We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Restaurant Recommendations?

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Level Contributor
24 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Restaurant Recommendations?

We will be renting a condo in Playa del Carmen mid June. We're looking for some restaurant recommendations. Local flavor is a plus!

Embarrass, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5,762 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Restaurant Recommendations?

And local flavor you will get wherever you decide to eat. Do a couple of searches on this forum as there is mucho information. You'll get opinion for sure but what makes your taste buds tingle may not be the same. For a more focused answer arrow it down to seafood or tapas or breakfasts or elegant dinners,etc ...just too many good places to try. I think when you get there you will find "Too many food and beverage choices, so little time ...."

Embarrass, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5,762 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Restaurant Recommendations?

The following was posted last September, I believe ...see what I mean about trying to narrow it down.


Tacos and cheap eats

Dona Mary- This is supposed to be the best place for a Mexican dinner. The women only speak Spanish and most of the food choices are made with chicken. They are only open for dinner. 7pm-12am. 30th ave and 28th st (calle). Taxi or moped accessible.

El Oasis-A must! The best shrimp tacos you’ll ever eat. Fresh seafood. Ceviche(fish or shrimp marinated in lime juice, onion, cilantro, tomato-served with tortilla chips), guacamole. 12th st between 5th and 10th ave.

Pizza Pazza- A must! This place has awesome slices of pizza. Located next to El Oasis. 12th st between 5th and 10th ave.

Aca Los Tacos- Tacos al pastor (pork tacos on a spit…kinda like gyros). Corner of 5th ave and Constituyentes.

El Sarape- Tacos al pastor and other Mexican grub. Served only at night. Located on Juarez, about 4-5 blocks from the ferry terminal.

El Fogon- Tacos al pastor. 2 locations: 30th Ave and 6th St and 30th Ave near 28th st.

Tacos Israel- Awesome tacos. Tacos arrachera (flank steak) and tacos al pastor. There is a bright blue and white striped awning. Corner of 15th ave and 10th st.

La Casita de Los Guisos (formerly La Madrina)- I have heard great things about this place. Tamales on weekends, mole, etc. 20th ave and 6th st. (look for red chairs) Closed Tuesdays.

Doctor Taco- Great tacos and vegetarian selections. 10th ave between 8th and 10th st.

El Faisan y el Venado- Great Mexican and Yucataenaen specialties. Lots of locals eat here. Close to Juarez and highway 307.

H & M Butcher Shop- This place is a butcher shop that also serves great food. Grilled flank steak with a baked potato and grilled onion-yummy! 1st st between 25th and 30th ave.

Food Carts-(very clean and safe to eat) Most of these carts are located at 5th ave and Juarez. The pork tacos served in the morning are supposed to be great. Churros at night. Empanadas, fresh fruit cups and fresh squeezed orange juice.

Breakfast and Sandwich Shops

La Cueva Del Chango- A must! This place is a little out of the way but well worth it. Homemade granola served with fresh fruit and yogurt. Eggs with cheese and chaya (spinach) served with homemade tortillas. Fresh squeezed juices and great coffee. They are also open for lunch and dinner. 38th st between 5th ave and the beach. Ask for directions, taxi, moped, walk the street from north end of town (Hotel Coco Rio), walk the beach and turn on to the road at Shangri La Hotel (next to las Palapas)

Java Joe’s- The best coffee and place to gossip with the locals. Breakfast and sandwiches. Homemade grilled Italian sausage in the afternoons. 10th st between 5th and 10th ave.

Hot Baking Company- Homemade breads and pastries, eggs and bacon, etc. Has two locations. (Calle Corazon) corner of 5th ave and 14 st. 10th st bwtween 5th and 10th.

Baguiz- Sandwiches and probably breakfast. 20th ave between 6th and 8th st.

IL Mangiare- Delicatessen with sandwiches, bagels, coffee, etc. 5th ave between 28th and 30st.

Places for Dinner or Big Lunch

Media Luna- The food is great! All types of food: vegetarian, pasta, seafood. They also have great juices, drinks and sangria. 5th avenue between 12th and 14st.

Babes Noodle Bar- A must! Great food…thai dishes (pretty mild, but great), spring rolls and Vietnamese rolls are also great. Great mojitos, blueberry margaritas, juices, mint lemonade. 10th st between 5th and 10th ave.

Casa Mediterranea- Great pasta and fish. 5th ave between 6th and 8th st. (down a walkway across from lunata hotel)

Yaxche- (ya-shay) One of the nicest restaurants in town. Mayan restaurant with gourmet food. This place has won a bunch of awards. 8th st between 5th and 10th.

Tango Taco- Supposed to have great Mexican and beef and good prices. 10th st between 10th and 15th ave.

Magdalena’s Grill House- Have heard great things about this place. Imported meats, dinner menu selected daily. They are also open for lunch and serve breakfast until 3pm. Corner of 1st ave and 26th st.

Manne’s Biergarten- German pub. Wednesday night is rib night and Friday’s is pork roast. Closed Tuesdays. 4th st between 10th and 15 ave.

Playa Maya-On the beach, also a great place for breakfast or lunch. Fresh seafood, coconut shrimp, great guacamole. Playa Maya Hotel on the beach between 6th and 8th st.

La Parilla- This is a really fun place to eat. They have Marachis from 8-10. Good Mexican food. We usually eat dinner here our first night in town. 5th ave between 8th and 10th (or 8th and 6th).

Sol Food- New restaurant that is supposed to be very good. Vegetarian, meat, pasta, seafood. 8th st between 5th and the beach.

John Gray’s Kitchen- A must! This small restaurant is located in Puerto Morelos, about 25 minutes north of playa. Take a taxi or car. John Gray, the owner, was formerly a chef at the Ritz Carlton in California. The food is wonderful and the setting is romantic. Hours are Monday-Saturday 6-10 pm. You can call for reservations, but not a must. 998-871-0665.

Ah Cacaos- This is a place that serves only chocolate. Located on the corner of 5th Ave and Constituyentes.

IL Duca- This restaurant is a transport from rome (Frommer’s top 10 restaurants in Rome). Mussels flown in on weekends. 10th st between 1st and 5th ave.

Bars, Clubs and People Watching

There are so many of these places-here are some favorites.

Blue Parrot- The most famous bar in Playa. Great Place for happy hour. I think that they have live music on Saturday afternoons. Good place to go a little later in the evening. (11 or 12ish)

Tequila Barrel- One of the most popular bars in Playa. Over 100 different kinds of tequila, great mojitos. 5th ave between 10th and 12thst.

Bourbon Street- Live music, great drinks. 5th ave between 6th and 8th st.

Mil Un Alux – (Aloosh)! A must! This place is unlike anything that you have ever seen. It’s a huge bar that is built into a natural cavern. Juarez across from 307. Taxi.(tell the cave bar)

Captain Tutix- This is the place that you want to go to after 2 or 3 am. Club with lots of stuff going on. On the beach and 4st. Can walk the beach from Blue Parrot. (Girl’s don’t walk alone on the beach at night…..no matter how drunk you are. Unless it’s from Blue Parrot to your hotel at Gran Porto Real).

Deseo- The bed bar. This place is awesome. Located on the rooftop of Deseo hotel. (look for a set of stairs with a huge screen playing black and white videos) 5th ave between 10th and 12 st. (I think).

Beer Bucket- Live music, popular with the locals. 5th ave between 10th and 12th st.

Playa del Carmen...
Destination Expert
for Playa del Carmen
Level Contributor
2,087 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Restaurant Recommendations?

We have a list of our favorite places (and places we think you should skip) on our blog at …wordpress.com/2007/…. You will find a number of good, cheap local places there.

Tony and Cheri

Luna Blue Hotel and Garden

Level Contributor
24 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Restaurant Recommendations?

Great list!

Seafood is a must, my wife loves lobster. Casual dining is probably the order of the day, as the kids (10 and 12) won't be wanting to dress up, come to think of it, neither will I.

I love a good Mexican breakfast, and anything Americanized or chain oriented is considered taboo when we are on a foreign vacation.

Saint Louis...
Level Contributor
116 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Restaurant Recommendations?

My husband and I are going to PDC in July and I posed a similar question on anther forum --- mine was focused to cheap, hole in the wall places.

If you go to Chowhound.com (it's a board for people who love out of the way food) and search under the Mexico board -- do a search under PDC for 5 nights -- a guy who use to live in PDC wrote a lot of great info.

Tracy in St. Louis

Level Contributor
924 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Restaurant Recommendations?

Agree with viking for the most part...Next time we go we need to explore some of the cheaper places mentioned!

When we go back in November we will definitely be returning to Yaxche(some of the best food and certainly the best atmosphere--ask to be seated in the back in the "Mayan ruin" re-creation), La Parrila(yes its touristy but we had a blast sitting at one of the front tables on 5th when the Mariachi band played), and Babe's Noodle Bar(just stinking great food). We never got off Mexico time for long enough to go to Alux, but definitely this trip!

I would advise you to avoid shrimp dishes if at all possible. I ignored this and definitely paid for it a few days of the trip. I believe the shrimp has to be shipped from the west and we were unfortunate to get a bad batch, which stinks because I LOOOVE shrimp. Others may disagree with me and say it was merely bad luck. Where in Playa are you staying?

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,890 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Restaurant Recommendations?

Sorry to hear that Frow13 felt she got sick from shrimp, but that's my favorite thing to eat in playa and I have never gotten sic, I eat it in Cerviche, tacos,pasta,cazuela etc.....

My best suggestion for you would to be sure to get off 5th Avenue and taste some great local places, HC Monterrey, La Pesca, Dr Taco as well as Babes and Pizza Pazza, la Quinta Pasion, Cuevo de Chango etc....

You know what Starbucks tastes like, try Java Joes instead. Same thing goes for Haggen Daz, not only is it ridiculously expensive there are some great places in Playa that offer twice the selection at less than half the price.

Explore and enjoy more than just the touristy places.

Eau Claire...
Destination Expert
for Copper Harbor
Level Contributor
2,541 posts
260 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Restaurant Recommendations?

Ya..that's a bummer about the shrimp. We ate it alot when we were there in Dec. and it was delcious. The shrimp ceviche at the Playa Maya for lunch was perfect. Maybe it wasn't the shrimp???

I'd offer a dissenting opinion on Yaxche. We found it overpriced and very touristy. The food was mediocre at best. I get slammed here for spouting such blasphemy - but it's our opinion.

We really liked:

La Pummarola

Media Luna

Babes Noodle Bar


We thought Cafe Sasta on 5th had the best cappucino in PDC.

Level Contributor
924 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Restaurant Recommendations?

Definitely was the shrimp but sounds like I was just unlucky...And no reason to diagree with your Yaxche opinion other than I do not think their prices were unreasonable(entrees mostly in $20-25 range). There are other places people recommended that we thought were distinctly mediocre including Blue Lobster and this pirate themed beach restaurant maybe around 4th or 6th. A little dissention in the ranks never hurt, especially if you can suggest alternatives to try out :)

10. Re: Restaurant Recommendations?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:19 pm, September 02, 2009