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“Excellent tapas and paella, we came back the next night”

La Gloria de Don Pepe
Ranked #52 of 387 Restaurants in Tulum
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Families with children, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Free Wifi, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
84 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Excellent tapas and paella, we came back the next night”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

Located off the Main Street about a block to the east on Orion Sur is a small, modest restaurant on the edge of a residential neighborhood. While the view from the outdoor tables will never make National Geographic, it provides a glimpse of the local slice of life. But the real reason to search out this restaurant is the excellent tapas and paella.

When we first visited, we had the meatballs in a spicy sauce, the sausages and the garlic shrimp--all tapas. Everything was excellent, along with a tasty vino seco (dry white wine). The staff was very attentive and friendly, and the owner was warm and welcoming.

The next night we planned to visit another highly recommended restaurant, but it was closed. So we went back here with our sights set on paella. We're happy that we did. We ordered a single tapa for an appetizer, since creating a proper paella dish can take a little while. The order came out in a wide, shallow cooking pan filled with savory rice and seafood, including very large shrimps and other treats from the sea. Again, we ordered a bottle this time of the wine that we had the night before. The paella serving was huge, but we finished it all. Too good to leave any.

Throughout the days that we were in Tulum, a weather system was parked offshore, with several periods of drenching rain storms. Just as we finished our meal outside, another downpour rolled through. We slipped inside the restaurant. And almost as soon as we sat down, the owner was at our table with a bottle of tequila. He poured two slender glasses of excellent sipping tequila (not the harsh salt and lemon ritual stuff that often passes for experiencing tequila in the States)

Even better, there was no charge. A gift from him. It was a wonderful end to a wonderful evening of excellent food and good company.

(The only reason that we didn't give the restaurant an overall rating of excellent is that some people may not care for the view. Although watching the neighborhood residents go about their lives was quite interesting to us.)

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tufduty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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324 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    239
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    9
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Delicious!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2013

Best tapas around, personal service from the owners, reasonable prices. The Calamari Fideuá is excellent and so are the meatballs. Very good food at a very authentic place with reasonable prices.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Hector M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA usa
Level Contributor
56 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Nice spot for tapas and tasty paella too!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

Cute little spot. The salad with goat cheese and tomato jam is great as are the meatballs, the garlic chicken, the wine, the paella. Right off the main avenue with many tasty options and friendly service. I've dined here many times and will continue to do so.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mimerscreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
D0n_Pepe, Propietario at La Gloria de Don Pepe, responded to this review, August 13, 2013
mimerscreamer, Thank you soo much, for giving us the pleasure of cooking for you, we will be so glad, to see you again!!!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Not the best place in Tulum”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013

I went to this small restaurant with the hopes of having excellent paella. This warm evening I went there with the anticipation of having a great dinner, sadly those hopes were not fulfilled. I ordered a main and not a tapas, there lies the problem. Order a starter first. I saw there for at least a half an hour waiting for the paella. Just before the paella was brought out some bread was brought to the table, after all that wait. The paella was good, but nothing spectacular. Caveat Emptor, buyer beware, the paella cost was doubled since we shared this at the table. This was not written in the menu or told to us by the waitress. Since I got home I also had food sickness from eating here, I would stay clear of this place and stick with any of the other good restaurants in town.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Christina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel O, Propietario at La Gloria de Don Pepe, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Dear costumers, we thank you very much you visit and your comments, which always will help us to improve our service.
Regarding the issue about that you waited 30 minutes for the “paella superior”, we remind you that here in our restaurant, “paellas” are prepared with fresh products fried at that time, which takes about 20 minutes, and then, rice and broth is added; rice takes about 20 minutes to be cooked, thus, from the time you order it to having the “paella” in the table is about 40 minutes.
Generally, we comment with our customers about this “time” matter and we recommend them to order something first (for example, a “tapa”) because waiting time is long.
In regard to the price issue, our menu states “PAELLAS Y FIDEUÁS. Precios por persona (Mínimo dos personas)” (prices per person (minimum two persons). “Paella” can be ordered for two, three, four… even twenty persons and the price for “Paella de Marisco” is 11.60 USD/person, this means 23.20 USD for two persons, 34.80 USD for three persons, etc.
We take account on your confusion and we will improve this information in our menu.
We deeply regret your food sickness, but we guarantee you that our processes comply with strict health control standards and we had any claim regarding it in the three-year period that the restaurant had been operating.
We wish to change your mind about us.
Sincerely,
La Gloria de Don Pepe
Tulum
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utah
Level Contributor
132 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Glad we heard about this place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

We have visited Tulum numerous times, but for some reason this little place on a side street off the main drag has escaped us. After a friend pointed us to Don Pepe, we ended up dining here 3 times in a week. Having traveled extensively though out all regions of Spain we are very familiar with the tradition of tapas and paella. Typically in Spain a tapas establishment will display an array of dishes on the bar from which you can choose according to your taste and desires. Here at Don Pepe you order from their menu, and your selections are brought to your table. We sampled a variety of classics including the albondigas (meatballs), chistora (spicy sausage), and pollo al ajillo (chicken in garlic). All were fresh, hot and deeply flavorful. The Catalan salad is also a good choice as it consists of a selection of fresh greens topped with an assortment of Spanish style cured meats and cheese. It's big enough to share and makes for a good starter. One night we met some friends, grabbed a street side table and ordered the mixed paella. Having eaten bad paella on many occasions, we are always a bit apprehensive about what will be coming. Don Pepe certainly did not disappoint. The made to order dish was loaded with large whole (head on) shrimp, clams, mussels, chicken and pork, expertly cooked on a bed of flavorful, aromatic rice. We also shared a couple of bottles of a light, dry refreshing Spanish white wine that complimented the meal perfectly. The owners provide friendly and attentive service and seem to be genuinely grateful for your business. Nest time we are in Tulum, we will most definitely return to this charming little eatery.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TravelHoundUtah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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