25 BEST Restaurants in Playa del Carmen Mexico to Try in 2023
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, you’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 won’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.
📍 Location: 38th Street between 5th Avenue and the beach
🕒 Hours: Mon-Tues/Thurs-Sat from 10AM–1AM, Wed from 3PM–1AM, Sun from 9AM–1AM
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.
📍 Location: 34th Street between Avenidas 5 y 10
🕒 Hours: Mon–Sat from 12PM–11PM, Sunday from 12PM–10PM
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.
📍 Location: Calle 10 Norte entre Avenida 20 y 25
🕒 Hours: Tues–Sun from 7AM–9:30PM, Mon from 7:30AM–9:30PM
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.
📍 Location: 38th Street between 5th Avenue and the beach
🕒 Hours: Daily from 6PM–12AM
5. El Ñero
If you’re looking for the best tacos in Playa del Carmen, head to El Ñero, which I prefer over El Fogon!
Although Playa del Carmen is not really known for its taco scene, El Ñero 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 Ñero 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.
📍 Location: Avenida Juarez and Avenida 45
🕒 Hours: Daily from 4PM–1AM
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.
📍 Location: Calle 6 and Avenida 20
🕒 Hours: Daily from 5PM–11PM (Closed Mondays)
🌮 Related Reading: 6 Best Playa del Carmen Food Tours
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.
📍 Location: Zitla Ceiba at 34th Street between Avenidas 5 y 10 | Zitla Playa at Calle 12 and Avenida 15
🕒 Hours: Daily from 8AM–11PM
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:
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.
📍 Location: Calle 16 Nte Bis and 1st Avenue
🕒 Hours: Daily from 5PM–12AM, Sat/Sun Brunch from 9AM–2PM
Travelista Tip: Plank is also open for Sunday brunch!
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 d’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!
📍 Location: Calle 14 Nte Bis and 10th Avenue
🕒 Hours: Daily from 6PM–10:45PM (Closed Sundays)
10. Sonora Prime
Sonora Prime is a large and modern upscale restaurant located on an upper level overlooking Fifth Avenue–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.
📍 Location: Calle 12 and 5th Avenue
🕒 Hours: Sun–Wed from 1PM–12AM, Thurs–Sat from 1PM–1AM
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.
📍 Location: Thompson Hotel at Calle 12 between Avenidas 5 y 10
🕒 Hours: Daily from 6PM–12AM
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!
📍 Location: Calle 10 and Avenida 10
🕒 Hours: Daily from 8AM–11:30PM
🎂 Related Reading: 7 Unique Birthday Traditions Celebrated in Mexico
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.
📍 Location: Calle 26 between Avenidas 5 y 10
🕒 Hours: Daily from 5PM–11PM
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!
📍 Location: Calle 24 and Avenida 30
🕒 Hours: Mon–Sat from 3PM–10PM, Sun from 3PM–9:30PM
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.
📍 Location: Calle 4 and Avenida 40
🕒 Hours: Daily from 12:30PM–10:30PM (Closed Tuesdays)
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 you’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.
📍 Location: Avenida CTM and Calle Cozumel
🕒 Hours: Daily from 3PM–11PM (Closed Mondays)
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!
📍 Location: Avenida Constituyentes between Avenida 1 y 5
🕒 Hours: Daily from 11AM–10PM
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 options–they will leave your mouth burning!
📍 Location: Calle 12 and Avenida 25 | Calle 34 and Avenida 20
🕒 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.
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.
📍 Location: Calle 40 between Avenidas 5 y 10
🕒 Hours: Daily from 10AM–8PM
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.
📍 Location: 38th Street and 5th Avenue | 2nd Street and 5th Avenue
🕒 Hours: Daily from 12PM–11AM
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 can’t go wrong with any of their breakfast items!
📍 Location: 5th Avenue and Calle 48
🕒 Hours: Daily from 7AM–4PM
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 chilaquiles–they are some of the best chilaquiles in Playa del Carmen!
📍 Location: 38th Street between 5th Avenue and the beach
🕒 Hours: Mon-Sat from 8AM–10:30PM, Sunday from 8AM–2PM
23. Chez Céline
One of the few Playa del Carmen breakfast restaurants on 5th Avenue I’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!
📍 Location: 5th Avenue and Calle 34
🕒 Hours: Daily from 7:30AM–11PM
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, açaí 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.
📍 Location: Calle 30 between Avenida 25 y 30
🕒 Hours: Mon–Sat from 8:30AM–10PM (Closed Sundays)
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.
📍 Location: Calle 24 and Avenida 10
🕒 Hours: Daily from 1:30PM–12AM
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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