The Best Restaurants in Tulum

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: April 7, 2017

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The Best Places to Eat in Tulum

  • Best Tacos in Tulum: Taqueria el Carboncito in Tulum Town. Delicious pastor tacos. Only open at night.
    Best Taqueria in Tulum.
    Best Pastor Tacos in Tulum
  • 2nd Best Tacos in Tulum: Antojitos la Chiapaneca (in Town). 3 minutes south of the bus station (on the same side of the street). Great salsa bar. Only open at night.

    Best Pastor Tacos in Tulum

  • 3rd Best Tacos in Tulum: Riviera Costeña (just across from the Scotia Bank). Only open at night.
    Best Tacos in Tulum: Riviera Costena
  • Best Lunchtime Tacos in Tulum: All of the above places are only open at night. If you need good tacos through the day go to Tacoqueto.
    Best Tacos for Lunch in Tulum
  • Best Italian Restaurant in Tulum: Posada Margherita (Beach Road). Delicious. The best pasta in Tulum.
    Best Italian Restaurant in Tulum
  • Best Restaurant at Tulum Beach: Hartwood (Beach Road). Very popular and widely regarded as the best restaurant in the area. Reservations are recommended at [email protected] Good pics of Hartwood.
    Best Restaurants in Tulum: Hartwood
  • Best Pizza in Tulum: La Onda (Beach Road). Delicious wood oven pizza. The dessert pizza with Nutella is not bad either.
  • Best Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant in Tulum: El Vegetariano Mar y Tierra (in Town). The best vegetarian choice around.
  • Best Fish Tacos in Tulum: El Capitan (In Town).
  • Best Steak Restaurant in Tulum: El Asadero (in Town). Perfectly prepared steak and meats, great for special occasions.
  • Best Roasted Chicken in Tulum: Pollo Bronco (In Town). Simple, cheap, delicious. Buy whole, half, or quarter roasted chickens with tortillas, rice, and salsa. Take to go as well.
  • Funnest Restaurant/Bar: Mateo’s Mexican Grill (Beach Road). Good food and fun vibe. Hammocks and great views can be found on the upper floors of this treehouse-style of a restaurant. Live music on Monday and Friday nights here and across the road at Zamas.
  • Best Place for Live Music: Puro Carazon has live music 5 days a week. On the other 2 days (Monday and Friday) the music is next door at Mateo’s.
    Best Place for Live Music and Party on Tulum Beach
  • Best Steak Restaurant at the Beach: Casa Banana. (Beach Road)
  • Best Coffee in Tulum: Ki ‘bok (In town). Great espresso and insanely friendly staff.

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43 Questions and Comments

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  1. Good Restaurant Between Cancun and Tulum

    Hey Dave. Where’s the best place to get lunch on the way from Cancun to Tulum? We’re driving and we’ll be hungry.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      El Fogon (in Playa del Carmen) is great and just a few blocks off the freeway.

  2. Best Tulum Restaurants for Food and Music

    Hi! We are coming next weekend Friday-Tuesday and wondering where to go on what night. We heard good things about these places: Casa Banana, Gitano, Hartwood, Posada Margarita. Love great food, ambiance and music! Thanks!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Those are all good spots. Casa Banana is a great Argentinian spot along the beach road. The same owners have opened a new restaurant, MINA that is also very good. Casa Banana is on the jungle side of the road while MINA is beachside. Both are delicious. Gitano has a fun nightlife, it’s a nightclub dropped in the middle of the jungle which is very Tulum unique. Hartwood is very good (but probably overrated). ARCA next door is on the same level and a little less pretentious. Cenzotle is a few doors down and also on par with Hartwood and ARCA. Posada Margarita has amazing pasta, everything is made totally fresh to order. Papaya Playa Project is known for their large Saturday night parties and if you want to check out the Tulum nightlife – that’s the epitome. A little different but very entertaining is Sunday Salsa Nights at La Zebra. The evening gets started with free lessons followed by dancing. Lots of locals and visitors are there every week. If you’re thinking of going into town – you can’t miss Campanella Cremerie. They won second place at the world gelato championships, need I say more? Mojitos at Bateys bar are also a town favorite and you can always stop for dinner at any of the great restaurants along that street. Almost everywhere is cash-only so be sure to remember your pesos. The best spot to get money is at the grocery store (Chedraui) ATMs. They are the safest and most reliable.

  3. Hotel in Tulum That Allows Non-guests to Use Pool

    Hi Dave. Do you know of any hotels in town, that if you eat there, you may use their swimming pool? Seems I read that somewhere now I can’t find it… Thanks! Vicki

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I don’t know of any hotels like that in town.

  4. Good Hotels in Downtown Tulum

    Hi Dave. I’m coming to Tulum for 4 nights with my parents in April. Are there any nice hotels in the downtown area that are walking distance to restaurants and bars? Any recommendations? Or are all of the nice hotels at the beach?
    Dave Andrews

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are definitely nice hotels in town. Most of the hotels in town are more low-key than the ones on the beach but nice nonetheless. The Nest at Ki’Bok is new and the rooms are very nice. They are actually on one of the most active streets in town. They are above the best coffee shop in town (Ki’Bok), on the same street as many local’s favorite restaurants, and next door to the best bar in town – Batey’s. (Bateys serves great mojitos and has live music every night. They have an old converted vw beetle out front that has a sugar cane press in the front seat. The mojitos are delicious.) It is however, a very lively spot so the entire street can be quite loud pretty late into the night. There are also a number of stairs to to get to the rooms at The Nest at Ki’bok if that is a problem for your parents. Another nice but a little more basic hotel is Corazon de Jade located right along the main avenida. They are across the street from the best tacos in town and some amazing gelatos and waffles at Campanella Cremerie. Town has a more lively vibe than the beach so if you are interested in a quiet, tranquil getaway, that’s where you will want to spend your time.

  5. Tulum Beach Restaurant for Large Group

    I have a large group for a wedding celebration going to Tulum in November. What is the best restaurant on the beach that will accommodate a big wedding group?
    Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Akiin is the best place on the Tulum beach to host special events like big wedding dinners. They are right on the beach and have large spaces both right in the sand and under the palapa for special events. Unlike most spots on the beach, they do not have a hotel so the space is yours for the evening and won’t be interrupted by hotel guests wandering through. Another great restaurant with lots of space and a beautiful setting is Shiva. They serve cuisine from Northern India that is authentic and delicious. They are on the jungle side of the beach road and have a beautifully constructed, huge, open palapa that creates a stunning location for a large group dinner. So, if you want to be right on the beach – go with Akiin. If you want something a little more unique – go with Shiva. Either way you can’t go wrong.

  6. Restaurants near Alaya Tulum

    New to your website. We will be staying at Alaya Tulum in a few weeks, how far away are the restaurants you’ve highlighted in this post? Are there some close to our hotel? Other suggestions please?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Good restaurants within walking distance to Alaya: La Onda, OM, La Zebra, Casa Banana, and Hartwood, though you’d probably want a taxi for Hartwood.

  7. Tulum to Vallodolid

    Hi Dave,

    Very interested in visiting Valladolid for a day trip from Tulum (We’re staying in pueblo and beach during our stay) and visit the cenotes and explore. However we don’t have a car. What’s your advice on getting there. Cost for a taxi? Should we rent a car for the day, if possible? Or is there tour to get us there?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Take the bus. Especially since you’ll be staying in the Pueblo. The bus station is an easy walk from most hotels in town. Vallodolid is 1.5 hours away and the bus station is right down town.

  8. Cash for Tulum

    Hi Dave – I am travelling from the UK in a couple of weeks to Tulum – would you recommend changing up Dollars and using them or would I get better value using a cash point when there and getting pesos?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would have some dollars or pesos with you when you arrive but for most of your spending use cash card at the ATMs at Scotia Bank in downtown Tulum. They have the best rates for getting pesos and paying with pesos will get you the best prices pretty much everywhere.

  9. Fire at La Zebra Hotel in Tulum

    Has Zebra really burned down? If it’s closed, where’s another good spot to chill and have breakfast or lunch at the beach?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, there was a fire and the main building (kitchen, restaurant) and 7 of the 24 units burned down. But the hotel has now reopened, the restaurant is running, and the beach beds are out.

  10. El Fogon in Playa del Carmen

    Is Il Fogon in Playa del Carmen still open?

    Chachi Lopez

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, pretty sure. It was as of mid-February. (And busy as ever, expect a 30 minute to 1 hour wait during peak times.)

  11. Chris

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the info! In an attempt to return the favor, let me recommend Cetli in Tulum town near Mariachis. Very modern take on traditional Mexican.

  12. Collectivos from Town to Beach

    Do collectivos run from the beach to town daily?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      They run about once per hour but they are primarily for local workers, not tourists, and finding them or any information is difficult. They’re often full and being a tourist you’ll likely be discouraged from hopping on board. But it’s doable.

  13. Food at Dreams Resort in Tulum

    Hola Dave,
    Thanks for the site, very informative. We’re just starting our month long stay in town (we were here last Feb as well). Though I agree with your overall take on Dreams, they also offer a really good deal if you’re looking for a bit of luxury while in Tulum. You can get a day pass for $55 which allows you to stay from 9AM to 5PM. Since it’s all inclusive, you get 2 nice meals and all the drinks and lattes you want plus use of all of the facilities except for the spa, which is extra. We found the food to be excellent and the service superb. We also did the sales tour, which was pretty low key and provided an off the menu breakfast. The reward was a $300 voucher that we can use at Dreams later during our stay.

    Natavar Knudsen

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Thanks Natavar. I would still not recommend Dreams but good to know.

  14. Beach Restaurants for Non-Guests

    Are beach restaurants generally welcoming of people stopping in and eating? I will be traveling to Tulum mid-March with my 2 year old, staying at Nomade, but love the image of the kid area at another hotel. The vibe of the whole town seems chill I just want to make sure I am not understanding local etiquette. Thanks for putting all this good info out there!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Restaurants and hotels are generally welcoming as long as you order food or drinks. And if you’re talking about La Zebra (which has a fun kids area) yes, they are definitely accepting of non-guests who stop in for something to eat.

  15. Closest Hotel to Hartwood Restaurant

    Which hotel is closest to Hartwood restaurant?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      My Tulum and Tita Tulum are directly across the street from Hartwood (they’re both on the budget end of the scale).

  16. Cancun Airport to Tulum

    Dave hiya
    I would really like to know the best way to get from Cancun airport to Tulum. Safest way and economical way too. We’re going on Sunday and landing late in the evening! Do we get a taxi to tulum or a bus, talking 8.30 evening. Don’t know whether to book online a taxi or to catch a bus. Then thinking how do we find our cabaña????

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      When you arrive that late it’s best to take a taxi/hired driver. Paradise Transfers are really good. Book in advance and they’ll be waiting for you with a van when you exit the airport.

  17. Tulum Only for Couples?

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks so much for this informative and totally legit site.
    So, I’m a travelin gal, adventurous, foodie, love Mexico, looking to chill in Tulum for a week or so.
    I’m 50 years young and will be traveling alone. I’m not usually one to mind such things but has Tulum become such a couples destination that I will stick out like a sore thumb?
    Any thoughts?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      You’ll be fine as a solo traveler. Yes, there are lots of couples but plenty of families and single tourists too. You will find more solo travelers in Tulum Town than on the beach.

  18. Lunch in Tulum

    Just had lunch at La Creperia on the beach road. It just opened (January). Crepes were fantastic, cappuccino so much better than our fancy hotel, and the owner could not be more friendly. Highly recommend.

  19. Restaurant in Tulum for Large Group

    Hello Dave!
    I’m in the need of some help figuring out where the best places to go with a large group are. Having a wedding at OM feb 13th and there are 63 guest coming. Just looking for some ideas on good group hangout spots and places to eat. I know it’s going to be hard to accommodate that many people but any input would be so greatly appreciated! Never been to Tulum.. So excited!
    Thanks so much,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Your best bet is Mateo’s in the strip of shops and restaurants when you first get to the beach road from town. (Mateo’s is not on the beach but the other side of the road.) They do wedding and reception events. It’s a big restaurant with a back area of seats and tables that is often not in use. The food is OK to good (definitely not great).

  20. Best Beach Restaurant

    Hi –

    We have not been to Tulum in over 12 years. We are traveling with 12 people and are looking for the best restaurants on the beach, feet in sand or with a view, between Soliman Bay and Tulum. Any help would be appreciated.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      La Zebra has great food, great beach, and a nice layout. It’s probably my favorite restaurant along the beach.

  21. Tulum Changes

    I really appreciate your site. We haven’t been to Tulum in many years, so I know there are changes. Can’t wait to see it again. Thanks!

    Shelley Green

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, it changes every year. But it’s still great. The food just gets better and better.

  22. Kim

    Dave, You Rock! Thank you for posting this information. Will make our vacation in Tulum so much better.

  23. Natalie

    Thank you for the most comprehensive guides to Tulum ever! It’s clear you’ve spent a lot of time in this paradise.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, I love Tulum. Have fun.

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