Playa del Carmen is a spot in the caribbean where the beautiful blue shade of the sea mixes with the diversity of tourism and entertainment, especially nightlife, enough to walk fifth avenue and try some of the wide range of cocktails this place has to offer.
This section was created to advise and select places that have brought to life the warriors of the night and the ones who search for new places to try food that will definitely mark your trip as unforgettable in the Mexican Riviera Maya.
THE FRESH – Los Aguachiles (25th and 34th street. Downtown Phone: 9841427380)
Originally from the northwest coasts of Mexico, the authentic Aguachile is a regional / traditional seafood mix from Sinaloa (Aguachile purists claim it was initially created in Nayarit). It’s made by blending lemon juice, mexican pepper, diced cucumber and purple onion (which rest in lemon juice for about 30 minutes and gives it that kick). The mix is a great option for tasting freshness around the Caribean, especially after the night you visited most of the bars on 12th street and beer wasn’t enough for you, so you go for tequila shots. Aguachile would be the best selection for something fresh and spicy.
Los Aguachiles is an oasis for the ones with exquisite taste and that are searching for fresh food, and not only for its main plate, but its large variety. It will take you through a citric-spicy experience that could be the perfect company for a mexican cold beer, and if you’re feeling with a little attitude to try something new, you can order a Michelada (mexican beer blended with spices, lemon and salty juices). This kitsch deco restaurant established as an original ´´Cevicheria´´ and can guarantee your comeback.
We recommend Tacos Popeyes, Figurines de Atun (Tuna Bites), and Tostadas and Fish Tacos with Cheese, but we bet that whatever you choose will be an explosion full of flavor. Mix the 4 sauces on the table, just be aware of the Habanero one, it’s the spiciest of all, only for extremes. Try a ´Papadiablo´ Mezcal for dessert. YOU SPEND: Between $150 and $200 mexican pesos.
THE SPICY – Café Andrade (North 20th and 8th. Downtown. Phone: 9848133035)
Veracruz is nationally famous for its charismatic and happy people, they always know how to add spiced up comments to conversations and latin flavor to everything they do. Like no other place in Playa del Carmen represented by its own, Andrade´s Coffee and Restaurant is the place to go. As a mexican habit, for curing a hangover, the spiciest plates are the most demanded plates, it’s thought it helps by making you sweat everything you drank the night before.
Originally established as a family cafeteria, located right next to the Presidential Building, this restaurant evolved and now offers a wide variety of plates straight from Veracruz’s own kitchen. We recommend the famous Chilaquiles, it’s one of the best, spiciest, and tastiest experience you will ever have. They serve it with chicken and eggs, and the way they drown the tortilla chips into a bowl filled with their special secret salsa recipe is amazing. After this sort of challenge you will be ready to just hit the hammock all day and watch the sunset.
Add to your order regional plates like picadas (a mix with sweet and salty flavors) the pozole, and don’t forget to try the coffee, some people say it’s the best Mexican coffee in town.
YOU SPEND: From $100 to $150 mexican pesos.
THE TRADITIONAL – La Cueva del Chango ( North 38th Street between 5th Avenue & the beach Phone: 9841470271)
Located in a beautiful jungle tree reserve that surrounds the fifth avenue with the premise of using organic resources and ingredients, ´La cueva del Chango´ has gained preference and reputation of locals and tourists that visit this mystic environment full of earthy colors.
In the process of ´Coming back to life´ after the night you exceeded drinking limits, and you’re seeking for something to kill the hunger and beat the hangover, this place offers several exotic plates from most of the mexican regions. Here we recommend the famous Chilaquiles with ´Axiote´ (an ancestral seed used by the mayans for rituals and also for painting their faces with its red-yellow color). This was used commonly in the Yucatan Kitchen (e.g. cochinita pibil), it gives a very special, concentrated flavor to this plate, served with tortilla chips, avocado sauce and habanero (optional), and in company with beans, melted cheese and chicken, it would be another great option to have breakfast like a champion.
Don’t forget to try the fresh fruit from this place and say hi to the turtle family that lives and swims in the tiny lake they have right in the middle of the place.
YOU SPEND: From $100 to $150 mexican pesos.
THE CLASSIC – El Nativo (30th street, between Constituyentes and 20th Street Col. Downtown Phone: 9848730758)
Ok, we get it, you went partying, you woke up, tried everything, and now you prefer something with less grease, less fat, and don’t even mention the spicy things! We have great news for you in these situations. The best, friendliest place without thinking twice, is “El Nativo” (located in 30th street), you won’t find another version of this kitchen / juice bar in town where all the tropical fruits and shakes collide.
El Nativo is a restaurant that was created about 10 years ago, originally for locals in Playa del Carmen, but won tourists over because of the quality of their ingredients, their various vegetable plates, and the excellent flavor. All this made it one of the best places to eat in Playa del Carmen with a variety of healthy and abundant meals.
Here we recommend the Lima Soup (originally from Yucatan and very tasty), the Vegetarian Omelet accompanied with a big size Ginger Juice, this one is great especially if you’ve traveled a lot, or just had a night out on the town, your body will thank you. Another tasty option is a fruit plate, which could easily be shared by two people. And incase you are still looking for something spicy, just ask the waiter to add a special touch of Habanero to any of your requests and you’re good to go. It’s also good to know that this place has excellent prices and friendly service.
YOU SPEND: From $100 to $130 mexican pesos