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Playa Del Carmen Restaurant Guide

The Best Places To Eat In Playa

Updated June 2024 ⋅ Written by Laura Schulthies ⋅ Edited by Daniel Mode

Playa Del Carmen Restaurant Guide: The Best Restaurants In Playa Del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen Restaurant Guide: The Best Restaurants In Playa Del Carmen

Welcome to Playa Del Carmen

Explore Playa del Carmen’s culinary landscape with our guide to the best Playa Del Carmen restaurants. From authentic street-side tacos to upscale international fusion, discover diverse dining experiences that capture the essence of this coastal town. Navigate cobblestone streets, uncover hidden culinary gems, and savor iconic beachfront eateries. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Mexican flavors crafted by talented local chefs. Whether it’s a romantic evening, laid-back brunch, or a tour of local Yucatan specialties, our curated selection of restaurants has something for everyone. Here is our guide to the best Playa Del Carmen restaurants.

Explore Playa del Carmen’s culinary landscape with our guide to the best Playa Del Carmen restaurants. From authentic street-side tacos to upscale international fusion, discover diverse dining experiences that capture the essence of this coastal town. Navigate cobblestone streets, uncover hidden culinary gems, and savor iconic beachfront eateries. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Mexican flavors crafted by talented local chefs. Whether it’s a romantic evening, laid-back brunch, or a tour of local Yucatan specialties, our curated selection of restaurants has something for everyone. Here is our guide to the best Playa Del Carmen restaurants.

Playa Del Carmen Map

Playa Del Carmen Map

Contents

Where to Eat

The Top Neighborhoods

  CENTRO

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

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.

  CENTRO

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

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.

Budget Options

The best tacos at El Fogón in Playa del Carmen
The best tacos at El Fogón in Playa del Carmen

El Fogón

$, 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. 

Website       Map 

Sopa Aguada at Cocina Doña Paula in Playa del Carmen
Sopa Aguada at Cocina Doña Paula in Playa del Carmen

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. 

Website       Map 

Famous rotisserie chicken at La Brocherie in Playa del Carmen
Famous rotisserie chicken at La Brocherie in Playa del Carmen

La Brocherie

$, 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.

Website       Map 

Breakfast at El Nativo in Playa del Carmen
Breakfast at El Nativo in Playa del Carmen

El Nativo

$, Mexican, Latin, Vegetarian Friendly

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

Website       Map 

Classic Mexican cuisine at El Hongo in Playa del Carmen
Classic Mexican cuisine at El Hongo in Playa del Carmen

El Hongo

$, 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!

Website       Map 

Packing List For Beach Vacation

Check out our Packing List For Beach Vacation!

Midrange Options

Spanish cuisine at Restaurante Patanegra in Playa del Carmen
Spanish cuisine at Restaurante Patanegra 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, 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! 



Website       Map 

Seafood favorites at Los Aguachiles in Playa del Carmen
Seafood favorites at Los Aguachiles in Playa del Carmen

Los Aguachiles

$$ - $$$, 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

Website       Map 

Shrimp dish at El Pirata in Playa del Carmen
Shrimp dish at El Pirata in Playa del Carmen

El Pirata

$$ - $$$, 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. 

Website       Map 

The patio at La Cueva del Chango in Playa del Carmen
The patio at La Cueva del Chango in Playa del Carmen

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 empanadas

Website       Map 

Fun exterior of Rockas Jamaican Kitchen in Playa del Carmen
Fun exterior of Rockas Jamaican Kitchen in Playa del Carmen

Rockas Jamaican Kitchen

$$ - $$$, Caribbean, Jamaican, Grill

Rockas Jamaican Kitchen is the perfect comfy rustic place to grab lunch or dinner in Playa del Carmen. This hidden gem is Playa del Carmen’s North Zone. The street is usually busy after 5 pm as people flock to Rockas Jamaican Kitchen for delicious food, live music, and drinks. The head chef, Marvin, is from Jamaica and greets each guest with a smile as they enjoy their meal. Make sure to try the Rasta PastaOxtailJerk Wings, and, of course, the Jerk Chicken.

Website       Map 

High-End Options

Under ground cave/cenote restaurant Alux in Playa del Carmen
Under ground cave/cenote restaurant Alux in Playa del Carmen

Alux

$$$$, Mexican, Seafood, International

Dining at Alux is a unique and unforgettable culinary experience right in Ejidal. 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.

Website       Map 

Contemporary European cuisine at Oh, La La! in Playa del Carmen
Contemporary European cuisine at Oh, La La! in Playa del Carmen

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

Website       Map 

Atmosphere at The Grill 1-26 in Play Del Carmen
Atmosphere at The Grill 1-26 in Play Del Carmen

The Grill

$$$$, Italian, Steakhouse, Seafood

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.

Website       Map 

5-course dining experience at The Traveler’s Table in Playa del Carmen
5-course dining experience at The Traveler’s Table in Playa del Carmen

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.

Website       Map 

Upscale Mexican at Casa Amate in Playa Del Carmen
Upscale Mexican at Casa Amate in Playa Del Carmen

Casa Amate

$$$$, Mexican, Latin, Central American

Nestled within the stunning Andaz Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen’s North End, you will find a culinary oasis in Casa Amate. The menu at Casa Amate is curated to showcase the rich and flavorful cuisine of Mexico, Central America, and Latin America. Try some of the best Mole in Playa del Carmen, and don’t miss out on the perfectly cooked and flavorful Octopus. Other favorites include the flavorful Red Snapper and the delicious Prime Steak with wild mushrooms. 

Website       Map 

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Pata Family says:

    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.

    1. Daniel says:

      So happy you enjoyed it!

  2. Alicia and Greg McKenny says:

    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

    1. Daniel says:

      You’re welcome. Happy to help!

  3. Mandy and Pedro says:

    Great guide! Thanks for posting. Los Aguachilies has become our new favorite place 🙂

    1. Daniel says:

      Glad you like the guide!

  4. Anonymous says:

    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??

  5. Noah says:

    Wow, you sure made it hard to decide because everything sounds so good! Alux was our favorite but El Fogon was so awesome too!

  6. Marie Simpson says:

    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.

  7. Alexandros Moore says:

    Thank you for the great information. We will be in Playa next month and are very excited!

  8. The Butler Family says:

    La Brocherie was a great recommendation! Thanks!

  9. Sylvia says:

    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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