Eat Like A Local At These Top 10 Restaurants In Playa del Carmen
The effervescent lure of 5th Avenue, with its bounty of shops, restaurants and nightlife, possesses a dynamic appeal. Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Playa del Carmen or it’s your annual tropical escape, there’s always something new to see on La Quinta. While strolling along this magnetic cobblestone street, vacationers can choose from a succulent mix of native and international cuisine. However, if you’re wondering what’s beyond the main tourist hub, we highly recommend indulging in that curiosity.
Just beyond 5th Avenue, you’ll discover some of the best restaurants that contribute to the city’s superb gastronomy scene. Plus, it’s likely that you’ll gain a more rich and authentic 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.
1. Los Aguachiles
Located on the corner of Calle 34 and 25th Avenue
The vast menu offers endless seafood options. Besides scores of tostada choices piled high with fresh tuna and fish, you’ll find lettuce wraps and smoked fish tacos. Or delve into the saucy oyster and shrimp cocktails while sipping a michelada— a casual lunch staple in Playa. If you are a fan of spicy dishes, we dare you to dig into the ceviche-style shrimp aguachile. This popular lunch eatery known for its giant-size bottles of cold beer is open from 12-7pm.
2. Off The Vine
Located just of of 5th Avenue and Calle 40
This quaint wine bar is nestled on the quiet north end of town 5th Avenue. Featuring fantastic live musicians, you’ll love the friendly neighborhood atmosphere in their outdoor dining room. To start with, they showcase an exquisite selection of national wines and bottles from award-winning wineries world-wide. Secondly, these divine vinos are paired with scrumptious tapas and artful cheese platters. Off The Vine is open most days from 11 am to 11 pm. Therefore, enjoy sampling the artisan breads, premium cheeses, and champagne mimosas on the sunny terrace any day of the week (except for Sundays, when it’s closed.) Note that on Mondays and Saturdays the doors close early at 5 pm.
Located near Calle 4 between 10th and 15th Avenue
Aromas of authentic Italian cooking fill the air within this charming local favorite. Besides the risottos and brick-oven pizzas, the hand-made pastas are always a delight to patrons’ tastebuds. Since all items are prepared fresh, make allowance for preparation time. While you wait, share the warm octopus salad with a glass of superb wine amidst the cheerful ambience. Due to its limited seating, it’s best to call 9841416507 for reservations.
4. Sushi Club
Located near Calle 26 and 10th Avenue
Sushi Club presents one of the best settings to enjoy sushi and saki in Playa del Carmen. The chic atmosphere is perfect for couples seeking an romantic night out. Or rather, if you’re with a groups of friends, this is a great spot for convening over samplings of sashimi, rolls, tempura and rice bowls. Open 24 hours, the Sushi Club features daily food and drink specials. Additionally, Saturday is a great time to stop by for Ladies Night.
5. Cervecería Chapultapec
Located near Calle 20 and 1st Avenue
For superb casual dining and drinks, Cervecería Chapultapec is the starting point of a memorable night out in Playa del Carmen. The Mexican style cantina offers standard traditional menu items with a contemporary flare. Famous for their affordable cocktails, ales and tacos, the place is always packed with a vibrant crowd. It’s an upbeat watering hole with a fun-loving staff and without the pretentious prices. Naturally, this makes the pub a popular place. Visit from 12 pm – 1 am daily.
6. Casa Sofia
Located in Plaza Coba on Airport Road near Playacar Fase 2
This successful 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. Pizzas come loaded with savory toppings and the terrace’s decor is whimsical and romantic. The local hotspot is open 2 pm – 10 pm daily and 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, Chester 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. In order to encourage an enjoyable, present-moment encounter, baskets on the table are for patrons to leave their phones in. In the end, you get the most out the rich food and unique dining experience. This favorite eatery is open Wednesdays to Mondays 2:00 – 10:30pm and closed on Tuesdays.
8. Como Como
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 as divine as is the craft beer and organic wine selection. Centrally located, Como Como is open daily for breakfast 7:00am – 1:30pm and for lunch and dinner, 1:45 – 11:30pm. Opposite to the eatery is free 2 hour parking in the Tendenza building. As it can get busy in the evenings, reservations are recommended.
9. Cueva del Chango
Located on Calle 38 between 5th Avenue and the sea
Due to its array of tropical blended juices, crepes, and a host of traditional Mexican breakfasts, La Cueva del Chango has been a longtime favorite brunch joint. Likewise, delicious dinners are prepared with authentic regional ingredients within the lush, natural setting. Youngsters enjoy spotting the inconspicuous monkeys hanging throughout “The Monkey’s Cave.” Even more so, the turtles and Koi fish in the central pond are a hit with the kids. Cueva is open 8:00am – 10:30pm and is an absolute must when dining in Playa del Carmen.
10. El Fogon
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 we’ll highlight this one for its size and open-air upper dining room. Without a doubt, for a truly genuine taco experience, the tacos al pastor are a must. Warm corn tortillas are tpped with delicious shavings of spit-roasted pork, a slice of pineapple, cilantro and onions. Granted, you’ll need to have an icy piña colada or a cold beer on hand because the spicy salsas tend to set your mouth of fire. Be warned, but don’t pass them up. A zesty salsa is an essential finishing touch to these mouth-watering Mexican specialties.