Km 7.6 Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila, Tulum, Quintana Roo 77780, Mexico
Hartwood Restaurant in Tulum

Moses Berkson

Price range
Foodie magnet, Notable chef, Local haunt, Perfect for a special occasion

Reservations at Tulum’s most famous restaurant are an absolute must. Even in low season, the restaurant is packed as soon as it opens, at 6 p.m. Start with one of their delightful house drinks, like the Supernova, with mezcal, hibiscus, and mandarin orange, or the Spicy Piña Habanero margarita, for those who like their drinks with a kick. The restaurant is completely outdoors (bring bug spray) and lit mostly with candles. The entire menu is written on a chalkboard, split into appetizers and entrées. The menu is seafood-heavy, as is expected in Tulum, with options like amberjack, snapper, and robalo. But don’t overlook the amazing pork that the kitchen turns out, like ribs, slow-cooked for 14 hours and glazed with agave and honey. If the papaya empanadas are on the menu, they’re a must-order as they show the versatility of this amazing fruit. At Hartwood, they’re mixed with Oaxacan cheese, wrapped in dough, fried, and served over a fruit salad of pineapple, watermelon, and more papaya. The roasted beets are another highlight—tender enough to be pierced by a fork, and proof that the often-overlooked beet skin can be absolutely delicious. The service is great, too—there’s no question why this cash-only restaurant continues to shine and why lines stretch out the door every single day.

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