Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

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Playa del Carmen, Mexico

I was really excited for my first full day in Playa del Carmen. I was on my own as the group was heading off on a day trip to see Chichen Itza.

Two years ago I went to Chichen Itza from Valladolid, a town I really enjoyed and had great sopa de lima there.

I do recommend going to see Chichen Itza but I’m not prepared to go back and see it again two years later.

I am prepared to gain a few pounds in the name of research.

So as the group went out Daniel from Blue Diamond offered to drive me into town and give me a quick layout of the city.

I was armed with names of restaurants in Playa del Carmen that people had offered up Facebook and Twitter and ate a light breakfast to ensure I’d be hungry.

Bring on lunch!

My first stop was with a recommendation from @Andres_Milagro: ask for El Cejas or the eye brow for the best ceviches ! Also amazing tuna empanadas.

 I had such high hopes for these Mexican antojitos because I really like Milagro in Toronto.

Sikil Pak

There were no tuna empanadas on the menu so I hesitantly ordered tiburon, only to find out later on that it was shark (I hope not the endangered kind) and it was really salty.  

The ceviche was really good and the staff was very nice but I would not come back here again.

Next up was a recommendation from Not in the Pink: Make sure you visit Ah Cacao! on Fifth and Constituyentes and try the Mayan hot chocolate.

They tried to warn me not to have it because foreigners don’t like how strong it tastes but I did it anyway. 

I probably would have walked by this place and never thought to go in.

There are a number of them around town and the idea of drinking something hot in 30C weather is beyond me.

But I ordered anyway and was so happy I did. If you’ve had Mexican chocolate with chili you will love this.

It was a warm, but not too hot cup of spicy-sweet velvety chocolate.

And while I was already full I had to make one last stop as I saw a posole restaurant Daniel recommended.

I have had posole many times but had forgotten how large of a meal it was.

I ate as much as I could so I wouldn’t offend the cook and then I waddled out of there.

I was pretty upset as I had hit a wall. I tried to walk it off. I was full but I had so many other restaurants I wanted to try.  

Finally I conceded that I was not going to be able to eat more. But it’s okay because in two days the group is heading to Tulum and I’ve already been there which means more food for me!

I just need to learn how to stretch my stomach so I can eat more than two lunches in an afternoon.

Disclosure: I visited Mexico with the assistance of the Mexico Tourism Board, but they did not request or require positive reviews or ask me to eat so much food for lunch!


Join the Conversation

  1. Sounds and looks delicious! Mmm I’m excited to finally get to Mexico in May! 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh the food will be so good!

  2. I’ve been craving Mexican food like no other while here in Spain. I miss it so much! And that pozole+hot choc look to die for!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You know you can’t really get decent Mexican food outside Mexico, I heard it was good in California and Texas but I haven’t been there…yet.

      1. Get thee to San Francisco, quick! I’ve never been to Mexico, so I can’t speak to the authenticity of the famed SF burritos, but they are beyond delicious. And cheap. And huge!

        1. Ayngelina Author says:

          I’m hoping to make it there this summer, any other suggestions?

  3. Arianwen Morris says:

    More than two lunches in an afternoon? We did that every day for a week on Pueblo Ingles! Followed by more than two dinners! 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Very true. I didn’t lose any weight during that time!

  4. Brilliant piccies Ayngelina. I went to Mexico when I was 20, but was more interested in the partying and drinking. I definitely need to go back for the food now 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Fortunately I missed out on Mexico until two years ago, I can see how people would get caught up in the partying.

  5. Nicole ( says:

    great post – i appreciate your dedication to the cause (eating). I know that feeling where you’re so curious and excited to try something but REALLY cant do any more. goes for more than just food really, but site-seeing etc.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      No one is more committed to the task of eating than I am!

  6. Dian Emery says:

    I’m making notes for my next visit to Playa! And I LOVE the mayan hot chocolate at Ah Cacoa, almost the best hot chocolate in Mexico:)

    tip: for the best hot chocolate in MX, you’ll have to go to San Cristobal in Chiapas

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      My best tip will be out next week on where to eat, when the guys from Blue Diamond told me where to eat!

  7. Oooh, there’s nothing like pigging out in paradise.

    Glad you enjoyed the hot chocolate, hun! 😀 Always glad to spread the word. I genuinely preferred that to the much-talked about Oaxacan chocolate.

  8. You look like you are living it up….or eating it up! Either way looks like fun! Have a blast!

  9. The Mayan hot chocolate looks and sounds amazing. I love a little spice to my chocolate.

  10. It looks and sounds amazing. I hate the feeling of hitting a wall when in a place of amazing food. It is the worst feeling knowing you are full but that there is so much else delicious to eat.

  11. The hot chocolate sounds excellent. I don’t know how you tried all that, but what great insight for the rest of us. We know what to try next time around.

  12. Stephanie - The Travel Chica says:

    I like how you are approaching this trip 🙂

  13. Christy @ Technosyncratic says:

    Yum, Mayahm hot chocolate sounds really tasty! Not sure I would want to eat shark, though.

  14. Sometimes you just hit that food wall. More training and stretchier pants required 😉

  15. Camels & Chocolate says:

    I would go to Mexico JUST for that hot chocolate. Delish.

  16. yummy!

  17. ronda/wentcoastal says:

    Welcome to the neighborhood! that was probably young shark…google El pan de cazón (which has tortillas not pan). I write a food blog about area foods

  18. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    Seriously, I need to find the closest Mexican restaurant ahorita!!!!! Love your pics.

  19. Next time you’ll have to visit “Florista’s” (sp) for their amazing Fish Tacos!!!

  20. Anthony @ Culture-ist Mag says:

    Nothing like a good Mexican Hot Chocolate…although everything looks, pretty delicious! Great photos of the food, made me finish the post hungry 🙂

  21. What you have to do in the name of research! I love the Mexican hot chocolate and brought some home with me on my last trip – blocks of the stuff and not powder.
    Enjoy munching and researching for the rest of your trip.

  22. Cathy Sweeney says:

    What a decadent feast you had. As long as it was in the name of research. I wish I’d had some good tips like this when I was in that area. My experiences were not so good. 🙁

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I actually heard that food in PDC was either amazing or awful, there is no in between. Based on the empanada I can see how that would be true.

  23. Sebastian says:

    You are always making my mouth water Ayngelina… looks so delicious!

  24. dtravelsround says:

    Oh my gosh … this makes me so hungry. I love the photos! Thanks for the tips. I hope to get to Playa del Carmen sometime soon!

  25. Your picture of pozole nearly killed me. It has been too long!

  26. If I’d had the slightest bit of doubt that I’ll be spending a few months in Mexico next year, you’ve just gotten rid of it. Thanks!

    And … now I’m starving! 😛

  27. sarah wu says:

    I love love love ur experience there and these posts. You make me more excited for my trip next week. : )

  28. Sarah Somewhere says:

    Ooh, loving reading about your PDC food experineces! Bring it on!

  29. Chez Playa says:

    Every week in Playa Del Carmen there is a phenomenon at Chez Celine Restaurant. It is full of people,especially for breakfast. Why is this so? We set out to find out what makes this restaurant so popular. ATMOSPHERE. You will feel as if you were in a nice street café in Paris with seating outside on the shaded patio or in the air-conditioned interior.

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