The Best Seafood Restaurants in Cozumel, Mexico

The Faro Celarain stands tall on the coast of Cozumel
The Faro Celarain stands tall on the coast of Cozumel | © Gojko Guzvica / Alamy Stock Photo

With its location off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico – home to one of the largest coral reefs in the world – it’s no surprise that the island of Cozumel is a sought-after scuba and snorkeling spot. With tropical waters teeming with life, the region also offers an abundance of incredible seafood. Here’s our pick of the best places to dine on delicacies of the deep.

1. La Perlita

Restaurant, Seafood

Making its home in the backstreets of San Miguel, away from the usual tourist trail, La Perlita (the little pearl) truly is a hidden gem. It specializes in lionfish, an invasive – and delicious – species, and by eating it, you’re actually helping out the local marine environment. The win-win menu is practically all seafood, from coconut shrimp to grilled octopus, while a friendly and unpretentious atmosphere makes it an understandably popular spot for residents, too.

2. Lobster House

Restaurant, Seafood

Courtesy of Lobster House

No prizes for guessing what this family-run, palapa-style restaurant’s specialty is. Opened in the 1970s, the Lobster House is one of the longest established dining spots on the island, so it knows a thing or two about cooking seafood. Of course, the grilled lobster is a highlight, and if you’re ravenous, you can add a T-bone steak. As night falls, numerous lanterns and hanging lights make for a wonderfully atmospheric dining experience, helped along by live tableside music.

3. El Sazón del Camarón

Restaurant, Seafood

A little off the beaten track, but worth the extra legwork, El Sazón del Camarón is known for its grilled shrimp tacos. The fish tortas (a type of sandwich) are also worthy of a mention, and its prawn cocktail and ceviche are popular picks as well. Portions are on the generous side, so you won’t leave hungry, either. It serves proper Mexican fare at local prices.

4. Buccanos at Night

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, Pub Grub

Courtesy of Buccanos at Night
By day, Buccanos is a swish beach club overlooking the picturesque Playa San Juan Cozumel, but when evening falls, it transforms into one of the more refined seafood restaurants on the island. An impressively varied menu includes lobster mac and cheese, sushi rolls, and English-style fish and chips – to name a few. It’s not afraid of getting creative with bold flavor combinations, either, not least on the innovative cocktail menu. Sophisticated seafood and a scenic seaside setting make this one a perfect pick for a romantic treat.

5. La Conchita del Caribe

Restaurant, Seafood

This unpretentious seafood coctelería (cocktail bar) off of the main drag offers some of the best value on the island. You’ll want to bring your appetite, as it serves huge portions at pocket-friendly prices. For example, the seafood platter features six types of seafood, including grilled lobster, and is enough for two. It’s little wonder it’s super popular with local residents as well as a trickle of savvy travelers (like you) who seek it out.

6. Mariscos Camilo’s

Restaurant, Seafood

Just one block from the port, Mariscos Camilo’s is a great pick if you’re hungry for fresh-off-the-boat seafood. It’s a small restaurant with some big flavors, especially in the form of its home-made guajillo chili sauce. The menu at this family-run eatery includes dishes such as whole grilled fish, tuna steak and crab-claw broth, as well as plenty of traditional Mexican options. It makes an excellent margarita, too.

7. Kondesa

Restaurant, Seafood

Screenshot 2021-08-09 at 22.35.43
Courtesy of Kondesa

If you don’t mind paying a little more for top-quality cuisine, Kondesa offers a foodie-friendly menu of genuinely creative flavors. The angle is modern Mexican cuisine, with seafood at its heart and an emphasis on local ingredients. Though anchored in the center of town, you dine in a secluded jungle-like environment that turns twinkly by night. Its lionfish cakes with coconut milk are an inspired opener, while the bao lobster buns are outrageously good.

8. Alberto’s Beach Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican

Screenshot 2021-08-09 at 22.37.47
Courtesy of Alberto’s Beach Bar
Its location in the relatively remote southwest corner of Cozumel gives Alberto’s one of the finest beachfront settings on the island. But it’s not just the sand-between-your-toes experience that makes the journey worthwhile – there’s some seriously good seafood to boot. Grilled lobster tail, whole king crab and mahi-mahi fish are some of the menu highlights, always freshly plucked from the sea. Regular live music and top sunsets add magic, too.

Looking for somewhere to stay? Book into one of the best hotels in Isla Cozumel, or for something a little different, how about one of the top resorts? For more inspiration for your itinerary, don’t miss out on all the top things to do while you’re here, including the best beaches. And for a different taste of this Mexican island, try one of the best bars.

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