Top 9 Places to Eat and Drink in Playa del Carmen

We’ve been to visit Playa del Carmen a dozen times in the last 4 years. We love it and just can’t get enough! One of the best things for us is the plethora of places to eat and drink. We’re going to share our top 9 places to eat and drink in Playa Del Carmen in this blog. Here’s our criteria for who makes the list (basically what we like).

Mexican Food

First of all, the Mexican food in Quintana Roo is amazing. If calories were not a consideration, we could eat tacos, tortas, and quesadillas for every meal! We are definitely including a few of our favorites in this list!

Inexpensive Food

One of the best things about vacationing in Playa del Carmen is its affordability. Not everything is inexpensive and there are plenty of places that cost more than back home, but we have a few favorites that are unbelievably inexpensive in this list.


We love a unique atmosphere! One of the things that bring us back to Playa del Carmen is it’s so different than the U.S. Whether it’s a locally owned Mexican restaurant, a trendy bar concept, or even a street vendor, it’s always a great time for us! One of the places on our list could be the best atmosphere in Playa del Carmen.

Not Touristy

This is a big one for us, we don’t like to go to the places that are hyped up on Tripadvisor and the youtube videos like El Fogon, Señor Frogs, or Coco Bongo. The places we love are the ones we could imagine going to over and over if we actually lived in Playa del Carmen. There is one exception on this list and it’s probably the most Instagramable cafe in town!

On to the list!

#1: Don Sirloin, Playa Del Carmen

This is a must for us! The Al Pastor tacos are amazing. You can see the pork cooking on a spit grill from the street. Although it could be slightly touristy, we’ve found these are the best tacos in a restaurant setting! The best part is the price, tacos are $24 pesos for Al Pastor and $34 pesos for sirloin. We make sure to eat here at least once on every trip!

#2: Las Quekas, Playa Del Carmen

Las Quekas is all about quesadillas and they are delicious! Let’s start with the price, $20 pesos for a homemade quesadilla, and we usually only get 1 each. Las Quekas is open from 7am-8pm. It’s a popular breakfast spot for the locals and I don’t blame them! A fresh chicken tinga quesadilla for breakfast sounds amazing. Lastly, don’t forget to try an agua fresca (fresh juice mixed with water) our favorite is the tamarind.

#3: Street Food

Let’s talk tacos and tortas! Both are a staple of the local cuisine and some of our favorites come from the street carts near Calle 2 & Avenida 15. A torta is a Mexican sandwich on fresh bread usually with a choice of pork, chicken, or beef. Some of the best tacos you will eat come from street vendors. This is outside and usually there is a plastic chair to sit on. Go across the street to the tienda, grab a couple of cold cervazas for $20 pesos each, and enjoy some street food! Don’t forget to bring pesos as these vendors don’t take credit cards.

#4: Carlota’s Bakery, Playa Del Carmen

Even though this is a touristy choice, it makes our list simply because the food is excellent! We say Carlota’s is the most Instagrammable cafe in Playa del Carmen, it’s literally too cute! It’s a popular spot with only a few tables but don’t miss this one for breakfast and coffee. The Pain au Chocolat reminds us of Paris and our go-to is the ham and cheese croissant!

Read More>>> Debunking 7 Myths About Vacationing In Mexico

#5: Piola

Piola is located on Calle 38, which is our pick for the most beautiful street in Playa del Carmen! For us, Piola is all about pizza, thin crust, and hot from the brick oven. In the evenings the bar has a very friendly local type of vibe. We’ve noticed it’s a popular spot for the ex-pats living in Playa del Carmen. The frozen basil mojito is not to be missed!

#6: Caimen Tugurio

After dinner, Caimen Tugurio is a great place to chill at a street-side table and enjoy live music. We’ve always been pleased with the music, usually a cover band, and have enjoyed cold cervezas and mescalitas! We have not tried the food but have heard good reviews. Located just off Fifth Avenue on Calle 42 Nte. It’s near our preferred hotels so it’s a great choice for us.

#7: Cerveceria Chapultepec

This is one of the most popular watering holes in Playa del Carmen. The reason is the prices!! Everything on the menu is $21 pesos or about $1 US dollar, even the food! I wouldn’t expect great cuisine here, we usually just have a couple drinks. It’s a lively environment, with loud music and great people watching. With a drink for basically $1 US, what’s not to like?

#8: The Lost Tiki

We’ve developed a love for this place and sometimes I think it’s one of the main reasons we keep coming back to Playa del Carmen! The tiki drinks are authentic, think Don the Beachcomber not frozen strawberry daiquiri. Located at Calle 6 Nte 20, they feature live music or a DJ nightly along with happy hour and daily specials. The food is excellent too! For drinks the Mai Tai, Painkiller, Navy Grog, Bikini Bottom, seriously they are all excellent. Plan a few visits and drink your way through the menu.

#9: Lido Beach Club

Lido Beach Club is not like other beach clubs in town, we think of it as a beachside bar restaurant. The bar is filled with swings instead of barstools and there are also plenty of tables with palapas. We enjoy sitting at the swing bar sipping ice-cold cervazas and mescalitas, listening to live music, and enjoying the view. As for the food, when we took the whole family, they easily accommodated our party of 11 for lunch and the food was great!

Bottom Line

If you’re new to Playa del Carmen, we hope this list gives you a starting point and you enjoy some of our favorite places. There are many great places to eat and drink in Playa del Carmen, make sure to explore off Fifth Avenue and find your own favorites! Happy Travels!

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