The Best Restaurants in Tulum

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: March 26, 2020

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Tulum Dining – Tips & Advice

  • Cash: Most restaurants in Tulum accept cash only, even the fine dining restaurants. Some accept U.S. dollars, but most require payment in Mexican pesos. If given the option, pay in pesos to get the best rates; you will always overpay if using dollars. Many resturants that do allow credit cards charge an additional 3% surcharge.
  • Tipping: Tipping is part of the custom here, and 10 to 15% is the standard rate. But first check bill for the word “propina” (meaning tip) to see if it has already been added to the bill. If so, add the necessary amount to bring the propina total up to 10 to 15%. Tipping in pesos is best, so the staff don’t have to pay a bank to exchange it into pesos.
  • Most of Tulum’s best restaurants are in the Pueblo or Middle Beach Zone. The Pueblo has more authentic, affordable restaurants, while the Middle Beach Zone has more chic, upscale spots. Most restaurants in the beach zones are on the jungle side of the road with outdoor seating.
  • Best Cooking Class : Rivera’s Kitchen Tulum (Pueblo)
  • Best Breakfast: Tunich (Beach Town) • Del Cielo (Pueblo) • Taqueria Honorio (Pueblo)
  • Best Sunsets: Kin Toh (Beach Town) • Mateo’s Mexican Grill (Beach Town)
  • Best New Restaurant: MEZE (Middle Beach Zone)
  • Best Ice Cream: Campanella Cremerie (Pueblo) • Panna e Cioccolato (Pueblo)
  • Best Coffee: Ki’bok Coffee (Pueblo)

The 28 Best Restaurants in Tulum

1. Arca – Middle Beach Zone • $$$$

The entrance to Arca Restaurant in Tulum
High-end restaurant serving contemporary, flame-cooked, Mayan-Mexican dishes. The menu changes often, but always offers the freshest, local seafood, meat, and produce from nearby Mayan farms. Open for dinner Tuesdays through Sundays. Reservations strongly recommended. Cash only.

2. Hartwood – Middle Beach Zone • $$$$

A full house at Hartwood in Tulum
Tulum’s premier fine dining restaurant offers a new menu each night highlighting seasonal produce from local markets and farms, along with sustainable seafood and meats. Totally off-the-grid, all food is cooked over fire and the only lighting comes from candles. Open for dinner only from Wednesday through Sunday. Email for reservations about a month in advance. Cash only.

3. Cetli – Pueblo • $$$

Outside Cetli in Tulum at night
A romantic, candlelit hacienda-turned-restaurant just outside of town, Cetli serves up amazing Oaxacan mole dishes. Local, fresh ingredients are ground with a metate stone in pre-Hispanic style. Open for lunch and dinner; reservations recommended for dinner. Cash only.

4. La Gloria de Don Pepe – Pueblo • $$

Night tapas at La Gloria de Don Pepe in Tulum
Charming little spot for Spanish tapas, and fantastic wine. Their greatest hits include paella, fideuà (seafood pasta), and chistorra sausage. Buzzing atmosphere, especially in the evenings. Open for lunch and dinner. Cash only.

5. – South Beach Zone • $$$$

Dining in the jungle at Nü in Tulum
Contemporary Mayan-Mexican cuisine served in the jungle under the stars. Dishes feature traditional, local ingredients prepared in a creative, modern style. Its romantic ambiance makes this an ideal spot for special occasions. Dinner only; reservations recommended.

6. Posada Margherita – Middle Beach Zone • $$$$

The exterior of Posada Margherita in Tulum
Upscale yet unfussy beachfront Italian restaurant serving delicious handmade pasta and outstanding pizza made according to an old family recipe. The wine list is broad with an ever-changing selection of excellent labels. The restaurant is open all day, but the lunch and dinner menus are best. Cash only; no reservations.

7. Safari – Middle Beach Zone & Aldea Zama • $$

The fire pit and kitchen at Safari on the beach road in Tulum
Rustic, Yucatecan-Mexican dishes cooked campfire-style, over an outdoor fire pit, and prepared in a retro-chic Airstream trailer. The menu is small and simple, pairing well with Mexican craft beer, signature cocktails, and house-made aguas frescas. The beach zone is the original location, open for lunch and dinner, cash only, with outdoor seating in the jungle. Aldea Zama is the newer location, with indoor seating (the food is still flam-cooked), breakfast available, and accepting credit cards.

8. Clan-Destino – Middle Beach Zone • $

Virgin Cenote at the heart of Clan-Destino in Tulum
Awesome hamburger restaurant built around a private cenote in the jungle. Burgers come with meat or veggie patties, while the bar serves classic cocktails and cold beer. Virgin Cenote is lit all night with a chandelier, and legend has it that jumping in restores the virginity of the swimmer. Very casual atmosphere and always filled with music, whether from the jukebox, karaoke, or live bands. Open from noon until 5:00 in the morning. Cash only.

9. WILD – South Beach Zone • $$$

Open-air dining space at The Wild in Tulum
Ultra-chic, open-air dining in the jungle. The menu features gourmet Mexican-international gastronomy, using locally-sourced ingredients cooked over a wood fire. The inspired cocktail bar offers signature drinks made with fresh juices, homemade syrups, and edible flowers. Ideal for weddings and special events. Reservations recommended.

10. El Asadero – Pueblo • $$

Sidewalk dining at El Asadero in Tulum
The best steakhouse in the Pueblo, El Asadero serves up succulent meats (don’t miss the arrachera) with Mexican accompaniments, including chorizo, grilled cactus, and roasted potatoes. Dinner only; reservations recommended.

11. Casa Banana – Middle Beach Zone • $$$

Outside Casa Banana in Tulum
The best steakhouse on the beach road. Casa Banana offers a high-end Argentine-Mexican menu with excellent meat cuts, homemade chorizo, local beer, and a long list of mezcal cocktails. Open all day, but dinner service is the best. Cash only.

12. MEZE – Middle Beach Zone • $$$$

Dining area at Meze in Tulum
The best new restaurant in Tulum. MEZE is a stylish Greek taverna specializing in meze plates (the Greek version of tapas) and creative cocktails. All dishes are made to share, so bring a friend and an appetite.

13. Tunich – Beach Town • $$

Exterior of Tunich Restaurant in Tulum
The best brunch in the beach zone. Tunich offers a hearty menu of Mexican and international favorites, from chilaquiles to eggs benedict, with friendly faces and a relaxed vibe. All day brunch from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Cash only.

14. Del Cielo – Pueblo • $$

The entrance to Del Cielo
Del Cielo Tropical Bistro offers a mix of Mexican, Caribbean, and international favorites. Don’t miss the tartine and French toast. The restaurant is open all day, but brunch is when they truly shine. Cash only.

15. Raw Love – Middle Beach Zone • $$

The dining space at Raw Love in Tulum
Vegan, raw food restaurant on the beach with a sandy floor, hammocks, and hippie style. Gluten-free superfoods fill the menu, while standout dishes include the raw pah thai and the açai bowl. Find them in Ahau Tulum hotel. Cash only.

16. Mateo’s Mexican Grill – Beach Town • $$

Outside the ground floor bar at Mateo's Mexican Grill in Tulum
Multi-storied bar and grill with a rooftop deck offering sunset views over the jungle. Another terrace is filled with hammocks. The menu is Mexican-based but a little Americanized; standouts include the fish tacos, ceviche, and cocktails. Open all day; live music most nights. Cash only (ATM onsite).

17. Ukami – Middle Beach Zone • $$

The entrance of Ukami in Tulum
Unique fusion menu of “Mayapanese” creations, blending Mayan and Japanese culinary traditions. Expect fresh sushi alongside wild concoctions, like gyoza made with yuca, teriyaki tacos, and miso soup with fried tortillas. The restaurant has covered and open-air seating with colorful murals, eclectic décor, and a casual atmosphere. Dinner only.

18. Mezzanine – North Beach Zone • $$$

The dining room at Mezzanine in Tulum
Mezzanine Hotel is home to a surprisingly authentic Thai restaurant. Run by 2 Thai chefs and incorporating local ingredients, the restaurant offers subtle twists on classic dishes and pairs them with Asian-inspired cocktails. Elegant yet casual atmosphere, perfect for a date night.

19. El Vegetariano Mar y Tierra – Pueblo • $$

Outside El Vegetariano in Tulum
Tasty, casual vegan/veggie restaurant in the heart of town with a savory menu of Mexican and international dishes. Great chile relleno, burgers, falafel, and more, best enjoyed on the cozy garden patio in the back.

20. El Gourmet – Pueblo • $$

Outside of El Gourmet restaurant in Tulum
Wonderful café in the heart of the Pueblo featuring amazing paninis made with homemade focaccia bread (baked daily onsite), fresh cheeses, local produce, and quality meat. The breezy dining terrace sits in front under a canopy of rainbow umbrellas with the tables interspersed with plants and flowers. Cash only.

21. Kin Toh – Beach Town • $$$$

The lounge area of Kin Toh in Tulum
Stylish treehouse restaurant and bar with striking architecture and dreamy sunset views over the jungle. This so-cool-it-hurts spot is all about the atmosphere, so come for sunset cocktails in one of their nest perches or have a shisha while lounging on their hanging nets. The food is Mayan avant-garde and a bit pretentious, but the ambiance is truly original and well worth the trip. Reservations recommended. A 25 USD minimum consumption fee will be charged to a credit card on arrival.

The Best Tacos in Tulum

1. Taqueria Honorio – Pueblo • $

Counter service at Taqueria Honorio in Tulum
A family-run taco stand best known for their Yucatecan pork fillings, including conchinita pibil (slow-roasted pulled pork), lechón al horno (roast suckling pig), poc chuc (grilled pork with citrus marinade). This spot has become popular in recent years, so expect to pay a little more here than at other taco stands (though it’s still super cheap). Open from 6:00 a.m. until they run out of food, usually around 1:00 p.m. Cash only, limited seating.

2. El Carboncito – Pueblo • $

The dining area of Taqueria El Carboncito in Tulum
Tulum’s best tacos al pastor (spit-roasted pork with a Mexican-Middle Eastern spice blend). Chorizo and beef tacos are also amazing, especially when washed down with a glass of jamaica (sweet hibiscus tea) or horchata (sweet cinnamon rice drink). Though the seating area is large, it’s usually super busy with a long wait for a table, so arrive early or take it to go. Cash only.

3. Antojitos la Chiapaneca – Pueblo • $

Night scene at Antojitos la Chiapaneca in Tulum
Some of Tulum’s best tacos are also the cheapest, starting at 10 pesos each (15 pesos with cheese). Go for the al pastor. This stand is also known for its Yucatecan snacks, especially salbutes (open-face, deep-fried, mesa flour tacos) and panuchos (salbutes with refried beans added). Covered or open-air seating is available, but it’s standing room only most nights. Hours are not strictly kept, but usually the shop is open after 5:00 p.m. Cash only.

4. Tacos y Tortas El Tío – Pueblo • $

The taco stand Tacos y Tortas El Tío in Tulum
Authentic, cheap, delicious street tacos and tortas. There are only 5 chairs at this popular little cart, so plan on ordering to go. Hours aren’t set, but the cart is open at night only and usually on weekends, though you may catch them some weeknights, too. El Tío parks in front of the Oxxo convenience store at the corner of Avenida Tulum and Calle Geminis Sur. Cash only.

5. Burrito Amor – Pueblo • $$

Outside Burrito Amor in Tulum
Not technically tacos. But Burrito Amor cooks up a rich, flavorful menu based around a clean-eating philosophy. Burritos are made with their fresh, homemade tortillas (flour, gluten-free, or grain-free) and stuffed with a variety of fillings (meat, vegetarian, vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, and/or paleo-friendly). They also have a killer bar, mixing up signature cocktails, aquas frescas, fresh squeezed juices, and fragrant coffee. Great menu and service all day. Cash only.

6. Charly’s Vegan Tacos – South Beach Zone • $

The entrance to Charly's Vegan Tacos in Tulum
Non-traditional taco shop serving 100% vegan tacos and snacks, including their signature Guaca-Mango (their sweet take on guacamole) and rich, flavorful mock meats. Tucked under palm trees, lit with hanging lights and candles, this is the most charming spot for tacos in Tulum. Cash only.

7. Taqueria La Eufemia – South Beach Zone • $

The beach club at La Eufemia in Tulum
Rock ‘n roll style, beachfront taqueria offering great fish tacos and snacks. La Eufemia is not very authentic, but the flavors are bold, the margaritas are strong, the vibe is chill, and the smell of weed is in the air. The cheapest eats on the beach. Cash only.

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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!
    Karen

    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!
    Jennifer

    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?

    Doug

    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!
    Ashley

    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?

    Jane

    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?
    Jeff

    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?

    Liz

    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!
    Dana

    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?
    Thanks!

    Stefanie

    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!
    Deb

    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,
    Kim

    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.

    Thanks!
    Kristin

    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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