Playa del Carmen Restaurant Recommendations
People always ask us where we like to go. The following are some of our favorites. We’re also known to do a progressive dinner: bruschetta and wine at one place, ceasar salad at another, etc.
Avenues go north and south. Calle’s go east and west. Avenue numbers aren’t what you expect, it goes 5th, 10th, 15th, then 30th. Calle’s are even numbers only. Porto Playa is located at 1st Ave. and Calle 16, This would be the heart of everything, including beaches, restaurants, ferries, shops, etc.
5th Ave. is the pedestrian only street and extends about 2 miles. It runs north and south, parallel to the beach. It is filled with open air restaurants and shops. At night, it is where all the people walk.
Constituyentes is a major east/west street. It is 1 block north of Porto Playa. Most of the restaurants, shops and action are south of Constituyentes. On 5th Ave, north of Constituyentse is Little Italy. Ten years ago there was almost nothing here. It is really developing and there are new restaurants every time we come here. Restaurants here are a few dollars less than restaurants south of Constituyentes.
The following restaurants are all on Fifth Ave. unless otherwise noted. Many business cards are in the guest book in our unit, 216 at Porto Playa. When you check in at the front desk, you’ll receive disount cards for many of the following restaurants in Playa. Playa offers an electic mix of ethnic restaurants (Italian, French, Spanish, American, Argentinean, Brazilian and more) at a variety of prices.
Our Favorite Restaurants are Casa Mediterranea, Da Gigi, Piola’s, Origines, Las Aguachile, and La Sirena
Casa Mediterranea is between Calle 6 and 8 on east side off of 5th Ave, in a little nook with a few shops. They have the best bruschetta, although all the food is great. Some of the best homemade Italian cooking in town. Owners and operators, Maurizio and Giovanna will make you feel at home. It is in the heart of Playa del Carmen located on Ave 5 between Calle 6 and 8 (so it’s south of Constituyentes. It is tucked away in a beautiful hidden little courtyard off 5th Ave. across from Lunata Hotel. Their specialty is any and all pasta dishes on the menu. Maurizio also loves to fish and very often fishes during the day for the nights fresh catch. They have excellent reviews on Trip Advisor and although you don’t need reservations most nights, you can make a reservation by calling 044-984-8763926.
Il Pescatore on 10th Ave at the corner of Calle 24, just a little northwest of 5th AVe. and Constituyentes. Email is email@example.com and phone number is 873-3795. Bon Appetit! BEWARE: There is another Pescatore at Porto Real on First Avenue and Constituyentes. Don’t go to that one!
Although we eat at many places on 5th Ave., we love getting off the 5th for quainter, more charming restaurants and Il Pescatore is now at the top of my list.
The vibes and visuals were pure Italian. Mama Ileana greeted us with typical Italian, “so glad you are here” charm. There is inside and outdoor seating and Mama Ileana runs the place.
The menu included pastas, seafood, meat and chicken dishes, but Ileana also has nightly specials. Everything was delicious, one of the best in Playa!
Whereas many restaurants offer you bread or chips, Il Pescatore brings freshly made bruschetta to all the tables. We also ordered the calamari fries for an appetizer. It is simple fried calamari, but the batter was unique and very tasty.
We had coffee, latte, and cappuchino with, of course, Zambucca straight up with 3 vanilla beans for good luck. Most menu items were under $20, and the wine was reasonably priced. Very highly rated in Trip Advisor
La Sirena is located street level at Porto Playa Condo Hotels on Calle 16 between 1st Ave. and 5th Ave. They have great, inexpensive food and it is so conveniently located. They also provide pool service and room service for Porto Playa Condo Hotel.
Piola’s is north of Constituyentes at Calle 38 and 5th Ave. There are several restaurants at this corner. It’s a good 20 minute walk to get there, but we always enjoy Piola’s and the walk. You won’t believe it, but this is a restaurant chain with locations in Brazil, Toronto, Italy, Chile, and Honduras! The pizza is what everyone comes for, but it also has a very hip bar and other food.
Origines is also on Calle 38, but it’s closer to the beach. Excellent food, upscale service and higher prices. You’ll be serenaded by classical guitarists, and the service is very high class. Lovely place.
Il Baretto is Italian also and located on 5th and Calle 26. Great food
“That’s Amore” on the 5th between 28th and 30th Calles, about $30/person (depending on drinking budget/capacity), they serve good, but limited Italian menu, italian pizza and calzones.
South 5th Ave. Restaurants
Glass Bar is a favorite of our adult children.
Las Mananitas The grilled fish is the deal of the day. Comes with a beer for $10 or less. Between Calle 4 and 6.
La Parilla is a favorite of everyone else we talk to. It’s on Calle 8 and has it’s own Mexican Mariachís every night (about 12 or more members, very lively)
Mosquito Blue It’s owned by the Mosquito Hotel people, but run by the same chefs as Indigo Beach Club in Porto Playa. That translates to chic atmosphere ($500 chairs), good and very different food, and pricey.
Alux (pronounced “a-loosh”) is a restaurant and nightclub located in a cenote (a cave formed by underground rivers). The entrance is impressive; you descend a great rock staircase surrounded by tiki torches to the reception area. (It looks a lot like the “Tribal Council” area on Survivor.) Candelabras, coloured lights, and flowing water adorn places throughout the cave. The dining area is dark enough that despite all the lamps, the waiters use flashlights and may have to lend you one so that you can read the menu. Prices: US$31-40
Address: Avenida Juarez, Mz. 12 Lote 13A, Col. Ejidal
Directions: Alux is not located near 5th Avenue, but is on the opposite side of the highway at Avenida Juarez several blocks down. Take a taxi (about 60 pesos) and don’t try to walk from 5th.
Wicky’s. Located on the beach in El Faro, they are great for lunch and dinner. Owners are from Colorado and ship in beef. We’ve had more people tell us it’s the best steak they have ever had. Ask for Andrew. They also have a piano bar for dinner and a beautiful view. It’s a little bit more expensive than other places, but worth every penny.
Lunch on the beach can be more expensive than dinner, but it’s wonderful to sit on the beach in the sand and nibble all day long. Great lunch places include:
Fusion on the beach is south of Porto Playa a couple of blocks and has great bruschetta and ceviche. It’s great for lunch and beautiful for dinner on the beach. The menu is limited, but grilled fish, and calamari are good. They put torches in the sand and if it’s a nice night you can see the lights at Cozumel.
The Blue Parrot is on the beach and has a fire show on Friday nights, about 11 pm, that draws a big crowd. Food is great, ask for Julio. This use to be the big beach bar during the day.
Mayan Coffee is a great way to end a night. Many restaurants serve it and the show is terrific. They flame a variety of liquors and the waiters create a waterfall of flames.
If you want to cook, WalMart and Mega have the best, freshest seafood, fruit, etc. and is at Calle 8 and 30th Ave, about 6 blocks west of 5th Ave. They also seem to have the best prices on liquor, although the liquor store on the corner by the condo has wine if you don’t feel like walking. Mega currently has a better wine selection than WalMart.
Mega is the Mexican version of Wal Mart and is on the same street (30th) as WalMart. They have a great coffee shop.