Restaurants in Riviera Maya open the door to a unique culinary tradition and a foodie scene that makes the hungriest restaurant fan drool, with scores of eateries of every kind. Here you'll find fast food, causal family eateries, fine gourmet dining with white tablecloths, and everything in between. You'll enjoy everything from a basic taco and burrito to unbelievable fusion food, unlike anything you've tried. From hotel restaurants to special romantic getaways, it's all here from the Hotel Zone to Tulum and beyond.

    Whatever your culinary tastes might be, you'll likely find something to fit the bill with Riviera Maya dining. Check out some of the best restaurants in the region to make the most of your culinary journey.

    1

    El Fogon

    Try a hidden gem taqueria

    El Fogon is a classic open-air taqueria that is located a bit off the beaten track but offers authentic Mexican food and serves as a hidden gem of the local culinary scene. The menu is focused largely on tacos, but you can have them in a wide range of styles, including chicken, steak (arrachera), or chorizo. In the evenings, they serve up tacos al pastor, and on the side, you can go for refried beans, rice, guacamole, and salsa with chips. You can even try Nopales, or pickled cactus, which must be tried to be believed.

    To drink, go with a fruit smoothie or beer with lime juice. It's only about 16 minutes north of central Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen.

    Location: Quintana Roo, Mexico

    Map

    photo by City Foodsters (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    Hartwood

    Head for a wildly popular seafood eatery

    Hartwood is one of the most famous restaurants in the region, offering outstanding service and even better food, with seafood-heavy selections and reservations a necessity. The restaurant opens for dinner every day and is packed from the moment the doors open. Their house drinks are a highlight, including the Supernova and the Spicy Piña Habanero Margarita. The menu is written on a chalkboard and offers fresh fish like snapper, amberjack, robalo, and others. If you're not a fish fan, check out the slow-cooked pork ribs, or their occasional papaya empanadas.

    This restaurant is popular with locals and visitors alike, but be aware it's cash-only. It's about an hour south of the central Riviera Maya, in Tulum.

    Location: Carr. Tulum-Boca Paila 7-6Km, Tulum Beach, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

    Map

    photo by T.Tseng (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    La Cantina Grill & Bar

    Enjoy gourmet grilled Argentinian meats

    La Cantina Grill & Bar on Unico Beach serves up a wide range of delicious, savory grilled meats to the patrons of the Unico Beach Club, with vegetarian options available. This unique concept by a classically trained chef delivers Argentinian cuisine with only the best cuts of meat available. You choose what dish you want, decide how you want it cooked, then just kick back with a craft cocktail in the shade and relax while your meat is grilled to perfection.

    Though this high-class yet casual restaurant caters to guests of the club, it's also open to the public every weekend. It's 45 minutes north of central Riviera Maya.

    Location: Avenida Javier Rojo Gomez s/n SM2, Lote 22, Puerto Morelos 77580 Mexico

    Phone: +52 998 156 3141

    Map
    4

    Fusion Beach Bar Cuisine

    Head for a beach club in a former hotel

    Fusion Beach Bar Cuisine in the former Fusion Hotel offers amazing beachfront vibes, with your food served up at loungers with your toes in the sand and lots of activities. Fusion Beach Bar is much more than just a restaurant; it's a full-featured beach club that offers a wide range of entertainment options and fun, from massages and loungers to stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, and even live music and a fire show. You can spend all day grabbing meals and craft cocktails as you need and just having a blast.

    This full-featured bar still offers the amenities of the former hotel, with a great crowd, great vibes, and great food to boot. It's only 20 minutes north of central Riviera Maya.

    Location: On the beach, Calle 6 Nte, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 12.30 am

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    5

    Restaurante La Habichuela

    Enjoy an iconic staple of traditional Mayan cuisine

    Restaurante La Habichuela is one of the oldest restaurants in Cancún, serving up upscale casual dining based on ancient Mayan recipes fused with Caribbean-Mexican fare. This one has been around since the 1970s and is an iconic point in downtown bordering Las Palapas Park with a backyard garden filled with climbing vines and sparkling lights. While you're here, be sure to try the traditional Mayan Balché, a drink made from the roots and bark of the balché tree steeped in honey and water. Among the menu highlights is amaranth fish with tamarind and mango dressing.

    If you're in Cancún, this restaurant is a highlight. It's just over an hour north of central Riviera Maya.

    Location: C. 10 Margaritas 25-Mz 20, 22, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 12.30 pm to 11.30 pm, Sunday from 12.30 pm to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +52 998 884 3158

    Map
    6

    Axiote Cocina de Mexico

    Try upscale-quality food in rustic, simple surroundings

    Axiote Cocina de Mexico is named for the bright-red spice paste used in many southern Mexican dishes and serves up traditional dishes with cutting-edge culinary technology. The establishment uses only fresh, locally-sourced Mexican ingredients and serves recipes that are time-honored and traditional with a modern fusion twist. Some of the more unique menu options include Octopus with huitlacoche. The menu also features daily specials and dishes invented by the chef.

    The décor here is contemporary and rustic. It's casual eats with upscale quality and is sure to offer something for just about anyone. It's found in Playa del Carmen, about 20 minutes north of central Riviera Maya.

    Location: Calle 34 Nte #128, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

    Open: Daily from noon to 11 pm

    Phone: +52 984 803 1727

    Map
    7

    El Camello Jr

    Try a marinated octopus taco

    El Camello Jr.is an open-air restaurant that's famed for its ceviche and a wide variety of marinated seafood options, almost all of which come in sharable portions. You can enjoy shrimp, snail, fish, octopus, and others, all marinated in select spices. Each comes in three sizes, even the small portions of which are more than enough to share. Meals kick off with chips and seafood dip, and the taco menu is next-level but served only till 5 pm. You can also try a whole fried fish with tortillas, beans, salsa, and veggies to let you build your own tacos.

    The prices are great, making this an ideal destination for families or groups. It's in Cancún, an hour south of Riviera Maya.

    Location: Carretera Chetumal-Cancun Locales 1 y 2 Lte 3 Mza 40, Centro, 77600 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

    Open: Thursday–Tuesday from 10 am to 10 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +52 984 871 2036

    Map

    photo by City Foodsters (CC BY 2.0) modified

    8

    La Zebra Hotel

    Experience authentic locally-sourced Mexican dishes

    La Zebra Hotel embodies the upscale beach vibe of the city and offers an oceanside hotel dining establishment serving up authentic Mexican dishes with locally-sourced ingredients. Here you can enjoy recipes from all across Mexico, some from the Riviera Maya, some from other regions. You'll enjoy corn tamales, aguas frescas, cochinta pibil tacos, and other delicious dishes. Every Sunday night, they also host a salsa party under the palm trees on the beach so that you can party the night away in true Mexican style. This place is much more than a restaurant; it's an experience.

    The hotel and restaurant are located in Tulum. It's just over an hour to the south of central Riviera Maya.

    Location: Km 8.2, Carr. Tulum-Boca Paila, Tulum Beach, Zona Costera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

    Phone: +52 984 115 4728

    Map
    9

    Burrito Amor

    Visit an eco-tourism-friendly restaurant

    Burrito Amor bills itself as "clean eating" in Mexico and offers up healthy, accessible, relaxed, casual, and authentic Mexican fare with a fun and welcoming vibe. Though the owners are American transplants, they seek to provide an authentic taste of Mexican culture with food that's relevant to today's foodie scene. They offer vegan and paleo options and dairy and gluten-free menu items to appeal to most dietary restrictions. They're also eco-friendly, using no plastic and using reusable bamboo straws.

    This one is about good vibes, good music, and good food that's also environmentally conscious across the board. It's about an hour south of Riviera Maya.

    Location: Av. Tulum Mz 05-Lote 03, Tulum Centro, Centro, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +52 984 160 2989

    Map

    photo by Nan Palmero (CC BY 2.0) modified

    10

    Macario

    Enjoy upscale fusion fine dining

    Macario pays respect to Mexican fine dining, seeking to reinterpret the culinary arts that will take you on a culinary journey to the freshest local ingredients and amazing fusion recipes. This restaurant seeks to combine traditional upscale dining with the best of millennial culture, drawing from sustainable methods and locally-sourced farming and ingredients. The complex recipes drawn from worldwide create a genuine, unique, gastronomic experience. Here, some of the menu highlights include stuffed zucchini flowers, scallops, shaved avocado, chicharrón, roasted corn chowder, Mayan tacos, and porterhouse wagyu steak.

    Macario is in Tulum. It's just around an hour's drive to the south of central Riviera Maya, and reservations are recommended.

    Location: 97113, C. 11 640, Santa Gertrudis Copo, Mérida, Yuc., Mexico

    Phone: +52 999 335 6555

    Map

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