Bring on the Mexican food, local drinks, and maybe a splash of tequila. The food scene in Cancun is exploding with innovative flavors and world-class cuisine with places to fit every traveler’s budget.
This modern city has casual dining, fine dining, and everything in between. Wherever you decide to go for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, make sure you take your appetite because you are in for a tasty treat.
Here is a guide to the best places to eat in Cancun. We have divided our delicious list into budget, mid-range, and luxury price ranges. We recommend you try out some places in each section. Some of the best meals are mouth-watering cheap street food plates, although you also can’t beat a luxury fine dining Cancun experience. What we mean is memorable food experiences come in all price ranges.
Best Places To Eat In Cancun under $20
You don’t need to spend a bomb to have a meal that wows your taste buds. When it comes to affordable and Best Places to Eat in Cancun, you can easily find your next meal. Save your money for shopping and entertainment by eating at low-cost restaurants that are dotted all over the city.
El Rinconcito de Puebla is an affordable restaurant serving up Mexican, Latin, and pub-style dishes. Arrive starving and leave totally satisfied without a huge bill. You really can’t go wrong with this great restaurant that is popular with locals and tourists.
What better place to find cheap eats that are authentic and delicious than the local market? Parque de las Palapas opens in the early evening with an array of food stands selling fresh local dishes. Tacos galore, sweet treats, and classic Mexican dishes that will wow your taste buds. This is a local market, so don’t expect the spice level to be lowered for your tourist palette.
The quirky name, Surfin Burrito, fits with the decor of this hole-in-the-wall cheap eats place that is always busy. You can build your own burrito that will be thrown on the grill to get the crispiest finish. Takeaway or delivery is best as seating is limited. They are open 24 hours a day, so if you get some midnight hunger pangs and are staying in the hotel zone, you won’t go hungry.
Restaurante Margery is one of the best places to eat in Cancun where you can get a Cancun breakfast that will impress you no end. Simple fare is served up for lunch and dinner, too, with many regulars who stop by every day. Your food budget can go a long way here with some of the most affordable prices in town.
For quality vegetarian food, Peter’s Restaurante is highly recommended. This family-owned restaurant is run by chef Peter with the help of his wife and son. Together they impress the locals and tourists alike with local and international dishes that are flavorsome and delicious. Peter will be happy to recommend what to eat and don’t forget to check the daily specials board.
Don’t let the simple setting of El Pocito fool you. This Yucatan-style restaurant might be your new haunt once you taste the cheese balls stuffed with meat or the chicken soup infused with chili and lime flavors. It’s always full of diners from Cancun and around the world who stop by for lunch or dinner at all times of the day. It is very easy on the pocket yet mega-packed with great taste.
If you are staying in the Zona Hotelara area and want a change from your resort buffet, head to the Marakame brunch buffet that is set in a beautiful garden. Expect a Mexican breakfast complete with mimosas, juice, and coffee. If you aren’t hungry enough to justify the buffet option, there is also an ala carte menu to choose from with some international dishes too. The price is really reasonable and the food is fresh and delicious.
Finding this hidden restaurant might take some searching, but it will be worth it when you taste the food at El Galeon del Caribe. Cheap meals with a focus on fish tacos and the yummiest fried banana dessert ever is an example of what this rustic little restaurant offers. We love it when cheap food tastes this amazing.
Sushi Go will deliver anywhere in the hotel zone, which is great if you are getting tired of the room service menu but want to stay in. Japanese classics including dragon rolls and rainbow rolls go well with sushi, sashimi, and tempura. There are some Mexican-style starters like salmon taquitos to try, and for something truly unique, order up a dish of tempura-fried ice cream. We promise you won’t regret it!
Best Places To Eat In Cancun under $40
For restaurants in the mid-range budget, you will be pleasantly impressed with the service, atmosphere, and quality of food served to your table. Certainly, you get value for money when dining at the restaurants featured on our list below. Read on and get excited about all the exciting food experiences that are waiting for you during your Cancun holiday.
Say “hola” to El Fish Fritanga smack in the middle of the buzzing Zona Hotelara area of Cancun. It is a seafood lover’s happy place with all the fresh fish, lobster, and seafood favorites imaginable. Steak and pasta are also on the menu along with a delicious lineup of drinks.
Owned by the Aguilar Osorio brothers, the restaurant offers an authentic local gastronomy experience on the palm tree-lined banks of the Nichupté lagoon. Magical sunsets are complimentary on most days as you sit at tables under palapa huts with lanterns.
Restaurante Kaajal attracts many diners with its romantic setting and amazing views of the marina. Ask for a window table or dine on the terrace if the weather is nice. They serve meals throughout the day, starting with a massive buffet that will keep you fueled for a busy morning of sightseeing. For fancy dining at a reasonable price, you can’t go past Restaurants Kaajal’s healthy and fresh food.
Bovino’s Churrascaria is a popular place for birthday parties and other celebrations. The Brazilian steak house has a cold buffet, the staff brings juicy meat cuts to the table for customers to choose from. It is a fun and festive place to dine and ideally, you should be really hungry when you go there.
A feeling of rustic charm floats in the air at La Fonda del Zancudo. It was an abandoned house that was restored into what it is today. The exquisite surroundings of this romantic Italian fusion restaurant matches the quality of food you will enjoy.
We love the garden setting, and when it comes to romantic restaurants in Cancun, this is one of our favorites. Expect fresh pasta, delectable seafood, and some of the best empanadas you have ever tasted. The cocktails here are pretty good too!
Ahoy mateies and food lovers! Captain’s Cove Steak and Seafood Restaurant overlook the ocean and the fresh salt air helps you work up an appetite for the surf and turf dishes, catch of the day, and seafood platters that the restaurant is renowned for. Your friendly waiter will tell you the Caribbean coconut shrimp is a best seller. Save room for dessert if you can because the sweet offers are decadently tempting.
If you need a break from Mexican food, Irori is a fantastic Japanese restaurant in central Cancun. Some Mexican flavors are infused in some dishes like the Caribbean rolls and their Asian-style plates are presented in creative and beautiful styles.
Best Places To Eat In Cancun under $100
During your Mexican vacation to Cancun, you have to indulge in a fine dining experience at least once. Cancun offers many tempting options in the most amazing locations, so limiting yourself to just one special night out might be difficult.
Although there are many fine dining Cancun restaurants, none have been bestowed the Michelin star status yet. But we wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the future.
Scroll through this collection of the most exclusive and expensive restaurants in Cancun, which we say are worth every cent or should we say peso.
Get dressed up for a night of indulgence at Porfirio’s. The chef prepares imaginative contemporary dishes infused with Mexican flavors. Your waiter will recommend the best wine to pair with your meal or go traditional with some top-shelf tequila. Those water views and the outstanding service add to the amazing dining experience.
At Casita in Cancun, you can have an intimate dinner in a private cabana dining room or relax on the terrace. This restaurant inside the Ritz-Carleton Hotel is as elegant and sophisticated as you would expect from the standout brand. Choose from steak, seafood, and other tasty dishes as you dine like royalty.
Les Cepages in downtown Cancun has modern French cuisine in an elegant setting. The luxurious interiors are warm and welcoming and it is considered on of the best romantic restaurants in Cancun.
The chef favors local produce that is as fresh as can be and personally greets every group who dines in the restaurant. The wine selection is impressive, with many options that will complement your meal just perfectly.
Lorenzo’s is an absolute must for lobster lovers. With its own lobster farm, the quality and freshness of their lobster is outstanding. Combined with awe-inspiring water views, this is a great place to go if you want to indulge in a special meal. At nighttime, the atmosphere at this spot is especially gorgeous. Get there in time for cocktails at sunset before settling into what will be one of the most lovely meals of your vacation.
La Habichuela is one of the best places to eat in Cancun with a tempting Caribbean and Mexican-inspired menu set in the prettiest Mayan-themed garden. This establishment is often booked out, so booking a reservation in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment. The sister branch, La Habichuela Sunset, is also fantastic. Why not try both?
We are sure by the end of your vacation you will have a healthy addiction to tacos, margaritas and all things spicy Mexican-style. Those flavors are exotic, delicious and authentic. If you want to take some of your fondest food memories home, we recommend going to the local supermarket to stock up on food supplies including spices, powders, and sauces. Better still book a Mexican cooking class to learn how to cook some traditional dishes from a local chef who is sure to have some fabulous family recipes to share. Another great way to sample many different foods and learn about local culture is through a food tour. Best at the beginning of your trip, a food tour can help you quickly define which traditional foods you like and which ones are not so much to your taste. Most menus in Mexico are quite long and detailed. Finding your top dishes soon after arriving.
Also, always lookout where the locals are eating. If there is a line to get in, surely it is worth the wait. If a place is crowded and buzzing, it’s a good sign the food is outstanding. On the other hand, a deserted restaurant during lunch or dinner time might be best avoided.
In general, you will find affordable eating establishments in downtown Cancun, also known as Centro. The more expensive places tend to be in Zona Hotelera, which is a touristy area with many luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts are found. It also has a vibrant nightlife if you want to follow your meal up with some drinks and dancing.
Eat your weight in tacos and indulge in as much local Mexican food as you can. We totally give you permission to go for it when it comes to enjoying all the food on offer in Cancun.