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. La Sirena

    $$$ | International

    Overlooking the town square, La Sirena serves an eclectic mix of dishes ranging from mini-sliders and grilled grouper to hearty plates of BBQ...Read More

  • 2. Aldea Corazón

    $$$ | Mexican

    Playa's most dramatically-sited restaurant sits atop a small cenote in a vast jungly garden full of strangler vines and Mayan ruins—right in...Read More

  • 3. Alux Restaurant & Lounge

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    Although this restaurant is a 10-minute drive from downtown, its location in an underground cavern makes it extremely popular. A candlelit rock...Read More

  • 4. Babe's Noodles & Bar

    $$ | Thai

    Photos and paintings of old Hollywood pin-up models share decor space with a large stone Buddha at this Swedish-owned Thai restaurant. It's...Read More

  • 5. Como Como

    $$$ | Mediterranean

    This small, intimate Mediterranean restaurant is where locals and travelers in-the-know go for perfectly al dente homemade pasta. Top orders...Read More

  • 6. El Camello Jr.

    $$ | Seafood

    By the time you get to this local favorite at the very end of Tulum's downtown strip, you'll think you've already left town. In fact, you've...Read More

  • 7. El Tábano

    $$$ | Mexican

    This jungle-side hangout run by Barcelona chef Laura Brea brings imaginative cuisine to a rustic garden. You could spend the day here at a country...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. La Buena Vida

    $$ | Mexican

    With driftwood tables overlooking Half Moon Bay, swings at the lively bar, and salsa music keeping things moving, this might be the perfect...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Los Aguachiles

    $$ | Mexican

    This upscale taquerìa is an anchor of Playa's alternative culinary scene, reimagining tacos sautéed in olive oil and topped with cucumber or...Read More

  • 12. Pangea

    $$ | Eclectic

    Abutting the plaza at the beach, Pangea has it all: breakfast, lunch, and dinner served on an umbrella-shaded terrace overlooking the sea, plus...Read More

  • 13. Pelicanos

    $$$ | Seafood

    Enjoy fresh seafood on the shaded patio of this family-owned restaurant in the heart of town. Try fish prepared al ajo (in a garlicky butter...Read More

  • 14. Plank

    $$$ | Steakhouse

    The name says it all at this New York–inspired restaurant where entrées are grilled on wooden planks or Himalayan salt blocks. The smoky flavors...Read More

  • 15. Sergio's Restaurant & Pizzas

    $$$ | Pizza

    Locals rave about the grilled steaks and garlic shrimp at Sergio's—one of the nicest restaurants in Chetumal. The barbecued chicken (made with...Read More

  • 16. G.G.

    $$$ | Italian

    The giant photos of a nightclubbing Sophia Loren on the wall capture the essence of this Italianissimo hot spot. Take in the newest part of...Read More

  • 17. Mosquito Blue Restaurant

    $$$$ | Italian

    See and be seen in the open dining room of this fashionista hot spot right in the middle of Avenida 5's action. Top selections include linguine...Read More

  • 18. 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

  • 19. 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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