9 Restaurants in Playa del Carmen With The Best Menu del Dia
Not only is Playa del Carmen known for its vast, white shoreline, but it also boasts an impressive gastronomy scene. The long list of superb eateries stretches across the city’s famous 5th Avenue and reaches sleepy side streets and jungle hideaways. The endless variety of delicious menus extends an open invitation for your taste buds. We encourage you to experience the mouth-watering medley of international flavors.
Confronted by this bounty of savory selections, you and your travel companions may be overwhelmed when it comes to deciding on where to dine. Since our ambassador team is frequently asked about their favorite restaurants, we’ve put together this list of our top choices for lunch. These eateries serve amazing ‘Menus del Dia,’ or special menus of the day, which include a starter and a main dish. Some even throw in a fresh-made juice and dessert -all for one very affordable price!
Next time you’re visiting Playa del Carmen, exploring the exquisite scenery of the Riviera Maya on a day trip is a must. But don’t neglect to add at least one or more of these delectable restaurants to your dining itinerary as well. Tasting the city’s incredible food and seeing the region’s unique natural beauty go hand-in-hand when it comes to discovering the spellbinding essence of this beautiful destination.
(Calle 30 between 25th & 30th Avenue)
This intimate café presents a friendly atmosphere mixed with excellent quality and value. The menu of the day offers a choice of soup or salad, main plate, agua del dia (fruit-infused waters), and dessert. The plates are perfectly portioned and along with the yummy dessert, you leave more than satisfied.
The daily specials change every day and are $120 for lunch and $140 for dinner. The staff is warm and welcoming. Since the restaurant is tucked away on a less busy side street, it’s a very tranquil and enjoyable dining experience.
Papa Charly Pasta Factory
(Calle 30 between 25th & 30th Avenue)
Just across the street from Café L’Orange you’ll find the bustling Papa Charly’s. Their Menu del Dia is also served with an agua of the day, plus you’re choice of coffee or dessert. Mental note: always go with the carrot cake!
To start you can choose from their 2 soup or 5 salad options. For the main plate, the selection is vast and presents meal options such as their Thai veggie, chicken dishes, fish or vegetarian plates. The servings are substantial and the special price varies $20 pesos or so, depending on the regular price of the main dish you choose.
(Calle 34 between 5th & 10th Avenue)
We’d travel across town in a tropical rainstorm just for a bowl of their tortilla soup. That being said, you really can’t go wrong with any of their menu choices. Those behind the scene in Axiote’s kitchen, are experts at putting a contemporary twist on typical Mexican dishes.
The menu of the day changes daily. You have a choice of just the starter and main plate for $110 or add a fruit water or beer/wine with the dessert for less than $10 USD.
Winner of Iron Chef 2014 in Canada, Chef Xavier Stone has curated a fantastic casual menu with divine flavors of Mexico, accompanied by artisanal beers and good wine. The servers are some of the best you’ll find in Playa del Carmen. Axiote is open for business from 1:30 – 11 pm.
XG Sabor Extra
(10th Avenue & Calle 10 Bis)
This is a go-to spot for our staff members because the typical Mexican cuisine served at XG Sabor is always fresh and packed with flavor. Not only are the traditional tastes divine, but the prices are very reasonable.
Each day, the Menu del Dia is served with a starter, usually soup or a salad, and a choice between five platos fuertes (main plates). There is a nice variety from Chile Rellenos (Poblano peppers stuffed with cheese in a savory tomato sauce) to pork, chicken or tender beef dishes.
The ‘aguas de fruta’ are a perfect accompaniment to the tasty Mexican menu, which is served from 1-5 pm.
(25th Avenue between Calle 26 & 28)
This very creative menu is always a delightful surprise. The kitchen uses fresh and seasonal ingredients to incorporate into their consistently wonderful dishes.
You have a choice of one of 3 unique starters, such as cauliflower ceviche. The second course is a choice between 3 sumptuous entrees, usually a chicken, red meat or vegetarian plate. Also included in your meal is a fresh fruit-infused water.
Since the menu is made with perfect attention, the main dishes can take a little extra time, but they are worth the wait. This is not a fast-food style eatery, but the quality is evident in every bite. Elemento is open from 12:30 and the Menu del Dia is $140 pesos, including the fruit water.
(Calle 38 Con Calle Flamingo or 5th Avenue between Calle 24 & 26 )
With multiple locations in Playa del Carmen, La Vagabunda is a convenient choice for lunch. Stop in after a morning at the beach on Calle 38, or for a break in between a shopping expedition on 5th Avenue.
The Menu of the Day presents authentic casual dishes including soft tacos or tangy ceviche with your choice of a soda or cold beer. Find great casual eats and a shady place to take a break from the midday heat under their giant thatched roof.
La Vagabunda is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7 am-11:30 pm.
La Fondita de la CTM
(CTM on the corner of 25th Avenue)
If you are looking for an authentic casual dining experience in Playa del Carmen, this quaint little eatery is the place! The Menu del Dia presents 9 choices (3 sections of 3) that escalate in price. For example, you can have the basic mole dish served with rice, beans, and warm corn tortillas for only $45 pesos. A tender roasted chicken in a salsa verde with rice, beans, and tortillas is $65. If you would like to add a liter of their juice of the day, it’s only $10 pesos more!
This is worth repeating – for two people, including fruit waters and meal, the menu of the day ranges from $110 – $150 pesos or $6-$10 USD for 2 meals! In addition to being easy on the wallet, the service is excellent. Plus, the selection of popular Mexican favorites is definitely worth the walk over to the north end of town.
(CTM Avenue and Calle 46)
This cute, neighborhood cafe is a happy gathering point for locals and serves fresh plates made with healthy local ingredients. From the daily menu, which typically includes soup AND dessert, visitors can select a vegetarian option if they prefer. The home-cooked meals taste just like Grandma’s favorite recipes (if you happen to be of Mexican descent that is.)
El Sangha-Rito offers a genuinely pleasant dining experience and is open every day except Sundays from 7:30 am until 10 pm.
(Plaza Paseo Coba on Aviacion Avenue)
Casa Sofia is a fan favorite for its incredible value for your money. Mainly known for its pizza and pasta dishes, you can also find crisp salads, savory steak, chicken, and seafood options. Their tasty menu of the day offers a choice of pizza or pasta and one glass of wine for just $99 pesos (that’s under $7 US or CDN dollars!)
There is plenty of comfortable seating in the air-conditioned dining room, or on the open-air patio. The special menu is available from Monday to Friday only. However, no need to worry if you can’t make it for lunch. The popular restaurant is open daily from 2 – 11:30 pm.