous health cafe is just off of one of the main roads, making it a great place to start your day.
For breakfast, I had the sweet potato toast with chia pudding and a matcha latte. It all tasted great, and it was obvious the meals were carefully prepared with fresh ingredients. In total, my hearty breakfast cost $13.50 – a great price.
Another delicious option if you’re health conscious is Bio-Organicos. This laidback and friendly cafe is popular with both visitors and locals.
The menu at Bio-Organicos offers plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. I visited not once but twice, as it was so good. The first time I opted for a smoothie and quinoa hamburger which totalled $17, while the second time I tried the maya-chicken bowl on its own for $12. All the food was delicious.
One of the most popular dining options in town, Las Hijas really lives up to its fabulous reputation! Serving up local dishes with a twist, this restaurant has built up a strong following of both locals and tourists. It’s no surprise, as the food and service are both excellent.
The tostadas are what made Las Hijas famous, so of course I had to try them. My friend and I split two hot tostadas (shrimp and tuna) and they were both mouthwateringly good. We also enjoyed the ceviche, and I was very impressed by the quality of the seafood. In total, the bill was just $18 which I split with my friend.
Pulpo Y Aparte
I absolutely couldn’t write about the best places to eat in Playa del Carmen without mentioning Pulpo Y Aparte. This gorgeous restaurant was such a good find, and I enjoyed it so much that I ended up visiting twice. The decor is stylish and modern, the service is friendly and the food is to die for.
During my two visits, I tried the pizza, grilled mahi-mahi, berry cocktail and crispy tacos, which were all great. However, the octopus pork belly tacos were absolutely phenomenal – one of the best meals I have ever eaten. Don’t miss these when visiting!
In total, my two meals came to a very reasonable $18 and $20.
This charming patisserie/boulangerie is a little taste of Paris right in the middle of Playa del Carmen. It serves up a mouthwatering selection of sweet treats as well as lighter meals which are ideal for a delicious breakfast or brunch. Just be prepared for the wait, which is usually 10 – 30 minutes.
I visited Chez Celine on two occasions and I was thoroughly impressed. I first tried the mushroom croissant which consisted of a croissant with two eggs sunny side up, sauteed mushrooms, bechamel sauce, garlic, caramelized onion and gouda cheese. On the second day I had the scrambled eggs with salmon, along with a latte and sample of three deserts. The costs were $12 and $10 respectively.
It tasted great however I was a bit surprised that there was no eggs benedict on the menu.
It’s always a thrill to discover local favorites, and that seemed to be the case with Los Aguachiles. This fabulous eatery is well-known as a hotspot for authentic regional cuisine, so I was excited to try it. I soon discovered their menu was only in Spanish, which was a challenge – but one I was willing to take on!
With a bit of effort I was able to order a sharing plate of aguachiles for my friends and I, which were very good, if a little lemony for my tastes. I also enjoyed octopus which was great, but the highlight of the meal was the amazing shared tuna cucumber appetizer. In total the bill came to $33.
Another great option for trying authentic regional dishes (but with a modern twist) is Axiote. Named after a popular local ingredient, this restaurant has rapidly established a great name for itself in Playa del Carmen. I’d gone for the seafood but was surprised to find there was less than I expected.
I had to wait outside for about 10 minutes to be seated in the restaurant despite tables being available, which was a bit disappointing. Once inside, I tried the tortilla soup which was too spicy for my liking, as well as the pork belly enchiladas which were very good. Topping it off was my first michelada, which is a beer with lemon and spices. In total the meal came to $22.
Another place with great food but slow service was Sushi Roll. As the name suggests, this focuses on Japanese-inspired dishes.
Once I arrived at the restaurant, I waited around 15 minutes for a table to become available and then around another 15 minutes to order. There was a similar wait time to get my check after my meal was finished.
Nonetheless, the food itself was amazing. I tried a selection including pizza sushi, mixed tosuto and a sunset rolls (with shrimp, mango and avocado). My favorite of all was the baby squid which was absolutely delicious. In total, the bill came to $22.
Gelato is really the perfect accompaniment to the warm weather of Playa del Carmen, and you’ll find some of the best ice cream in town at Amorino. Serving up authentic gelato and sorbet, Amorino has so many flavors that you could try a new one every day!
I was lucky enough to have the gelato twice, and in that time hazelnut became my absolute favorite. I also loved admiring the beautiful gelato roses that are made in-store.
The Reef 28
Honestly, this place is more about the views and atmosphere than it is about the food. Located near the famous 5th Avenue, it’s a popular resort where the rooftop is enjoyed by both hotel guests and tourists staying elsewhere in Playa del Carmen.
While I didn’t love the contemporary menu, I did love the beautiful views from the rooftop with its fabulous extras including a sparkling pool, inviting jacuzzi and large sunbeds. As you’d expect, there were sweeping views over the resort and to the coast.
Note there is a minimum deposit that needs to be paid at the Reef 28.
La Cueva del Chango
Another option for enjoying delicious local food in Playa del Carmen is to visit La Cueva del Chango. From when you first enter this restaurant it is enchanting and inviting, and the atmosphere is really charming as well.
I really enjoyed the food here, and tried a few unusual dishes. This included my first time eating cactus, as well as a traditional stuffed pepper dish. I did note they offered pastries without mentioning they would be at an extra cost, and there’s also a takeaway fee of 7 pesos. Overall, however, it was a great experience and well worth the $19 cost.
La Bici del Playa
Sometimes, all you want is to enjoy cheap and delicious tacos. For those times, there’s La Bici del Playa. This authentic, laidback eatery may not look like the fanciest of places – but your tastebuds will thank you for visiting!
You can also get delicious fresh juices across the street.
An absolute must-go in Playa del Carmen, Fusion Bar offers great food, live music and even a fire show at night. I absolutely loved dining here right on the beachfront, with my feet in the sand. I recommend going at sunset when it is particularly divine.
For food, I tried the guacamole which was amazing, as well as the grilled octopus. As an accompaniment, I enjoyed a drink in a huge coconut. I loved it, and it was a very reasonable $22.
If you’re looking to fulfill your sweet tooth, then there’s Ah Cacao. As the name suggests, there’s a focus on chocolate goodies here – and they can be enjoyed guilt free, as funds support conservation and economic development projects in Mexico.
I tried the hot chocolate and two chocolate bars, which were nice however not anything particularly special.
Offering up Peruvian-inspired seafood in a laid-back and friendly venue, Cassa Ceviche really is the talk of the town. People rave about this Playa del Carmen restaurant!
Maybe it was the sky high expectations, but I must admit I had expected a little bit more. I had the trilogy ceviche which was good, but perhaps not quite as good as some of the rave reviews suggested.
Another great spot for ice cream and gelato is Aldo’s. This little place is friendly and inviting, and the gelato is great. Best of all, it is made locally from a range of fresh and delicious ingredients.
There are many flavours to choose from, but I especially loved the Kinder Bueno gelato which cost $4.50.
I am finishing off my list of places to eat in Playa del Carmen with a real highlight. Have you ever had travel experiences that almost move you to tears? This is how I felt while dining at the gorgeous ALUX. Views, atmosphere, music, drinks and food – everything was just perfect.
The first thing to know about this restaurant is that it is not located in the tourist zone, so you’ll need to take a taxi – but it is so worth it. Once you arrive, you will find yourself dining in a real cenote, in all its breathtaking glory. I couldn’t believe it when even a few bats flew toward us! While the cenote is large, it also feels incredibly intimate and romantic. We were totally besotted and loved our pre-dinner tour of the spacious restaurant.
Plus, the food was absolutely gorgeous as well. Amongst three of us we shared the salmon tartar, scallops flame – which was beautifully presented on an open fire, delicious duck and the Land and Sea which was angus tenderloin, bondiola steak and shrimps served with a side of vegetables.
It really is an incredible place!