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Playa Del Carmen Restaurant Guide

The Best Food by the Playa!

Updated October 2021

Playa del Carmen Restaurants. What to eat in Playa del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen Restaurant Guide

Welcome to Playa Del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a sunny ocean paradise on the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican Caribbean. You can find mouthwatering food everywhere you go in this vibrant city. The vast majority of the city’s restaurants are in Centro (downtown) and the North End (the area just north of Ave. Constituyentes). Here are our choices for some of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen, so get ready to start your food adventure!

Playa del Carmen is a sunny ocean paradise on the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican Caribbean. You can find mouthwatering food everywhere you go in this vibrant city. The vast majority of the city’s restaurants are in Centro (downtown) and the North End (the area just north of Ave. Constituyentes). Here are our choices for some of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen, so get ready to start your food adventure!

Where to Eat

The Top Neighborhoods

  CENTRO

Centro is the “downtown” neighborhood and is the liveliest tourist area. Shops, restaurants, bars, hotels, nightclubs and more envelope you here and everything is walkable. The primary pedestrian street is the broad La Quinta 5th Ave which is lined with vendors, tour shops, performers, tequila tasting rooms and everything else you’d imagine. Stretching up and down the beach from Ave. Constituyentes in the north to Calle 1 (1st Street) in the south, Centro is where the action is.

  THE NORTH END

Following the beach north from Centro, you’ll enter the North End after passing Ave. Constituyentes. This residential, Airbnb and condo area is quieter but still provides easy walking access to Centro. If you’re renting a vacation home for a large group, this is a popular area as it’s fairly hip and on the rise.

  PLAYACAR

Playacar is a large-scale residential development south of Centro. Great beaches, a few hotels and restaurants and a quieter, more laid-back vibe. Golf courses, parks, and shopping centers define these “suburbs” of Playa del Carmen.

Budget Options

El Fogón, best restaurants in playa del carmen
El Fogón, best restaurants in playa del carmen

El Fogón

$, Mexican, Latin, Central American

El Fogón is the #1 rated restaurant on Yelp in Playa del Carmen for a reason. This wildly popular eatery serves delicious tacos al pastor right off of the trompa (vertical meat spit) and other tasty Mexican treats.

Located in the North End

Website       Map 

Cocina Doña Paulabest, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
Cocina Doña Paulabest, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

Cocina Doña Paula

$, Mexican, Fast food, International

If you want to feel like someone prepared a homecooked meal for you, try Cocina Doña Paula. Slow cooked traditional specialties are the featured attraction here. Three talented ladies serve up meal combos with soup and a beverage. Large, hearty meals for low prices.

Located in Centro

Website       Map 

La Brocherie, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
La Brocherie, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

La Brocherie

$, French, European, Deli

Come for the famous and sumptuous Mexican rotisserie chicken at this delicious eatery. Combos come with a variety of fixings and rice and tortillas. Since one of the chefs is Parisienne, you can sometimes catch French classics, like beef bourguignon if you’re lucky.

Located in Centro

Website       Map 

El Nativo, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
El Nativo, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

El Nativo

$, Mexican, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options

Stop by El Nativo to satisfy all your breakfast cravings. The restaurant has lighter fare like fruit smoothies and fresh fruit plates or more hearty American or Mexican style breakfasts including homemade pancakes and chilaquiles.

Located in the North End

Website       Map 

El Hongo, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
El Hongo, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

El Hongo

$, Mexican, Latin, Vegetarian Friendly

  Staff Favorite – One of our favorite Playa del Carmen eateries is the quirky El Hongo. This family-run business is a bit off-the-beaten-path but is well worth the trek for its delicious classic Mexican food, ridiculous pancakes and live music.

Located in Ejidal

Website       Map 

Midrange Options

Restaurante Patanegra, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
Restaurante Patanegra, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

Restaurante Patanegra

$$ - $$$, Mediterranean, Spanish, Vegetarian Friendly

If you want to change it up and try some Spanish food, head for a unique dining experience at Patanegra. This restaurant serves up delicious paella, tapas and more. If you’re lucky, you can even catch a live flamenco show with your meal!

Located in the North End

Website       Map 

Los Aguachiles, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
Los Aguachiles, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

Los Aguachiles

$$ - $$$, Mexican, Caribbean, Latin

Los Aguachiles is an excellent spot for seafood and upscale Mexican cuisine. You can enjoy delicious dishes such as grilled octopus, seafood tacos, and tostadas at this open-air restaurant.

Located in the North End

Website       Map 

El Pirata, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
El Pirata, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

El Pirata

$$ - $$$, Mexican, Caribbean, Latin

For all things seafood, pay a visit to local favorite El Pirata. You can choose your fish at this local eatery and have it fried whole right in front of you. They also serve delicious shrimp cocktails and ceviches.

Located in the North End

Website       Map 

La Cueva del Chango, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
La Cueva del Chango, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

La Cueva del Chango

$$ - $$$, Mexican, Seafood, Contemporary

While this eatery serves lunch and dinner, its main draw is its breakfast and its beautiful patio. You can find quality regional breakfast platters such as huevos rancheros and chilaquiles, as well as refreshing fruit salads and tuna toast here.

Located in the North End

Website       Map 

High-End Options

Alux, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
Alux, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

Alux

$$$$, Mexican, Seafood, International

Dining at Alux is a unique and unforgettable culinary experience. The dining room of this restaurant is in a spectacular underground cave/cenote and its food is a mix of Mayan, Mexican, and international upscale cuisine.

Located in Centro

Website       Map 

Oh, La La!, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
Oh, La La!, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

Oh, La La!

$$$$, Seafood, International, Mediterranean

If you’re seeking fine dining in a stylish setting, Oh La La! checks all the boxes. Plates are pieces of art in this contemporary, quaint restaurant serving refined European cuisine packed with high-quality ingredients and delightful flavors.

Located in Centro

Website       Map 

Catch Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
Catch Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

Catch Restaurant

$$$$, Contemporary, Dining bars, Vegetarian Friendly

Located on the top floor of the Thompson Hotel, this stunningly chic restaurant has sweeping ocean views and an art deco bar to boot. Widely considered one of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen, this eatery serves a broad range of trendy fusion dishes with a focus on fresh seafood.

Located in the Thompson Hotel in Centro

Website       Map 

The Traveler’s Table, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen
The Traveler’s Table, one of the best restaurants in playa del carmen

The Traveler’s Table

$$$$, Mexican, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options

  Staff Favorite – Traveler’s Table is not a restaurant; it’s a 5-course, interactive culinary learning adventure, seated under a thatch roof around a few seaside long tables. This is an experience. We thoroughly enjoyed learning about Mexican food’s Spanish, African, and Middle Eastern cultural influences through every bite we took.

Located at the Punto Venado Beach Club

Website       Map 

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Playa is always our favorite place to visit in the Riviera Maya. We look forward to trying out some of these places we haven’t been before.

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