"Food can evoke memory, bring people together and transport you to other places."
“…the power of food [can] evoke memory, bring people together and transport you to other places…” -Jose Andres Puerta
The food is remarkably good here in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. In fact, I’ve only had one lackluster meal since arriving and that was at a resort that had an all-inclusive option. I think the key is knowing where exactly to go. We have definitely had wonderful meals randomly popping into places but many of our best meals have happened from a bit of online research as well.
The first time we came to Playa was this past New Years and we joined our friend who had already been here for 3 weeks prior to our arrival. We were so lucky that he had already researched and scoped out some of the best spots to eat. There are so many great places to choose from here but below is a culmination of our favorite spots that we both discovered on our own and from online research. We continue to patron these places and time and time again, they continue to get it right!
Casual Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch
-La Cueva de Chango- This place is the perfect brunch spot! It's lively, feels like you're eating in the jungle and has great food & service! I got the chilaquiles here and it's the best I've had in Playa this past month.
-Choux Choux- A great brunch location with live music and a treehouse, hippy vibe to it. The eggs benedict and judo verde (green juice) are delicious.
-Bajo- The perfect spot for a working breakfast/lunch. Great coffee and a wide variety of food options to choose from. Many digital nomads make this spot their office (including my husband) so don't be surprised if you see a sea of laptops.
-Chez Celine- A french bakery/eatery with lovely fresh breads and juices. The crepes are fantastic and the sandwiches are perfect to take to go on your way to the beach.
-Chiltepin Marisquillos- A local seafood spot out of the touristy zone. It just happens to be right up the street from our apartment and they also deliver! I've ordered the tuna tostada many times but our favorite dish here is actually the skirt steak "cantinita" taco with mennonite cheese. My mouth is watering thinking of it!
-El Fogon- The ultimate taco/foodie spot! The meats and specifically my favorite al pastor tacos are incredible! There is usually a line out the door as it's been voted one of the best taco spots so be sure to arrive before the "hanger" hits.
-Primo- Only open for dinner, this spot boasts unique and delicious food pairings in a cool outdoor environment that overlooks the kitchen.
Upscale Dinner (lively atmosphere & live music)
-Trujillos Cantina de Selva- Our favorite date spot! Great jungle vibe with DJ's and fantastic house music! The margaritas and house drinks are ahh-mazing and the food is delicious! I love the tuna tostadas and the roasted corn (I literally order these items every time). In fact, tonight is our last date night before we leave Playa and we are heading back to Trujillos.
-Plank- Another all time favorite date night spot in Playa. The house music and live music here is upbeat and entertaining and the food is mouth watering! The perfect combo here is the smoked old fashion cocktail, the smoked salmon appetizer and the short rib for your entree. You won't be disappointed!
-Marquesitas- Don't forget to add a famous marquesita for dessert while strolling Avenida Quinta. These carts are scattered around and you're sure to run into one. Think of them like a crunchy version of a crepe. When the Spanish colonized parts of Mexico they brought this tasty dessert with them and assimilated it into the local culture. The locals order this with cheese and caramel (yes you heard me right). The cheese, Edam, is actually imported from The Netherlands and when added together with the caramel makes the perfect sweet/savory combo.
Hope you find these places as savory & memorable as we have during our travels! Wishing your taste buds a fantastic adventures here in Playa del Carmen!
Bon Voyage Fellow Travelers,