Good Places to Eat In Tulum Updated April 2009

Good places to eat in Tulum – recommendations from Tulum.info.  

BEACH ROAD (North to South)
  • Don Cafeto's - highly recommended - another (slightly cheaper) branch in town. Not sure if any price difference between the two but the pubelo one will give you a more local feel.
  • El Mariachi beach location - actually ON the beach (tiny, though, like 4 tables).
  • La Vita e Bella - Italian place, lovely sand floor candlelit beach palapa. Excellent Caipirinhas.
  • Mezzanine - nice setting. Thai food. Parties on a Friday worth going to. Bookings good idea on Fridays. Good breakfasts...usually not crowded for breakfast...pretty laid back then.
  • Nachos/Mayan Grill - CLOSED - reasonable, highly recommended Mexican better for lunch or especially dinner than breakfast
  • Trece Lunas - north of beach road. Bargainous. Good breakfast.
  • Zahra - Economical food, great happy hour 2/1 with free appetizers.
  • Luna Maya - good seafood romantic in a rustic way - nice wine list, appetizers, soups, and desserts - nice fusion type stuff.
  • Zamas - nice pizza, some say its overrated but most really like it. Breakfast looks great. Breakfast was pretty mediocre and service was poor. View is okay but the road runs right by it. Good banana pancakes.
  • Pez restaurant - between Zamas and Maya Tulum, good food, very cool vibe and design.
  • El Tabano - on beach road across from Hemingway. Very fresh, light food, fresh juices, palapa dining (wear bug spray).
  • Posada Margerita - Italian, recommended as a ‘must go’ by everyone. Need to book in advance. No menu - explained verbally. Great pasta. A bit pricey. Great appetizers included in $50 meal. Our meal (two adults) was under $90 and included a bottle of wine. Service was at first attentive but fell off as the restaurant got more crowded.
  • Maya Tulum - good but slightly pricey breakfast buffet.
  • Kin-Ha - open fire grill at night.
  • Playa Azul hotel restaurant - between Los Arrecifes and Puerta del Cielo.
  • Ana y Jose - a bit upscale. Nice ceviche.
  • Cabanas Tulum
  • Los Lirios - Excellent grilled seafood platter for two. Large specialty drink list. Regional dishes on the menu.
  • Tita Tulum - small, ‘lovely’, better value than some. Nice brekkie. Has a nice outside deck. Not sure value was all that good and atmosphere was just okay as you're surrounded by cabanas with a distant view of the ocean. Good not great.
  • Casa Banana at Nueva Vida - north of beach road. Good brekkies On the west side of the road (the "non-ocean side). A bit overrated.
  • Sirenas - On the beach just past Nueva Vida de Ramiro. This place has the freshest seafood and steaks in Tulum. Very laid back and reasonably priced. Jan goes out of her way to make you feel at home. The cheeseburgers have to be the best in all Mexico.
  • La Zebra - They have the salsa party on Sunday nights. A real fun night and be sure to stay for the show of salsa dancers!! Really some of the best ceviche around, a variety of salsas (conventional pico de gallo to greek tzaziki with pineapple!) come with every meal, refreshing ice cold chaya juice, perfectly crispy but soft inside empanadas, fresh tamales.
  • Amansala
  • Casa Violeta - Italian. Has spa too.
  • Om - The chef is very sweet (and talented!). We ate there twice and the food was wonderful! The atmosphere, the people that work there, the prices were good. I can't say enough about their food. It was just wonderful!
  • Las Ranitas CLOSED - Good food, nice outdoor area. Try the Mayan fish preparation called Tikin Xic, a white fish cooked in banana leaves seasoned with achiote, garlic, onion, in a tomato sauce.
  • Dos Ceibas - good chef and daily specials. Open fire grill. Looks very nice. Outdoor eating area but secluded from the ocean. You'll be surrounded by the office and other cabanas. Good 2x1 happy hour.
  • Hechizo - pricey (up to $100 total), gourmet, kinda posh. Booking needed (044 (984) 100-0710, or from the US, 0052 1 984 100 0710) Out of season only opens for bookings of 10 or more. Hechizo would get 5 stars in any major city in the world. Hechizo is down at the very south end of the beach road, in the Rancho San Eric development.
PUEBLO
Cheaper, more regional, local places. Taquerias generally v good. Best places are the ones with plastic chairs apparently!

MAP

restaurants with approximate coordinates
  • F7 - Casa Del Buen Pan - great bakery. Looks almost hidden by a tree. Try to take small change. Not too hard to find...head west on Calle Alfa (it's just north of the ADO bus station) for two blocks. It will be at the intersection of Alfa and Calle Sagitario. They have a nice courtyard in back or you can just take it to go.
  • G4 - Cetli - On Polar at Calle Orion. It's BYO, which means we can save some money on booze, always a plus. Cetli is the real deal. The sign on the wall says "Mexican haute cuisine", and Cetli delivers. I wish we had tried it earlier in the week, so we could have eaten there more than once, it was that good!
  • G6 - Los Pepe’s - on the corner of Polar and Osiris. Stellar reputation as a seafood place. It's a locals place with a great shrimp cocktail and other great food. One block west of Tulum Av. across from HSBC Bank. Open 11 AM - 8 PM, daily.
  • G8 - El Huinic de Tulum - located behind the bus station on Calle Polar. We ate there several times last May, and EVERYTHING, was yummy....and cheap. We watched one of the women make fresh tortillas in the kitchen...great shrimp tacos, too.
  • H3 - Don Cafetos - a favorite. Mexican. On 307. Get a seat on the sidewalk or by the TV during a soccer game. Quality food at a reasonable price, with good service. Just the simple, basic foods are taken over the top.
  • H4 - Cafe Calipso Maya Cuisine - Specializing in Maya cuisine and seafood. Location: Calle Orion Sur and Av. Tulum. Does not accept credit cards. Open 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, daily.
  • H5- il Basilico - on 307 in the pueblo. Upstairs dining - Italian, and decent wine. You can look out over the town in open-air setting. Don't worry, the downstairs will look deserted, upstairs will not.
  • H5 - Buenos Aires - great steaks and wine list but you'll pay for the quality. It's on 307 and Calle Beta.
  • H5 - El Bronco Pollo - on Tulum avenue at Beta Sur. Very cheap very tasty grilled chicken. Like $35 pesos for 2 people. The best value in Tulum for lunch. No beer/wine sales but you can bring your own.
  • H5 - La Nave - Italian café. Nice coffee. Pasta for 75 pesos and pizza for 70. Fish for 100. La Nave also gives you a basket of fresh breads.
  • H5 - Pan de Carmen - great pastries. More selection than Casa del Buen Pan but not as good and the atmosphere is rather sterile.
  • H8 - Rico! - literal table-in-an-alleyway-entrance immediately north of the bus station - one mean cochinita pibil. Only open on Saturday and Sunday (7 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
  • H10 - El Tacoqueto - 4 buildings north of the corner of Tulum ave. and Acuario sur. This place is amazing - $10 for a meal for two - and the best meals we had while in Tulum. If you don't speak Spanish they take you back to the kitchen and take the lids off the pots and show you what they've got - four or five different dishes every night; no set menu....if you're brave enough, you'll love it. Don't count on anyone speaking English though!
  • H10 - Just south of El Tacoqueto is a cart with Salbutes. It's a little puffy fried thing topped with chicken and avocado and radishes and escabeche pickled onions. These little things were amazing and about 3/dollar. They seemed to open later in the day like maybe around 5 or so. I think the cart had a blue and white awning.
  • H10 - Pescaderia El Chino is in the south end of town...a fish market where they will cook your selection or send it home with you to cook for yourself.
  • H10 -Taqueria la Poblano at the far end of Tulum Ave on the left hand side (next to El Tacoqueta, see next entry). You might have to wait a bit since the guy takes his time turning the tortillas in the oil the meat is cooked in, and everyone in town is coming to eat there. But sit it out - the tacos are terrific.
  • H11 (?)- Charlies - Bit touristy but people like it Saturday night entertainment during busy season. Nice artwork and open backyard courtyard area to eat in. Charlie's is south of the fish market on Tulum Ave.
  • H11 (?)- La Picadi a Jarocha which is located just off the main street on Jupiter (N 20 d 12' 36.1" : W 87 d 27' 56.1" ). Wow, the food was excellent and insanely cheap

no coordinates available
  • Don Karonte - Nice folks, good service, atmosphere a bit claustrophobic.
  • El Mariachis - 1/2 locals, 1/2 tourists. Great service and authentic, affordable fare. The Margaritas were the best I had all trip, and the cheapest.
  • Gelato Italiano by Super Mar Caribbe Supermarket. This is hands down the best Ice cream on the planet (and maybe the most beautiful as well).
  • Habana Cafe - For drinks at night! The best Mojitos and Caiparinhas!
  • Oasis - Excellent fresh seafood, amazing refried beans, very reasonable prices. Not that hard to find, just take a right at El Mariachi and go down about 4 blocks, it's on the right in a residential area. Not touristy, no English spoken when we went.
  • Restaurante HC de Monterrey - on 307 after the speed bumps where it goes back to 2 lane on the South side of town. A butcher shop and restaurant known for their amazing arrachera meals (incredibly cooked arrachera with your choice of baked potato or onion, half an avocado, jalapeno peppers, salsa, and homemade tortillas) for roughly $8USD.
  • Urge Tacos - Terrific fish tacos. On the West (right) side as you enter Tulum, well before San Francisco market. It is the first building/Palapa/business you see as you start to near Tulum Pueblo. 300m north of light.

COBA
  • El Bocadito - After visiting the Coba ruins, pull out of the road and turn left and within a mile you pass the restaurant. Pull in for a great (aka authentic) experience with great Mayan food...if they're not open you can also try the Nicte-Ha restaurant about a block over.
  • La Pirimide - at the junction right before you turn left into the Coba ruins parking lot. The Huevos Moltulenos were great.
This wonderful list was put together by Joelle on the Tulum.info board and the comments in red were added by AdGuy and updated by Stephanie and some other folks on this informative board. We thank you all for this great information.


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