The 3 Best Restaurants in Playa del Carmen
1. Oh Lala! • $$$$
Fine dining restaurant featuring fresh, local ingredients and inspired choices. The menu features a bold blend of international flavors with Thai and Mexican featured most prominently. Meat, seafood, and vegetables are all prepared with great care and artful presentation. With talented chefs, attentive servers, stellar wines, and decadent desserts, this restaurant is always among the best in Playa. Oh Lala! is romantic and tiny with only nine tables total, so reserve in advance.
2. Las Hijas de la Tostada • $$-$$$
Casual, al fresco restaurant specializing in Mexican seafood dishes. Two pages of their menu are dedicated to tostadas, mostly with seafood, though meat and veggie options are also offered. The Tikal (raw tuna with chipotle) and the Mixta (shrimp, mahi-mahi, and octopus) are outstanding, as are the shrimp burgers, guacamole, and ceviche. The house cocktails are complex and creative, with mezcal, cardamom, or serrano peppers, while their tropical classics are strong and smooth. Great corner location on 5th, perfect for people watching from their sidewalk patio seats.
3. Ah Carbón! • $
No frills Ah Carbon! stands out for its mouthwatering grilled meats. The al pastor tacos are the best in Playa; try the build-your-own version with a hearty portion of meat buried under a pile of fresh tortillas with cheese, lime, and a selection of four made-from-scratch salsas. Their papa al carbón is also rich and filling: a baked potato with butter and cream, topped with your choice of meat, whether chorizo, carne asada, al pastor, or arrachera. This family-friendly restaurant is casual and fun with indoor and outdoor seating, a low-key vibe, cold beers, and warm service.