Riviera Maya Restaurants
Located within the Yucatan Peninsula, Riviera Maya is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Mexico. Every year, a huge number of families and couples travel to the resort for the warm and sunny weather, a great choice of activities and the fantastic selection of restaurants. In Riviera Maya you’ll find loads of eateries offering traditional Mexican cuisine, made with fresh, locally-produced ingredients. On top of the local gastronomy, the resort also features a number of Asian, European and international restaurants, ensuring there is something to suit all palates.
One of the most popular restaurants in Playa del Carmen, Veneno Vil is a great place to go if you want to try the local cuisine. Here you’ll find a selection of Mexican starters, mains and desserts, including things such as duck tacos, beef enchiladas and fried ice cream. As well as the extensive menu, Veneno Vil also offers a comprehensive drinks list, with a number of Mexican wines, cocktails and tequilas. Many people travel to this restaurant for the elaborate eight-course menu, packed with Mexican delicacies, which allows you to try a little bit of everything.
For typical Mexican food with a twist, head to Restaurare in Tulum. This vegan eatery is run by a chef who took his grandmother’s favourite Mexican recipes and made them meat- and dairy-free, whilst still keeping them packed with flavour. There is also a never-ending choice of delicious and healthy fruit juices which are pleasantly surprising, including watermelon ginger peppermint and white cucumber juice. Restaurare is set in the middle of a tropical jungle, which creates a fresh, natural atmosphere that mirrors the cuisine.
Also found in Tulum, Altamar Restaurante offers a large menu, packed with Mexican specialities. The portions are very generous and the prices are affordable, making this eatery a favourite amongst families. The sea platter comes highly recommended and is loaded with fresh fish and seafood, such as lobster, prawns and octopus. Altamar Restaurante regularly holds special activities and events throughout the year, including tequila tasting, cooking workshops and cocktail making.
Xulam The Mayan Fisher in Playa del Carmen is one of the best places in Riviera Maya for local cuisine. The restaurant is decorated in a Mayan style, with wooden furniture and jungle decorations. The presentation of the food also follows the Mayan theme, with a number of dishes served on bamboo skewers, in sea shells or in the shape of ancient buildings. If you can’t settle on just one dish, try the starter, main course, or dessert platter to sample the best that Xulam The Mayan Fisher has to offer.
When it comes to breakfast and lunch, El Nicho in Puerto Morelos is a great choice for families and couples. This small eatery is found overlooking the park and sea views can be enjoyed from a number of window spots. The décor is very bohemian, with several artists displaying their creations on the walls. Open from 7.30am until 2pm, this restaurant serves a selection of sandwiches, omelettes, salads and filled baguettes, as well as a number of traditional Mexican breakfast and lunch options.
If you’re in the mood for some modern European dining, head to the Violet Cafe Lounge & Bar in Playa del Carmen. The Italian owners have created a comprehensive menu, full of Mediterranean dishes, many of which have been strongly influenced by Italian cuisine. The freshly-prepared homemade pastas and salads are amazing and are full of unique ingredients which work incredibly well together. There is also an extensive wine list, with an international bottle to accompany each dish.
Located in Playa del Carmen, Pavo Real by the Sea serves an extensive European menu in a picturesque seafront setting. This restaurant regularly changes its dishes according to the time of year, so you’ll always be served fresh, seasonal ingredients. There are a number of salads and soups available to start, followed by a top selection of meat, fish and vegetarian main dishes. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, you can enjoy an exclusive menu on the beach, with waiter service, your favourite wine and your personal violinist.
When it comes to modern European dining, Azafran Restaurant is one of the most popular choices in Tulum. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this eatery is run by German owners who are happy to serve you something personalised if there isn’t anything on the menu to your taste, although with such an extensive choice, this is very unlikely. The hangover breakfast is one of the most popular dishes on the menu and comprises of eggs, sausages, bacon and toast served in a unique way.
Situated in the heart of Playa del Carmen, Imprevist is open for breakfast, brunch and dinner, with a great selection of meals to choose from. Breakfast comes in the form of a varied set menu with juice, tea or coffee, bread basket, fruit platter, yogurt, granola and a choice of one breakfast dish. For brunch, diners have a choice of salads, sandwiches and a handful of small meals, complemented by a selection of hot and cold drinks. The evening menu is packed with options, including salads, risottos, meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, ensuring there is something to suit everyone.
With only seven tables, Oh Lala is one of the smallest restaurants in Playa del Carmen and can only serve 20 people each evening, making reserving a table an absolute must. Here you’ll be presented with a small menu featuring a number of traditional European dishes, each with a unique modern twist. Due to the small scale of the restaurant, the service is very client-focused, ensuring you’ll receive the attention you’d expect from an established restaurant. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, be sure to try the hot chocolate mousse – it’s one of the most popular desserts on the menu.
If you find yourself craving Indian food during your holiday, pop by Curry Omm in Playa del Carmen. Regarded as one of the best Asian restaurants in the resort, Curry Omm offers an extensive menu packed with all the different curry dishes you know and love, as well as a huge number of vegetarian options. Due to the small size of the restaurant, the service here is fantastic and the servers and hosts always go out of their way to make sure you have an unforgettable evening.
When it comes to Asian food, Asiana Restaurant is one of the best eateries in Playa del Carmen. Here you’ll find a great choice of popular Asian dishes, including freshly prepared sushi, curry and teppanyaki. What really makes Asiana Restaurant stand out is the open kitchen, which allows you to watch the skilled chefs create everyone’s meals in front of your eyes.The dress code to dine here is formal, so women must dress appropriately and men must wear long trousers with closed-toe shoes.
If you can’t decide between Asian and Mexican cuisine, visit Gautama in Playa del Carmen. This restaurant is decorated in an Asian-Mexican fusion style and serves a vast array of dishes, ensuring there is something to suit everyone. There is a number of curries available, ranging from mild to very hot, as well as traditional Mexican meals, such as fajitas, taquitos and nachos. Guatama regularly offers fantastic deals and discounts on local beers and cocktails, making it an affordable night out, whatever your budget.
Mezzanine Thai Restaurant & Martini Bar in Tulum is one of the very few restaurants found within Riviera Maya offering Thai food. Offering a selection of tasty Thai curries, salads, seafood dishes and Pad Thai, this exotic eatery is sure to please even the most distinguished Asian food lover. Open from morning until night, Mezzanine Thai Restaurant & Martini Bar also serves an extensive breakfast menu which you can enjoy on the outdoor terrace overlooking the beach.
Fish and seafood lovers won’t want to miss the chance to visit La Malquerida in Tulum. This popular restaurant serves a great selection of fresh seafood, including white fish, prawns, lobster and octopus. For those who aren’t in the mood for fish, there is also a number of Mexican, Caribbean and cantina dishes offered. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, so guests can be comfortable, whatever the weather. There are several TVs throughout the venue showing live sporting events and there is also a small children’s area with swings for the little ones to enjoy.
When it comes to seafood, it doesn’t get much better than La Mission in Playa del Carmen. Set amidst tropical gardens and Mayan ruins, this restaurant offers an authentic Mayan atmosphere which is mirrored in the menu. Diners can choose from a number of filleted fish, prawns and lobster, as well as several meats, soups and traditional Mexican dishes. La Mission runs an “If you don’t like it, you don’t pay for it” policy, which means you can go beyond your comfort zone and try something new, without having to worry about the cost.
Ginger in Tulum is another popular choice for seafood lovers. With a warm, friendly atmosphere and contemporary décor, this eatery is a hit with almost everyone and offers something to suit even the fussiest of eaters. The restaurants specialities are the fish and seafood dishes, which include lobster, prawns, calamari and filleted fish, with a selection of other dishes available, including vegetarian and meat-based choices. There is also a great choice of cocktails and Mexican wines available for reasonable prices.
BROchetas in Playa del Carmen is one of the best places to go for lunch. At this venue you’ll find a top selection of kebabs, with a number of speciality seafood choices. Although this restaurant falls under the fast food category, the quality is above standard and is sure to please the whole family. The staff here have a unique way of cooking broccoli, making it more popular than the French fries.
When it comes to good coffee, it doesn’t get much better than the drinks served at Coffee Stop in Playa del Carmen. This small independent coffee shop sells beverages made from genuine Mexican coffee beans produced in Chiapas and blended in Playa del Carmen. As well as a vast array of coffee, this eatery serves filled bagels and sandwiches, salads, croissants, cakes and biscuits. Free WiFi is also available for all customers to enjoy. With only two tables, this small café is more of a grab-and-go place, instead of a venue where you can relax and enjoy your food and drinks.
If you’re craving something sweet, visit La Casa del Chocolate in Playa del Carmen. Here you’ll find a huge choice of desserts, including homemade cakes, ice cream, tarts, pancakes and puddings, all of which include chocolate as one of the main ingredients. A haven for chocolate lovers, La Casa del Chocolate also prepares its own chocolates, with many distinct variations, including the ever-popular hot chilli chocolate.
If you’re holidaying with little ones, Flor de Michoacan in Tulum is the place to go. Here you’ll find a vast array of chocolate-coated ice pops made with fresh fruit, ice creams, juices, milkshakes and smoothies. Everything is made onsite, even the ice cream cones which you can watch one of the friendly members of staff prepare. Set in its own garden, Flor de Michoacan is the ideal place to relax in the sun whilst enjoying a frozen treat.
Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe in Playa del Carmen is another popular cafe for chocolate lovers. Here you’ll find a wide selection of chocolate-based drinks, such as mocha coffees and hot cocoa, as well as many homemade sweet treats like biscuits, brownies, ice cream and cakes. The indoor seating area has free WiFi and air conditioning, making it very popular during the hot summer months. Open from early morning until late at night, Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe is the ideal place to go for breakfast first thing or a dessert after dinner.