Playa Del Carmen Restaurant Guide
The Best Places To Eat In Playa
Updated June 2023
Welcome to Playa Del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a sunny ocean paradise on the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican Caribbean. You’ll find mouthwatering food everywhere you go in this vibrant city. The city’s vibrant restaurant scene is concentrated in Centro and the North End. If you’re ready to start your food adventure, here are the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
Playa Del Carmen Map
Where to Eat
The Top Neighborhoods
Centro has shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that envelop you. Bonus: everything is walkable! La Quinta 5th Ave is lined with vendors, tour shops, performers, and tequila tasting rooms. Stretching up and down the beach from Ave. Constituyentes to Calle 1 (1st Street), if you’re looking for fun and great food, Centro is the spot.
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 on the rise.
Playacar is a large-scale residential development south of Centro perfect for those looking for a more laid back vibe. Discover great beaches, a few hotels and restaurants, and a relaxed vibe. Golf courses, parks, and shopping centers define these “suburbs” of Playa del Carmen.
$, Mexican, Latin, Central American
El Fogón, in the North End, is one of the top rated restaurants in Playa del Carmen for a reason, the best tacos. This wildly popular eatery serves delicious tacos, fajitas, and refreshing fruit juices. Don’t miss the tacos al pastor shaved right off of the trompa (vertical meat spit), flank steak tacos, and other tasty Mexican favorites.
Cocina Doña Paula
$, Mexican, Fast food, International
If you want to feel like someone prepared a home cooked meal for you, try Cocina Doña Paula in Centro. Slow cooked traditional specialties are the featured attraction here. Four talented ladies serve up meal combos daily. Make sure to try the authentic Sopa Aguada. Cocina Doña Paula is known for large, hearty meals made from the heart.
$, French, European, Deli
Come for the famous and sumptuous Mexican rotisserie chicken at La Brocherie in Centro. Combos come with a variety of fixings and rice and tortillas. One of the chefs is Parisienne, you can often catch French classics, if you’re lucky. Looking for a French classic, try the chicken cordon bleu with blue cheese sauce.
$, Mexican, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
Stop by El Nativo, in the North End, 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 classics. Don’t miss the large and refreshing fruit juices blended right in front of you, and the classic chilaquiles.
$, Mexican, Latin, Vegetarian Friendly
A favorite Playa del Carmen eatery is the quirky El Hongo. This family-run business is a bit off-the-beaten-path in Ejidal but is well worth the trek for its delicious classic Mexican food, ridiculous pancakes, and live music. Try the fresh blended/frozen lemonade with mint and the fresh ceviche, you won’t be disappointed!
$$ - $$$, Mediterranean, Spanish, Vegetarian Friendly
If you want to change it up and try some Spanish food, head for a unique dining experience at Patanegra, in the North End. This restaurant serves up delicious tapas and more Spanish favorites. You can’t go wrong with the paella and croquetas. On Saturdays, you can even catch a live flamenco show with your meal!
$$ - $$$, Mexican, Caribbean, Latin
Los Aguachiles is an excellent spot for seafood and upscale Mexican cuisine in the North End. This open-air restaurant serves delicious classic dishes such as grilled octopus, seafood tacos, and tostadas. The seafood at Los Aguachiles is fresh, well prepared, and incredibly flavorful. Don’t miss the aguachiles camarón (shrimp), delicious ceviche, or fish tacos.
$$ - $$$, Mexican, Caribbean, Latin
For all things seafood, pay a visit to local favorite El Pirata, in the North End. At this casual and authentic eatery, you can choose your fish and have it fried whole right in front of you. They also serve delicious shrimp dishes and ceviches, you can’t go wrong with camarones (shrimp) dishes at El Pirata.
La Cueva del Chango
$$ - $$$, Mexican, Seafood, Contemporary
While La Cueva del Chango serves lunch and dinner, its main draw is its breakfast and the beautiful patio. The ambiance is amazing as you feel like you’re in a jungle right in the North End. You’ll find quality delicious regional breakfast platters such as huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, as well as refreshing fruit salads, and tuna toast.
$$$$, Mexican, Seafood, International
Dining at Alux is a unique and unforgettable culinary experience right in Centro. The dining room of this restaurant is in a spectacular underground cave/cenote and its food is a mix of Mayan, Mexican, and international upscale cuisine. For a tasty appetizer try the octopus, and for an entree don’t skip the venison or lobster tails.
Oh, La La!
$$$$, Seafood, International, Mediterranean
If you’re seeking fine dining in a stylish setting, Oh La La! in Centro checks all the boxes. Plates are pieces of art in this contemporary, quaint restaurant serving refined European cuisine packed with high-quality ingredients and delightful flavors. Try the grilled octopus, the melt-in-your-mouth scallops, or the duck tacos.
The Grill at 1-26
$$$$, Steakhouse, Seafood, International
This restaurant at the Grand Hyatt in Centro celebrates seasonal menus, which revolve around the organic produce, meat, and fresh seafood options the chef has access to daily. When you dine here, you can expect exceptional preparations of the highest quality. The impeccable talents of the chef, kitchen, and wait staff will ensure you have an unforgettable experience. From a perfectly grilled steak to a delightfully seasoned salmon, you will not leave hungry or unsatisfied. The atmosphere in this curated space is charming and fun.
The Traveler’s Table
$$$$, Mexican, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
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 a can’t miss dining experience at the Punta Venado Beach Club. Guests thoroughly enjoy learning about Mexican food’s Spanish, African, and Middle Eastern cultural influences through every bite.
This Post Has 12 Comments
My family checked out Cocina Dona Paula thanks to this guide. We loved it! It was one of the best meals that we had while in Mexico. The food was authentic and delicious, and the service was great.
So happy you enjoyed it!
This is such a great list of restaurants. We are looking forwards to trying some of these on our trip next week. Thank you for this. -McKenny Family
You’re welcome. Happy to help!
Great guide! Thanks for posting. Los Aguachilies has become our new favorite place 🙂
Glad you like the guide!
Alux was one of the coolest restaurants I have ever been to. I would have never found this place without this guide. The food was good, but the atmosphere was even better. How many people can say they ate at a restaurant in a cave??
Wow, you sure made it hard to decide because everything sounds so good! Alux was our favorite but El Fogon was so awesome too!
Thank you for this list of restaurants…my husband and I are going there next week and we are both huge seafood fans. We are excited to try Los Aguachiles.
Thank you for the great information. We will be in Playa next month and are very excited!
La Brocherie was a great recommendation! Thanks!
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.