Truth is that Cancunhas something to offer to everyone. If you love catching some sun, the city’s famed beaches or majestic cenotes will help you get plenty of it. For history buffs, a trip to the Chichen Itza Ruins, Tulum Ruins is a must. Nature lovers would do well to take a 3 ½ hour drive from the city to visit the pink lakes park.
Or, if you’re a foodie like me, Cancun’s restaurants won’t disappoint. Whether you like seafood, are into Mexican cuisine, or want the dish served to have a mix of local and international influence, Cancun has such a diverse culinary scene that all of your edible needs will be met.
Here are the 15 best restaurants in Cancun, Mexico:
A seafront view? Check. Indoor and outdoor seating? Yup. Dishes that will delight your taste buds? Absolutely. Small wonder, then, that Pureto Madero is one of the priciest restaurants in the city. If money is no issue and you want to fill your mouth with tasteful joy, give this restaurant a try.
On my most recent visit to the lagoon side (which is where this restaurant is located), I ordered grilled meat and lobsters, the restaurant’s most popular dishes. However, Puerto Madero‘s vegetarian cuisine is just as good if you’re a non-meat eater like one of the people at my table.
Think Puerto Madero is too far from the city center? Want something in the heart of Cancun? If so, visit Divina Carne. Located in the middle of the city, this restaurant specializes in everything Brazilian meat, including the above dishes, as well as burritos, quesadillas, guacamole, and more.
Apart from the freshness and rich taste of its cuisine, one of the things I like the most about this restaurant is its uber-energetic staff. It is as if everyone working at Divina Carne wants to give you a taste of the carnival spirit that defines the Brazilian nation. You won’t get bored while you’re there.
Thai was not on my list during my most recent visit to the city. I only visited it because a friend of my has only amazing things to say about this place. And she was absolutely spot on. Located in La Isla Shopping Village, this restaurant amazes you with not only the excellent taste of its dishes, but also the placement of the tables. The dining area features scattered tables facing the Nichupte lagoon, giving a perfect backdrop to the place’s romantic ambiance.
One visit to this beautiful restaurant in Cancun’s hotel zone made me question why I had never visited an Indian restaurant before. In fact, had this place not been located just beside the above Thai restaurant, there’s an excellent chance I would have missed out on it.
Which would have been a massive shame for a spicy food lover like me. Although my bank account would have looked much healthier if I hadn’t visited Elefanta, I’d still recommend anyone who’s visiting Cancun and is a fan of Indian cuisine to give this upscale restaurant a try…. just remember …. safety first so make sure you know how spicy the dish you order is…
Everyone should try Japanese fusion cuisine at least once in their life. Whether you like savory flavors, spicy dishes, or a mix of the two, this cuisine won’t disappoint you. That is because its fusion style has what it takes to appeal to all preferences and tastes.
That said, if you like testing the chef’s specialty in every restaurant you visit, give this place’s sushi a try. Doing this will let you realize (I’m saying this from experience) what fresh sushi tastes like. Each piece will be so tender that it would literally melt in your mouth.
I’d always remember Harry’s for three things. Meat so well-cooked you’d enjoy every bite. A wine list so big you’d have to visit the place 365 days a year to sample each type. And an outdoor patio so beautiful you’d forget your main purpose of visiting the steakhouse.
Its relaxed atmosphere leaves no doubt that Harry’s is a place where you bring your date to impress them. That said, Harry’s is also a must-visit if you want to enjoy a night out with friends at a place that would convince you to sit for hours and take in its beautiful ambiance.
6. Tora Cancun
Specializes in: Contemporary Japanese cuisine
Must-have dishes: Ora King Salmon, U2 tiger shrimp
I can guess what you might be thinking: this guy loves Japanese food. Normally, I’d try to argue with you (I’m not the type of person who likes trying out the same dish no matter wherever in the world he happens to be). But when it comes to Japanese cuisine, true, I’m biased.
A visit to Tora Cancun will let you know why. Even if you skip its mouth-watering sushi, the fresh and sublime Ora King Salmon will make you a believer. And if you want to take your experience to the next level, do not leave the table before trying out the “Over The Top Sundae.”
If you could somehow get the CCTV footage of the place, chances are you’d see a guy stuffing his face somewhere in the middle of December last year. As you might guess, the guy was me. And the dish that forced me to go head over heels was the Crispy Pork Rings.
My girlfriend decided to order the Pulled Pork Sandwich and didn’t regret the choice. As someone who doesn’t usually like spicy dishes, the sandwich’s delicious taste forced her to make an exception. Which was just as good for me as I like my food to be flavorful.
Step into a romantic paradise when you dine at the top-rated Thai restaurant in Cancun. With tables situated facing the picturesque Nichupte’ lagoon, it is perfect for an intimate meal with your special someone or a night out with friends. Located within La Isla Shopping Village, this unique spot serves up delicious dishes in its charming overwater palapas.
Italian food lovers will find plenty to like about Bacoli Trattoria. From the food (pizzas, pasta, lasagna, etc.) to the color of the tablecloths (unquestionably Italian red and white), everything about this restaurant makes you forget that you’re sitting in the Hotel Zone of Cancun.
A friend who had recommended this place to me suggested trying out cannelloni. May god bless him for the recommendation! Not only was the dish extremely tender, but its flavor was also extremely balanced, with the sauce complementing the filings. Though the seafood pasta wasn’t bad either.
Come for the Aztec soup and stay for the traditional black mole! This happened to me on my first (and to date only) trip to Mextreme. An emerging powerhouse on the Mexican restaurant scene, this place gave me a taste of what authentic Mexican food is all about.
Don’t forget to order the black mole if you want an idea of what a staple in Mexican cuisine tastes like. A combination of sweet, savory, and spicy elements, Mextreme’s black mole will delight you with its depth of flavor and an oddly satisfying taste. Not to be missed!
How many restaurants in the world can claim to be around since the 17th century? That too with a décor that makes you feel as if a pirate is just around the corner. Given its pirate-inspired theme, it shouldn’t be surprising to note that this place is famous for its seafood.
My girlfriend and I ordered two dishes for our mains. She went with the “Lobster in Coconut Milk Sauce,” and the spice lover in me convinced me to opt for “Lobster with a spicy Chipotle.” In the end, each of us washed down our meals with the Rum beverage. Excellent choices all around!
Want to get the feeling of how locals live in Cancun? Then a trip to La Habichuela should be on top of your priority list. Sandwiched between resident buildings and streets filled with the energy that defines this city, a walk to this restaurant will make you feel like you’re a Mexican.
Once inside, you’d be blown away by the place’s romantic touch. I was particularly impressed with the picturesque lighting on the trees bordering the tables. As for the food, the Poco Chuc (pork served on small corn tortilla and seasoned with pickled onions and lemons) delighted my taste buds. That said, the place could still do with adding a few items to its main course.
14. Chambao Cancun
Specializes in: Seafood and Mexican cuisine
Must-have dishes: Ceviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche), Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Sauce
Fresh and flavorful dishes. Use of local ingredients. A fun and relaxed atmosphere. There aren’t many restaurants out there that could offer all three features. The fact that Chambao Cancun does should be enough to convince you to visit this place at least once.
Why only once? Because if you’re like me, a single visit will turn you into a regular customer. Especially if you ordered what I did: Ceviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche) and Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Sauce. Try the amazing selection of local Mexican beer.
There are many restaurants whose indoor atmosphere cannot make you guess the type of cuisine they specialize in. Ilios Greek Estiatorio Cancun isn’t one of those. From its color scheme to tableware and décor to furniture, everything about this restaurant is unquestionably Greek.
The same could be said about its dishes, which place a heavy emphasis on natural ingredients. The place’s Soulvaki (small pieces of marinated meat grilled on a skewer) and Feta Cheese (a salty cheese made from sheep’s milk) indicate why Greek cuisine is famous the world over.
Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?
I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:
🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.
🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.
🚙 CancunAirport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.
🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.
📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.
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