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. Basic Foodie Artisan Bakery & Café

    $ | Fracc. La Toscana

    Basic Foodie is that cool bakery we all wish we had in our neighborhood, as its artisan bakery has no equal in town, and the...Read More

  • 2. Chez Céline

    $ | French

    Take one bite of Céline's chocolate croissants, and you'll think you've died and gone to Paris. Fresh-baked breads and pastries bring honor...Read More

  • 3. Imprevist

    $$$

    The name means "unexpected," and—thanks to the international dishes created by executive chef Juan Diego Solombrino—this place is truly a surprise. At breakfast, you can...Read More

  • 4. Aldea Corazón

    $$$ | Mexican

    Playa's most dramatically-sited restaurant sits atop a small cenote in a vast jungly garden full of strangler vines and Mayan ruins—right in...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Fernando's 100% Agave

    $$

    Fernando's friendly, homey restaurant—which serves as a sort of visitors bureau—seems to change locations often but remains a Mahahual institution. The affordable menu features Mexican...Read More

  • 7. La Buena Vida

    $$ | Mexican

    With driftwood tables overlooking Half Moon Bay, swings at the lively bar, and salsa music keeping things moving, this might be the perfect...Read More

  • 8. La Perla Pixan Cuisine

    $$$ | Fracc. La Toscana

    If you want to try authentic Mexican and pre-Hispanic cuisine, La Perla Pixan is the place for you with its wide variety of traditional specialties...Read More

  • 9. Paloma

    $$

    Authentic chilaquiles, excellent, colorful fruit and veggie smoothies, and eggs Benedict (with the only real hollandaise you'll find in town) are just a few of...Read More

  • 10. Pangea

    $$ | Eclectic

    Abutting the plaza at the beach, Pangea has it all: breakfast, lunch, and dinner served on an umbrella-shaded terrace overlooking the sea, plus...Read More

  • 11. Restaurant Encuentro

    $ | Café

    In addition to 12 kinds of coffee, this bright café serves fresh salads, pastas, sandwiches, and chicken dishes. Early risers can enjoy a house...Read More

  • 12. Sergio's Restaurant & Pizzas

    $$$ | Pizza

    Locals rave about the grilled steaks and garlic shrimp at Sergio's—one of the nicest restaurants in Chetumal. The barbecued chicken (made with...Read More

  • 13. The Mayan Grill

    $$

    Unlike most restaurants in Xcalak, this beachside eatery is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Start the morning with a ham-and-cheese O'Mayaletes (omelet) served...Read More

  • 14. Turtle Bay Café & Bakery

    $$ | Café

    This funky café serves Akumal's best breakfast, with a vast menu spanning acai bowls, eggs Benedict, pancakes, and fruit plates. For lunch and...Read More

  • 15. Cafe Karlita's

    $

    The smell of fresh baked goods wafts onto Mahahual's boardwalk from this central café. The towers of cookies, pastries, and muffins under glass domes make...Read More

  • 16. Café Sasta

    $

    This sweet little café serves good espresso drinks and a wide variety of teas, along with bagel sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, and pastries. Try the coconut...Read More

  • 17. Hot Baking Company

    $

    This cheap streetside breakfast café opens at 7 am, and it's one of the few places where you can get breakfast before early-morning sightseeing. Known...Read More

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