Playa del Carmen’s 10 Best Restaurants For Fresh Ceviche and Savory Seafood Dishes
When you’re vacationing in a beach town, sampling the seafood offerings is a must! As the glorious Mexican sun shines bright and the day heats up, there’s nothing better than ordering an ice-cold beer and a plate of tangy ceviche to nosh on. Not to mention taking a seat at a table set in the powdery sand and facing the vivid Caribbean seascape.
In order to make it easy to find flavorful fish dishes, we’ve put together a list of Playa del Carmen’s best seafood restaurants. Not only do you get to introduce your palate to local cuisine, but you also get a delightful taste of Caribbean life.
1. El Doctorcito
(Calle 12 & 25thAvenue)
Tucked away on an off-the-beaten-path corner in downtown Playa del Carmen, El Doctorcito is a lively local hangout. The open-air restaurant presents a varied menu of fresh dishes from the sea. Along with seafood cocktails, you can try cured fish and shrimp ceviches in their signature Clamato sauce.
The portions are generous and the atmosphere is upbeat. Due to the consistently friendly service and quality sea fare, we give El Doctorcito two thumbs up. It is conveniently located in the heart of the city and is open daily from 12 pm to 8 pm.
2. Los Hijos Del Mar
(30thAvenue between Calle 24 & 26)
Just as their secret recipe salsa adds a scrumptious zest to the fish sashimi, the animated staff adds a unique blend of customer service, culminating in a deliciously fun dining experience.
It’s clear the group of young entrepreneurs has a passion for good food and the good life. The smiles inside this hip eatery are as plentiful as the fresh flavors. To start, we recommend the marlin pate, followed by crispy tostadas loaded with saucy fish mixtures brought in that day straight from the sea. Of course, the meal would not be complete without a classic michelada (a salt-rimmed frosted mug of beer with a squeeze of lime.)
Open every day from 1 pm until 10 pm, you’ll love the superior dishes from the sea and the cool vibe of Los Hijos del Mar.
3. El Pirata
(Calle 40 between 5th& 10thAvenue)
It’s easy to miss this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant as it is off Playa del Carmen’s main tourist hub, 5thAvenue. But once you try the tasty morsels from the sea, you’ll be hooked!
Top choices at this uber casual eatery include generous servings of whole fried fish and jumbo shrimp sautéed in a rich garlic butter. El Pirata serves locals and lucky visitors from 10 am to 8 pm daily. There are only a few tables, so there may be a line. However, the service is fast and friendly and the food definitely worth the wait.
4. Los Aguachiles
(Corner of Calle 34 & 25thAvenue)
This is the perfect spot to quench your thirst after you’ve spent a day on Playa del Carmen’s glorious white-sand beaches. Their carbonated lemonade acts as a great accompaniment to the citrusy ceviches and seafood tacos.
But if you want to take your meal up a notch, try an Ojo Rojo (an ice-cold beer with salty, spiced clamato blend) with their famous aguachile dish. The piquant prawns are cured in lime, red onion, and habanero blend, which give this popular menu item its flame-throwing flavor.
Stop by any day from 12:30 pm to 7 pm to sink your teeth into their many specialties. The breaded, deep-fried dynamite shrimp drizzled with a smoky house sauce is an appetizer hit. Plus the corn tortillas topped with prawns and a creamy spinach mixture will elate your taste buds.
5. Luma Taverna del Mar
(Calle 38 between Calle Flamingos & Calle Albatros near the beach)
Italian owner Stefano, a long time Playa del Carmen resident, has gifted the town with charming eateries throughout the years. Skilled in the realm of exquisite Mediterranean cuisine, the beloved chef and his team produce signature dishes that incite addictions.
Favorites include clams and mussels in a buttery white wine sauce, the succulent tartare, as well as moist and flaky catches of the day. The menu features an abundant line-up of superb seafood choices with the perfect wine pairing. As well, outstanding steak or pasta selections contribute to an all-around splendid dining experience.
6. La Tarraya
(Calle 2 & the beach)
For more than fifty years, La Tarraya has been a steady beachfront fixture on the soft sands of central Playa del Carmen. Both visitors and locals love the laid-back Caribbean ambiance and reasonably priced sea fare.
While the fajitas make a terrific authentic Mexican choice, opt for the breaded fish, shrimp cocktail, or fish tacos (at under $5USD for 3.) As you dine, you can watch fisherman haul their catches to the kitchen. Mariachi bands enjoy the cool shade of La Tarraya’s towering palms and will gladly play a song or two for a few bucks.
With the turquoise backdrop, the popular traditional music, and the fresh seafood dishes, it’s no wonder it has been a community staple since 1968.
(Calle 12 between 15th& 20thAvenue)
This relative newcomer to the Playa del Carmen restaurant scene is fast-becoming a top recommended choice for eating out. Live music and a family-friendly pub scene make it a fun evening out. Even during the day, you’ll love the upbeat atmosphere, large boat-shaped dishes of tangy ceviche, and cold cervezas.
It’s in the center of town and walking distance from most Bric Vacation Rentals. Besides its prime location, Zitla also features multiple flat-screen TVs behind the bar and fair beer prices. As a result, it’s a great place to catch the big game.
8. El Calamar de la 10
(On the corner of 10thAvenue and CTM)
This is the preferred place to pick up a batch of ceviche to take to the beach. It’s made in front of your eyes in a matter of minutes. A single order of ceviche to go, which serves 3-4 people costs roughly $10USD! Across the street, at the OXXO convenience store, you can purchase snacks and beverages. Just grab your beach towel and you’re set for a memorable day in the sand and surf.
On the other hand, if you want to dine in, the shrimp enchiladas or grilled octopus are always a good option. El Calamar is open every day from 8 am to 10 pm, except for Tuesdays.
9. Cassa Ceviche
(Calle 24 between 25th& 30thAvenue)
Do not be deceived by the modest décor, the sensational menu impresses even the toughest critic. Touted time and time again for serving the best ceviche in Playa del Carmen, Cassa Ceviche consistently delivers on quality cuisine and exceptional service.
Due to the diverse selection of ceviche dishes, from Maya to tuna to the Classic edition, the struggle to choose is real. In spite of the many divine offerings, you need not worry about making the wrong decision. Any plate you opt for will delight the palette, as will the elegant craft cocktail list.
10. Inti Beach Club
(On the beach between Calle 4 & 6)
Last but not least, for the ultimate tropical setting INTI Beach delivers in every way. With tables facing the Caribbean and Malibu rum cocktails served in fresh coconuts, only a select few present such a sublime dining scene. The stylish atmosphere matches the delectable menu and elite service.
With an overall dedication to health and wellness, this beachside eatery and open-air massage spa introduce a well-rounded wholesome menu. In addition to tasty fish tacos and spicy chipotle shrimp, you’ll discover light dishes such as grouper served on a bed of spinach and asparagus. The tender octopus is grilled and seasoned to perfection. Whereas the hearty quinoa risotto with prawns possesses a wonderful flavor combination.
Since Playa del Carmen’s community is a multicultural one, you’ll undoubtedly encounter a fusion of incredible tastes, enhancing traditional favorites. For more guides on eating out in the Riviera Maya, we invite you to visit our travel blog page.