Restaurants in Riviera Maya
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.
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.
The restaurant's open-air dining room is enhanced by the glimmer of fireflies (cocay in Mayan). The menu blends Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Mexican flavors to create dishes like pork loin with apple brandy sauce and chile poblano.
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.
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.
Located at the Maroma Mayan Riviera Resort, this beachfront restaurant fuses the Mediterranean tapas concept with authentic Maya and Creole flavors.
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.
At the most intriguing place to dine in Playa del Carmen, chef Ramón Lizaola has tapped a time-tested resource—his mother, who handed down methods for preparing impossible-to-pronounce Mayan dishes redolent with achiote, pumpkin seeds, sour orange, and xcatic peppers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To find this restaurant, walk through the Cinco Soles shops to the colonial building's interior courtyard. Once you're in, relax with lightly battered mahimahi tacos and a cold Mexican beer or a tequila—there are more than 200 varieties.
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.