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The perfect locations to eat in Playa del Carmen in 2022

Playa del Carmen’s numerous gastronomy is a vacation spot in itself. Because of an inflow of digital nomads and vacationers worldwide, the culinary scene in Playa del Carmen has advanced from streetside taco stands and informal seaside shacks into an amalgam of hip vegan cafes, modern seafood bars, and regional eating places. 

Many eating places are focused on the seaside and alongside Playa’s essential boulevard Fifth Avenue, however costs are usually greater than common. Veer off the busy areas and duck into the aspect streets  – you’ll uncover a world of low cost eats and conventional bites that provide much less gimmick and extra worth. From taquerias to fine-dining venues, listed here are one of the best locations to get a style of Playa del Carmen.  

It is not exhausting to search out good tacos in Playa del Carmen 

Taco joints are the epicenter of the meals scene throughout Mexico –  it’s no exception in Playa del Carmen. Prepare for some finger-licking motion at these blockbusting taco homes.

El Fogón is a massively standard taqueria

An establishment in Playa del Carmen, El Fogón is the go-to taqueria for locals and guests alike. The open-air eatery dishes out the town’s most genuine tacos al pastor: marinated meat grilled on the flames of a Lebanese shawarma grill, served on a home made tortilla and garnished with tomatoes, onions, and coriander. 

Different must-tries embrace the torta de arrachera (skirt steak sandwich) and alambre ranchero (grilled beef with chopped bacon, chorizo, and melted cheese). El Fogón has gained such a loyal following that it’s opened up ​​a number of places all through Playa del Carmen. In the event you discover a lengthy line to get in, strive your luck at one other location.

La Cochi Loka serves scrumptious pork tacos

Steps from the seaside on Calle 10 Norte, La Cochi Loka is a tiny, unassuming stand that serves one of the best cochinita pibil on the town. Gradual roasted pork cooked with a mix of Yucatan spices – together with axiote and cinnamon – is dished out on freshly handmade tortillas and sprinkled with pickled pink onions. The tacos shouldn’t be missed, however in case you are a hardcore foodie, strive the costras with a crunchy cheese crust that’s griddled to perfection. There are only a couple of bar tables and excessive chairs – however don’t trouble searching for a seat; you’ll be lining up for extra tacos very quickly.

Hermanos Taco Cart is without doubt one of the metropolis’s finest meals vehicles

Tucked into the shadows of Mega grocery store in Centro, this nondescript spot might appear to be your typical meals truck, however it slings a few of the finest tacos in Playa del Carmen. Of all of the competing meals vehicles lined up on the curbside, Hermanos constantly has the longest line of keen diners. The stand solely has a few plastic chairs throughout the day, however come on a weekend evening to benefit from the makeshift out of doors market environment.

The home specialty right here is the tacos de suadero (made with thinly sliced beef brisket), however regulars additionally dig their tacos campechanos (​​a combined bag of grilled pork, longaniza spicy sausage, and crispy chicharrones pork crackling). Be warned: each taco comes with a beneficiant dollop of habanero chili! 


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A shot of a cocktail and a plate of seafood on a table at a sandy beach
You will discover high quality seafood in Playa del Carmen’s eating places © kevin yulianto / Getty Pictures

Attempt one of the best, freshest fish at Playa’s seafood eating places

In a seaside city like Playa del Carmen, seafood inherently performs the main function. Of us right here know their seafood, so count on solely the freshest and tastiest fish in Playa del Carmen.

Pescaderia Y Cokteleria El Pirata serves inexpensive seafood

An extended-established fixture in Playa’s meals scene, El Pirata is perenially filled with hungry locals desirous to dive into their inexpensive but indulgent seafood. The informal setting of plastic tables and chairs round its entrance doorways might not draw you in, however the wonderful seafood will get you to remain. The eating places’ headliners are the tangy ceviche, shrimp cocktail, and complete fried mojarra fish that crunches on the surface and melts on the within. Lunch hour is all the time busy right here; come for an early dinner as a substitute because the restaurant shuts by 7pm.

Las Hijas de la Tostada’s seafood tostada is a delight

With playful turquoise interiors, the modern seafood bar doesn’t simply look good; it’s the meals that retains individuals coming again for extra. The chain restaurant is thought for its enjoyable, trendy seafood dishes like tuna tataki, shrimp tartar, and grilled octopus. However the star of the present right here is the tostada, a toasted tortilla topped with all types of seafood, from chipotle caramelized shrimps to chili marinated tuna on a mattress of guacamole. There are actually a number of places on the town, together with one at Coco Seashore with spectacular sea views, all that includes the identical menu and affordable costs.

A woman holds out a Mexican quesadilla towards the camera - a folded bread stuffed with fillings
From trendy road meals to eating places serving conventional Mexican dishes, there are various nice locations to eat in Playa del Carmen © frantic00 / Shutterstock

Playa’s conventional Mexican eating places are native favorites

Regardless of Playa del Carmen’s large push in the direction of the brand new and the hip, time-honored Mexican eating places nonetheless rank excessive on the locals’ favourite locations to eat on the town.

La Perla Pixan Delicacies pays homage to Mexican staples

La Perla Pixan takes you again into the previous. The open-concept restaurant encompasses a rustic setting, with a palapa thatched roof overhead and the scent of copal – Mayan’s ceremonial incense – wafting by the air. The restaurant pays homage to Mexican tradition by staples like pozole verde (inexperienced chili stew), chile relleno (stuffed pepper), and botana oaxaqueña (assorted meat and cheese from Oaxaca) – all served on clay pots and pottery plates. Adventurous foodies will love the chapulines con queso fresco y nopales, grasshoppers with cheese and cactus.

La Cueva del Chango serves contemporary regional dishes

Ask anybody the place one of the best place to eat conventional Mexican meals in Playa del Carmen is, they usually’ll inadvertently level you within the path of La Cueva del Chango. “The Monkey’s Cave” awes with its jungly setting, full with hanging roots and working streams within the out of doors terrace. 

La Cueva prides itself on serving high quality regional dishes utilizing the freshest homegrown elements. Sizzling favorites on the menu are the rooster in poblano mole sauce and shrimp with serrano chili cream sauce. Name upfront to make a reserving, particularly on weekends.

The perfect high-end eating places supply a novel expertise 

Whereas lots of Playa’s upscale eating places are ensconced in non-public resorts and unique to friends solely, there are nonetheless a handful of eating venues that promise to be the spotlight of any go to to Playa del Carmen.

Alux Restaurant presents high delicacies in a cave

Alux isn’t only a restaurant: it’s a one-of-a-kind eating expertise. Housed in a cenote cave, Alux brings new which means to the idea of tremendous eating, plating haute delicacies in a country grotto setting. The multi-colored lights and neon indicators could also be kitsch, however its modern Mexican menu and spectacular wine choice add a contact of decadence. Below thousand-year-old stalactites, feast on pork stomach drenched in mole sauce, pork terrine coated in curry pineapple, and roasted bone marrow glazed in chili. And after the meal, take a wander across the cavern into an underworld of icicle-like stalactites and rocky hideouts.

The Traveler’s Desk is an interactive eating expertise

Good meals is finest loved with firm, and it may’t be extra true at The Traveler’s Desk. The idea restaurant guarantees a communal eating expertise like no different, and it delivers by a meld of storytelling, hands-on participation, and social interplay. 

The concept is easy: the host first units the tone with flutes of champagne at sundown and supplies historic context for the meals you’ll be tasting. Then friends are served an elaborate five-course menu designed by Spanish celeb chef Eva Millán. There’s a convivial environment within the air as you dine barefoot on the seaside with new associates, make your personal cocktails, and style the best mezcal and tequila.

A vegetarian bean dish shot from above
Vegans and vegetarians will discover a number of tasty choices in Playa del Carmen © Anna_Pustynnikova / Shutterstock

Playa has a robust vegetarian and vegan scene  

As a digital nomad hub, Playa del Carmen absolutely embraces the vegan meals pattern. Each month there appear to be new vegan cafes popping up, vying for consideration with leafy interiors and ingenious creations. 

Peace and Bowl serves colourful, tasty vegan dishes

Peace and Bowl is consolation vegan meals at its finest. Contemporary uncooked elements and shiny colours fill the artistic menu, with many objects you gained’t discover at different spots on the town. Begin with an attention grabbing açaí bowl and end with a power-packed buddha bowl – no matter what you select, it’ll style nearly as good because it seems to be. In the event you’re counting your pennies (and energy), get a candy potato hummus toast and Patcha Matcha smoothie, and also you’re set for the day. 

Come for the meals however keep for the ambiance – the comfy swings, Turkish ground pillows, and plunge pool make it a great place to whereas your day away. 

Fresco Habito has an earth-to-table ethos

This hip all-vegan cafe is a large hit with plant-based eaters for good causes: the lengthy listing of mouth-watering vegan dishes are all photo-worthy and ridiculously good. Plus, its earth-to-table ethos shines by within the restaurant’s shiny, open design, punctuated with tropical mural work and hanging vegetation. Don’t move up on the ceviche tropical with coconut and matcha, the pita pastor, and little donkey burrito. In the event you can’t determine on what to order, decide and select from the arsenal of grains, nuts, and superfoods to create your very personal bowl.

Do not miss Playa’s breakfast tradition at these high locations

Playa del Carmen is large on breakfast, and it exhibits from the lengthy strains of early birds at vigorous breakfast joints within the morning. Get there early if you need a style of Playa’s breakfast tradition!

Restaurante Nativo is an efficient worth breakfast hut

A mainstay in Playa del Carmen, Nativo ticks off all three Bs on a Mexican’s listing – bueno, bonito y barato – good, fairly, and low cost. The setting is distinctively “Playa”: a palapa roof sits over the wood hut, decked out in rainbow-colored furnishings and vibrant wall work. 

Half juice bar, half Mexican diner, Nativo serves a repertoire of breakfast classics, from fruit bowls to bacon hotcakes and conventional huevos motuleños (eggs on tortillas with black beans and cheese). However what appeals most to regulars are the licuado fruit smoothies, lauded as one of the best on the town. Order one to share, as they’re undoubtedly large enough for 2.

Chez Céline serves one of the best baked items

This Parisian-style boulangerie may be the one cause to jostle the gang on Fifth Avenue. Chez Céline has lengthy been feted as one of the best place in Playa del Carmen for freshly baked croissants, baguettes, and macarons. Late starters will likely be completely satisfied to know breakfast is served until 1pm daily – after which you’ll be able to nonetheless decide from a tasty unfold of oven-baked toasts, bagels, and savory croissants, and pair them with a glass of mimosa.

Amate 38 is standard with native households

With a small waterfall, koi pond, and a jungle setting, Amate 38 is a uncommon patch of greenery and an inviting house to begin your day. This earthy restaurant attracts excessive reward for its Yucatecan regional delicacies, ready with ancestral cooking strategies. Its breakfast menu is massively standard with multi-generation Mexican households, who flock right here for his or her chaya omelet and teko tekoh eggs (slow-cooked eggs). 

This text was first printed on October 18, 2019 and up to date on April 11, 2022

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