The Riviera Maya Restaurants

Restaurants here vary from quirky beachside affairs with outdoor tables and palapas to more elaborate and sophisticated establishments. Dress is casual at most places, so leave your tie and jacket at home. Smaller eateries may not accept credit cards, especially in remote beach villages. Bigger ones and those in hotels normally accept plastic. Many restaurants add propinas (tips) to the bill; look for a charge for "servicio." If tips aren’t included, a 15% gratuity is standard. It's best to order fresh local fish—grouper, dorado, red snapper, and sea bass—rather than shellfish like shrimp, lobster, and oysters, since the latter are often flown in frozen from the Gulf. Playa del Carmen has the largest selection of restaurants.

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  • 1. Hartwood

    $$$ | Eclectic

    New York chefs cooking New York food for New York prices—in a wood-fired jungle lot, open to the night sky—that's Hartwood. Big-city transplants...Read More

  • 2.

    $$$$ | Zona Hotelera

    The mystical jungle atmosphere of this sophisticated restaurant is only beaten by its exquisite blend of Mexican and Mayan traditional cuisines. Dine to the tune...Read More

  • 3. El Camello Jr.

    $$ | Seafood

    By the time you get to this local favorite at the very end of Tulum's downtown strip, you'll think you've already left town. In fact, you've...Read More

  • 4. El Tábano

    $$$ | Mexican

    This jungle-side hangout run by Barcelona chef Laura Brea brings imaginative cuisine to a rustic garden. You could spend the day here at a country...Read More

  • 5. Mezzanine Thai

    $$$ | Zona Hotelera | Thai

    People come from Playa del Carmen for the zingy flavors of this authentic Thai restaurant. Overseeing the menu is Thai Chef Dim Geefay, a well...Read More

  • 6. Ziggy's Restaurant

    $$$ | Zona Hotelera | Mexican

    With tables under a palapa roof and on the beach, this restaurant is a perfect place to sink your toes in the sand while dining. Chef Jorge...Read More

  • 7. Los Aguachiles

    $ | Mexican

    This Tulum outpost of the Playa hipster cantina has a light take on traditional tacos and seafood served with lots of lime and creativity. Batter...Read More

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