We stumbled on this little restaurant south of Juarez on 15th st. It is owned and operated by a couple from Sardinia. Everything in the place is fresh and all of the hot dishes are made while you wait, not preheated. It is by far one of the best little restaurants in Playa del Carmen. They only are open during the day because nightime for them is family time. In September, 2019 the hours are 12 – 5 Monday – Friday, but always check first. Best selection is early – they do run out of things by closing time. We usually go when they open and bring it home to have for dinner. The menu is usually in Italian and there are numerous daily specials.
The prices are unbelievably inexpensive and the food is the best. Pasta nero with tender octopus for less than $8 US? Seafood salad with huge shrimps for less than $7. here is only seating for about 20 people at a time and during busy season you will see a line of people waiting to get in. It’s worth the wait!
Best Restaurant in Playa and the First place we always go for dinner is Romeo Restaurant. Laura Carmine with Terry Carmine, Marcela Leal Morales with our dear Canadian friend, Ed Vidgen
Romeo’s in on Calle 4 between 5th Ave and 10th Ave, a 10 minute walk from any of our condos. Pasta is made fresh when you order it (!) I get Ivan’s (head waiter) favorite, Spinach Ravioli with Truffle sauce or the Grilled Seafood (OMG). Terry always gets Spaghetti Bolognese. We split a Contadina Salad and Marcela and Ed shared Grilled Octopus sliced thin with a little seasoning. Ed also had Gnocchi and Marcela had lobster.
I’ve never tried the pizza, but I hear it’s the best in Playa. I know it’s thin crust and looks delicious.
Telephone 984-141-6507 I definitely recommend a reservation as without one you might wait in line outside for and hour or more. Busiest after 7 pm.
Location Romeo is on 4th Street between 10th Avenue and 15th Avenue on the south end of downtown Playa Del Carmen. Just look for the palapa roof in the middle of the block.
Hours Closed Wednesdays. Open from 4:00pm-11:00pm all other days.
Le Cinq is my new favorite restaurant!! It’s located on 10th Ave. between Calle 12 and 14. We went early last night because we’d been cooped up with an all-day rain. I love French food and this place is incredibly good. We were the first to arrive and in addition to the menu, they showed us pictures on an iPad of all the dishes and wines. They have an extensive wine list with descriptions of each wine. You’ll see numerous French wines in addition to other wines. We started with escargot surrounded by thin slices of tomatoes and potatoes that was one of the best I’ve ever had. My husband had the best french onion soup he’s ever had. He followed that with lobster risotto and I had shrimp on a skewer with pineapple and other vegetables. Of course the sauce was out of this world. We finished with a warm chocolate dessert. Our waiter, Selomit, spoke French, English and Spanish and was attentive, very informative, and friendly. This is one of the best French restaurants I’ve been to including ones in France. Love it. Not the most expensive restaurant in Playa, but a little above average in price. Beautiful interior with outside seating as well.
Best Chefs of Mexico
There is no shortage of fabulous places to eat in Playa del Carmen and foodies can celebrate with the Best Chefs of Mexico.
The four-night October fiesta called “The Best of Mexico Riviera Maya” will be held Oct. 5 – 9 in Playa del Carmen. The prestigious event will feature 10-course tasting menus of original dishes honoring the richness of Mexican cuisine through the use of ingredients, seasonings, and techniques from the country’s different regions. The 5 world renowned chefs participating in the event are:
Chef Carlos Gaytan from Chicago!!!!
Chef Carlos Gaytan was named “Chef of the Year” in 2011 by the American Culinary Federation. He created a revolution in Mexican gastronomy with his Chicago restaurant Mexique, which has been celebrated with a Michelin star and awards from Michelin Bib Gourmand. Mexique opened in May of 2008, in Chicago. Now world renowned, Chef Gaytan is one of the Best Chefs of Mexico and with great creativity, love, and dedication he applies his knowledge of French cooking techniques and ingredients to his roots of traditional Mexican cuisine, creating a revolution of Mexican gastronomy.
Mexique has received much recognition since its opening, including one of Chicago magazine’s top new restaurants of 2009, best restaurant of 2010 and received its first star in the Michelin Guide in 2013.Most recently Carlos was awarded “Chef of the Year 2011,” by the American Culinary Federation.
Chef Francisco “Paco” Ruano, Guadalajara
Chef Francisco “Paco” Ruano began his culinary journey in Spanish Basque Country at the Escuela de Cocina Luis Irizar, then throughout Europe in some of the best restaurants in the world, such as Spain’s Mugaritz and El Celler de Can Roca, and Noma in Denmark. In 2013, he opened Alcalde restaurant, widely considered one of the best in Guadalajara’s exciting new dining scene. He’s considered one of the Best Chefs of Mexico.
Chef Mikel Alonso
Chef Mikel Alonso’s restaurant, Biko, is regularly named among the world’s 50 Best Restaurants. Biko is all about ‘techno emotional’ cooking – a term commonly associated with Spain and the progressive cuisine of chefs such as Ferran Adrià – the stuff most diners familiar with the style used to call molecular gastronomy.
Under executive chef Xavi Perez Stone (“Best Chef in Mexico” 2013 and winner of “Iron Chef 2014”) and alongside chef Bruno Oteiza, Alonso, one of the Best Chefs of Mexico, created the singular menu at Velas’ Cocina de Autor, in Playa del Carmen, the first all-inclusive restaurant to earn Five Diamonds from AAA. Food & Wine also named it among the world’s “100 Best New Food & Drink.
Chef Ricardo de la Vega, Mexico City
Chef Ricardo de la Vega’s passion for the culinary arts has taken him to leading Mexican hotels and restaurants in Puebla, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo. As executive chef of Frida in Playa del Carmen, he focuses on modern explorations of Mexico’s culinary riches. He is widely considered to be one of the Best Chefs of Mexico
Chef Zahie Téllez, Mexico City
Chef Zahie Téllez’s culinary style blends her love for Mexican and Italian cuisine, enriched by her Lebanese and Mazatec roots. She’s greatly admired for her cooking skills as demonstrated for six seasons on television’s “El Gourmet,” as well as her popular restaurant, Jose Guadalupe Platos de Cuchara in Playa del Carmen and is considered one of the Best Chefs of Mexico .
The tastings take place at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Nightly rates start at $393 per person per night based on double occupancy, and include a luxury suite, à la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, and more.
We are constantly updating our list of Best Restaurants in Playa del Carmen. These are our recommendations for the Best Restaurants in Playa del Carmen July, 2016
1. Romeo, Best Italian in PDC. My husband is Italian and he tells people this is the best Italian food he’s had in his life. I love the Spinach Ravioli with Truffle Oil. We took our family, a group of 12, and they had everything from pizza, to gnocchi, to seafood and everyone raved about the food, and we actually went back one more time before they left. Prices are modest, ($10 US entrees) food is outstanding. It’s a little place, so call ahead and make a reservation 984-141-6507 or stop by after 4 pm. It’s on Calle 4, between 10th and 15th. Good chance for tourists to get off 5th Ave. To-go and Delivery is available.
2. Plank The first restaurant in the Riviera Maya to win a 5 diamond award from the Academy of Hospitality Sciences. Terrific menu, great food and service, lovely place, great location. Open for dinner nightly and weekend brunches. I love the tasting menu! The brunches are the best I’ve ever experienced with the widest variety of food. The chef, Juan Diego is phenomenal. Located on Calle 16, between First and 5th Ave., in the Porto Playa Condo/Hotel Building. Medium priced restaurant (Guests at our properties receive a 20% discount on Thursdays) Plank Website For reservations you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +52 (984) 803 0108 +52 (984) 168 7025
3. Oh Lala, International Cuisine by George is always a favorite, but you need to book at least 3 weeks in advance or be willing to eat after 9 pm. They will only take parties of 6 or less so that they can provide the highest level of service. The restaurant is small, with seating inside and outside, but spacious in that tables are not crowded together. The food is delicious with high attention to service. A bit higher priced, but well worth it. Located at Calle 14 north Bis, between 10th Av. and 15th Av. Playa del CarmenOh Lala restaurant in Playa del Carmen website
4. La Brocherie I love this place! Fabian had a restaurant in Paris, then New York, and now Playa del Carmen. He and his parents and wife bring French chicken to Mexico. It is succulent and the desserts are the best in the Riviera Maya, so save room for dessert! The restaurant is small, with plastic tables and chairs, but it fills up nightly and is not something to miss. It is located on 15th Ave, between 4th and 6th.
La Brocherie is open Monday-Saturday from 10:30am-9:oopm Closed Sundays. Modest prices.
To-go and Delivery is available. Their number is 147 8683 or cell 984-117-7210
5. Nau is fairly new, but great concept, food, and ambiance. Excellent atmosphere with great fresh food (best fish choices! but they do have meat options as well) and some great gin drinks. I’ve never been much of a gin drinker but this place has some great recipes that are fantastic on a hot Mexican night.
Quality meals with top notch service. Medium priced. Nau Restaurant in Playa del Carmen Website For reservations, call Tel: +52 1 984 197 4121 or email email@example.com
6. El Fogon is our favorite authentic Mexican restaurant, and you’ll see it’s where the locals eat. Menu is in Spanish, and the wait staff speaks only a little English, so you look around to see what dishes come out and ask what they are, and use your head and Google translate to decipher the menu. The food is fantastic, service is terrific and the prices are very inexpensive. The folks at El Fogon are extremely friendly and they will do everything they can to make your experience one you’ll remember. Located on North side of Constituyentes, between Calle 25 and 30. No reservations or delivery, but they offer carryout.
7. Imprevist is another favorite and another outstanding restaurant by Chef Juan Diego. They offer an outstanding breakfast and brunch daily with a choice of seating in air-conditioned dining room or outside on an open-air patio, overlooking a quaint and quiet cobblestone street. Very European – like Playa. At night under candles and twinkly lights it becomes a cozy and intimate dining experience. Gourmet menu is comprised of seasonal flavors featuring fine selections of Prime Sea foods, USDA certified Beef and Chicken, Salad Medleys and Risottos. I strongly encourage reservations for dinner. (984) 168 70 25 / 26 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Imprevist Restaurant Website
8. Aguachiles is a very inexpensive place to order tacos and has great margherita’s, is close to our properties and is a favorite lunch spot or place to go get a quick bite. It’s changed owners and menus, but is still a favorite. You can order a variety of different small tacos that are very tasty. It’s on Constituyentes, beteen First and Fifth Ave. No need for reservations
9. Wah-Wah is a beach bar/restaurant that we love to go to for lunch. They have the best grouper sandwiches (don’t forget to order the garlic Parmesan french fries). We go here for lunch only, and most days there is someone playing guitar and singing beach songs like Jimmy buffet or Zac Brown. Great way to spend an afternoon.
10. Indigo Beach Club. Nothing like having a really nice breakfast buffet on the beach. Great lunch menu and drinks as well . Service is terrific and sometimes you’ll have a celebrity sighting because this is the place to hang out during the day! They can also handle small parties at night – loads of fun, Love the place! They are open from 7 am to 8 pm daily.
Babe’s Noodles and Bar, just off 5th Ave. between Calle 5 and 10 is open for lunch and dinner. Babe’s is a Swedish owned Restaurant and Bar with speciality Thai noodles and an Asian European kitchen. The bar makes the best mojitos, blueberry daiquiris, margaritas, smoothies and juices. Everthing is freshly prepared at the time you order.
Los Aguachiles is located on the corner of Avenida 25 and Calle 34. Hands down the best taco place in the Mayan Riviera. It’s fresh, healthy, and where the well-to-do locals go. It closes around 5 and don’t be surprised if there’s a short wait for a table – it’s worth it! Tacos are all made with fresh ingredients that have either been sauteed in olive oil or cooked ceviche style in fresh lime juice.