Best Tacos in Playa del Carmen
If you’re visiting Playa del Carmen, this guide will help you discover the very best tacos in town that you definitely don’t want to miss. You can enjoy tacos any time of the day or day of the week, not just on Taco Tuesday. In Playa del Carmen, you can find delicious tacos at any hour.
These traditional Mexican tacos are different from the pre-packaged boxed kits you might be used to, so don’t expect lettuce, tomato, or crunchy corn tortilla shells.
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In Mexico, traditional tacos consist of tortillas, meat, and a small amount of vegetable garnish. There are no additional toppings. However, you can add flavor to your tacos with various salsas provided by the restaurant. The focus is on the meat. You can find a guide to other traditional Mexican foods here. In Playa del Carmen, taco shops range from simple street vendors to fancy restaurants with elaborate decor.
Don’t let looks deceive you – I’ve had some amazing tacos at a plain and simple taco shop. These places usually have their own signature taco and meat, so it’s worth asking the server for their recommendation. Also, keep in mind that seafood tacos are usually only found at upscale restaurants or seafood joints called “mariscos” in Spanish.
If you’re hesitant about trying street food, don’t be. Playa del Carmen’s street food scene offers tasty and affordable options that are perfect for a self-guided taco tour.
If you want to play it safer then stick to the best restaurants in Playa listed in this article.
1. Taquerias el Ñero Juarez
Taquerias el Ñero Juarez in Playa del Carmen specializes in serving Mexican-style tacos. They serve a variety of fillings such as pastor, chorizo, steak, tongue, intestines and brain. The seating arrangements are casual and comfortable.
Tacos are priced at 15 pesos each, making it an affordable choice. It’s a great spot to satisfy your hunger after a night of partying or to grab takeout and hit the nearby beach.
Opening Hours: Daily 4PM to 1AM (in the next day)
2. Don Sirloin
There is a great place to get tacos in Playa del Carmen near 5th Avenue called Don Sirloin. The restaurant offers affordable and simple Mexican specialties, with five yummy taco fillings to choose from: pastor, sirloin, arrachera, chicken, and chorizo.
The sirloin flavor is particularly delicious, and reviews mention the variety of wrap options including corn, cheese, flour, or a combo. To quench your thirst, try some horchata with your tacos for a refreshing taste. Additionally, there is another Don Sirloin location on Avenida 10.
Opening Hours: Daily 11AM to 10:30PM
3. El Fogon
At El Fogon, a popular taco restaurant in Playa del Carmen, they operate on a first come first serve basis. The restaurant is known for its affordable prices and can easily satisfy a group of four people with a bill under $40.
Their tacos come with traditional toppings such as pineapples, onions, lime, and cheese. Although their specialty is the al pastor, it is recommended to order the Taco Loco to truly experience what El Fogon has to offer. Additionally, they offer plenty of sauces to enhance the flavor of your meal and cool beer.
Opening Hours: Daily 12PM to 11PM
4. El Chuleton
If you’re in Playa del Carmen, make sure to try the tacos at El Chuleton. They’re authentic, delicious, and won’t cost you a fortune. You can find the restaurant in a shopping plaza near 5th Avenue, where you’ll enjoy friendly service and freshly prepared food.
The tortilla wraps are toasted to perfection and filled with generous portions of pastor, arrachera, chorizo, bacon chops, and other delicious ingredients. Cheese is included in most, if not all, tacos, and you can request extra cheese if you like. THEY also offer English menus for the non-Spanish speaking customers.
Opening Hours: Daily 9AM to 12AM
5. La Cochi Loka
La Cochi Loka is a hidden treasure located just off 5th Avenue. With its bright yellow exterior, piggy logo, and cut-out service bar, it’s hard to miss. The place is known for its quick service and must-try dish, the delicious cochinita pibil.
Although the chicken and vegetarian tacos are also good choices, the Yutacan-style pork shoulder is the real highlight. Additionally, you have the option to dine in the shaded courtyard if you prefer table service.
Opening Hours: All day – 24 hours
6. The Lost Tiki
If you’re in Playa del Carmen and looking for delicious tacos, check out The Lost Tiki Restaurant (formerly known as Tiny Tiki hut). This unique restaurant is located in downtown Playa del Carmen and is inspired by Hawaiian, tiki, and jungle themes. The menu features creative and tasty tacos, along with craft cocktails and a tropical atmosphere. Live music adds to the fun vibe. The Lost Tiki is definitely worth a visit for a one-of-a-kind taco experience.
You should definitely try the Korean bulgogi beef taco as it is packed with flavor and is a must-try on their menu.
Even though it’s a sit-down restaurant, the taco prices may seem a bit high at 35 pesos or $1.75 USD, but this is still a reasonable price. Additionally, their cocktails are made with love and served in a fun tiki-style glass. Consider trying the ‘Bikini Bottom’ cocktail to complement your tacos.
Opening Hours: Daily 12PM to 11PM
7. Birria de la 30
As you walk in, you are immediately drawn to the wooden pallets with colorful menus. Shortly after, you catch the aroma of spicy, slow-cooked brisket. Small cups of sauces and lime are placed on the table, followed by the main attraction: a burst of flavor in every bite.
Birria de la 30 serves delicious birria tacos in Playa del Carmen, which is a great alternative to the usual pastor tacos. We love thetacos dorados to dip into the consommé. It’s recommended to know your order ahead of time since they don’t speak much English.
Opening Hours: Daily 8AM to 10PM
8. Taqueria Viva Mexico
Visit Taqueria Viva Mexico, an outdoor cash-only spot on a small street. It has a unique vibe that backpackers often seek out.
If the lunch menu at a taqueria changes every day, you can be sure it’s authentic. That’s where you can find some of the tastiest tacos in Playa del Carmen with flavors like carne asada and al pastor. The aroma of smoky flank steak will give your taste buds an exciting experience. The best part is that these tacos are inexpensive.
Opening Hours: Daily 12PM to 2AM (next day)
Axiote is a high-end Mexican restaurant situated on 34th Street. They specialize in Mexican gastronomy and use locally sourced ingredients for their gourmet menu. In addition to traditional Mexican dishes, they offer innovative tacos such as peanut mole tacos, fish birria tacos, and stewed duck tacos.
The atmosphere is warm and inviting, making it an ideal spot for an elevated culinary experience. Axiote is known for serving some of the best high-end tacos in Playa Del Carmen.
- Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 12PM – 11PM, Closed Mondays
10. El Chiquilin
El Chiquilin is a renowned street food spot in Playa del Carmen known for serving late-night burritos and hamburgers. Although it’s not particularly famous for its tacos, locals can’t get enough of it. And the best part? The food is priced at just 45 pesos ($2.50 USD), making it a delicious and affordable way to end your night out in Playa del Carmen.
Typically, his small food cart is located outside of Coco Bongo and on Calle 12 nte and Avenida 10. In front of Munchers Maniac store is the exact spot where you can find it.
Opening Hours: Daily 2PM to 3AM
11. La Floresta
La Floresta is a simple restaurant with plastic tables and chairs, but their fresh tacos are worth it. It’s also affordable and portions are large, making it a perfect spot for lunch.
Visitors agree that it’s the best place in Playa del Carmen for seafood tacos specifically their tasty battered fish and shrimp tacos. To complete the experience, you can order a ceviche along with your tacos.
Opening Hours: Daily 10AM to 5PM
12. Un Taco Mas
If you’re an early bird looking for a taco fix, head to Un Taco Mas. They offer a wide range of fillings that you can load up on freshly made tortillas. From cochinita to barbacoa, and chicken mole, they have traditional Mexican flavors that won’t disappoint.
You can also choose from a variety of toppings and salsas. For the full selection, including vegetarian options, make sure to arrive before 11AM.
Opening Hours: Daily 6AM to 2PM
13. La Perla Pixan
La Perla Pixan is a really great upscale Mexican restaurant located on 38th Street. The menu features a variety of Mexican and regional specialties, including traditional dishes and upscale tacos like cochinita duck tacos, steak tacos, rib eye tacos and chicken tacos.
Although they may be pricey, the tacos are expertly prepared with high-quality ingredients. La Perla Pixan also offers a selection of craft cocktails, mezcal, and tequila to complement your meal.
They usually have live music and local dance performances which makes the whole dining experience so much more special.
- Opening Hours: Daily 7:30AM – 11:00PM
- Taqueria El Borrego Loco
If you’re in search of a very authentic small and unknown eatery, Taqueria El Borrego Loco is highly recommended. It should be noted that this restaurant only serves lamb tacos – nothing else. If you’re a fan of mutton, this place is a must-try.
Menus are not provided by the establishment. Instead, you can simply indicate how many tacos you’d like to order. You can also choose from a few different salsas to complement the taste, but the plentiful onion and cilantro toppings are already quite flavorful.
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These barbacoa-style tacos are cooked slowly until the meat is beautifully tender and ready to fall apart. Try them out and you’ll understand why they are so highly rated.
Opening Hours: Daily 8AM to 5PM
14. Tacos Gomez
Tacos Gomez is a great option for satisfying late-night cravings for Playa del Carmen style tacos, and the added convenience of free street parking. However, it’s important to note that the establishment caters mainly to locals and language barriers may exist for non-Spanish speakers. Despite this, it’s still highly recommended!
This eatery, which is located away from the main boulevard and is small and unpretentious, offers a wide variety of taco fillings. You can choose from popular options like tripa, carne enchilada, chorizo, lengua, and many others.
For extra creaminess and spice, you can add lime and avo salsa as a garnish. The cost is only 20 pesos per taco, making it an affordable and satisfying meal.
Opening Hours: Daily 6PM to 2AM
Compared to the taquerias mentioned earlier, Porfirio’s has a modern and trendy vibe with a club-like atmosphere. It’s located on 5th Avenue and caters to tourists.
Although they don’t only serve tacos, the menu offers a combination of classic and creative options such as tacos with beef tenderloin and bruleed bone marrow and lobster tacos. If you’re having trouble deciding what to order, the soft taco platter is a good choice.
Opening Hours: Daily 1PM to 2AM (next day)
16. Tacos Don Chava
Tacos Don Chava is a cute food truck that serves traditional tacos, including carne asada, bistec, and pastor. At night, the seating area is illuminated with fairy lights to create a cozy ambiance. You can also add cheese and choose from various sauces at the salsa bar.
Ordering four tacos at once is a better deal.
Opening Hours: Daily 5PM to 12AM
17. El Gran Taco
Even though El Gran Taco is not located near the tourist area, it is worth the taxi fare. This family-owned fourth-generation restaurant serves authentic Mexican tacos made with their family recipes.
They offer a wide variety of meat and vegetable fillings in cast iron pots that are served buffet-style. Instead of using a traditional tortilla, the filling is placed on pita-like bread. Choose from numerous pork and fish styles, including their popular chili rellenos taco.
Opening Hours: Daily 8:30AM to 4:30PM
18. Chac Pel
Chac Pel is a great taco stop that serves delicious shrimp tacos either with cream or garlic. The menu also includes a highly recommended battered dogfish taco.
Located right outside the ferry terminal, it is easily accessible. This is another example of a small eatery that offers amazing food.
Opening Hours: Thursday – Sunday 10AM to 8PM (Thursdays to Sundays only)
Playa del Carmen Favorite Tacos : El Pastor
One of the most beloved and widely available tacos in Playa del Carmen is the El Pastor Taco. These can be found for as little as 20 pesos and there are even vegan options available. El Pastor is a type of pork that is slowly roasted on a spit and seasoned with a variety of delicious spices. It is cooked to perfection and not too spicy, making it absolutely delicious.
Did you know that Pastor Tacos were originally created by Lebanese immigrants who introduced Mexicans to their spices and cooking style? Originally called “Tacos Arabi,” the tacos were served on pita bread, but because Mexicans preferred corn tortillas, they adapted the recipe.
The addition of grilled pineapple helped create the mouthwatering and juicy tacos we know and love today.
Types of Tacos in Playa del Carmen
Start your taco adventure in Playa del Carmen and try out the best tacos available. If you’re unsure about the meat choices, refer to this cheat sheet to help you make informed orders.
Here are the different types of Mexican tacos:
- – Asada: Beef Chuck meat prepared over charcoal
- – Cerdo: Pork meat
- – Arrachera: Beef Skirt Steak
- – Lengua: Fried beef tongue
- – Suadero: Beef cuts, the ribs and the skin
- – Pollo: Chicken
- – El Pastor: Pork seasoned with Achiote sauce
- – Bistec: Beef on a grill with cooking oil
- – Chicharron: Fried pork skin
- – Pescado: Fish
- – Camaron: Shrimp
- – Pulpo: Octopus
If you’re looking for some tasty tacos in Playa del Carmen, try these ones!
Playa del Carmen Taco Tour
If you don’t have much time in Playa del Carmen but want to try plenty of amazing tacos and are willing to risk possible stomach issues, a food tour is a great choice.
These are our top picks for Playa del Carmen taco tours:
- 3-Hour Food Tour: The Playa del Carmen taco tour will take you off the main tourist streets and into Mexican neighborhoods to try some of the very best Mexican food in the city. Besides being a food tour, it also involves walking around Playa del Carmen, giving you insights not only into the food culture but also the growth of this once sleepy beach town in Mexico.
- Vegan Food Tour: If you are a vegan or vegetarian and interested in experiencing Mexican taco culture without meat, then you should consider taking this tour. It will introduce you to the plant-based origins of Mexican food culture.
- Playa Food Tour: Join this local food tour to explore the best taco spots, savor the flavors of pozole soup at an authentic Mexican restaurant, and discover new Mexican ingredients at a local market.
What kind of tortillas are used?
In Mexico, tacos are usually served on a corn tortilla, either in a single or double layer. However, if you prefer, you can ask for a flour tortilla instead. I recommend trying a corn tortilla as it is more authentic for tacos. You might be pleasantly surprised by how delicious it tastes!
How much tacos cost in Playa del Carmen?
In Playa del Carmen, tacos usually cost less than $20 pesos (~$1 USD) each and are very affordable. You may have to pay a bit more if you prefer flour tortillas or melted cheese. However, some restaurants targeted at tourists and higher-end places have fancier and pricier options like flank steak tacos, carne asada tacos, duck tacos and other premium ingredients.
Is it safe to eat street tacos in Playa del Carmen?
Although it is safe to eat street tacos in Playa del Carmen, it is important to be cautious about cleanliness and sanitation. You should be aware of cross-contamination and confirm that a separate person is handling the money. I have personally eaten street tacos several times in Playa del Carmen without getting sick.