restaurants of tulum

The best restaurants in Tulum, the coolest bars and cafés

In FOOD, MEXICO, QUINTANA ROO, TULUM by Isabella Biava2 Comments

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Here below you will find a list of what I consider the best restaurants in Tulum.

You indeed have a variety of choice from every dietary needs and preference and as I was mentioning in my post on Tulum it is not only about the food, but also about the creativity in the presentation of the delicious dishes and the vintage-chic decorations. It is indeed an extra sensory experience, every time you enter in a new place.

I am happy to pick my favourites for you among the ones I have tried or I have been recommended by my local friends and you can be sure I will be adding on as I will be trying more myself. It’s going to be a very hard job. 🙂

I have also split them in a few different categories to make it easier for you to scan through the post.

“KNOW BEFORE YOU GO TIP”

Be aware that the majority of restaurants, hotels, and shops don’t accept credit cards, so come with enough cash (Euros, USD, CAN$, Pounds) and you can change it at the ‘’Casa de Cambio’’.

Although they accept USD, it is always convenient to have cash in pesos, due to the favorable rate exchange.

There are ATM all over the hotel zone and you can cash either in Pesos or USD, however, you should know that the ATM will charge you a commission of 50 USD for every withdrawal, not really convenient. 

BEACH ZONE

Hartwood 

It’s one of the most popular and considered among the best restaurant in Tulum. And you can see it from the huge line waiting outside, as they don’t take reservations. But apparently, when you finally sit, they make sure it was worth the wait. The setting is the typical Tulum boho style, vintage wooden tables in jungle vibes but the food is what makes all the difference. Their specialty is woodfired meat or fish and their special is roasted collar grouper, however, their menu changes every day depending on the generosity of mother earth.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Mur Mur: Close to Hartwood is this new cozy restaurant which just opened last December. Located in a very convenient spot, a little plaza with some of the nicest clothing shops in the area (you must check out Wanderlustulum for fancy stylish beachwear and the finest accessories, Italian taste brought to the beach). The restaurant offers a delicate Mexican-International menu. Definitely, worth a try… you will go back! 

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

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Mur Mur Restaurant – Photo Courtesy Mur Mur

Casa Banana: also one of the most popular in the area especially as an argentinian stake house, although they have quite a  diverse menu, including fish and veggies.  They don’t accept reservations so if you think waiting is a waste of time, like me, you should go before 7.30. in high season. Or else, be prepared to wait.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor.

Cenzontle: located in a beautiful intimate garden it offers a delicious and original menu with a balanced mix of flavors and a creative presentation. Definitely to be tried.

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Casa Jaguarwith a very surrealistic setting in a tropical garden with cozy lounges and private tables it offers a rich menu of creative dishes among which delicious original cocktails and wood-fired fresh fish cooked right before your eyes and savory vegetable options. Great parties on Thursday night!

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Photo courtesy of Casa Jaguar

UKAMIIf you are missing your favorite sushi restaurant at home, that you cannot live without them, here is the perfect place for you. Besides the great sushi, you will find a cozy atmosphere and a relaxed ambiance.

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Posada Margherita – Your favorite italian restaurant, with home made pasta and focaccia – healthy juices and fresh fish – cool vibest and laid-back ambiance.  if only for the peculiar character of the owners. The food is based on the authentic homemade Italian flavors. The place looks rustic but feels chic, the owners too 😉

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Arca – You don’t want to miss the remarkable work from the eclectic international chef  José Luis Hinostroza, who is also the co-founder of the restaurant. You can read Noma in his curriculum. Just saying.

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EL PUEBLO (DOWN TOWN)

Asadero: downtown. For meat eaters, it offers the best meat cuts in town, but they have been smart enough to keep even the strictest of vegans happy, by offering a delicious and savory vegetable dish which I have enjoyed many times. The ambiance is very informal and relaxed; you can make a reservation and it is recommended to do so if you go after 7.30.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Cetli: This unique place is definitely to be tried at least one night. Hiding towards the back of downtown Tulum, it is basically a house with just 3 tables, nicely and creatively decorated, and with delicious food which merges Mexican cuisine with an international touch.

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El Bacaro: The best pasta plates brought to you by native Italians from the region of Veneto. Locals from Tulum says here you can find the best pasta dishes of the area. The pizza is good too. In a very laid back atmosphere just off the main road of the Pueblo of Tulum. Same road as the bar Kibook. (calle Centauro Sur entre Andromoeda y Sol)

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KAY NAH – Right in front of el Bacaro a bit further up the road is this new restaurant specialized in seafood cuisine. There is a very cozy and Caribbean ambiance with a great friendly service. They have just opened and already received great reviews! Can’t wait to try it myself.

Read reviews on Trip Advisor

El Sudaca –  Look no further!! – Best empanadas in town and probably in the region. It’s a little shop with a few tables outside on a tranquil side road, just off the main avenue in the Pueblo of Tulum. You can either enjoy your empanadas there.. just in case you will need to order an extra one, (in fact after you taste it, the temptation will be very strong!) or you can buy them to go and enjoy it at home or on the beach. It’s a great option for a quick sneak or easy dinner and with a variety of fillings, from vegetarian to meat and different combination. Well, I think I made it very clear this is one of my favorite spot in Tulum.

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El Canaston – There is always that one place in a touristy town that seems just an average local place but it actually serves the best local food, and it becomes THE place. Well, that’s it. Must check it out for some all-star tacos. (located in Tulum downtown)

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COFFE …AND ICE CREAM SHOPS

Best bars and cafes in the beach zone of Tulum

MACHA MAMA – For a healthy bowl at breakfast time or a fresh smoothy break in your sunny day. On the beach road. 

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VEGAN ICECREAM – The first is this vegan ice cream place located in the Beach zone- they only do vegan ice-cream, homemade and super healthy, besides delicious. You will find it on the beach road just a few steps from the boutique Wanderlustulum.

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Vegan Ice-cream Shack! for a delicious Ice-cream – made with love –

SIESTACAFE -A cozy little place that merges Mexican design clothing with the traditional Mexican concept of “siesta” (resting). A cozy environment where you can either sip your coffee’ watching the Tulum life going by. You can also taste the delicious handmade snacks.

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Best cafés in downtown Tulum

BABEL – It’s a lovely coffè shop on the main road in Tulum downtown (Pueblo). A cozy place to hang out,  in their comfy sofa’ and chairs and have your daily coffee’ doses but don’t get deceived since they also offer delicious sandwiches, toast or bagel style, fresh and healthy fruit juices and finger leaking desserts. So it is a good place to eat a healthy lunch or a quick bite. It is normally open from 7.30 am to 10 pm.

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Babel Cafe’ – Photo Courtesy Babel Cafe’


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Photo courtesy of @handsome.salt

Ki’bok : I love the creativity of this place. it looks like you are sitting in an Art workshop. The paintings of the wall and the logistic of the shop make it such a cozy and inspiring place. The expresso is the best! plus they have a variety of pastry, sandwiches and different options if you wish to eat your breakfast, lunch or a snack. I always love my Chai latte with soy milk! a delish. You can chose between hanging out at the bar and chat with the friendly stuff or enjoy what you are doing at your own table inside or in green the back-yard. The cafe’ is located also in Downtown on a side road from the main street. (Calle Centauro sur) – and it is normally open from 7 am to 7 pm.

Arthelado – This is another relatively new kid on the block, as Tulum Downtown cool area is expanding more and cozier lovely places are opening off the main road. This is one of them. A little space full of creativity and good taste. The ice cream is to die for and the cozy garden offers comfortable chairs and free WIFI.

VEGETARIAN & VEGAN OPTION

Tierra @ Holistika – This is the top favorite of all. it’s new, it’s fresh and it’s more than a restaurant, is a holistic retreat. You can actually check their menu here. Make sure you don’t schedule anything after your meal, just in case you are enjoying the vibes and extend your experience with a yoga class or just chilling in the pool.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Sanarà hotel – A prestigious hotel on the beach also popular for its glassed walls yoga shala and its beach restaurant with vegetarian and vegan options.

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Nomade Hotel – Spectacular property on the beach boasting a Moroccan architecture and a vegan

El Vegetariano

el-vegetariano

Besides the beautiful vibes that make you want to just hang out there all day,  this cute little place offers a variety of healthy dishes. So, whether you are a vegan, a vegetarian or neither of them, be reassured that at El Vegetariano you will certainly find something that will suit your palate From a hearty meal to a snack or a sweet indulgence to go with your coffee’. I also love that the chef prepares your fresh dishes right there in front of you. It is situated on the main road to town, right after the traffic-light past the road to Coba’. You can’t miss it and you don’t want to. It’s open every day from 11 to 10.

NIGHTLIFE

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Batey Mojito bar

Nightlife in Tulum is pretty awesome, great music, laid-back environment, joyful crowds. I am not really a night out freak but I have asked around among my friends who live in Tulum what are the cool places to hang out. This is the reply.

In the Beach zone, you would want to go to  Gitano and Casa Jaguar, mainly. Casa Jaguar is also a great restaurant ( see above section)  and they are both party places, open every night, although they also have their own special night, the one that you can’t miss. Gitano is on Friday and Casa Jaguar on a Thursday. In Casa Jaguar also on a Tuesday night, the restaurant has entertainment for their guests after dinner.

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Foto courtesy of Casa Jaguar

Saturday nights are for Papaya Playa which is actually a hotel, but very popular for its parties on the beach on Saturdays and on the full moon.

Also, Habitas is great for events like concerts and movies

In downtown ( el pueblo) also you will find interesting places to go and hang out, with great music and fun environment.

The ones that are most popular right now are  Batey, KiKi and Pasito Tun Tun. They are all open every night and always with a good crowd.

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Comments

  1. a Coqueta is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. It’s much cheaper than any restaurant in the hotel zone and they offer free WiFi.

    1. Author

      Hello Eric! thank you for your suggestion. I will check it out when I’ll be back next year. 🙂

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