The best restaurants in Playa del Carmen (2022)

Playa del Carmen is not just known for turquoise sea water and white-sand beaches but also for its diverse restaurant and cafe scene. No matter if you´re in the mood for typical Mexican food or for international cuisines like sushi or Thai, you will for sure get your tastebuds satisfied in Playa del Carmen. Read on to learn where to find the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

My boyfriend and I stayed for over three months in Playa del Carmen and tested quite a few restaurants. So I´m not just including authentic Mexican restaurants but also Italian and Sushi, because let´s be honest if you stay in one country for a while chances are you get tired of the same food.

Read on to learn where to find the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Disclaimer: This post might make you hungry

The best restaurants and cafes in Playa del Carmen for breakfast

Peace & Bowl and Bajo Cafe, the best breakfast cafes in Playa del Carmen

I already wrote about Bajo cafe in my 5 best cafes to work from in Playa del Carmen, but I had to mention it here again. Bajo cafe and Peace & Bowl are both a part of Mercado 30, which is a small marketplace where you can buy artisan handicrafts and relax to read a book or grab a coffee. Bajo has amazing Matcha, coffee, and breakfast and Peace & Bowl has great, healthy breakfast bowls, toast, and juices. Mercado 30 is my favorite place for breakfast!

smoothie bowl and hummus toast with cucumber from bajo cafe

Choux Choux Cafe

This is also a great cafe to work from if you need good wifi and it´s also the perfect breakfast spot. They offer yummy eggs benedict, tasty coffee, and a great ambiance. They are really popular among locals, tourists, and ex-pats so you might have to wait a bit for a table but the food and coffee are worth it.

sandwich, salad and iced coffee from Choux Choux cafe the best restaurant in playa del carmen for breakfast

Fresco Hábito

This is a small breakfast and brunch spot and they offer healthy toasts like avocado or hummus toasts, smoothies, and acai bowls. The toasts looked small but they filled me up for hours. The cafe is really popular and they only have a couple of tables. You will see a lot of Digital Nomads working on their laptops here.

avocado toast, hummus toast, matcha latte and orange juice from fresco hábito

The best restaurants in Playa del Carmen for lunch

Green & Fit, one of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen for a healthy treat

Green & Fit is an amazing restaurant option if you´re in the mood, as the name suggests, for something healthy. I know that I crave something healthy every other day and I´m glad that Playa del Carmen has a lot of these restaurants. Green & Fit offers Bowls, bagels, paninis, and salads as well as juices and healthy wellness shots. I had the Spicy Tuna Poke bowl and my boyfriend a bagel and everything tasted delicious.

tuna poke bowl, bagel and coffee from green & fit playa del carmen

Bio natural

This gem of a restaurant is the perfect healthy lunch and breakfast spot and offers smoothie- and poke bowls, wraps, and salads. Everything is organic and they have a ton of vegetarian and vegan options. As I mentioned they also have a variety of breakfast options and they´re also open late so they really are a great restaurant all day long if you´re in the mood for something healthy. I would recommend their bowl with tzatziki and falafel.

chilaquiles, smoothie and a bowl with falafel from bio natural

UNO Japanese Noodles

UNO is a Japanese restaurant that offers Ramen and Sushi. The portions are huge and I ended up taking my food home with me because I couldn´t finish it. It was really good, also their house cocktails are really great too. If you´re in the mood for Ramen, check them out.

See also: The best restaurants & cafes in Tulum, Mexico

Ergo Food

This is a little street stand-style restaurant. They offer Venezuelan food and have only seating outside. They offer a lot of Vegan options and have healthy juices. I´ve never had Venezuelan food before and I´m glad I stumbled across this little restaurant. Their Arepas are delicious and you have to try their Tequeños which are similar to Mozarella sticks. They were so good!

Tequeños from ergo food playa del carmen
Two Arepas from Ergo food in playa del carmen

Pollo Pirata and Carnitas Pancho

These are two different restaurants in different parts of the city. If you´re in the mood for authentic Mexican food then check one of them out. Carnitas Pancho is a local favorite and they prepare their food daily and are open until they’re sold out which is usually around 5 PM.

Pollo Pirata is a good option if you´re in the area and need a mid-day snack or lunch and crave Mexican food.

chicken and a bowl of rice from Pollo Pirata
Enchilada with salad on top from Pollo Pirata Playa del Carmen

The best restaurants in Playa del Carmen for dinner

El Fogon, authentic mexican restaurant in Playa del Carmen

For the most authentic, Mexican food, El Fogon is your place. They have multiple locations and there is usually always a line of people outside that wait to get a table right when they open.

They have traditional Mexican food like tacos, guacamole, and quesadillas. Everything tastes really rich and flavorful. It is also a really affordable option and we only paid about $15 USD for two people including food, drinks, and tips.

Make sure to try El Fogon because it is one of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen.

Meat and tortillas from El Fogon Playa del Carmens best restaurant
Three Quesadillas from El Fogon

Mirai Sushi

This restaurant is the best sushi restaurant in Playa del Carmen. They have a 2for1 sushi roll special where you can get two rolls for the price of one, which is amazing. This makes the restaurant really affordable, especially for sushi.

Their sushi is fresh and tastes amazing. We tried a variety of the rolls and their drinks are really good too. If you´re craving sushi, check them out.

Sonora Prime Steakhouse

For my boyfriend’s birthday, we wanted to do something special and went to Sonora Prime Steakhouse. They have a prime location right on 5th avenue (Quinta Avenida). My boyfriend had steak and I had a burger. The burger was fun to look at because it came with a syringe and they injected cheese into it.

A burger with injected cheese sauce and french fries from sonora prime playa del carmen

We also had cake and they offer a variety of great desserts. Their wine is also really good and all in all, we had a really amazing evening there. The staff really knows what they´re doing. If you want to have a more upscale dinner, definitely check them out. We paid about $130 USD for everything, which is really not that bad. I recommend booking a table in advance.

Burger, french fries and vegetables from Sonora Prime Steakhouse
A birthday dessert and a piece of cake with fruit from Sonora Prime Steakhouse

Comet 984 – 1950´s Diner

We stumbled across this place because we wanted to have vegan food. They offer burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes like a classic diner but everything is vegan. The interior is really cool and the music is great (Elvis, Johnny Cash, etc.). The food is amazing and if you´re in the mood for vegan fast food, definitely check them out.

chairs and tables of the restaurant Comet 984, a vegan restaurant in playa del carmen

Trattoria del Centro

My hairdresser in Playa del Carmen is from Naples, Italy and I asked him if he has good recommendations for Italian food in Playa del Carmen and that´s the one restaurant he recommended to us.

We went there during a weekday and we got one of the last tables available. So this place is really popular and for a good reason. Their food is amazing! We had their white pizza with truffle oil, parmesan, and prosciutto and it really reminded me of eating in Italy.

If you´re in the mood for Italian, check them out and make sure to reserve a table in advance if you don´t want to wait in line.

Pizza with prosciutto and parmesan cheese and a coca cola can from Trattoria del centro

Romeo Trattoria Pizzeria

We went to this restaurant because we were in the mood for Italian food and read all the positive reviews about it. It is a popular restaurant and we had to wait for a little bit to get a table so make sure to reserve in advance. We had Gnocchis and a Pizza and both tasted delicious. Also, the wine they serve is really good too.

Gnocchi, a pizza, bread and a glass of white wine from Romeo Trattoria

No matter if you´re in the mood for Italian, steak, or Mexican food, as you can see Playa del Carmen has it all. A big variety of great restaurants to choose from including vegetarian and vegan options.

Have you been to one of them? What other restaurants can you recommend?

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Jessica Buck

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