Hartwood Tulum – An Honest Review

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Hartwood Tulum - An Honest Review

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Hartwood Tulum

Eric Werner and Mya Henry, who are originally from New York, are in charge of a popular restaurant in Tulum. The restaurant focuses on using sustainable practices and ingredients that are sourced locally.

Their kitchen, which is open and includes a grill and oven, runs solely on solar power. The menu changes everyday to feature the freshest produce and catch of the day from the local fishermen. At night, the courtyard is lit up by lanterns and has a rustic-chic atmosphere where you can expect to see models, photographers, and creative individuals from the East Coast.

Hartwood in Tulum does not have a fixed menu. Instead, they offer daily options made with locally sourced ingredients from nearby farms and ranches. These Mexican-inspired dishes are always unique and innovative.


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:



Due to its popularity, it is important to reserve a table ahead of time. Hartwood has a beautiful outdoor setting with a gravel floor and palm trees that complement the creativity of the dishes. Walk-ins are not typically accepted.

Eating at Hartwood

Hartwood is a must-visit if you’re within 50 miles of Tulum. The expat chef and owners use local ingredients to make delicious food on Tulum’s beautiful beach. The menu changes daily, and although the prices are similar to those in New York or San Francisco, the food is worth it. The cocktail menu is unique and refreshing, and they have successfully captured Tulum’s vibe. They are currently open Wednesday through Sunday, from 6 to 11 p.m.

Hartwood and People Queuing for Hours

When we arrived in Tulum, I sent an email to Hartwood on the first evening requesting a table for the next day. However, Hartwood did not respond. The next day at 5:30 PM when the restaurant opened, we showed up but it was already packed. It seemed like some people knew the unofficial opening hours and had lined up hours prior. The man at the door let us know that there was no space available.

It was surprising that a restaurant in Tulum, which has a warm and humid climate, would encourage customers to wait in long lines for a table. Instead, it would be much better if they could implement a booking system that allows customers to enjoy the beach during the day and arrive for dinner in the evening. I believe that preparing for a meal is also part of the dining experience. Queuing may be fine for quick bites in a street food market like Taipei where the wait is usually short, but not as much for sit-down meals.

Is it worth the wait?

Tulum has a must-try experience that lives up to its hype. The food, cocktails, people watching, and atmosphere are all very enjoyable. Although some of the taco stands and beach ceviche places are cheap, the expensive NYC-style meals can be a bit hard to accept. However, it’s worth splurging since you only live once!

A Dinner Worth Waiting For

Before visiting Tulum, I had heard about Hartwood from both friends and locals. Hartwood is an open-air restaurant located on the jungle side of Tulum. The restaurant is sustainable and uses solar panels for energy and a wood-burning oven for cooking. The menu changes almost daily based on locally sourced produce. Although the wait can be very long (I waited around an hour at the bar), the experience was worth it. I really liked the jicama salad which was fresh and had a dressing made of prickly pear juice. The grilled octopus was also delicious.

Bottom Line: Hartwood Review

Hartwood is highly recommended for its food and it’s worth making an effort to visit. The menu changes daily and may include dishes such as jicama salad, ceviche de aguja with ginger and mezcal, agave pork belly, and grilled octopus, along with great cocktails. To avoid a very long wait for a table, it’s best to email for a reservation at least a month in advance. Otherwise, expect to wait with the many others who were also recommended to come here.

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.

🚙 Cancun Airport 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.