Oh, Cancun! Where to even start!? With stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and endless seas of tourist traps!? Now that you’ve finally booked your vacation to Mexico, the next question on your mind is where to eat in Cancun.
Well, fear not travelers! I have put together a list of my favorite places to eat in Cancun because this city deserves delicious food as much as it hosts a spring break full of booze. Even if you can’t get a table at these best restaurants in Cancun, remember to stop by their taco shack cousins!
There are so many restaurants that it can be overwhelming when deciding where to eat in Cancun while you’re on vacation.
I know; we’ve all been there. Do I want Mexican or Italian food? Is there a guidebook somewhere that lists all of the best restaurants in Cancun? Should I plan tasting menus for my entire trip? These are serious questions we ask ourselves, and now, thanks to this awesome article, we have answers!
So you’ve decided to travel to Cancun? Take a look at this Walking Food Tour of Cancun with Eat Mexico. Or if you’re more into the sea, find out if renting a yacht is something that you want to do and experience.
Also, visiting other foodie meccas in Mexico? Check out these guides:
- 6 Must-Try Dishes When You Visit Baja California Sur, Mexico
- 15 Best Merida Breakfasts
- 10 Must-Try Restaurants in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
- A Walking Food Tour of Cancun with Eat Mexico
- 11 Must-Try Bars & Restaurants in Cancun
- 15 Best Restaurants in Tulum, Mexico
- Top Things to Do In Mexico City, Mexico
- Best Guadalajara Restaurants
- 9 Amazing Things To Do In Cozumel
While in Cancun don’t miss out on activities that will help immerse yourself with the city (hurry while they’re hot!):
- Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Valladolid & Cenote Tour
- Cancun: All-Inclusive Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour
- Cancun: Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour with Lunch and Open Bar
- Cancun/Riviera Maya: Isla Mujeres All-Inclusive Snorkel Trip
- Cancun: Tulum and Cenotes 5 Hour Guided Tour
- Cancun & Riviera Maya: ATV, Zipline, & Cenote Combo Tour
- Xplor Park: All-Inclusive Entry Ticket
- Cancún: Speedboat, Snorkel & Jet Ski Rental Combo Tour
- Cancun: Coco Bongo Nightclub Experience
- Cancún: Classic Chichen Itza Day Tour with Lunch
13 Best Restaurants in Cancun
Av Carlos Nader 111 // +52 998 884 4206
The restaurant specializes in molecular gastronomy and utilizes various techniques to transform food into pieces of art. For example, one dish was called “A Plate Full of Origami” that came with a piece of paper on which you could transform a monochromatic square piece of paper into a cube. There is also an entire section of the menu devoted to edible flowers. If you’re looking for something different and want to treat yourself or someone special, Lu’um Cocina Creativa is the best Cancun restaurant for you!
The décor gives you the feeling that you’re sitting on a rooftop in Mexico City, where Chef Morales got his start. However, this date night concept is unlike any other. Lu’um’s flavor combinations are unique, and unlike any other Cancun restaurant, I have seen.
Whether you’re a seafood fan, a vegetarian, or just trying something new, Lu’um Cocina Creativa has an amazing assortment of fresh fish and vegetables for you to enjoy.
This restaurant is very cozy, owned by the chef and his wife. She is a sommelier, so you get an absolutely perfect meal, complete with the perfectly paired wine recommendation for each dish. They have the best local wines of Mexico, as well as several flawless imports.
Cancun has plenty of wonderful restaurants to celebrate happy occasions and enjoy good food. Many of the best restaurants in Cancun have been around for a long time and managed to keep visitors coming back time and time again. El Kiosco Verde Marisqueria is no exception to that rule, as this is one of the oldest restaurants in Cancun, but they have not gotten stuck in the old ways.
They continue to reinvent and elevate themselves as the times change while still managing to prepare dishes to traditional standards of excellence, drawing inspiration from their heritage.
Their menu is created with fresh local ingredients, and the dishes are presented with creativity and flair. If you’ve never had an octopus canapé (or even if you have), you can get one here!
Av Uxmal Mza 02 Lte 33 // +52 99 88 84 1741
La Fonda del Zancudo is a relatively new concept in Cancun, Mexico. The restaurant has an old and rustic feel to it, as it was built within the walls of an abandoned house. It’s very atmospheric, and the menu is simple and Mediterranean-inspired.
The house is surrounded by a beautiful lush garden that was created on an empty lot, which gives you the feeling that you’re eating in nature.
The food varies from traditional Mexican to the Mediterranean, which is a nice change from other restaurants where they stick to one or two types of cuisines. This place sticks out to me because it’s healthier than most Cancun restaurants but still delicious and visually pleasing!
Reservations are not required for small groups, but larger tables may want to reach out via Facebook; they answer very promptly. This downtown Cancun restaurant is open for dinner only.
López Portillo 328 // +52 998 843 0202
If you’re into seafood, then there is one place you absolutely cannot miss. In downtown Cancun, back behind a small grocery store, you can find Mar-Bella Seafood. At first glance, the fish market opens as you walk in. It has everything your heart and stomach desire, Alaskan King Crab, Scallops, Lobster, Oysters, and much more. The restaurant is up to two flights of stairs leading to a sight that will leave you speechless.
Mar-Bella has essentially two experiences: The store contains freshly caught seafood which you can buy in the market downstairs. I’m talking about things like lobster, shrimp, crab, salmon, and more. The upstairs is a full-on seafood restaurant where they cook the freshest catches you find downstairs.
Seriously, this is one of the coolest culinary outings you will ever experience. The ocean view is breathtaking, and the food is divine. Where else can you pair a protein that was caught that morning with whatever spices strike your fancy and have a professional chef design an entree just for you? If you are looking for a great seafood restaurant in Cancun, this is it!
Calle 10 Margaritas 25-Mz 20, 22 // +52 99 88 84 3158
La Habichuela Cancun restaurant is a delicious and unique Caribbean/Mexican fusion restaurant. In addition to serving many of the typical dishes, you’ll find at a Mexican or Southern restaurant, La Habichuela Cancun also has an extensive menu featuring seafood and beef meals with a tropical flair.
If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then this is the restaurant to visit in Cancun. The waitstaff is fun and silly. I can’t think of a better place with such a nice ambiance. It’s delightfully charming, and it’s reasonably priced for its quality and the time spent there. La Habichuela, which translated means “The Pumpkin.”
They serve up both traditional and modern food in a fun and quirky surroundings. Be sure to request a table on the second-story patio when you visit this unique Cancun restaurant.
Calle 5 Pargo 18 // +52 998 230 1077
Another one of my favorite restaurants in Cancun is Mostaza Cocina de Huerto. This restaurant is extremely busy, so you definitely want to call ahead and make a reservation before arrival. The servers are very friendly and experienced, accustomed to American clientele. This is one of my favorites because the food is constantly fresh, and the atmosphere is very cozy.
They have several specials and a Friday wine club. They also have happy hour from 1-7 pm every day with great drinks and appetizers!
The tasting menu is to die for and includes stand-out dishes like pumpkin seed hummus, grilled octopus tacos, and fish cheek ravioli. They also pair the perfect Mexican wine with each dinner.
The tasting menu will take you on a culinary adventure and allow you to try new things that you wouldn’t necessarily think to order otherwise, a great reason to try this Cancun restaurant.
Av Yaxchilán Mz 2 // +52 998 883 9920
If you’re starving after a long day of sightseeing, then you need to head over to La Organica. They have some of the largest portion sizes anywhere in Cancun. All of their ingredients are incredibly fresh, from the seafood to the juices! This hidden gem is just outside of the downtown area, located across from a Costco.
From the moment you enter this chic Cancun restaurant and slink your way to a plush booth or hide in a corner with friends at one of their beautiful tequila-themed bars, La Organica’s ambiance envelopes you. This world-class spot is trendy yet not overrun by the masses, making it an ideal spot for meeting up with friends or business clients.
The food was very good, the presentation was exceptional, and the service was great. It was hard to decide what to order because everything sounded so good, but we finally picked a few things and were not disappointed. La Organica sells fresh juices as well as natural liquors, inspired by the flavors of Mexico.
Punta Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico // +52 998 217 3416
Sushi Go, in Cancun, Mexico, is run by a mother-and-son (who are both very friendly and welcoming) team. It’s the only sushi place in town and has a pretty varied menu that includes rolls, sashimi, tempura dishes, udon soup, and gyoza.
The location itself is quite small (maybe seats 15, but it can easily accommodate more), with room for about five or six people to eat at the bar.
The atmosphere is casual and clean, with friendly staff table service, a full bar, and killer tempura fried ice cream. They also deliver anywhere in the Hotel Zone. Open daily from 1:00 pm – 11:00 pm. This is your go-to sushi restaurant in Cancun.
Av Carlos Nader 66 // +52 998 887 9774
Sirena Morena is one of the most popular choices for brunch in Cancun. They’re located on 5th Avenue between Calle 65 and Camino al Malecon. It’s a little bit off the main strip, but you can get there easily. They have one of the best breakfasts in all of Cancun.
If you want something simple, they have many loaves of bread and other carb-rich favorites to choose from.
They also have the best dessert of any Cancun restaurant. If you are tired of eating only tacos, they can help. If you’re looking for vegan food in Cancun, then this is your new go-to restaurant.
One of the things that makes this place so amazing is that its ambiance is so breathtaking. They have a gorgeous garden patio that makes you feel like you’ve been invited into someone’s backyard to eat a special home-cooked meal. They also have a shop full of locally crafted goods at very affordable prices.
Calle Guadalupe Victoria M51 L16 C46 x Calle Miguel Hidalgo Donceles 28 // +52 998 256 8300
La Casa De Las Mayoras is the ultimate vegan dining experience in Cancun. Not only are the flavors authentic, but their offerings are downright incredible. If you know anything about Mexican food, you’ll know that it can be either very meat-heavy or extremely spice-heavy, with few exceptions.
The flavors there are clean and bold, with little to no grease and no overwhelming spice.
Their jackfruit chilaquiles are the best ones to be found anywhere, even when compared to meaty dishes. The Morita pepper really gives it a nice kick, and the flavors work so well together. If you just need to cool down, then their super fruit smoothies and spirulina are delightful, and they offer a host of freshly squeezed juices! Make this your breakfast restaurant in Cancun.
For breakfast, try their Acai bowl full of superfoods. It will give you the energy to take on the day’s activities! If you want something a little heartier, then grab some green eggs with Chaya and beans with homemade tortillas!
Boulevard Kukulcán Km. 14.2 // +52 99 88 40 6554
Owned by Robert and Nancy Buntin, Harry’s Prime Steak House and Raw bar is a Texas-size full-service family restaurant offering mouth-watering steaks, grilled seafood, juicy burgers, and several other entrees along with an impressive wine list.
Every dish was specially crafted for the discriminating diners of South Padre Island. Harry’s crafts its own barbecue sauce by blending fresh ingredients in small batches to ensure exceptional taste from the first bite to the last.
Harry’s also serves vegetarian dishes to please the most select palates and tempting appetizers, like cheese boards of cheddar, brie, or blue cheese, cooked mushrooms, and Spanish mermelada.
Other meats include lamb racks of double chops served with tomatoes and mashed potatoes, pork chops in a creamy sauce of scallions, filet mignon marinated in wine parsley sauce, or served with lobster sauce.
If you are longing for American food in Cancun, Harry’s is the place.
Avenida Bonampak Mz 11 Lt 71-72, 3 // +52 99 82 51 9310
This cozy restaurant in downtown Cancun is a quaint European-style eatery that locals and tourists visit over and over. The restaurant is run by a family, the owner Peter, his wife Claudia, and their son Eder. Dishes include shrimp, fish, veal, beef and pasta, desserts, and a small but good wine list.
A couple of good friends suggested this restaurant to me, and I’ve returned several times since my initial visit. The food is good, and prices are significantly lower than what you’ll find in the Hotel Zone for a restaurant of this caliber (not even comparable). And it isn’t just a tourist spot either!
Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13.5, Zona Hotelera // +52 99 82 51 6596
Ilios, the quintessential Greek restaurant founded by Constantine Xanthoulis, presents the taste of Athens in Cancun on the beach. Innovative cuisine based on local ingredients, with conservative flavors through centuries-old recipes handed down throughout generations that create menus with a sense of modernity in an elegant and contemporary environment with all the excellent ambiance of a traditional tavern.
If you like visiting Greece but don’t enjoy long-haul flights or high prices, this is a great place to grab a delicious meal with your mates. Featuring love-seats and hookahs, Ilios is the perfect place to take your date on a romantic date or get together with some good friends and sit around a super large, round table and reminisce about your college days over Ouzo shots. You’ll experience the full flavor of Greece at this Cancun restaurant.
Cancun is one of those cities where you can never be bored. It has many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that are waiting for you to go check them out. One of the best things about eating in Cancun restaurants is the variety of food that was brought from all over the world. This guarantees you never get bored with what you eat.
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.