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Restaurant, Bar, and Club guide
for the Mayan Riviera - Riviera Maya

This is by no means intended to be the authoritative 'Restaurant Guide to the Riviera Maya'.  Nor do I consider myself to be a food and wine critic.  I just know that when I travel, I appreciate it when the locals share with me the names and locations of the places where they eat and provide me with some honest opinions about what  they are like. 

Since I live in Puerto Aventuras and cater to guests who stay at Brisa Caribe or one of the other villas and condos that I represent here, I have tried to cover Puerto off completely.  Spreading out from there, I have mentioned the names of some restaurants, pubs, bars, and dance clubs, scattered between Cancun and Tulum that I or my friends frequent.  The area is large, the choices plentiful and because of the development along the Mayan Riviera, any comprehensive list would change frequently. In fact I have purposely kept a couple of my favourites off of the list because they simply wouldn't remain hidden or special if too many people found out.   So....  here is a starters list of restaurants, bars, and other places to chill out after or during a day in the fabulous Riviera Maya sun.  I know there are lots more to be discovered and you will enjoy them even more if you stumble upon them yourself.  If you do find one that we haven't listed and you think I should try, please let me know.


   MY FAVOURITES:     Everyone has their list.  Those places that you return to eat time and again.  They may not be the best, fanciest, or offer anything particularly special, but they are consistent and have something that brings you back.  Here is my list in no particular order.  Most are listed on the specific location page with directions but....  a few I want to keep relatively quiet so you will have to do a little work  to find them.....

* BABES NOODLE HOUSE in Playa del Carmen:   More often than not, I order the Swedish meat balls which has nothing to do with Noodles but I love it.  The curries are great too.  I always have at least one Mojito because they are consistently good.

* YAMAMOTO Sushi in Cancun:   I hate going to Cancun and will normally put it off for as long as possible, however I will make an excuse to go if I have been too long without sushi.   Chef Juan is Mexican, but he has been well trained and knows his  stuff.  I always start with the spicy tuna roll or cone and usually ask Juan to create something special for me along with the standards.  The Special Avocado Roll is great too but tell them to hold the cream cheese (it is a Mexican thing)  Not only do they have edamame, but Juan shared with me his source, so now I enjoy this at home.)

* LEOS PIZZA in Chemuyil:  One of the best pizzas around and excellent lasagna.  The surroundings have gone a little (very little) up market over the years and the gringos which used to be rare now can outnumber the locals, but the consistency of the food never falters and I just love this sleepy little Mexican village.  Open for dinner only.

* RED CHICKEN in Tulum:  There are now a number of good dining options in Tulum but my standard remains roasted chicken from one of the street side grills on the east side of main street.  Delicious and cheap..  You have to get your ice cold beer across the street at the agent store.

* CHARLIES in Tulum on main street:  More than one afternoon has been lost after margaritas at Charlies.  Do they serve food here?

* MEZZANINE on the beach in Tulum:  Another one of those places I take friends when they are visiting.  You can't beat the location, decent Thai food and exotic cocktails.  Friday nights this is the 'happening' place with top DJ's and the 'in' crowd. Unfortunately there are some zoning issues which may not allow this restaurant to remain open.

* CAFE OLE in Puerto Aventuras: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights for live music and all you can eat ribs.

* NATIVO  across fro DAC fruit and veggie market on Avenida 30 in Playa del Carmen:    Try the Chiliqueles with a fruit liquado of course.  Open 7:00AM to 7:00 PM.

* HC de MONTEREY  in Playa del Carmen on Constituentes across from MEGA and on the west side of highway between Constituentes and Juarez:  Most people who enjoy a good steak would not go out of their way to find a flank steak.  Do it... The arachera here is delicious. (tip: after eating here often enough to be recognized, the waiter told me that I should try the Mexican beef rather than the US Grade that I normally ordered.  He was right.  It was better and cheaper)

* COCKTELERIA la BOMBA JAROCHA II in Playa del Carmen on Avenida 30 I almost always have the baked seafood soup.  It is delicious.

 * TURTLE BAY BAKERY in Akumal:  Sunday mornings we like to get on the motorcycle and head to the Turtle Bay Bakery for breakfast.  OR...if I feel like heading in the opposite direction......

* La CUEVA del CHANGO in Playa del Carmen: my other Sunday morning breakfast place.  (They are now open in the evening and just as good.)

* La VAGABUNDA: in Playa on Avenida 5:  This palapa restaurant was here before anything else was in North Playa.  I used to bounce down a dirt road full of pot holes to come enjoy breakfast here.  They have survived all of the glitz and glitter that has hit the area with a good breakfast menu & daily lunch specials at a reasonable price

* MAKTUB CAFE  in Playa on Avenida 5:  Brings back memories of my time living in the Middle East.  Order one of the combo plates to enjoy a delicious sampling.  Try the cucumber water drink.  Delicious!!

* Los AGUAS CHILES: in Playa:  Not your average Taco stand.  Designer fish and seafood tacos with a delicious assortment of sauces.  I love the chipotle and cilantro.

* LOL HA BEACH BAR: in Akumal:  Cheeseburger in paradise.

* ALOHA GRILL: in Playa on Calle 34 between Avenidas 25 & 30:  I think maybe the best burger in Playa even though ‘Fusion’ holds the official honor.  PLUS super fresh fruit drinks and some interesting options such as Caribbean fish balls and Honolulu stuffed chicken.  Lunch for two at around $10. 

* EL ASADOR de MANOLO  now behind Plaza las Pelicanos .  This was an out of the way, typical, simple, Argentine restaurant serving tasty, reasonably priced fare to those locals in the know.  The word got around, the place got busy and they moved to touristy Quinta Avenida in a more upscale environment.  After a couple of years there they came to their senses, returned to their roots and now have a little stand tucked away in a corner.   A regular lunch stop for me but remember, we are on Latin time so it doesn't open until around 1:30 PM.  Good dinners too

CHAMICA  far end of the beach Soliman Bay:  Pescado Entero and a few cold beer.  Plastic table in the sand under a palm tree... move the table when the sun gets in your eyes.... This is the way it used to be down here...

VILLA las ESTRELLAS:  on the beach in Tulum past Ana y Jose's:  Don't be confused by 'Restaurant las Estrellas' which is a different place altogether.  Drive right past and keep looking on your left as you head toward the entrance to Sian Kaan. Owners Simone (Italian) & Thais (Brazilian) have created a charming oasis on the beach with their 6 room hotel (see Villa las Estrellas) and unassuming restaurant.  They have brought in an accomplished chef and it shows.  Try the crispy octopus and coconut shrimp if you are not sure what to order...

* CASA CENOTE  on Tankha Bay   Another loved local hangout.  Owner Gary does a mean Texas bar-b-que for lunch on Sundays.  Burgers are always good and beer cold.  Bring your mask and snorkel with you and explore Cenotoe Manate in Gary's back yard.

* Along with the good, I am sure you appreciate to hear about the bad.  El CIELO on XpuHa beach.  This restaurant is highly rated by some people and I must admit that I have had some very nice experiences there.  However, I have also had an experience very similar to the one below. 
"Tried to dine at Al Cielo last night.  Thought you should know our story...  Arrived at 7:40PM.  They refused to serve us without a reservation despite the fact there were only 3 tables occupied and their reservation sheet only showed 1 party of 3 scheduled for the rest of the night.  Our taxi had already departed.  We asked them to call for a taxi for us.  After two feeble attempts he claimed no answer, and declared he was 'sorry' there was nothing else he could do.  We were left to walk back up to the highway, where we had to walk who knows how far in the dark with traffic speeding by until we came to the Xhupa Palace.  The guards at the gate were kind enough to have the front desk call us a taxi.  My family was extremely upset walking along the highway in the dark with the traffic.  Perhaps I should have asked/paid the taxi to wait while we 'dined', but in all my trips down here I've never had a problem with a restaurant like I did last night." August 8,2007

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guide to the Maya Riviera. 

We hope that this Maya Riviera information guide to the many Riviera Maya Restaurants, bars and clubs, helps make your Mexico vacation villa or condo rental experience better.  If you have information on any Mayan Riviera restaurant, bar or club in Cancun, Puerto Morales, Playa del Carmen,  Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Solimon Bay, Tankha, Tulum, Punta Allen or anywhere else in the Cancun to Tulum corridor that you think would be of interest to others, please contact us so that we may include it here in our Riviera Maya info guide.

Brisa Caribe offers Mexico vacation & holiday villa & condo rental accommodation on the Mayan Riviera in the resorts of Akumal, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Tulum and Cancun.  We have luxurious Riviera Maya villas and condos for rent by the week in Puerto Aventuras, South Akumal, Solimon Bay, Jade Bay, Tankha, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cancun.  Please contact us for any of your Mexico Maya Riviera vacation and holiday villa and condo rental needs.

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