Best Restaurants Tulum

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11 BEST Tulum Restaurants - 2023 Guide

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Best Restaurants in Tulum

Back in the early 90s, Tulum was a safe and quiet small village along Mexico‘s Riviera Maya. Fast forward to today, and this once-unknown destination has now become one of the most sought-after global beach vacation hotspots – attracting hippies, want-to-be yogis, and celebrities from all over the world.

All coming here to spend their days on the sandy beaches, enjoy the warm turquoise waters, relax in luxury hotels and spas, explore the Mayan ruins and magnificent cenotes, find investment opportunities, or seek inspiration in its idyllic scenery.

Visiting more cities in Mexico? Find the Cancun’s best restaurants, Playa del Carmen’s best restaurants and Mexico City’s best restaurants.

With this influx of local and international tourism came higher costs, tourist crowds, and a thriving restaurant scene.

Mur Mur Bar Tulum Nightlife
Best Restaurants in Tulum Guide

Tulum has plenty of great culinary options, from trendy outdoor space restaurants, with wood-fired ovens serving fusion dishes and healthy breakfast to authentic Mexican eateries cooking up delicious local ingredients from all around Mexico.


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In recent years Tulum saw a big influx of some of the best chefs of Mexico City upscale restaurants, making the food scene in Tulum even more exciting, If you are looking for something more affordable and authentic, don’t be disappointed … as there are still plenty of affordable options for those seeking to experience traditional Tulum Mexican cuisine.

Expert Tip: Food in Tulum is a lot better than Cancun and Playa del Carmen. So make sure you try as many places from the list as you can.

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A great culinary experience in Tulum is more than just food; the best restaurants here try to bring out the allure of this trendy beachside destination with exquisite dishes made from local produce cooked using age-old Maya techniques like recaudos (herbal marinades).

But dining in Tulum can still be costly and if you’re going to invest over $300 on a meal for two, probably best to make sure the experience is worth it. 

We have been visiting Tulum for the last 10 years and here is a list of our finest spots for experiencing some of the best food in the Yucatan Penninsula!

Hartwood Restaurant Tulum
Best Restaurants in Tulum : Hartwood Restaurant (courtesy of Hartwood)

1. Hartwood – Beach Zone – $$$$

Hartwood is one of the most well-liked and well-known restaurants in Tulum. It’s also hands-down the best fine dining establishment and our favorite beach restaurant in Tulum featuring a different and delicious menu every night. The menu emphasizes seasonal ingredients from nearby Yucatan farms and sustainable fresh fish and meats.

All your food here is prepared over the fire of an outdoor wooden-over and candles are used to create a romantic dinner experience. Dinner is served here only Wednesday through Sunday. 

The decor is in typical Tulum boho style, with vintage wooden tables and an immersive jungle atmosphere, but the food is what really sets Hartwood apart for us.

Their menu changes daily based on the generosity of mother earth, but their specialty is woodfired meat or fish, and their specialty is roasted collar grouper.

Unfortunately, don’t accept bookings. the long line outside the restaurant is evidence of this. But it is really worth the wait when you eventually get a seat and table. (if you really need a reservation try emailing them at least a month in advance). They also (like most Tulum restaurants) don’t accept credit cards and take only cash. 

When you visit Tulum, make sure you make your way to this amazing restaurant.

Hartwood:  Location

Hartwood: Instagram Page

Best Restaurants in Tulum : Cetli Tulum
Best Restaurants in Tulum : Cetli Tulum

2. Cetli – Tulum Town (Tulum Pueblo) – $$$

Cetli restaurant is tucked away in downtown Tulum. It is a cozy small upscale restaurant with delicious food located in a former hacienda (plantation).

The ambiance in Cetli is quaint and romantic due to the candlelights, small number of tables, and the restaurant’s beautiful design that will make you want to take plenty of pictures.

You can hear the chefs pounding fresh local ingredients using a metate stone. Cetli is open for both a delicious lunch and dinner; if you are planning to have dinner here, reservations are highly highly advised (try days or weeks in advance).

We have no doubt that you’ll adore the meals and ambiance of Cetli.

So when in Tulum downtown,  you should definitely try their really special fusion of Mexican food and global cooking methods… at least once!

Cetli:  Location

Cetli: Instagram Page

Best Restaurants in Tulum : Arca Restaurant Tulum
Best Restaurants in Tulum : Arca Restaurant Tulum (Courtesy of Arca)

3. Arca – Beach Zone – $$$$

Arca is definitely one of our favorite restaurants in Tulum. If offers an upscale culinary experience featuring flame-cooked, delicious modern Maya-Mexican cuisine

The menu options (which frequently vary) feature the freshest fish, meat, and fruit from surrounding Maya farms. Dinner is served only Tuesday through Sunday and reservations are highly advised. 

This fantastic restaurant offering some of the most tasty dishes in Tulum is co-owned by José Luis Hinostroza Arca, a chef with a stellar international reputation.

Make sure you make your way here at least once.


Arca: Instagram Page

Best Restaurants in Tulum : Casa Banana Restaurant Tulum Mexico
Best Restaurants in Tulum : Casa Banana Restaurant Tulum Mexico (Courtesy of Casa Banana)

4. Casa Banana Tulum – Beach Zone – $$$

If you want the best steaks in Tulum then head to Casa Banana Tulum located on the Beach Roads. Casa Banana serves high-end Argentine-Mexican cuisine. The menu includes succulent meat cuts, handmade chorizo, regional beer, and a large variety of delicious mezcal drinks and signature cocktails. Open all day, however, the greatest service is around dinner. 

And even though they are known for their meat cuts and stakes, the many include delicious dishes of fish and vegetables. It has some of the best vegetarian and vegan options in town.

Since they don’t take reservations, if you really want a table here and hate waiting in lines, make sure you arrive before 7.30pm, especially in the high season. Otherwise, get ready to wait.

Casa Banana TulumLocation

Best Tulum Restaurants : Cenzontle Restaurant Tulum
Best Tulum Restaurants : Cenzontle Restaurant Tulum

5. Cenzontle Tulum – Beach Zone – $$$

Cenzontle serves amazing, tasy and unique food. This is one of our favorite restaurants in the Yucatan because of the well-balanced blend of tastes and a unique presentation. And all this while being served in a stunning, lush private jungle garden. 

The atmosphere is very cozy and intimate and if you’re out with someone special, this is one of the spots you should definitely check out.

The charming garden setting is candlelight and together with the fitting music and delicious cuisine, Cenzontle is for sure to make for a delightful experience.

They also take bookings…Yay!!. No more standing in lines…yes please!

Cenzontle TulumLocation

Cenzontle: Instagram Page


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Best Tulum Restaurants : Nu Restaurant Tulum
Best Tulum Restaurants : Nu Restaurant Tulum

6. Nu Tulum – Beach Zone – $$$$

Chef Cesar Castaeda has perfected his craft in Mexico City in high-end restaurants like Dulce Patria. He is now servicing guests at the Nu, a chic, modern Maya-Mexican cuisine right under the stars of the Tulum sky. This candlelit, romantic restaurant is surrounded by foliage. Order a glass of Valle de Guadalupe Mexican wine, savor a sweet and complex passionfruit aguachile or enjoy the mouthwatering grilled oysters that have been delicately flavored with anise from the local xtabentn liqueur.

While many recipes concentrate on traditional ancient Mayan techniques and ingredients, most dishes adopt an international approach, like the modern interpretation of the mole negro, an Oaxacan duck classic (juicy on the inside, crispy skin on the outside),  and chochoyotes (masa dumplings).

Nu is perfect for special events because of its romantic and intimate atmosphere. The restaurant does take reservations and they are highly advised.

Nu TulumLocation

Best Tulum Restaurants : Restaurants in Tulum: Posada Margherita
Best Tulum Restaurants : Restaurants in Tulum: Posada Margherita

7. Posada Margherita Tulum – Beach Zone – $$$$ 

Posada Margherita is a very elegant, but unpretentious beachside Italian restaurant. It serves mouthwatering homemade pasta and possibly the finest pizza in Tulum, cooked from a secret Italian family recipe

The restaurant is candlelit, with candles extending all the way to the beach (photo opportunity), adding to the peaceful and rustic ambiance.

The wine list in Posada is extensive and features a wide range of top-notch international brands and some local favorites. Despite being open all day, if you are looking for the best menu then head here during lunch and dinner hours. 

Relax under one of the adorable little beach huts during a sunny day and indulge in a refreshing beverage or a delicious ice cream. Enter night Posada Margherita turns into a romantic candle-lit restaurant. 

Posa MargheritaLocation

Best Restaurants in Tulum : Meze Restaurant Tulum
Best Restaurants in Tulum : Meze Restaurant

8. Meze – Beach Zone – $$$$

Meze is a brand-new restaurant in Tulum. A chic Greek-style taverna known in Tulum for its meze dishes, the equivalent of tapas in Greece. Bring a companion or your hunger (or both) as all dishes here are meant to be shared.

The food is simply delicious, the atmosphere is quiet, romantic and nostalgic and the food is simply one of the best in Tulum.

This is one of the most popular restaurants in town and it can get crowded especially around dinner time.

Meze: Location

9. Gitano – $$$$

Gitano is a posh jungle retreat with an old-world nostalgic ambiance that features Mexican architecture from the 17th century, and candlelit tables for romantic dinners under the palm trees and vines. The food is great but the mood and ambiance is what draws people so many people in. 

The chefs combines Mexican American favorites like authentic tacos (try the fish tacos – al pastos tacos-), with Mediterranean mezze, and appetizers like quesadillas sliced into sharp triangles, just like the ones in American chain restaurants.

In this undoubtedly very cool ambiance (probably our favorite ambiance in all of Tulum) order a smokey, citrusy Gitano Swizzle or any of the tropical cocktails made with some local mezcal and eat and drink the night (or afternoon) away.

Gitano: Location

Gitano: Instagram Page

Best Restaurants in Tulum : Bal Nak Restaurant Tulum
Best Restaurants in Tulum : Bal Nak Restaurant Tulum

10. Bal Nak – Beach Zone – $$$

Bal Nak, is a beautiful outdoor restaurant. It has a backyard party feel in the middle of the jungle.  It serves modern Mexican fine dining is still lively environment. 

Our favorite here is the grilled watermelon aguachile in a hot guava sauce, the sweet and smoky Oaxacan chilhuacle chile mole served with roast suckling pig and the almond mole served with duck breast. The grilled chocolata clams entree is one of the most popular dishes here. No matter what you order for food, make sure you try the beetroot cocktail.

Location: Bal Nak

Best Restaurants in Tulum : Bak Restaurant Tulum
Best Restaurants in Tulum : Bak Restaurant Tulum

11. Bak – Beach Zone – $$$$

Bak is a restaurant and raw bar created by Grupo Anderson.

On the chic wooden terrace of Bak, you can enjoy prime USDA cuts and fresh Caribbean lobster tails, cooked in the restaurant’s Josper coal oven.

Seafood and steak are imported from Argentina, oysters from the US East Coast, crab legs from Alaska, Kobe rib-eyes from Hyogo Japan, and corn-fed tomahawk steaks from the American Midwest. 

This is an all around great restaurant for special occasions and families alike.

Location: Bak

Tulum Dining Tips

  • Bring Cash: The majority of restaurants in Tulum are cash only, including the fine dining establishments. While some take dollars, the majority only accept pesos. Pay in pesos to get the best rates. Restaurants that do accept tcredit cards usually tack on an extra 3% fee to your bill.
  • Tipping: Tipping is customary in Mexico as is in the US. The typical amount is between 10% and 15%. Sometimes the tips is already added to your bill…just look for the word “propina” (tip) on the bill. It’s recommended to tip in pesos so that the employees won’t have to pay bank fee to convert it to pesos into dollars.

Tulum Restaurant Guide 2023

Bottom Line

With so many great options for dining, you should be able to find something you love. Our ranking is based on our personal taste and experience as well as the reviews and feedback we get on a daily basis from local friends and of course all of you.

Dont forget to ask questions, share a travel tip or leave comments below.

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Most frequent questions and answers

Make sure you bring cash with you. Credit cards are not accepted at the majority of restaurants in Tulum, including fine dining establishments. And while some will take dollars, the vast majority of them only accept Mexican pesos. Try to pay in pesos if possible to receive the best rates; paying in dollars will usually result in getting a very bad exchange rate and overpaying. Those restaurants that do accept credit cards will tack on an extra 3% fee credit card fee.

Tipping: It’s customary to leave a tip, and the typical range is usually between 10% and 15%. First, try to see if “propina” (meaning tip) has already been added to the bill… just look for the word “propina” on the bill. If so, you can increase the tip amount to between 10% and 15%. The best way to tip is always in pesos so that the employees don’t have to pay a fee to the bank to convert the tip into pesos.

Absolutely. Tulum is a very popular destination and restaurants are usually packed with lines forming outside. Not all restaurants accept reservations (actually most don’t), but for the ones that do make sure you make a reservations weeks in advance.