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The 39 best restaurants in Cancun: an honest review

The fact that I have lived in Cancun for  7 years doesn’t necessarily make me an authority when it comes to the best restaurants in Cancun. However, I used to eat out often, and I keep doing it every time I go back to the city. Therefore, with the collaboration of some local friends, I have compiled quite a nice list of the best restaurants in Cancun with our reviews. I hope it helps you choose your own dining places

Cancun’s amazing international cuisine scene is definitely one of the main reasons why it is such a renowned vacation destination in Mexico.

From Asian to Italian, from food trucks to elegant a la carte gourmet restaurants you will find incredible dining options in Cancun to satisfy your appetite and palate, but also for any budget and style.

And obviously, you will find a lot of incredible options to try the most authentic Mexican cuisine.

I hope this list of Cancun Restaurants will help you navigate through your culinary adventure in Cancun and its endless list of Restaurants available. I have grouped them by zone and Cuisine. So without any further ado please find the best restaurants in Cancun.

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Best restaurants in Cancun hotel zone

Puerto Madero

A disclaimer first, I haven’t been there, BUT, I needed to include this exclusive Cancun restaurant on the list after reading that it is probably one of the the best restaurant in Cancun if you are fond of grilled meat and lobster, besides fresh seafood, as their specialties.

They also have a rich menu suitable for everyone, though, including vegetarians. It’s also one of the most expensive restaurants in Cancun, but worth every penny for a world-class dining experience. 

My trusted friends who have been there, have confirmed all that you hear about it. It’s located on the lagoon side with a beautiful view of the water if you sit on the deck or an elegant dining room inside.

You can also enjoy the raw bar. Indoor and outdoor seating available.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

The club grill @ The Ritz Carlton 

Among some of of the best Restaurants in Cancun , the Club Grill at the Ritz Carlton is one of the most exclusive and upscale. Ritz Carlton opens its doors to the fine palate public who wish to try its multi-rewarded AAA 5 Diamond restaurant.

Its delicious food and tasting menu and the extensive wine list don’t really need further explanation.

Besides the luxurious and sophisticated menu, you will find an elegant atmosphere and live entertainment. Your dinner in the opulent dining room reminiscent of a classic English Jazz club will be preceded by an interesting Tequila tasting.

Reservation required.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Il Fantino @ The Ritz Carlton 

indoor restaurant
Restaurant 5 diamonds – Fantino – Photo Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Cancun

“Avant-garde Mediterranean food, beautifully executed. Fantino features an innovative menu that works with the purity of ingredients and their natural flavors to create award-winning cuisine for food lovers and fine dining enthusiasts alike.” Quote from Hotel.

This is the Ritz Carlton signature restaurant boasting a sophisticated a la carte menu for a fine dining experience in Cancún’s hotel zone.

Ideal for a romantic date looking at the stunning Cancun beaches.

It requires reservations.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

NI @ Nizuc Hotel & Spa

The best Peruvian experience in Mexico in the region I would dare say. This fine restaurant is located in the premises of the hotel NIZUC in a tranquil and elegant atmosphere facing the turquoise sea. It’s only open for Lunch.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

La Punta Grill and Lounge @ Nizuc Hotel & Spa

Mirroring the precious elegant style of the resort, this beautiful corner is the luxury version of a Balinese Tiki hut, made with fresh wooden furniture with seatings that are facing the fancy infinity pool overlooking the sea.

The plate choice, served in elegantly decorated presentation, specializes in grilled meat cuts, fish and seafood. Here you can find the full menu.

Definitely an experience that you will never forget.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Indochine @ Nizuc Hotel and Spa

I had my best Pad thai in years, in the most romantic atmosphere on the wooden deck of the elegant Asian decorated restaurant, facing the brightly lit reflecting pool.

As you may have noticed, NIZUC is my favorite place to hang out and it also offers an incredible culinary variety, even more than I have listed. Besides you can enjoy spectacular views while sipping a signature cocktail waiting for your table.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

La Habichuela

If you want to taste the real Mexican cuisine in a lovely setting, this is your place. There are actually two restaurants, one on the lagoon in the Hotel area and the other one in downtown Cancun in Parque de las Palapas.

It’s a very elegant atmosphere and the food is delicious offering a variety of choices of classic Mexican flavors with an international touch.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor


Among the top restaurants in Cancun, in my modest opinion, this great Thai restaurant is located in a spectacular unique setting, very suitable for a romantic dinner or a lovely gathering with friends.

The tables are scattered around the lagoon in the little overwater palapas. You will find it within the premises of La Isla Shopping Village.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor


A beautiful restaurant in Cancun’s hotel zone, the Elefanta is the indian restaurant located just beside the Thai restaurant, on the Lagoon side in Plaza La Isla.

Respecting the same sophisticated decoration also offers a variety of delicious Indian cuisine. For spicy food lovers, this is the place.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Obviously, you will eat with an unparalleled view over the lagoon. Make sure you get there just before Sunset to have the best experience.

It’s quite an upscale restaurant so the dished and drinks are priced accordingly.

Read the reviews on TripAdvisor

best restaurants in cancun

Ilio Greek Estiatorio Cancun

World Class greek restaurant in the Cancun hotel zone, for an elegant dinner with greek taste.

Located on Boulevard Kukulcan on the lagoon side with spectacular views, this world-class restaurant that has reached 100% 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor (more than 100 reviews)

Mexican Restaurants in Cancun

I am sure the old saying “when in Rome do as the Romans do”, is very appropriate when it comes to food choice, and coming on vacation in Mexico will imply having an overdose of chilaquiles, tacos, quesadillas, and everything you get at your fancy Mexican restaurant in your hometown.

What I have noticed is that the majority of the time you get disappointed because the original version is always different, and, allow me to disappoint you, the authentic one is here in Mexico.

Bear in mind that Mexican cuisine is very different from region to region and in fact, you will see some “Cocina Yucateca” restaurants where they serve typical dishes from the neighboring region of Yucatan.

I have never seen Quintana Roo cuisine, probably because it has been internationalized with time, thanks to the huge increase in tourism.

Here below what I would suggest if you wish to try some local plates, the real stuff!

plate of mexican tacos

Los Aguachiles

Seafood fan, this is for you. Among the best restaurants in Cancun for lunch only, you must include Los Aguachiles, if you like seafood. Definitely not suitable for vegans.

Los Aguachiles is a popular restaurant chain of seafood restaurants that you can find also in Playa del Carmen and Tulum, although the one in Cancun is my favorite.

All of them are in downtown area.

I find it really cozy and besides the colorful, laid-back place I really love the food choice there, any kind of tacos, figurines, and different kinds of seafood made in many different ways.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

La Habichuela

Just like the one in the “Zona Hotelera”, the restaurant downtown offers Mexican options in a very cozy and bucolic atmosphere and yet elegant.  It is situated in Parque de las Palapas, one of the most animated areas where locals love to gather and hang out in town. Especially at the weekend, it is very crowded. You will definitely have the feeling you are living like a local.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

mexican dish

El pocito Comida Yucateca

I haven’t been there but I am including it in my list since a few Mexican colleagues have told me it is a very traditional and local place of Yucatecan cuisine so you might want to try it.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Mu. Burger house

Mu is now one of my favorite places to dine in Cancun. They have two spots now but I loved the one on the Av. Nichupte. Both the interior space and the garden have a cozy atmosphere with a welcoming staff.

The food is delicious and if you are a vegan, worry not because they have got you covered as well with their delicious lentils burger.

Their menu includes other interesting choices as well as burgers.

Definitely, a place where I love to go back to over and over again without getting tired of it.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Mora Mora Urban Cuisine

The first time I was looking for it, I couldn’t find it. The second time I decided to go with somebody who had been there already. It’s not a classical restaurant, it’s called Urban cuisine. It’s literally like going in a private home.

You need to ring a bell and tell your name. So make sure you have reserved your table in advance. The atmosphere is very laid back and somewhat willfully shabby.

I loved the garden and the homey feeling. To be honest the food was great and either if you are a vegan or a meat lover you will not be disappointed.

A little of everything to make everybody happy. More than anything I love the concept of merging food and art, in fact, they very often organize exposition of local artists and music events. Please refer to their FB page for the latest news. 

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Restaurants on Avenida Nader, Cancun

Situated very close to what is called km 0 the very end of the Avenida Kukulcan, in downtown Cancun, it has recently become a lively hip street full of fancy little places to eat and bars. It is actually my favorite place to hang out with such a variety of choices. Here is what I have tried but there is much more:

Sirena Morena  

One of the best restaurants in Cancun for Vegan and vegetarians, Sirena morena is located in the vibrant Avenida Nader in a lovely and intimate patio surrounded by trees and vintage decor.

Not only does it have a great choice of vegan plates and healthy beverages but what beats it all is the cozy and warm atmosphere and the lovely staff.

We have vegan restaurants in Cancun but they lack the personal touch and homey feeling which is something that this place has in abundance.

I am actually adding this piece of writing to this post while sipping my cinnamon-flavored coffee on the lovely porch, looking at the rain coming down. I love to sit and work here and get tempted by their delicious snacks and drinks.

Even if you are not a vegan devotee I am sure you will enjoy coming here, anyway. Let me know please, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Che Che

This is now one of my favorite places in Cancun for breakfast and lunch (or snacks) and where I love to go working from my laptop.

It’s located in an old market space where they have now opened a few coffee shops and eateries which I really recommend. But Che Che is my favorite among them.

They serve healthy food and most of them are vegan and vegetarian. The coffee is delicious and if you crave dessert you can bring a pastry from the bakery next door.

The space is really cozy and great for working with comfortable chairs and spacious tables. The staff is really nice.

Check their IG page

El Tigre Y el Toro

Although the food didn’t particularly impress me, it is a place where I would go back, for the cozy atmosphere and the bucolic setting in this little pebbly garden. The service is great as well. 

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

La fonda del Zancudo

Among the popular restaurants in downtown Cancún where I always return to is La Fonda de Zacundo. This is definitely my favorite place in terms of setting and decoration. It is in fact built within the ruins of an old house.

The decorations include trees and plants hanging from the ancient walls, everything meticulously arranged in detail. The food is also quite peculiar.

It has an Italian imprint but with international touches. The service is great too. It is definitely an experience you will be happy to try.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Italian Restaurants in Cancun

La Familia Don Corleone

tables and chairs in the patio of a restaurant
Photo © La Familia Don Corleone

La Familia Corleone is a renowned Italian place where you will find great creative Italian dishes made by the sweet and talented Italian chef Giulia.

I am sure you have known I Famosi Pasta and Don Corleone, her previous restaurants, that she merged into one bigger space on the Avenida Huayacan to offer a better service and a delicious and diverse menu, all authentic Italian cuisine

pasta dish
Photo © Familia Corleone

Il Cenacolo

Il Cenacolo is a high-end Italian eatery with a very formal environment located in the hotel zone in Cancun (Puerto Cancun). It is one of the most demanded and talked about, not only for the excellent food but for the elegant ambiance and the lovely location.

I confess I haven’t been there but I needed to include it in here for the sake of information and because of the great review I get from friends and acquaintances.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Con El Bigolo

Top-rated Italian gourmet bistro and pizzeria in Cancun. Although it’s not the best pizza I have eaten in Cancun it can be a good option. However, they also have other delicious Italian dishes that you should try.

Read the flattering reviews on TripAdvisor

Frontoni Pizzeria

Neapolitan Pizza in Cancun
Neapolitan Pizza in Cancun

If you want the real Neapolitan pizza this is your place. It’s a tiny place with a great service and the owner comes from generations of pizza bakers. And you can see it and taste it. It is indeed one of the best pizzas I have eaten in Cancun and Mexico.

Restaurants in Puerto Juarez, Cancun local flavors

Puerto Juarez is so dear to me since I have lived there for a few months on a beachfront apartment and it sits in one of the best memories of my life, for the view I had when I was home.

It’s not a place where you actually pass by, unless you are taking the ferry to Isla Mujeres, or you are staying in one of those hotels along with the cost.

They have built a few 5 stars Resorts at the end of the road on a virgin beach and it is still developing tremendously fast.

Here I have found a few lovely restaurants, where you can have the best and freshest fish ever, directly from the sea. So you cannot get it wrong. In fact, the area has always been known as a fishing village before the development of Cancun has absorbed it into the same town. Nevertheless, fishing has remained an important activity here.

If you are staying in an apartment and feel like cooking here is where you can find the best fresh fish for your banquet. But if you are looking for an authentic restaurant, here is my choice:


fish dish on a table with sea views in the background
Photo courtesy of Restaurante Mar Bella

We can say this is an iconic place in the area and if you love fish and seafood, Marbella is one of the best restaurants Cancun for that.

They opened a long time ago as a fish market, one of the biggest in the area as they had their own fishing boats. From there they had the brilliant idea to open a restaurant on the upper level of the shop. But it is not a common one.  

They pride themselves on offering a special menu that you wouldn’t find anywhere else, other than your home. In fact, you can basically make up your own plate, choosing your favorite ingredients, deciding how much fish you want and how you want it to be cooked.

 The waiters are always ready to suggest their best recipes, though, or guide you through different options. Their location facing the water makes it a real plus.

They have recently opened a second location in Isla Mujeres which I haven’t seen personally yet but considering the quality of food here and adding the sunset view, for sure it will make it a great dinner option.  

By the way, the restaurant in Cancun is only open from 1 to 7 pm, while the one in Isla Mujeres until 11 pm.  Due to the popularity, it is always super busy so you are kindly suggested to make your reservation by phone or on their FB page. 

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Puerto Santo

front of a restaurant on the beach with chairs and table and people eating
Restaurante Puerto Santo during Lunch time . Photo courtesy of Puerto Santo

Located on the beach within the premises of the Residential Amara, it is a family-owned little restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious seafood meal or just appreciate the lovely ambiance while sipping your drinks.

I am sure you will be tempted to try the rich menu, though! It’s open from lunch through dinner. During certain nights you will also find pleasant live music to entertain the guests.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Cafes in Cancun

Sirena Morena

This is definitely my favorite coffee’/bar and vegan restaurant of all time. Best coffee’ and vegan choice and super cozy ambiance. Please check in the Avenida Nader section on this post to read my review. 🙂

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor


They have 2 cafes, one on the trendy Avenida Nader, which has now reopened on a different location, which is more spacious and comfortable. I love to go there and sip my soy chai latte or a  healthier natural juice. They offer delicious breakfast, salads, and hearty sandwiches for lunch.

The other place is bigger and also very comfortable and it is located on the Av Suyaxchen close to Mercado 28. So if you decide to have a walk around the colorful souvenirs, that’s a great place to stop by for a coffee.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor

Pepe Piraña

Caffe bar with two people waitress behind

I love this place and the art that displays. The lights are hanging from the wall with flashy red cables carefully wrapped around a tube.

The wooden tables and chairs are all different and creatively assembled. I love to go there and work on my blog when I can.

The staff is lovely and the owner is always around to make sure everything is in place.

They offer heart-feeding deserts and great empanadas, an Argentinian specialty which is a half-moon-shaped pizza-bread filled with different kinds of food, from veggies to meats. They also have a variety of juices and coffe’. WIFI is very good and included.

It’s located just below IBIS hotel and beside the restaurant PIOLA, on agenda Tulum, the heart of Cancun.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor


It’s a french restaurant and coffee’ bar… very french: in the decorations and in the delicious pastry. They used to have the best almond croissants in Cancun but the last time I checked they were not so good anymore. If you try them, let me know your thoughts.

They have a huge space inside and one lovely garden at the back. Their menu is huge and with a variety of choices. Ideal for a delicious breakfast, lunch, or a casual snack.

Beware WI FI is not always working, to my disappointment.

Read their reviews on TripAdvisor


Well, it’s Starbucks, I don’t have to add anything else. There are 3 POS in the city and another 3 along the hotel zone. I have to say I love Starbucks and the concept. I always find a cozy atmosphere and great to work.

I am not sure why, but it is the only place where even if it is crowded I am able to focus and get things done. Well,  food is not the best quality and we all know, but chai latte with soy milk will remain my best treat!

Well, we arrived at the end. This is my choice and I hope it comes in handy. I will be adding on more when I try more.  In the meantime ENJOY and please if you have a minute to spare let me know your thoughts or suggestion. I would love to hear from you.

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Bob R.

Friday 6th of August 2021

I wanted to add an addition to my other comment , I asked a Cancun local to review the restaurants listed here. For the most part she says it's a good list for tourists and that the others listed really are not local favorites.


Friday 6th of August 2021

Hello Bob, thanks for taking the time to write your comments. I lived in Cancun for 10 years and I have many local friends and everyone has his own opinion about every restaurant. So I respect your local friend's opinion as well. But he certainly cannot speak for all the locals. In this post, I have included the restaurants that I have tried (or my friends have), which is a choice of many different restaurants, not necessarily local. Obviously, the restaurant choice in Cancun is not limited to this list. But, that goes without saying. Happy travels!

Bob R.

Friday 6th of August 2021

I enjoyed reading your reviews, thanks. However I have little faith in anything on TripAdvisor. Too many factors can influence the reviews there so I recommend people get their restaurant recommendations elsewhere.

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