Cancún + The Riviera Maya

Restaurants in Cancún + The Riviera Maya

Wiggle your toes in the sand while taking a bite of Tic Kin Xic, the catch of the day, at this outdoor beach restaurant, or savor grilled seafood while ensconced in one of two private lookout towers with views of Half Moon Bay.

Located at the Hotel Esencia on Mexico's Caribbean coast, Sal y Fuego specializes in Meso-American-style cuisine. Many of the ingredients that go into the restaurant's most popular dishes include exotic spices and tropical produce grown on the hotel's own grounds.

A paneled art piece featuring the national flag hangs above the bar in this stylish supper club, where a different Brazilian designer has decorated each of the three rooms with punchy fabrics.

Chef John Gray, who elevated the Ritz-Carlton’s Club Grill to iconic status in the ’90s with his classical approach to Mexican ingredients, recently, and inevitably, opened a restaurant in the Hotel Zone—essentially a glass-enclosed pier over Nichupté Lagoon.

Part of the Hotel Villa Rolandi on Isla Mujeres, this upscale restaurant serves Swiss-Italian fare amid panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. Beginning with a private yacht transfer from Cancún, the dining experience at Casa Rolandi is considered the most romantic on the island.

Close to San Miguel's central square, the palapa restaurant is justly renowned for traditional Mayan food with complex, rich sauces. Standouts: shrimp chiles rellenos, chicken in red mole sauce, and grilled barracuda.

Up-and-coming chef John Gray and his Mexican mother-in-law opened this 36-seat waterside restaurant. Locals gather for Sunday dinners of fresh fish, ribs, and vegetables, grilled on the barbecue.

The bar and restaurant on the ninth floor of the new Hotel Wynston has panoramic views of the harbor, the town center, and the sea. In addition to the usual spirits, the bar stocks an extensive wine list to complement the restaurant's Mediterranean-Asian–fusion menu.

A local institution in Playa del Carmen, Super Carnes is a small, open-air restaurant known for its grilled steak. The unassuming space is decorated with plastic furniture, and although the restaurant plays to tourists with piñatas and mariachi music, the food is authentically Mexican.

This hotel restaurant offers a relaxed version of the Ritz experience—even the waiters seem more at ease than their European counterparts—with the same exceptional food, whipped up by executive chef Rainer Zinngrebe, formerly the head of major kitchens in Hong Kong and Singapore.

This adults-only, all-inclusive resort caters to travelers who prefer quiet relaxation over a lively party atmosphere.

This nautically themed seafood spot is just a few blocks from San Miguel's oceanfront. Capi specializes in tangy but smooth ceviche, and a spicy huachinango (red snapper) in an adobo of achiote sauce.

This massive Argentinean steak house, located inside a nondescript shopping mall, has an ardent following, and for good reason—its meat dishes, many of which are grilled over charcoal and wood fires to succulent perfection.

This, intimate, open-walled Italian restaurant forgoes menus and sticks with a consistent rotation of a handful of pastas made in-house and two to three dishes built around fish caught that day. Each meal begins with an antipasto platter that includes bruschetta, focaccia, and cauliflower.

Meaning “the monkey cave,” La Cueva del Chango is an immersive dining experience. The restaurant is designed to resemble a cave, complete with small waterways, lush tropical foliage, and a pair of resident spider monkeys.