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. The Leaky Palapa

    $$$ | Seafood

    Nobody expected the kind of sophisticated flavors that the Leaky Palapa brought to town, but this little 11-table palapa restaurant done up...Read More

  • 2. Café Olé International

    $$ | Seafood

    The laid-back hub of Puerto Aventuras is a terrace café with a varied menu, including coconut shrimp and chicken with a chimichurri sauce made...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. La Cueva del Pescador

    $$ | Seafood

    Dig your toes in the sand floor and enjoy the catch of the day at La Cueva del Pescador. A crowd of easy-going expats hunkers down for the afternoon...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Restaurant Cenote Azul

    $$$ | Seafood

    Perched on the rim of the 300-foot-deep cenote, this palapa restaurant charges a M$10 entrance fee to access the site. Busloads of tourists...Read More

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