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The Best Restaurants in Cancun and the Riviera Maya

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While the eastern edge of the Yucatan Peninsula offers experiences a-plenty, it's easy to find yourself focused solely on the region's dining experiences. Scattered throughout Cancun and the Riviera Maya, scores of restaurants and small eateries beckon, dishing up everything from gourmet fare to fast food. Dishes include everything from beachfront burritos to Le Chique's marvels of molecular gastronomy. No matter where you stay, eat around a variety of areas, from Cancun's hotel zone to Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Local culinary expeditions in the area always pay off.
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Calle 10 Margaritas 25, 22, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
If you are in Cancun looking for an awesome, authentic meal in a very cool setting with outdoor seating, and super friendly staff this place is the best. It's not off the beaten path, but it's delicious, authentic and presents a scene. We stumbled...
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km 19.4, Kukulkan, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Even though it’s right across the street from top Cancún resorts near the southern end of the Hotel Zone, the entrance to this open-air restaurant remains known only to locals plus a few in-the-know travelers. Walk down the wooden...
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Av Uxmal, Mza 02 Lte 33, SM 3, Benito Juárez, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
What was once an abandoned house on one of downtown Cancún’s central avenues is now an outdoor garden for Mediterranean cuisine. Each night the small regular menu is complemented by a list of daily specials on the chalkboard, as well...
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Av. Carlos Nader Mz 2 Lt 8, SM 3, 3, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
This iconic downtown restaurant was on historic Avenida Nader years before the neighborhood became hip. The focus here is on Italian dishes with creative twists, like the Van Gogh pizza topped with grilled shrimp and goat cheese, or the artisanal...
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Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 9.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Expat owned and run, this spot brings California-style burritos to Mexico. The tiny outdoor restaurant—featuring only three long tables—routinely fills with an eclectic mix of locals, foreign residents, and tourists in search of a...
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Carretera Cancun-Puerto Morelos km 27.5 Mz 37, Smz 12, 77580 Riviera Maya, Q.R., Mexico
Sleek contemporary design at this luxurious restaurant hints at innovative presentations within. Le Chique offers guests a single menu that can reach 30 carefully prepared courses of gasp-inducing molecular cuisine that takes inspiration from...
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Calle Quinta Avenida, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Evincing a nautical but contemporary style, this open-air restaurant serves some of the best tostadas in Playa del Carmen. The signature delicacy is a crispy tortilla covered in any number of toppings, and at Las Hijas de la Tostada, expect them...
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Calle 34, Centro, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
"Hipster" meaning awesome modern takes on classic favorites, served up by attractive tattooed young foodies. Playa del Carmen is lucky to have two locations of this taqueria and cevicheria. Los Aguachiles was a local friend's #1 recommendation and...
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Calle 10, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Since around 2000, this iconic Swedish-owned restaurant and bar, just steps off Playa’s always-packed 5th Avenue, serves up an eclectic mix of Asian-European fusion cuisine. The appetizers just might be the highlight, in iterations like a...
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Calle 34 norte #128, Municipio de Solidaridad, Col.Gonzalo Guerrero, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
A newcomer in Playa, Axiote is named after one of Mexico's most iconic ingredients, annatto seeds. This modern eater delivers truly delicous, new age Mexican food.
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Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km 10.5, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Once just a popular food truck in a temporary locale, Charly’s now has its own permanent location on Tulum’s hip hotel strip. Its chefs have managed to take traditional Mexican meat-based dishes and turn them into 100-percent vegan recipes while...
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Carretera Tulum a Boca Paila Km 8.2, Ejido Pino Suarez, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Embodying the city’s beach-chic vibe, this oceanside hotel restaurant and bar is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. La Zebra serves authentic Mexican dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, some from the Riviera Maya region and...
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Carretera Tulum Boca Paila 7.6Km, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
The ambience and food at Hartwood make it a mandatory stop when within 50 miles ofTulum. The expat chef and owners have upped the ante with delicious food and local ingredients on Tulum's pristine beach. The menu also changes daily, and while the...
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Boulevard Punta Nizuc - Cancun Km 22.5, Nizuc, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
With just a few plastic tables beneath some palapas, this hidden gem on Cancún’s more natural southern side has an incredible location right at the mouth of the river that connects the Nichupté Lagoon to the Caribbean. The ...
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Carretera, Boca Paila km 5.2, Manzana 10 Lote 16, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Mateo’s claims to have the best fish tacos on earth, and yes, they are pretty great! Set in the heart of Tulum’s coastal hotel strip, this big outdoor restaurant is one of the most popular in town for its easy location, eye-catching lantern-lit...