Eat Like A Local At These Top 10 Restaurants In Playa del Carmen
The effervescent lure of 5th Avenue, with its plethora of shops, restaurants and vivacious nightlife, charms both visitors and those of us who live in Playa del Carmen. While strolling along this magnetic, world-famous, cobblestone street, vacationers may choose from a succulent mix of native and international cuisine. However, at times, a curiosity arises to go beyond the main tourist destinations to sample the city’s gastronomy and possibly gain a slightly richer cultural dining experience. This list features ten top restaurants favored by locals and situated off of the bustling 5th Avenue. From traditional Mexican dishes, to authentic Italian offerings, to regional options with a contemporary twist, these eateries are sure to satisfy your cravings for something out of the ordinary.
Located near Calle 34 and 25th Avenue
The vast menu offers tostadas topped with fresh tuna, seafood lettuce wraps, oyster and shrimp cocktails as well as smoked fish tacos and delicious salads with ceviche-style shrimp. This popular lunch eatery known for its giant-size bottles of cold beer is open from 12-7pm.
Off The Vine
Located near 1st Avenue between Calle 26 & 28
This quaint wine bar is nestled one block from 5th Avenue and features fantastic live musicians in a friendly neighborhood type atmosphere. Their exquisite wines are paired with scrumptious tapas or the chef-prepared menu of the day which includes a starter salad, entree and dessert . Indulge in a champagne mimosa with breakfast which is served daily after 10am or reserve a table for you and your girlfriends on Tuesday which is ladies night.
Located near Calle 4 between 10th and 15th Avenue
Aromas of authentic Italian cooking fill the air within this charming local favorite. A menu of risottos, brick-oven pizzas and hand-made pastas always delight patrons’ tastebuds. Since all items are prepared fresh, make allowance for preparation time and enjoy a glass of wine or a cool beverage and the warm ambience. Call 9841416507 for reservations and hours of operation.
Located near Calle 26 and 10th Avenue
The best setting to enjoy sushi and saki in Playa del Carmen. The chic ambience is perfect for couples seeking an romantic night out or for groups of friends gathering together to laugh and converse over samplings of sashimi, rolls, tempura and rice bowls. Open 24 hours, The Sushi Club features daily food and drink specials, and a lively Saturday Ladies Night.
Caguameria de Esquina
Located near Calle 20 and 1st Avenue
For superb casual dining and drinks, Caguameria is the starting point of a memorable night out in Playa del Carmen. The Mexican style cantina offers a contemporary (and comical) menu which bursts with bold flavors from incredible burgers, to smoked salmon tostadas to beet salads. Conveniently located with exceptional food and service, Caguameria is open 2:00pm – 1am.
Located on Airport Avenue in Plaza Coba, Playacar
This newly established Italian bistro requires reservations every night of the week for good reason! The pasta is prepared fresh daily, the wine is free flowing and the prices are very reasonable. The pizzas are loaded with savory toppings and the terrace’s decor is whimsical and romantic. Open 7am – 11:30pm, reservations are recommended. 984 166 4252
Located near Calle 4 and 40th Avenue
Specializing in pasta and single serving sizes big enough to feed an entire family, Cheester’s presents a fun dining experience you won’t forget! Located well away from the tourist scene, you must literally read the writing on the wall, the menu wall that is, to order. The baskets on the table encourage patrons to leave their cell phones in order to get the most out the rich food and unique dining experience. Open Wednesdays to Mondays 2:00 – 10:30pm, closed Tuesdays.
Located on 10th Avenue between Calle 12 and 14
This award-winning restaurant features a menu of Mediterranean-Italian cuisine in a tranquil, intimate setting. The service, food and presentation are divine as is the craft beer and organic wine selection. Open daily for breakfast 7:00am – 1:30pm and for lunch and dinner, 1:45 – 11:30pm. Reservations are recommended and free 2 hour parking is available in the Tendenza building across the street.
Cueva del Chango
Located on Calle 38 between 5th Avenue and the sea
An array of tropical blended juices, fresh-baked sweet breads, crepes, and a host of traditional Mexican breakfast and dinner entrees are served within a stunning, natural setting. Youngsters enjoy spotting the inconspicuous monkeys hanging throughout “The Monkey’s Cave” as well as admiring the turtles and Koi fish in the pond. Open 8:00am – 10:30pm, this place is a must when dining in Playa del Carmen.
Located on Calle 6 bis and 30th Avenue diagonally across from Walmart
The list would not be complete without a nod to a genuine Mexican taqueria! There are several El Fogon locations in downtown Playa, but this one is the biggest with 2 floors. For a truly authentic taco experience, I recommend the tacos al pastor, delicious shavings of spit-roasted pork topped with a slice of pineapple, cilantro and onions. You will need an icy pina colada or a cold beer to tame the fire in your mouth from the spicy salsas that add the finishing touch to these delicious Mexican specialties.