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Playa Del Carmen Restaurant Guide

The Best Food by the Playa!

February 2021

Playa Del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen

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What to Eat in 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.

Here are our choices for some of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen. Get ready to start your Playa del Carmen food adventure!

Budget Options

El Fogón

El Fogón, best restaurants in playa del carmen
El Fogón

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.

Cocina Doña Paula

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

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.

La Brocherie

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

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.

El Nativo

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

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.

Midrange Options

Restaurante Patanegra

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

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.

Los Aguachiles

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

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.

El Pirata

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

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.

La Cueva del Chango

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

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.

High End Options

Alux

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

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.

Oh, La La!

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

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.

Catch Restaurant

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

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.

Staff Picks

El Hongo

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

Staff Pick – One of my 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.

The Traveler’s Table

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

Staff Pick – 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. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Mexican food’s Spanish, African, and Middle Eastern cultural influences through every bite I took.

Located at the Punto Venado Beach Club.

     Yucatan Highlights Map

This map shows many of our Mexican Caribbean highlights. To open the table of contents, click on the icon in the top left corner of the map. This will allow you to sort through the different types of highlights! Click on the points of interest or the icons on the map itself to access additional info.  You can open the map in its own window to make it larger if you’d like.

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