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Top 16 Best Restaurants in Playa del Carmen Mexico

Top 16 Best Restaurants in Playa del Carmen Mexico

We’ve spent more than a year living in Playa del Carmen Mexico, and eating everywhere, looking for the very best restaurants in Playa del Carmen.

We spend at least one month in Playa del Carmen every year. Winter sucks in Wisconsin, so we like to spend half of it in Mexico.

Our last trip was in February & March 2024, to keep this list deliciously up to date! We are now on the hunt for kid-friendly Playa del Carmen restaurants, too.  

If you ask us, there isn’t such a thing as too much Mexican food. However, a few international food selections also made our favorite Playa del Carmen restaurants list.

The food scene in Playa del Carmen is amazing, with something for everyone’s taste – Here’s where to find the best food in Playa del Carmen!

15 Best Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

El Fogon Street view the best tacos in Playa del Carmen

1. El Fogon | Best Tacos in Playa del Carmen

Hands down, our top pick for the best restaurant in Playa del Carmen is El Fogon. This is our first stop when back in Playa del Carmen. This isn’t a fine dining place. If you want the best tacos in Playa del Carmen, this is the place!

We used to live within walking distance of all 3 locations and visited frequently. There is no English menu. It is only in Spanish. Just point your camera at the menu and use the translate app for help. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. The menu is large, with all Mexican favorites like tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, fajitas, burritos, nachos, and more.

You haven’t had a REAL taco until you have their Al Pastor taco. The beautiful, giant spit of meat is the first thing you’ll see when you first walk in. Make sure to get your tacos al pastor on corn tortillas with cilantro and onions. I typically skip adding cheese (queso). The flavor is amazing without it.

If it is your first time here and you are unsure if you’ll like it, order one; after that, you’ll want more. Their prices are super reasonable, and they take cash or credit cards.

queso fundido with chorizo el fogon playa del carmen restaurant

We also love the queso fundido with chorizo. Its melted gooey Oaxaca cheese with chorizo on top served with flour tortillas; it’s heaven for any cheese lover.

El Fogon also has one of the cheapest guacamoles in Playa del Carmen. It’s the perfect appetizer. It is a good spot to try many menu items because everything has reasonable prices.

There are four different locations, three are on 30th Ave, just five blocks off of 5th Ave (main tourist walking street). You can easily walk to any of the locations from 5th Ave. The other location is near the end of 5th Ave near the Cozumel Ferry.

We suggest visiting the Constituyentes and 30th Ave location as it is open for lunch and dinner and is the easiest to find. It is a short walk from la Quinta Avenida (5th Ave) and the beach. Several of the waiters at this location speak English.

  • Address: 30th Avenida & Avenida Constituyentes, 30th Avenida & Calle 32, 30th Avenida & Calle 6 Bis
  • Lunch/Dinner for 2, you can easily stuff your face silly with tacos and a few beers for under $20/300 pesos.

Tip: Make sure not to sit too close to the grill. Those seats are super warm. El Fogón is an open air restaurant that is usually warm, try and sit by a fan.

On our last trip, we stayed in Xpu Ha, a 25-minute drive each way, and we drove into Playa del Carmen to eat at El Fogon. It’s that good!

Chicken tikka masala Indian food at restaurant with naan and rice

2. India Jones – Best Indian in Playa del Carmen

One of the new best Playa del Carmen restaurants on our list is India Jones. If you love Indian food, you must put India Jones on your Playa del Carmen restaurant list.

This is a great spot for a nice dinner that will change things up for your taste buds. There were a few items that stood out on the menu. For the main course, try the chicken tikka trio to try tikka masala three different ways, and of course, you have to get garlic naan.

India Jones opened in 2023 and is located right on Fifth Avenue inside The Yucatan Playa del Carmen All-Inclusive Resort. They have pretty good prices for international food right in the center of town.

If you like Asian food, other Playa del Carmen restaurants to check out are Po Thai and Yum Yum, both on 10th Ave.

#1 – Playa del Carmen Local Walking Food Tour
Best Food Tour
Explore Playa del Carmen with a local guide on this walking food tour that brings you to some of the best taco stops you would never find on your own. 

#2 – Playa del Carmen Mexican Cooking Experience and Local Markets Tour 
Learn how to cook authentic Mexican dishes in a local’s home. Start at a local market to pick out fresh ingredients. Vegan & Vegetarian options. 

Woman standing in front of Chichen Itza in an orange dress
#3 – Chichen Itza, Tequila Tasting, Cenote, Valladolid, and Buffet lunch
This tour packs a ton into one day, and it includes tequila! Visit the famous Chichen Itza ruins, swim in a cenote, visit Valladolid, and more.

Trattoria del Centro Italian restaurant Playa del Carmen

3. Trattoria del Centro | Best Italian in Playa del Carmen

This is one of our new favorite restaurants in Playa del Carmen. If you are looking for the best Italian restaurant in Playa del Carmen, this is it. Trattoria del Centro has pizza, pasta, risotto, steaks, seafood, and more. We often try their daily specials. Last time, it was a filet cooked perfectly (the special was called something in Italian). 

All the pizzas are amazing. Our top two are the Diavola and the Bomba pizza. The pizzas are made in a brick wood pizza oven. We suggest trying to get a table away from the pizza oven. It gets very hot at those tables. All the pasta plates are good, but our go-to is spaghetti alla trapanese (pesto) or tagliatelle bolognese. We always start with teh rosemary focaccia bread dipped in oil. So good!

Somehow, we didn’t find this restaurant until 2020. On our last visit in 2024, we visited it four times in a month, so we knew it deserved a spot on our best restaurants in Playa del Carmen list. 

  • Address: Calle 26 between 5th Ave &  10th Ave
  • Dinner for two with two glasses of wine $40-50 USD/1,000 pesos

a couple sitting on the roof of a rental jeep in Aruba during a honeymoon
Explore on your own
#1 Tip – Rent a car in Mexico
Have ultimate freedom and visit all the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen with your own rental car! Don’t worry – It’s safe (we’ve rented 20+ times), the roads are good, and it’s easier than you think! We always rent from Discover Cars, it’s easy & they have the best prices.

Quick Note: Tipping in Mexico is customary. For our complete guide on who to tip and suggested amounts, click here

aluxe cave restaurant in Playa del carmen

4. Alux | Dinner in a Cave Dining Experience 

If you’re looking for a unique restaurant in Playa del Carmen, head down (literally down) to Alux. This restaurant is inside a cave that is more than 10,000 years old! The cave is really big, it can seat more than 250 people, and there are even private “vaults” that you can rent for an inmate dinner or private party.

Reservations are needed. You can make them on TripAdvisor here. We made our reservations three days in advance and had several time slots to choose from.

The menu has many Mayan specialties. We really enjoyed the Mexico Lindo Chilli. If you don’t want to come for dinner, it’s worth a trip to Alux just to have a drink at the bar. It’s located off the main tourist area but only a 10-minute ride off of 5th Avenue. A taxi can easily bring you here for under 40 pesos.

  • Address: Avenue Benito Juárez between Calle diagonal 65 sur & Calle diagonal 65 sur 70  
  • Dinner for 2 with a drink each will be at least $75USD/1,500 pesos. 

If you’ve rented a car, there is plenty of street parking nearby. Make sure to read our Mexico car rental guide. There are also taxis right outside of the restaurants when you finish your meal.

La Cueva de Chango the best restaurant in Playa del Carmen for breakfast

5. La Cueva del Chango | Best Mexican Breakfast in Playa del Carmen

If you end up partying in Playa del Carmen till the wee hours of the morning, head to La Cueva del Chango for some chilaquiles or huevos rancheros. It is the perfect place to cure a hangover. They have the best breakfast in Playa del Carmen.

It is a local favorite for brunch on the weekends, and the wait times can be really long. We suggest going during the week or early in the morning. They have the best chilaquiles in Playa del Carmen, with several different chili versions. Tip: If they are too busy, another good restaurant for breakfast is La Ceiba de la 30 or Amate 38.

  • Address: Calle 38th and 5th Ave
  • Breakfast for two people with coffee under $20/300 pesos

Related Article: Things to Do In Playa del Carmen

Las Hijas de la tostada seafood and fish taco restaurant in Playa del Carmen

6. Las Hijas de la Tostada – Best Fish Tacos in Playa del Carmen

If you love fish tacos and fresh seafood, Las Hijas de la Tostada is one of the best places in town and one of our personal favorites.

We like to go and order several different fish tacos, shrimp tacos, seafood tacos, seafood tostadas, and dishes with some raw fish and some cooked. There are meat dishes on the menu for those non-fish eaters.

Another good place for fresh seafood is El Pirata, which is just around the corner from Las Hijas de la Tostada. This is a super local place. There’s nothing fancy here, just delicious food. There is usually live music here and there as musicians walk by.

If you want to try more seafood tacos, another great Playa del Carmen restaurant to check out is Los Aquachiles. The menu is 99% different seafood and fish available in taco, tostada, and ceviche form.

Related Article: Ultimate Playa del Carmen Guide

Don Chendos deep dish pizza Playa del Carmen

7. Don Chendo | Best Pizza in Playa del Carmen

Located also on Avenue 30 is another one of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen, and they serve up authentic deep dish pizza. The pizza is just like when we have it in Chicago: nice and thick crust with a bunch of cheese and toppings.

Hands down some of the best pizza in Playa del Carmen. It is a good place to get pizza to go too, just order via phone or WhatsApp. Everything is fresh and homemade. They have several specialty pizzas, but we love the Chendo. If pizza isn’t your thing, they have all the classic Italian pasta dishes.

  • Address: Avenida 30 between Calle 24 & 26
  • Dinner for 2 with a pizza, garlic bread, and a few beers for under $20-25/400-500 pesos 

Explore more Playa del Carmen Restaurants with a Rental Car

If you want to see what Playa offers, you should consider renting a car. With your own wheels, you can check out the amazing restaurants in Playa del Carmen.

All the restaurants on our list have ample parking nearby. Even if you only rent a car for a day or two, it’s worth it.

Rental cars in Playa del Carmen typically cost us $20-35 a day on, but the only way to get these rates is to book online here in advance. If you show up to one of the car rental agencies in Playa del Carmen, you’ll pay $50+ a day. Click here to check rates online.

*When looking for the best price and biggest selection of hotels, check prices on We’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*

Mu Burgerhouse Playa del Carmen

8. Mu. Burgerhouse | Best Burger in Playa del Carmen

Sometimes you just want a burger and Mu. Burgerhouse delivers. If you enjoy fancy, fun burger combinations like we get back in the States for $15-25, this is that kind of place.

This isn’t a cheap burger restaurant. If you are looking for the best burger in Playa del Carmen, look no further. Every burger we had was great. The meat quality, the bun, being cooked to perfection, and they do it right. Every time we go, we try a different burger. A few of our favorites are the Una Dulce Fantasia and the La Lolita.

There are two Mu. locations in Playa del Carmen have great spaces if you dine in. You can make reservations online here, which we advise doing.

The 40th Av location is larger, and tables are more spread out. We prefer this location, but you’ll most likely drive or take a taxi to this location. The 10th Ave location is in the heart of Playa del Carmen and is easy to walk to.

We have dined at both and have gotten delivery, too. If you get delivery, make sure to ask for extra curry mayo; it is so good with their french fries. 

  • Locations: 10th Ave and Calle 24 intersection & 40th Ave between Calle 4 and Calle 6
  • Dinner for two with two burgers and two drinks $35-50/1,000 pesos 
coffee at Ah Cacao Playa del Carmen Mexico

9. Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe | Best Coffee in Playa del Carmen

There are a bunch of coffee shops in Playa del Carmen, but our favorite place for the best coffee is Ah Cacao. Opt for the espresso frappuccino and add chocolate chips for a small extra cost.

There are a few desserts, too, but the homemade ice cream is the best. They have several locations on 5th Avenue, so you’re bound to walk past one.

  • Address: 5th Ave and Calle 30, 5th Ave and Calle 38, 5th Ave and Constituyentes 
  • Two coffees for $5-8/100-150 pesos

Chez Celine Breakfast in Playa del Carmen basket

10. Chez Celine | Best Croissants & Dessert in Playa del Carmen

You won’t miss Chez Celine when walking down 5th Avenue. It always has a full patio. It’s most popular for its croissants & desserts. They make some amazing crepes, both sweet and savory.

Go early before 9 a.m. or after 1 p.m. There is always a wait. Playa del Carmen visitors and locals love Chez Celine. Since having kids, I like to go inside the bakery where you can buy items to go. Several times a week, I will get a baguette, croissants, and some pastries for breakfast back in the condo. There is a side door to go in to order takeaway.

We tend to go early in the morning for their breakfast. They have pretty good breakfast combos ranging from 98-189 pesos. If you aren’t that hungry, you can get the continental for $124 pesos ($6.50).  After 1 pm, there is a salad & sandwich menu.

  • Address: 5th Ave and Calle 34 
  • Breakfast for two people with coffee $10-15 /170-250 pesos

11. Cheesters | Best Kept Secret Restaurant in Playa del Carmen

Cheesters is one of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen. It is not really within walking distance of 5th Avenue. It is a hidden gem most tourists don’t make it to.

Everything on the menu sounds amazing, but believe me when I say the portions are huge. The pasta dishes are served in a skillet. I suggest splitting a main unless you want leftovers for the next day. Our go-to was the Pad Thai. We’ve lived in Thailand several times and still need our Asian fix occasionally.

Their menu is large serving: salads, pasta, seafood, Mexican specialties, smoothies, desserts, and more. The menu is only in Spanish and located on a chalkboard, which is kind of annoying, so I suggest looking at the menu online here first.

They don’t serve any alcohol and open at 12:30 p.m., but we suggest going early or planning on waiting for a little for a table.

  • Address: Avenida 40 between Calle 4 and Calle 4 Bis
  • Dinner for two, splitting a main with smoothies $25/500 pesos

guacamole and chips playa del carmen

12. El Sangha Rito | Best Guacamole in Playa del Carmen

The perfect start for every meal in Mexico should start with a giant plate of guacamole. We can’t even tell you how many restaurants in Playa del Carmen we’ve had guacamole at, but the one that keeps us coming back just for the guac is El Sangha Rito.

Their guacamole has a nice, thick, creamy texture and just a touch of spice. A bowl of guacamole is expensive for a local restaurant, but it’s worth it. They have a full menu as well. We suggest coming for lunch and getting the dorados with chicken.

  • Address: Avenida CTM (46th) between 5th Avenida & 10th
  • Lunch for 2 with smoothies: Under $20 USD/ 300 pesos

Nativo restaurant in Playa del Carmen

13. Nativo |Best Cheap Smoothies in Playa del Carmen

If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast, head to Nativo for a liter smoothie. The smoothie menu is huge (English menus are available) with tons of fresh fruit juices made with fresh fruit and served in 1/2 liter or liter size. I typically asked for my smoothie without sugar.

Besides smoothies, Nativo has a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. We both agreed the food used to be better, but since 2019, the food is just meh.

If you are traveling to Mexico on a budget, then it is a good option. We think they are best for breakfast. A liter smoothie is only 35-38 pesos depending on whether you get it with milk or not, which is just over $2 USD

There are two Nativo locations, but the easiest location to reach is the 30th Ave one, just a block off of Constituyentes. 

  • Address: 30th Avenida & Calle 20, Av Benito Juárez & 50th Avenida 
  • Lunch for 2 with a few beers each under $20 USD/ 300 Pesos 

Beers at McCarthy's Irish Pub in Playa del Carmen

14. McCarthy’s Irish Pub | Best Happy Hour in Playa del Carmen

Yes, I am telling you to go to an Irish Pub in Mexico, BUT they have a really good happy hour deal on Mexican beers. Their happy hour is every day from 2 pm to 9 pm, where you can get two beers for 50 pesos.

Our favorite Mexican beer is Bohemia Dark, and it’s hard to find. Very few restaurants in Playa del Carmen have it. The Irish pub also has really good food deals as well, two-for-one burger night, wing night, etc.

McCarthy’s Irish Pub is located right on 5th Avenue and has a great patio for people watching or inside seats with air conditioning.

  • Address: 5th Ave and Calle 22
  • Two people can get six beers for under $10/ 300 pesos with a meal of $30+ depending on daily specials

Related Article: Best Burgers in Playa del Carmen

girls drinking margaritas at Bip Bip in Playa del Carmen

15. Bip Bip | Best Cheap Margaritas in Playa del Carmen

Located right on 5th Avenue and just a few minutes walk from the beach, it is our go-to place for margaritas in Playa del Carmen. Every time we’ve visited during happy hour, their margaritas are 2 for 1, making them only 35 pesos each ($2).

Not only are they cheap, but they are pretty darn good. There is no other restaurant on 5th Ave or this close to the beach with margaritas for this price.

This is our go-to place after a day diving in The Pit Cenote. It’s a great place to hide in the shade and people watch while you cool down with a margarita. We typically opt to have drinks only here and head up Constituyentes to El Fogon or one of the local taco trucks for food.

  • Address: 5th Ave & Avenida Constituyentes
  • Drinks: $2-3 during happy hour 

16. Club de la Cerveza | Best Beer Selection in Playa del Carmen

If you love trying local microbrews, head to Club de la Cerveza for good local Mexican beers and beers from around the world. Make sure to check out what’s on tap as this list changes.

They do have a few tasty food items on the menu. After a few beers, we typically order the sausage platter and french fries. It is the perfect late-night snack to share with friends. There are also burgers on the menu, we are yet to order those.

Prices are super reasonable, ranging from 35 pesos and up. This was our go-to bar before heading out to explore the nightlife in Playa del Carmen on Calle 12.

  • Prices really vary based on the beer 
  • Address: 5th Ave between Calle 34 & 38 

Food Tours In Playa del Carmen

If you’re like us and love to try different types of food and as much local food as possible, then maybe consider joining a food tour in Playa del Carmen. There are some great restaurants you’d never find on your own, and it’s always good to have a local guide to explain the dish in English.

You’ll for sure be stuffed on this cheap food tour. We’d suggest booking this online, as we’ve never seen advertisements to book a food tour through local companies.

Pool and the sea in Playa del Carmen vacation rentals

All the above restaurants except Aluxe are within walking distance of hotels in Centro Playa del Carmen. If you’re staying in one of the all-inclusive hotels in Playacar, you’ll want to take a taxi to the center. You could walk, but it might be far with the heat.

We suggest staying between Calle 14 and Calle 46 CTM and 1st Ave and 30th Ave.  Our go-to hotel is Elements Playa del Carmen, an amazing condo right on the beach. Other recommended hotels in the center of Playa del Carmen:

Best Family Resorts in Playa del Carmen

Places in Mexico to Visit Before or After Playa del Carmen

If you’ve got more time to explore Mexico, there are some epic places in Mexico nearby you should check out. If you can’t on this trip, consider them on your next trip. Make sure to check out some of our other Mexico articles to fuel your wanderlust.

2024 Isla Holbox Ultimate Guide – Must KNOW Travel Tips

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Is Isla Holbox worth the trip? YES! Holbox Mexico is one of the best places in Mexico to visit. Skip Tulum! 2024 Complete Holbox guide with things to do in Holbox, best restaurants, where to stay, how to get to Holbox, and more.

5 Things To Know BEFORE Renting a Car in Cancun

Don’t rent a car in Cancun without reading this first! Cancun car rental guide: driving in Mexico tips, common scams, what to do if police pull you over, best rental car company, and more.

Have you been to Playa del Carmen? What do you think are the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen?

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Adrian S

Sunday 7th of January 2018

Hey, guys!

Back in April 2017, I used your guide and I can say it's BULLETPROOF! Thank you so much for posting this!

Have you tried Los Hijos Del Mar. Tostaderia Mazatleca? It's opposite to Don Chendu and imho, they are serving the best fish dishes in PdC.

Safe travels! Adrian

Hannah Lukaszewicz

Monday 8th of January 2018

Glad we could help. What was your favorite restaurant in Playa del Carmen? We've been to Las Hijas on 5th and 38th I think they are the same as that one is all fish too. So glad to hear you ventured off of 5th avenue.

David Nall

Sunday 24th of December 2017

We love Club de la Cerveza!! For the past three years we have chosen to stay at Mahekal Beach Resort because it is within 5 minutes of Club de la Cerveza. That, plus the fact that Mahekal is an awesome place to stay with it's palapas and beachfront. Will be back in January and will be using your guide to check out spots we have missed.

Happy Holidays!

p.s. Have you checked out Cenacolo? We found their pasta to be the best we've had outside of Italy.

Hannah Lukaszewicz

Tuesday 26th of December 2017

We always walk by that hotel and think it looks like the perfect location and it's really cute. Do you stay beachfront or further back? We know the pasta place you're talking about but no we haven't eaten there yet. Have a blast back in Playa del Carmen.