From all your Mexican favourites to falafel huts, spicy Indian curries, sushi, and even Chicago deep-dish pizza, there’s no shortage of delicious eats in Playa del Carmen. To help your stomach navigate the multitude of tasty options, and in no particular order, we’ve narrowed down the 10 best restaurants in Playa del Carmen to the following. ¡Buen provecho!
Restaurant Address: Av. Juarez Mza. 217 Ejidal, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
What do you order in a restaurant built inside a 10,000-year-old cave? An ancient Mayan dish, of course! Alux is as exotic as it sounds and should be on everyone’s list of places to eat, or to at least enjoy a drink to say you’ve been.
With room for 250 diners, including private ‘vaults’ for a more intimate experience, the place is massive, and if the classic Mexican menu doesn’t get you (it will), the otherworldly atmosphere is enough to keep you talking about Alux well after your holiday.
Restaurant Address: Calle 14 Nte Bis 147, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Seating just nine tables, you may want to make a reservation at Oh Lala! - right now. Worth planning your vacation around, Oh Lala! is an exclusive eatery offering some of the region’s very best cuisine and accompanying wine, and is TripAdvisor’s top Playa del Carmen restaurant.
Lobster, fresh tuna steaks and even complex Madras curries are expertly prepared and beautifully presented in a gorgeous dining room, with excellent service to match. This is date night, Playa del Carmen style.
Restaurant Address: Av. 30, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
When you’re ready for a slice of comfort, head down to Don Chendo and their proper Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas. And oh, wear your stretchy pants.
Run by a New Yorker, Don Chendo is the real deal, American portion sizes included. Split a signature pizza or dive into any one of their many pasta dishes, close your eyes, and you could be in Brooklyn on a hot summer night.
La Cueva del Chango
Restaurant Address: Av. 38 Norte Mz. 4 Lote 3, Zazil-ha, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
For over 15 years, La Cueva del Chango has been curing hangovers and starting days off right, with their Playa-best coffee, freshly squeezed juices and magical Mexican breakfasts.
Set amongst a fish pond, waterfalls and the soothing sounds of songbirds, most of what is on the menu is made in-house, including the breads, tortillas and various salsas. But it isn’t just a breakfast spot, with a respectable dinner menu and a selection of Mexican wines, La Cueva del Chango is an all-day/all-night institution.
The falafel here may reign supreme, but Chic Pea is much more than a vegetarian oasis and packs more than just the flavours of the Mediterranean, evident in their delicious falafel burritos and perfectly-pressed paninis.
Retreat to the evergreen patio for a thirst-quenching lemonade, a light salad or a satisfying sandwich, planning your return visit with every bite.
Restaurant Address: Av. Constituyentes, Quintas del Carmen, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
No list of Playa del Carmen’s best eateries would be complete without a shout-out to El Fogon, proudly serving up Playa’s best authentic tacos since 1999. It’s the quintessential taqueria on your way home from a fiesta, and basically, a rite of passage.
No reservations are required (or possible) at any of their 3 locations, all on 30th Avenue – just get in the back of the line that often extends well out the door and drool. Start with the ‘Al Pastor’ and go down the list. At a dollar per taco, you really can’t go wrong.
La Perla Pixan
Restaurant Address:Calle 34 Norte Entre 5ta Y 10 Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Combining some of the region’s best Oaxacan-inspired cuisine, live local music and quality mezcal, La Perla is Playa’s hidden gem, just steps from bustling La Quinta Ave.
The air is scented with incense, and the cozy, eclectic space is abuzz with both hip locals and lucky tourists. The menu is an experimental take on classic Oaxacan dishes, their aromatic fragrance wafting from the busy open kitchen, mingling with the incense. Alright, who’s having the grasshopper quesadillas?
Restaurant Address: Avenida 10, Esquina con 26, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
With an extensive menu of breakfast, lunch, dinner and even after-hours items (they also deliver), Sushi Club is the go-to sushi spot in Playa del Carmen.
The chic eatery can easily accommodate a quiet romantic dinner for two as easily as it can a hungry group or family. Moderately priced, their fresh, artisanal rolls, sashimi, sushi and wok specialties make it hard to believe that Sushi Club is actually an international chain. Regardless, it’s Playa’s best Japanese restaurant.
While most lobster houses in North America are relaxed, bib-wearing operations, Playa del Carmen’s Blue Lobster takes things up a notch, serving on crisp white linen for an elevated dining experience.
Sit inside or eat al fresco. Enjoy a perfectly cooked steak or the restaurant specialty, fresh Caribbean lobster, which you choose from a massive tank. Live music, a romantic yet festive atmosphere and attentive service all help make Blue Lobster a perfect night out.
Restaurant Address: Calle 1ra Sur x 5 y 10, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
There’s no reason to complicate simple, quality food, and La Coronela excels at keeping it real. If you’re looking for authentic local bites, 2-for-1 beer specials and everything a Playa del Carmen cantina should be, La Coronela has a table for you.
From the friendly owner and staff to its perfected menu staples, like tortilla soup, hefty burritos and the strip’s best guacamole, it’s easy to see that they’re on to something good here. Unpretentious and delicious, La Coronela simply screams Mexico. Heed the call.
Salivating? So are we. Playa del Carmen is packed with drool-worthy restaurants, and our list is just the beginning. Sample one, or try them all, even if you’re resort bound for an all-inclusive experience. Trust us - it’s well worth it.