The Riviera Maya Restaurants

Restaurants here vary from quirky beachside affairs with outdoor tables and palapas to more elaborate and sophisticated establishments. Dress is casual at most places, so leave your tie and jacket at home. Smaller eateries may not accept credit cards, especially in remote beach villages. Bigger ones and those in hotels normally accept plastic. Many restaurants add propinas (tips) to the bill; look for a charge for "servicio." If tips aren’t included, a 15% gratuity is standard. It's best to order fresh local fish—grouper, dorado, red snapper, and sea bass—rather than shellfish like shrimp, lobster, and oysters, since the latter are often flown in frozen from the Gulf. Playa del Carmen has the largest selection of restaurants.

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  • 1. Chez Céline

    $ | French

    Take one bite of Céline's chocolate croissants, and you'll think you've died and gone to Paris. Fresh-baked breads and pastries bring honor...Read More

  • 2. Cafe Karlita's

    $ | Café

    The smell of fresh baked goods wafts onto Mahahual's boardwalk from this central café. The towers of cookies, pastries, and muffins under glass...Read More

  • 3. HC de Monterrey

    $ | Mexican

    Follow your nose to this Mexican grill house, where locals gather for some of the best-tasting steak in town. Far from romantic, the open-air...Read More

  • 4. La Cueva del Chango

    $ | Mexican

    This Playa institution, in a funky jungle garden with fountains, palmettos, and a rambling koi pond, is a favorite breakfast spot. The well...Read More

  • 5. La Playita

    $ | Mexican

    Two blocks north of the town square, this "restaurant" is actually made up of plastic tables and chairs shaded by mini palapas and tarps. What...Read More

  • 6. Le Café D'Amancia

    $ | Bakery

    This colorful hangout on the corner of the main plaza is the best place in town to watch the world go by (or take advantage of free Wi-Fi) while...Read More

  • 7. Restaurant Encuentro

    $ | Café

    In addition to 12 kinds of coffee, this bright café serves fresh salads, pastas, sandwiches, and chicken dishes. Early risers can enjoy a house...Read More

  • 8. Toby's

    $ | Mexican

    Near the entrance to Xcalak, this modest Mexican restaurant is made up of a few plastic tables and chairs. Stop by for Toby's famous fajitas...Read More

  • 9. Café Sasta

    $ | Café

    This sweet little café serves good espresso drinks and a wide variety of teas, along with bagel sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, and pastries. Try...Read More

  • 10. Hot Baking Company

    $ | Café

    This cheap streetside breakfast café opens at 7 am, and it's one of the few places where you can get breakfast before early-morning sightseeing...Read More

  • 11. Posada Amor

    $ | Mexican

    This restaurant, the oldest in Puerto Morelos, has retained a loyal clientele for nearly four decades. In the dining room with its picnic-style...Read More

  • 12. Los Aguachiles

    $ | Mexican

    This Tulum outpost of the Playa hipster cantina has a light take on traditional tacos and seafood served with lots of lime and creativity. Batter...Read More

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