25 BEST Restaurants in Playa del Carmen Mexico to Try in 2023

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Looking for the best Playa del Carmen restaurants? I’ve got you covered!

I’m a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen, so I’ve had plenty of time to discover the local food scene, neighborhood hotspots, and hidden gems. 

Believe it or not, Playa del Carmen actually has an amazing mix of both Mexican and international cuisine. 

In this post, I’m sharing the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen whether you’re looking for Mexican food, seafood joints, casual spots, or fine dining. 

Read on to find out where to eat in Playa del Carmen!

Best Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

These are the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen if you’re looking for Mexican food, fine dining, Italian food, seafood, breakfast food, or burgers:

Best Mexican Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

Here are the top restaurants for the best Mexican food in Playa del Carmen:

1. La Perla Pixan

Featuring a creative variety of Mexican and regional specialties, La Perla Pixan is an upscale Mexican restaurant located on the trendy 38th Street.

On the menu, youโ€™ll find a ton of traditional Mexican dishes as well as upscale tacos like cochinita pibil duck tacos, rib eye tacos, steak tacos, and chicken tacos.

These taco dishes wonโ€™t be as cheap as traditional street tacos but are definitely higher quality and expertly prepared.

La Perla Pixan is also one of the best bars in Playa del Carmen and the place to go for high quality craft cocktails, mezcal, and tequilas.

Here you’ll be served a great as opposed to the overpriced and watered drinks that you’ll find at many of the restaurants on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.

Plus, they usually have live music and colorful native dance performances vibrantly showcasing the Mexican culture, which totally enhances the dining experience.

๐Ÿ“ Location38th Street between 5th Avenue and the beach
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Mon-Tues/Thurs-Sat from 10AM–1AM, Wed from 3PM–1AM, Sun from 9AM–1AM

La Perla Pixan Tacos
La Perla Pixan Margarita
La Perla Pixan Restaurant Playa del Carmen

2. Axiote

Axiote is another upscale Mexican restaurant with a gourmet menu and a focus on Mexican gastronomy and locally sourced natural ingredients.  

The menu offers traditional Mexican dishes, as well as more innovative plates with atypical ingredients such as ant eggs, beef tongue, rabbit, and duck.  

With a warm and inviting atmosphere and sophisticated menu, Axiote definitely offers an elevated culinary experience and some of the best food in Playa del Carmen.

It’s the perfect place for an upscale authentic Mexican experience.

๐Ÿ“ Location34th Street between Avenidas 5 y 10
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Mon–Sat from 12PM–11PM, Sunday from 12PM–10PM

Axiote Restaurant Entrance Playa del Carmen

3. Pik Nik

Pik Nik is a colorful and more casual Playa del Carmen Mexican restaurant located on 10th Street between Avenues 20 and 25.

It’s a small restaurant with outdoor covered seating and the menu offers traditional Mexican dishes like chiles en nogada, moles, tacos, and fajitas.

If you’re looking for simpler Mexican dishes, Pik Nik is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Playa del Carmen.

They are also open early and have some tasty breakfast specials.

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 10 Norte entre Avenida 20 y 25
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Tuesโ€“Sun from 7AMโ€“9:30PM, Mon from 7:30AMโ€“9:30PM

Pik Nik Playa del Carmen Restaurant

4. Trujillos Cantina de Selva

Trujillos Cantina de Selva is a stylish and moody outdoor restaurant located on 38th Street.

While walking by, you’ll no doubt be attracted by the restaurant’s cute string lights and lush forest-like ambiance.

The menu is a little more upscale and offers a mix of Mexican and international cuisine with fusion items like al pastor flatbread.  

Be sure to check out their cocktail menu to pair a creative craft cocktail with your meal.

๐Ÿ“ Location38th Street between 5th Avenue and the beach
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 6PM–12AM

Trujillos Cantina de Selva Restaurant Playa del Carmen

5. El ร‘ero

If you’re looking for the best tacos in Playa del Carmen, head to El ร‘ero, which I prefer over El Fogon!

Although Playa del Carmen is not really known for its taco scene, El ร‘ero serves the most authentic tacos similar to those you might find in Mexico City. 

They have a variety of taco options all for under $20 pesos ($1 USD) each–my personal favorite are the al pastor tacos. 

El ร‘ero is a late night spot that opens daily at 4:00PM.  It is cash only, super casual, and one of the most popular places among locals.

๐Ÿ“ LocationAvenida Juarez and Avenida 45
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 4PM–1AM

El Nero Tacos Playa del Carmen

6. The Lost Tiki

The Lost Tiki is a newer restaurant and tiki bar that offers a fusion of Mexican and Asian cuisine.   

With great service and very reasonable prices, it’s popular among the expat community and they host several fun themed nights and happy hours throughout the week. 

My favorite food items are the Ahi Tuna Stack and the Cantonese Pork Belly Tacos.  Plus, they also offer a full menu of fun tiki-inspired cocktails.

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 6 and Avenida 20
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 5PM–11PM (Closed Mondays)

Ahi Tuna Stack at the Lost Tiki Playa del Carmen
Pork Catonese Tacos at the Lost Tiki Playa del Carmen
Lost Tiki Playa del Carmen

๐ŸŒฎ Related Reading: 6 Best Playa del Carmen Food Tours

7. Zitla

With two downtown locations, Zitla is a colorful Mexican restaurant with a cool vibe that’s perfect for a casual lunch or dinner.

On the menu, you’ll find Mexican classics like burritos, fajitas, nachos, and tacos. But you can also enjoy American food such as chicken wings, cauliflower buffalo bites, and burgers.

Plus, the restaurant offers an entire booklet of unique cocktails to choose from. And you’ll get to enjoy your meal in an artsy outdoor eating area.

๐Ÿ“ Location: Zitla Ceiba at 34th Street between Avenidas 5 y 10 | Zitla Playa at Calle 12 and Avenida 15
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 8AM–11PM

Burrito from Zitla Restaurant Playa del Carmen

Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

For a more upscale dining experience, head to one of these fine dining restaurants in Playa del Carmen:

8. Plank

Plank is a fine dining restaurant that has consistently been rated as one of the top restaurants in Playa del Carmen. 

With a variety of steak, seafood, and pasta dishes, it’s a great option for a nice dinner during your stay.

The open air atmosphere with lowly lit string lights makes for a great ambiance. 

And, if you’re looking for a nicer place for drinks, Plank also has a great bar serving unique craft cocktails.  It can be very busy so reservations are recommended.  

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 16 Nte Bis and 1st Avenue
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 5PM–12AM, Sat/Sun Brunch from 9AM–2PM

Travelista Tip: Plank is also open for Sunday brunch!

Plank Restaurant Playa del Carmen

9. Oh LaLa

Oh Lala is a relaxed upscale restaurant serving international food that has consistently been a top rated restaurant in Playa del Carmen.  

It’s a very small restaurant with an intimate setting of only 9 tables but the dishes are of exceptional quality and beautifully plated.  

The menu offers meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes paired with hors dโ€™oeuvres and fine wines.  

With its multiple course offerings, Oh LaLa Playa del Carmen is a great restaurant for celebrating a special occasion.  

Make sure to save room for one of their amazing desserts!

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 14 Nte Bis and 10th Avenue
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 6PM–10:45PM (Closed Sundays)

Oh La La Restaurant Playa del Carmen

10. Sonora Prime

Sonora Prime is a large and modern upscale restaurant located on an upper level overlooking Fifth Avenueโ€“this is one Playa del Carmen 5th Avenue restaurant that is actually worth a visit!

The menu offers many steak and seafood dishes, as well as a good offering of appetizers and Mexican specialities.

And a few of the menu items are prepared table side which makes for a fun and interactive experience.

As one the top fine dining restaurants in Playa del Carmen, it’s a great place for a romantic dinner or upscale night out with friends or family.

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 12 and 5th Avenue
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Sun–Wed from 1PM–12AM, Thurs–Sat from 1PM–1AM

Tacos from Sonora Grill Prime Playa del Carmen

11. UMI Rooftop + Tokyo Kitchen

Located on the rooftop of the Thompson Hotel Playa del Carmen, UMI Rooftop + Tokyo Kitchen is a brand new restaurant concept that just replaced Catch Playa del Carmen.

This Japanese restaurant features a full menu of unique items including sushi rolls, nigiri, fish, and octopus, as well as steak and pork dishes.

Plus, you can pair your meal with sake and many different signature cocktails. But probably the best part about dining at UMI Rooftop is the incredible views!

Try to dine before sundown to enjoy a spectacular view of the ocean and downtown Playa del Carmen.

๐Ÿ“ Location: Thompson Hotel at Calle 12 between Avenidas 5 y 10
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 6PM–12AM

UMI Rooftop Tokyo Kitchen Playa del Carmen
UMI Rooftop and Tokyo Kitchen Playa del Carmen

Best Italian Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

These are the best Italian restaurants in Playa del Carmen:

12. La Famiglia

La Famiglia is a family-owned authentic Italian restaurant that offers a variety of pizzas, homemade pastas, and Italian dishes.

The atmosphere is a little more upscale and it has a very cute upstairs seating area.

With a warm and homey atmosphere, La Famiglia might be the best Italian restaurant in Playa del Carmen and a great place to dine with family and friends.

I celebrated my birthday here and had such a good experience! 

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 10 and Avenida 10
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 8AM–11:30PM

๐ŸŽ‚ Related Reading: 7 Unique Birthday Traditions Celebrated in Mexico

Pizza from La Famiglia Playa del Carmen
Fettucini at La Famiglia Playa del Carmen Restaurant

13. Trattoria del Centro

Tucked away just off of 5th Avenue and 26th Street, Trattoria del Centro is an intimate open air Italian restaurant serving some mouthwatering brick oven pizzas.

The romantic atmosphere is super cute and cozy and makes you feel like you are part of the family. 

And besides pizza, the menu offers a variety of delicious food such as homemade pasta and Italian dishes.

And when you’re done dining, you can stroll down 5th Avenue and try a marquesita for dessert, a popular street food in Playa del Carmen.

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 26 between Avenidas 5 y 10
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 5PM–11PM

Trattoria del Centro Pizza Playa del Carmen

14. Don Chendo

Don Chendo is an Italian local restaurant known for its Chicago deep-dish style pizza.

I lived in Chicago for almost 5 years before moving to Playa del Carmen and while it’s not exactly the same, the deep dish pizza comes pretty close!  

It’s not a fancy restaurant, but rather a hole-in-the-wall type of place and it’s definitely more popular among locals who consider it to be the best pizza in Playa del Carmen.  

The pizzas are extremely filling so you will want to come hungry and will likely leave with leftovers! 

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 24 and Avenida 30
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Mon–Sat from 3PM–10PM, Sun from 3PM–9:30PM

Deep Dish Pizza from Don Chendo Playa del Carmen

15. Cheester

Cheester (pronounced “Chester”) is an Italian restaurant which is located downtown further away from 5th Avenue. 

They serve GIANT pasta dishes in large cast iron bowls with an entire wall full of menu options. 

These pasta bowls are definitely made for sharing and even then you will have a week’s worth of leftovers.

Note Cheester restaurant Playa del Carmen is closed on Tuesdays.

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 4 and Avenida 40
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 12:30PM–10:30PM (Closed Tuesdays)

Cheester Restaurant Playa del Carmen
Menu at Cheester Restaurant Playa del Carmen
Pasta Bowl at Cheester Playa del Carmen

16. Salento

Located on the north end of Playa del Carmen on Avenida CTM near the beach, Salento is an Italian restaurant serving authentic pizzas originating from a subregion of Puglia, Italy.

With a fluffy crust, fresh ingredients, and a plentiful amount of cheese, it has quickly become my favorite pizza restaurant in Playa del Carmen.

At Salento, you can dine at the restaurant with a quaint indoor and outdoor seating area or order the pizza to go.

And if youโ€™re not in the mood for pizza, you can indulge in one of their equally delicious pasta dishes topped off with a glass (or two!) of wine.

๐Ÿ“ LocationAvenida CTM and Calle Cozumel
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 3PM–11PM (Closed Mondays)

Pizza at Salento Playa del Carmen
Fettucini at Salento Playa del Carmen Restaurant

Best Seafood Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen’s oceanfront location makes it a prime destination for fresh seafood. These are the best seafood restaurants in Playa del Carmen:

17. Los Aguachiles

Los Aguachiles is one of the best seafood restaurants in Playa del Carmen offering a casual open-air environment.

The menu offers a wide variety of fresh fish and shrimp tacos, tostadas, ceviches, and other seafood dishes.

I have a slight obsession with ahi tuna and the Tostada Atun Maravillosa is hands down one of my favorite menu items in the city!

๐Ÿ“ LocationAvenida Constituyentes between Avenida 1 y 5
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 11AM–10PM

Tuna Tostada at Los Aguachiles Playa del Carmen
Los Aguachiles Restaurant Playa del Carmen
Seafood Tacos at Los Aguachiles Playa del Carmen

18. El Doctorcito

With a bit of an odd location just behind Walmart, El Doctorcito has some of the best seafood in Playa del Carmen and is a great spot if you’re looking for some cheap eats while traveling

My favorite item on the menu is the tostadas mixtas (a mix of shrimp and octopus).  The menu is similar to Aguachiles but the open air atmosphere is MUCH more hip. 

There’s always a live DJ playing house music and the line is out the door.  Watch out for the spicy menu optionsโ€“they will leave your mouth burning!

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 12 and Avenida 25 | Calle 34 and Avenida 20
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 11AM–10PM

Travelista Tip: For a rooftop hangout, head to El Doctorcito’s new rooftop location on top of Lobo de Mar.

Seafood Tostada at El Doctorcito Playa del Carmen
El Doctorcito Playa del Carmen Seating

19. El Pirata

El Pirata is very casual seafood restaurant that is popular among the Playa del Carmen locals.  

This place is always packed with a line out the door!

The menu at El Pirata offers fresh seafood dishes, prepared fish, ceviches, and seafood and shrimp cocktail. 

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 40 between Avenidas 5 y 10
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 10AM–8PM

El Pirata Playa del Carmen Seafood Restaurant

20. Las Hijas de la Tostada

With two downtown locations, Las Hijas de la Tostada is a hip and casual seafood restaurant that’s a great option for lunch or dinner.

Featuring seafood small plates, the restaurant is known for its delicious tostadas, which come freshly prepared in many different varieties of shrimp, tuna, and fish.

One of my favorite dishes on the menu is the mezcal octopus tacos! But even if you’re not a seafood fan, you can still enjoy beef tacos and entrees.

And be sure to pair your meal with one of their signature cocktails.

๐Ÿ“ Location38th Street and 5th Avenue | 2nd Street and 5th Avenue
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 12PM–11AM

Seafood Tostada at Las Hijas de la Tostada Playa del Carmen
Mezcal Octopus Tacos at Las Hijas de la Tostada Restaurant Playa del Carmen

Best Breakfast Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

Start your day at one of these best Playa del Carmen restaurants for breakfast:

21. Que Huevos

Located towards the end of 5th Avenue, Que Huevos is one of the cutest local breakfast spots that serves some of the best breakfast dishes in Playa del Carmen.  

Que Huevos is a small cafe with outdoor seating shaded by tropical palms.  The breakfast menu features a ton of classic American and Mexican dishes, as well as fresh fruit juices, smoothies, and coffee.

My favorite breakfast dish is the avocado toast with poached eggs paired with an Horchata espresso.  But you really canโ€™t go wrong with any of their breakfast items! 

๐Ÿ“ Location5th Avenue and Calle 48
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 7AMโ€“4PM

Que Huevos Breakfast Restaurant Playa del Carmen
Pancakes at Que Huevos Playa del Carmen
Que Huevos Playa del Carmen

22. La Cueva del Chango

Serving traditional Mexican cuisine, La Cueva del Chango (“Cave of the Monkey” in Spanish) has consistently been named as one of the best breakfast restaurants in Playa del Carmen.  

The restaurant offers a cave like interior as well as outdoor seating on the back jungle terrace, which makes the atmosphere especially unique.  

My absolute favorite dish at La Cueva del Chango is the green chilaquilesโ€“they are some of the best chilaquiles in Playa del Carmen!

๐Ÿ“ Location38th Street between 5th Avenue and the beach
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Mon-Sat from 8AMโ€“10:30PM, Sunday from 8AMโ€“2PM

Chilaquiles at La Cueva del Chango Playa del Carmen
La Cueva del Chango Playa del Carmen Restaurant
La Cueva del Chango Playa del Carmen Restaurant

23. Chez Cรฉline

One of the few Playa del Carmen breakfast restaurants on 5th Avenue Iโ€™d recommend, Chez Celine is a French bistro and popular breakfast restaurant.

Its charming French-inspired decor and superb reputation attracts both tourists and locals, meaning there is almost always a line.  Be sure to get there early if you want to beat the crowds!

Chez Celine offers a breakfast menu as well as a full French bakery counter serving freshly prepared pastries, chocolate croissants, fruit tarts, cakes, and desserts.  The pastries are elegantly presented and almost too pretty to eat!

๐Ÿ“ Location5th Avenue and Calle 34
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 7:30AMโ€“11PM

Chez Celine Playa del Carmen

24. Peace & Bowl

Peace & Bowl is a colorful smoothie and juice bar located in Playa del Carmen’s Mercado 30 restaurant complex.

It’s my favorite place in Playa del Carmen for a quick smoothie, aรงaรญ bowl, or healthy meal.  

All the fresh ingredients are super colorful and the menu is packed with loads of healthy options for breakfast or lunch. 

And if you’re looking for a Playa del Carmen cafe to work from, Peace & Bowl is basically a digital nomad hotspot.

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 30 between Avenida 25 y 30
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Monโ€“Sat from 8:30AMโ€“10PM (Closed Sundays)

Peace & Bowl Playa del Carmen
Peace and Bowl Smoothie Bowl

Best American Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

If you’re craving some comfort food, head to one of these Playa del Carmen American restaurants:

25. Mu Burgerhouse

It can be hard to find good burgers in Mexico, but in my opinion Mu Burgerhouse has the best burgers in Playa del Carmen.  

With outdoor courtyard seating and string lights, the restaurant has a very cute ambiance especially at night.  

The burger menu is unique with toppings like fried eggs, bacon, burrata, chimichurri, and a variety of cheeses.

And they offer a choice of tasty sides including my personal favorite camote (sweet potato fries).  

Be sure to check out the drink menu as Mu Burger is also known for their craft cocktails.

๐Ÿ“ LocationCalle 24 and Avenida 10
๐Ÿ•’ Hours: Daily from 1:30PM–12AM

De La Granja Burger at Mu Burgerhouse Playa del Carmen

Conclusion: Best Restaurants in Playa del Carmen Guide

I hope my guide to Playa del Carmen’s best restaurants was helpful if you’re looking for the best places to eat in Playa del Carmen.

While the Playa del Carmen restaurant scene might not be as renowned as Guadalajara or Mexico City, it still offers a great selection of restaurants and a variety of cuisines.  

So whether you’re looking for authentic Mexican experiences, Italian food, or burgers, there are many incredible dining options in Playa del Carmen.

And no matter which of these Playa del Carmen restaurants you choose, you’ll be treated to tasty food and indoor/outdoor atmospheres for a unique dining experience.

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