Where to Eat in Playa del Carmen? Mexican cuisine is my absolute favorite cuisine, so naturally I was super excited about the food in Playa del Carmen. Enchiladas, chilaquiles, guacamole, margaritas are among my favorite Mexican items, and I truly indulged in each of one of those items. Dairy free, gluten free items all went out the door when in Mexico. On this trip, since I lodged at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen and had Club Access which offers complimentary breakfast, I didn’t venture out much during the day, however I made sure I dined out in the evening. Here are some of my recommendations on where to eat in Playa del Carmen, Mexico!
1. La Cueva del Chango
Amazing Mexican food at dirt cheap prices! A must-do in Playa either for brunch or dinner! Best meal on the trip!
Guava (left-left): Fresh, not too sweet, really good, but not my favorite.
Pineapple Watermelon Orange Juice (left-right): Refreshing.
Green Juice (right): Delicious, sweet, made with spinach and chaya. My favorite!
Guacamole & Complimentary Salsas
Guacamole (left): Creamy, delicious, perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of lime and salt. A favorite!
Green Salsa (right): Made with chunks of avocado, flavorful and not too spicy. I preferred green over red salsa. A favorite!
Red Salsa: Very slightly spicy, good.
Chilaquiles & Enchiladas
Egg Chilaquiles w/Pasilla Chili & Green Tomato Sauce (top): The best chilaquiles I’ve had. Although this comes with a green tomato sauce, the sauce here is red because of the pasilla chili. The flavors of the egg, chips and sauce came together seamlessly. A favorite!
Chicken Enchiladas (bottom): 3 enchiladas and I got 3 different sauces. The green was delicious, flavorful, fresh and light. The red was good, but didn’t have that lightness as the green did. The mole was slightly sweet with a kick of spice. Absolultey delicious and my favorite. Overall, a favorite! This dish came with a side of pico de gallo which was spicy and perfectly cooked black beans.
Carrot Cake: Moist and flavorful.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: La Cueva del Chango
FAVORITES: Green Juice | Guacamole | Egg Chilaquiles | Chicken Enchiladas (green, mole sauces) | Carrot Cake
VERDICT: 5 / 5
La Cueva del Chango has very high ratings on Yelp and thus I had to visit this lovely spot that has a very rainforest feel to it. Although I dined here for brunch, the natural setting at night is probably even nicer since the trees are lit up The service here is friendly and the food is simply outstanding. You can’t go to Playa del Carmen and not stop by La Cueva del Chango, not only does it serve amazing food, but it’s also very reasonable. This was my last meal on the trip and I regret not dining here more than once. Next time!
Food: Outstanding | Drinks: Outstanding | Décor: Casual | Service: Friendly |Value: Very Reasonable
LOCATION: Calle 38 entre 5ta Av. y el Mar, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
2. La Casa Del Agua
Romantic Upscale Mexican! Great food and great for people watching!
Wine + Complimentary Appetizer
Bread: Amazing bread stuffed w cream cheese. It’s hard to believe this is a complimentary appetizer. A favorite!
Guacamole: Fresh guacamole prepared with cherry tomatoes, pepitas, and a touch of grapefruit. Unique and creamy. A favorite!
Fig Salad: Roasted figs with arugula, pistachious and cherry tomatoes. This incredible salad was made with three types of cheeses including goat cheese. The fried gruyere cheese was out of this world. Creamy and tart combo. A favorite!
Portabello Confit: (left): Slow baked for 5 hours served over country bread with portabello truffle mousse. This scrumptious appetizer arrives hot. A favorite!
Salmon Aquachile (right-top): Tender marinated salmon with avocado, radish, coriander, and a good amount of spice. Melts in your mouth and so creamy.
Soft Shell Crab: (right-bottom): Crabs fried with sesame seeds. A little salty for me, but generally speaking crabs are rather salty. The dish pairs beautifully with sweet potato purée. I’m not a fan of crab, however this was really good and buttery. If you love crabs, order this!
Miso Morita Grouper:(left): Fish marinated in morita pepper sauce, miso and sautéed with corn kernels. The fish itself was perfectly cooked. The spicy cilantro sauce tasted like a creamy chutney. The corn was a nice touch. A favorite!
Seared Grouper with Creamy Pink Mole Sauce (right): Pink mole sauce prepared with beetroot, pepper and seeds. Again, the fish was well cooked, the sauce was sweet and lacked depth. The texture wasn’t quite smooth. This dish was okay for me.
Triple Chocolate Cake: Three types different types of chocolate. Light and airy. Very rich. Definitely a must-do if you’re a chocolate lover!
RESTAURANT REVIEW: La Casa Del Agua
CUISINE: Contemporary Mexican/Wine Bar
FAVORITES: Complimentary Bread | Guacamole | Fig Salad | Portabello Confit | Miso Morita Grouper
VERDICT: 4.5 / 5
One of the most romantic restaurants in Playa del Carmen with an extensive wine list from 9 different countries. La Casa del Agua offers modern Mexican food in a romantic, an open air setting. The prices are reasonable given the ambience and beautiful presentation of all dishes at this restaurant. Additionally, this restaurant is great for people watching and offers exceptional service. Highly recommended!
Food: Excellent | Drinks: Excellent | Décor: Romantic/Intimate | Service: Friendly | Value: Good/Fair
LOCATION: Con calle 2, Calle Quinta Avenida, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Open-air restaurant for the bold & daring, Mexican food with a twist! Margaritas made with Mezcal tequila! Also, I tried a grasshopper here!
Margaritas + Complimentary Chips
Chacahua: Coconut cream & pineapple. Refreshing drink with a strong Mezcal flavor. Good.
Tarugada: Tamarind, lime juice, sugar, chili powder and Mezcal tequila. I loved the chili on the rim, tangy flavor and delicious. A favorite!
Chips & Salsa: Chips were a bit hard, but the salsas which ranged from mild to extremely spicy were amazing. The habanero salsa was deathly spicy, I couldn’t handle more than level 2.
Lobster: (top) Mini deep-fried potato tacos topped with lobster salad served in a lime-cilantro sauce. Very unique dish and very good.
Guacamole with Grasshoppers: (middle) The guacamole was good, but the grasshopper was a bit much for me. It had a salty bite to it.
Shrimp Ceviche: (bottom): Prepared with coriander, avocado, and coconut milk. The coconut sauce was bold and citrusy with bits of coconut, red onion, and cucumber. Big portion!
Fish & Avocado: Made with smoked chorizo. The fish taco arrived piping hot and was a little salty. Although it was flavorful, it didn’t taste authentic.
Pork Belly: Prepared with tomato, lettuce, and oregano. The pork belly taco was extremely tangy, very oily and fatty, a bit much for me.
Passion Fruit Dessert: It was good, refreshing, and light.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: Axiote
FAVORITES: Tarugada Margarita
VERDICT: 3.75 / 5
Axiote offers unique Mexican dishes with a twist of passion. This restaurant is a unique experience, and it isn’t for everyone. It’s one of those restaurants where you are required to step outside your comfort zone. If you are bold and daring with food, Axiote is your place, however if you’re looking for traditional Mexican food, you probably won’t enjoy Axiote.
Food: Good | Drinks: Very Good| Décor: Casual | Service: Average | Value: Reasonable
LOCATION: Calle 34 norte #128, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Mexico
4. Alux Restaurant
A cavern restaurant in a beautiful romantic setting! A must-do in Playa – just for the experience!
Wine + Complimentary Garlic Bread
Lime Soup: Chicken stock and lime infusion topped over crispy tortilla, chicken and sautéed vegetables. The soup was flavorful and hearty. A favorite!
Mayan Salad: Mix of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, apple, jicama with habanero yogurt and tamarind dressing. The salad was rather bland because the dressing did not have much flavor. (not pictured)
Chicken Pibil: Mayan-style chicken with pickled onion, cilantro rice, and mashed potatoes. The chicken had flavor, but was a bit dry.
Adobo Fish: Served with vegetables and served in a banana leaf with spinach. Not very memorable.
Chocolate Mousse: Topped with blueberries and ot of this world. A must-do! Favorite!
RESTAURANT REVIEW: Alux Restaurant
FAVORITES: Lime Soup | Chocolate Mousse
VERDICT: 3.5 / 5
A cavern restaurant in a romantic setting and a must-do in Playa del Carmen despite the average food rating. Since I was here for a wedding party, my choices were limited in terms of what I could order. Having said that, Alux Restaurant is worth the trek because it is a unique experience and one that you probably haven’t ever experienced. Save it for a special occasion!
Food: Average | Drinks: Very Good | Décor: Romantic/Intimate/Dressy | Service: Good | Value: Fair/Good
LOCATION: Av. Juárez Mza. 217, Ejidal, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Have you been to Playa del Carmen? What restaurants do you recommend?