If you go beyond the areas of Playa del Carmen that are heaving with tourists, there are some great local restaurants serving the very best in Mexican gastronomy. Take a look at our top 10 traditional Mexican restaurants where you can enjoy delicious local food in this beautiful coastal resort.
La Floresta is one of the most traditional restaurants in Playa del Carmen. Here you will find delicious tacos, not just the typical ones, but original ones with different ingredients. Try exotic tacos: choose from canary, crab, marlin, or shrimp – they’re not on the menu, but if you ask for them, they will prepare them. If you’re feeling brave, try the salsa habanera, a really spicy but delicious sauce made of habanero chillies. They have a wide menu, which includes agua chile, ceviche, and seafood cocktails. This food is ideal if you need a little help recovering from a hangover, or if you want to get the party started in the afternoon.
Located one block from 5th Avenue, Axiote offers Mexican contemporary gastronomy together with excellent presentation. Here, traditional food is fused with exotic and modern presentation. Examples are the tacos de lengua entomatada, or tacos made of beef tongue, and the classic huarache, a thick corn tortilla topped with delicious rib eye steak. You can pair the food with Mexican wine or sip a Mexican craft beer and try a shot of mezcal.
At La Cueva del Chango you can have fresh, natural Mexican food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, served in an atmospheric natural garden. They have handmade tortillas and a wide menu of traditional Mexican food that includes enchiladas verdes de pollo (tacos with green tomato salsa, chicken, and cream), Mexican chicken soup. and the delicious crepas con chile poblano (crepes with poblano chilli sauce). You can have your food served in traditional Mexican plates made of barro (clay). They also have a vegetarian menu.
Try real Mexican food where the locals eat it: at El Fogon, which serves the famous tacos al pastor (tacos made with spit-grilled meat) and other delicious varieties of tacos. Try each of the traditional sauces (just be careful, some are very spicy) and order the typical guacamole – the authentic version is very different to the guacamole you may have tried before. There are always people waiting for a table, because it’s a very popular place, but the service is fast and you won’t have to wait long. The portions are generous and the prices reasonable.
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