Tulum | Where to Eat

A Note on Eating in Tulum: with the exception of one or two places, almost all restaurants are predominately outside, so dress accordingly: spots on the beach side which can get windy and those on the jungle side often require bug spray.

ANTONITO'S LA CHIAPANECA
Cancun - Chetumal Mz 6 Lt 8, Centro
+52 1 984 114 6386
In Town

Cheap yet amazing tacos here, the best being the Al Pastor. Oh, and they’re .52 each.

BE TULUM
Km.10 Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila
+52 1 984 803 2243
Beach Side

As much I love staying here (see Where to Stay), I love eating here even more. It’s almost gotten to the point where we often will do all three meals in a day. Tables are set right in the sand and the menu is traditional Mexican with incredible ceviche, grilled fish and amazing tacos.

CASA BANANA
Km. 8.5, Carretera Tulum Boca Paila
+52 1 984 806 2871
Jungle Side

They call it urban rustic cuisine. I call it delicious. It’s Argentine and most everything is cooked in the wood-fired oven and is all really, really good. Their craft bar program is also impressive.

CASA JAGUAR
Km 7.5, Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila
+52 1 998 222 2749
Jungle Side

It might actually be too hip for me, but Casa Jaguar is the darling of all the cool peeps who head to Tulum. More open-air lounge than straight up restaurant, the menu is inventive and the drinks even moreso. Make sure to stop by on Thursdays when it turns onto a dance club at 10pm.

CASA VIOLETA
Km 8.2, Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila
+52 1 984 171 0986
Beach Side

A bottle of rosé and a plate of fish tacos pretty much sums up what Casa Violeta means to me. They do breakfast really well here, too, and it’s one of the only enclosed restaurants (albeit in all glass), so a good option in the rain.

CHAMICO’S
No website. No address. No phone. Lunch only.
It’s locals only and the menu is fish only. But it’s the freshest fish you’ve ever had. And the coldest beer. Make it at least once and bring cash.
Directions (from Mr. and Mrs. Romance): From Tulum you head north back towards Cancun on the main road (there’s only one!). When you get to a sign for Oscar & Lalo’s Restaurant, turn off. If you miss the turn, don’t worry. There’s a U-turn bay ahead so you get a second go at it. Drive down the unsealed road right to the end. And I mean right to the end. Go past all the hotels you’ll find there, nod and smile at the security guard halfway down, who’ll (slowly) unhitch the chain gate for you to continue. When you come to what looks like an abandoned parking lot and an old ship, you’re there. You won’t see any signs but you should see the white of the chairs through the palm trees.

EL TÁBANO
Km 5, Carretera Tulum Boca Paila
+52 1 984 134 8725

Jungle Side
This was the first restaurant I ever ate at in Tulum, and it holds a very special place in my heart. Actually, it’s the lavender shrimp that holds that. Truly, everything served from the open-air kitchen is incredible, and the vibe is laid back and super friendly. The menu changes daily and is written on a series of chalkboards at the center of the dining room and it’s all fresh and delicious.

GITANO
Km 7, Carretera Tulum Boca Paila
+52 1 984 188 2184

It’s like all of your Pinterest dreams come true. Chandeliers in the trees, tike torches along the path and bathrooms bathed in candlelight. And the food is spot on, too. Don’t miss the chorizo or anything from the bar.

HARTWOOD
Km 7.6, Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila
Jungle Side

Hartwood may very well be the most famous of all of Tulum’s restaurants which is sort of incredible considering it’s open only 4 days a week from 6pm-11pm (maybe less in the case of inclement weather), has no electric appliances (save for one lone blender), doesn’t take reservations and starts taking names at 3pm (in person only). But Chef Eric Werner’s (formerly of Peasant in NYC) food can’t be denied. Everything he makes is by hand, grilled or cooked in the incredible wood-burning oven and is the true essence of farm to table.  So take a beach break at 3, get on line and prepare to be amazed. And if you love the food as much as I think you will, you can make it home with the new Hartwood cookbook

LA ZEBRA
Km 8.2, Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila
+52 1 984 115 4726

The new chef’s table is where it’s. 8, 10 or 12 course tasting menus of traditional Mexican recipes with a twist. Chef Eliza Bonilla hails from Mexico and his cooking is pretty spectacular. If a tasting menu isn’t your thing, any regular meal at Le Zebra is far from regular. And the Sunday night Salsa party is pretty incredible, too.

LOS AGUACHILES
Avenue Tulum MZA, 40 LTE. 1 Centro
In town

Amazing ceviches and hot sauces. One of Chef Eric Werner’s faves.

MATEO’S MEXICAN GRILL
Km 5.2, Carretera Tulum Boca Paila
+52 1 984 179 4160
Jungle Side

The closest thing you’ll ever come to a sports bar in Tulum, it’s the perfect stop for a taco and a beer.  And breakfast is awesome here as well.

MEZZANINE
Km 1, Carretera Tulum Boca Paila
Beach Side

Another hard sell is good Thai in Tulum, but here it is. In case you’ve OD’d on tacos and tequila, you can get your fix of high end pad thai and curries here. And it’s all really, really good!

POSADA MARGHERITA
Km 4.5, Crta. Tulum-Boca Paila
+52 1 984 801 8493
Beach Side

If traveling to Mexico for Italian food feels wrong to you, let Posada Margherita relieve you of that thought. Not only is it good Italian food, it’s AMAZING Italian food. The restaurant is owned by the perfectly gorgeous Alessandro Carrozzino who makes sure to sit down at each table personally and recite the short menu (usually 2-3 handmade pastas and 2-3 fresh fish dishes).  He sets the vibe for your meal – relaxed, laid back and chic as hell.

RESTAURARE
Km 6, Carretera Tulum Boca Paila
+52 984 168 1282
Jungle side

It’s a Vegan paradise here at Restaurare where everything comes straight from local farmers. Think mushroom ceviche and Mayan lasagna.

TAQUERIA LA EUFEMIA
Km 9, Carretera Tulum Boca Paila
+52 1 984 151 6979
Beach Side

“Today … relax and eat some fucking tacos,” so says the chalkboard message in front of this beachside Taqueria. Um, you don’t have to ask me twice.

ZAMAS
Km 5, Carretera Tulum Boca Paila
+1 52 984 877 8523
Beach Side

Crayola colored tables on the beach make for a happy place for breakfast, lunch or dinner.