If there is one thing Playa del Carmen doesn’t have a shortage of its restaurants. You won’t struggle to find somewhere to eat here, especially on 5th Avenue. But, finding the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen if you are just visiting can be a bit more difficult to navigate.
So, we have put together this list of our favorite tried and tested Playa del Carmen restaurants, along with some recommendations of what to order, and when to go.
The Best Mexican Restaurant in Playa del Carmen – LaPerla
If you are here looking for Playa del Carmen restaurants on 5th avenue, La Perla is the closest you are going to get on this list. It is just off 5th Avenue and although it is a popular restaurant with tourists it is also extremely popular with locals to thanks to its authentic Mexican menu and reasonable prices.
It specialized in pre-hispanic dishes from all over Mexico that you just can’t get anywhere else in town, including traditional Mayan delicacies such as Chinicuiles (maguey worms), Chapulines (grasshoppers), and Escamoles (ant larvae). But don’t worry if you aren’t into snacking on bugs there are plenty more options on the menu. They also have a great range of choices for vegetarians.
Top Tip: be sure to try some Pulque (traditional pre-hispanic drink) and Mezcal while you are here.
What to order: For a traditional Mexican dish try the Chicken Mole
Our Favorite Vegan Restaurant in Playa del Carmen – Pitted Date
There are plenty of vegetarian restaurant Playa del Carmen but sometimes the vegan options can be a little limiting. On the flip side if you’re fellow diners aren’t vegan many vegan restaurants can disappoint your animal product eating friends. But the Pitted Date never fails to disappoint it is hands down one of the best vegan restaurants in Playa del Carmen. It’s so good you won’t even know you are eating vegan!
Top Tip: We love eating here at any time of the day, but their breakfasts are especially good.
What to order: There Burgers and smoothies are awesome
The Freshest Food in Playa del Carmen – DAC
DAC is the fresh market on 30th Avenue close to Mega where you can find most of the expat community on any given day buying all of their fresh produce and hunting for imported goods from their home country. But they also have a small restaurant attached serving some of the freshest food in Playa. Well, how could it not, being next to the market?
There are plenty of options for everyone here and although it isn’t a vegetarian restaurant it does have a lot of vegetarian options.
What to order: Their juices are incredible
The Best Places to Eat Breakfast in Playa del Carmen
Playenses (that’s the term for people living here in Playa) like to eat breakfast, it’s kinda our thing. So we couldn’t narrow it down to just one place to eat breakfast in Playa del Carmen, here are our top 4.
La Cueva del Chango
For a traditional Mexican breakfast, there is only one choice, La Cueva del Chango. Which translates as ‘the monkey cave’, gets our vote every time.
As well as having a great breakfast, but what makes this place extra special is its unique natural setting. It may be just yards from the hustle and bustle of La Quinta but it feels like you are a million miles away in the middle of the jungle.
Top Tip: Lunch is also great here.
What to order: Crepes with chicken and rajas poblanos
Great coffee and a full menu of deliciousness. The only thing you will struggle with is what to choose.
Breakfast is served late here, so don’t worry if you aren’t an early riser. It often gets very busy here so you may have a little wait, but it is totally worth it. Plus they have a lot of delicious French pastries you can snack on while you wait.
It is one of the few restaurants in Playa del Carmen that opens at 07:00 AM
What to order: La Brie for breakfast and dessert “La Opera”
For freshly ground Italian coffee, and even fresher sweet breakfast pastries, you need to go to Sabrina. It’s always packed full of Italians (always a good sign of quality coffee) and their breakfast menu is small but the food is great and it opens at 7am.
What to order: Baguette with Mozzarella and Cerano ps grab a focaccia on your way out to snack on later.
Indigo beach is widely considered to have the best breakfast in Playa del Carmen, and it’s right on the beach. They serve a breakfast buffet every morning where you can help yourself to the fresh fruits, in house-baked bread and pastries, gourmet coffee and of course freshly squeezed juice. You can also order something hot from their menu that they will cook to order for you.
What to order: They make the tortillas fresh here and the signature dish is a breakfast quesadilla. Kay’s favorite breakfast dish is called “Estado de Mexico”
The Best Brunch in Playa del Carmen – Zenzi
There is only one place to eat brunch in Paya del Carmen and that is on the beach at Zenzi. Zenzi is one of the most laid back bars in Playa and they have a great breakfast menu served until late.
So, if you hit it a bit hard the night before, put on your shades and grab yourself a sun lounger in the beach bar to nap in after your food.
On Sunday’s they offer an all you can eat BBQ for a reasonable price starting at 2PM.
What to order: Nachos with cheese and Guacamole
Our top Lunch Spot in Playa del Carmen – Clorofila
Vegan tacos, gluten-free pizza, and a whole array of other delicious and healthy lunch items await you at Clorofila vegetarian restaurant Playa del Carmen.
As well as offering a lot of vegetarian and vegan Mexican dishes they also do great salads and sandwiches.
Top Tip: If you like European bread they sell fresh German bread in their store, but you will need to get there early as it often sells out.
What to order: The Pasta and the sandwiches are delicious
Where to Eat Dinner in Playa del Carmen
There are many places to eat dinner in Playa del Carmen but here are three places you should really try and eat if you can.
It doesn’t get more WOW than eating in the cenote restaurant Playa del Carmen. That’s right Alux is a restaurant in a 10,000-year-old cenote in Playa del Carmen. This is somewhere that local people go for special occasions like a wedding university, or just to impress your date! So if you’re here on vacation why not dress to impress and book a table here for you and your significant other. The menu is a fusion of pre-hispanic cuisine with an international twist.
What to order: If there are two of you order the Grilled Seafood Platter.
If you want ‘proper’ Mexican tacos then you can’t go wrong with Don Sirloin. But don’t go to the tourist one on 10th Avenue. Instead, take a walk up Constituyentes and go to the one on the corner of Calle 25. The tacos might be the same, but the atmosphere is totally different.
Here you will get much more of a mix of locals and tourists (always the sign you are eating in a good place), which adds to the ambiance.
What to order: Make sure to try the Tacos al pastor.
Just along from Don Sirloin, you will see Las Aguachiles which is the place to go to eat fish tacos. Like Don Sirloin you will find a good mix of locals and tourists here and the prices are very reasonable.
They have a wide menu of all things seafood from fried fish to fresh ceviche. But to be honest the fish tacos are just so good it’s hard to order anything else!
What to order: Guacamole, ceviche, and figurines with tuna
So there you have it, out favorite Playa del Carmen restaurants. Did we miss your favorite? Comment below and let us know what we missed!