This list of the best restaurants in Cancun will cover everything from budget-friendly spots to fancy meals that you’ll want to dress up for.
Cancun is a tourist hot spot for beautiful beaches, fabulous nightlife, exciting water activities, and much more.
When it comes to deciding on where to so satisfy your hunger, there are so many options that it might seem intimidating.
This article is jam-packed with flavorful information and my personal opinion on the best restaurants in Cancun.
The culinary scene in Cancun is incredibly vast, always growing and changing. From budget tacos shops to award-winning steak houses, Cancun has it all.
You will find some incredible locations for traditional Mexican dishes, along with Italian, Asian, American, French, and much more.
A lot of the high-end restaurants these days are even providing entertainment along with an exhilarating dining experience. A new and exciting concept in Cancun gastronomy.
Continue reading and entice your taste buds with this selection of the best restaurants in Cancun.
Book a Cancun Food Tour
Explore some of the best restaurants in Cancun with a guided tour. If you are only in the city for a short amount of time, you’ll want to sample as many great places to eat in Cancun as possible and this is the best way to do it.
These are some of our top picks for food tours around Cancun.
- Mexican Gastronomy: Sample the best restaurants in Cancun for local Mexican food with this tour. You will stop at four restaurants in the downtown Cancun area to taste tacos, tostadas, tlayudas, tortas, aguas frescas, and even a dessert. Book that tour here.
- Street Food & Urban Art Tour: This tour is definitely one of the best options for those that want to not only eat well, but really learn about the street food culture of Mexico alongside why Cancun is becoming a hub for artists around Mexico. You’ll learn about the different types of street food available in Mexico and sample several different varieties along the way. Book that tour here.
- Taco and Local Beer Tasting: This tour is mostly about the tacos. You will learn about the different types of Mexican tacos that are most popular around Cancun (and why so many foods from around Mexico are available in this melting pot of a city!) as well as try a few different Mexican beers as you explore. Book that tour here.
Must-Visit Restaurants in Cancun
These 10 restaurants in Cancun are some of our absolute favorite places to eat in the area. If you have more time, be sure to head south to enjoy great food in Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Bacalar, too!
Chambao is absolutely one of the best places to eat in Cancun. More than just your typical steakhouse, an evening at Chambao is unforgettable.
Located in the Bohemian Square of the Hotel Zone in Cancun, Chambao’s environment is seductive and exciting, offering a stunning view of the Nichupte Lagoon. Wood decor, ambient lighting, and cozy seating create an earthy and inviting atmosphere, perfect for an upscale dinner or celebration.
The menu at Chambao is first class. Their options consist of exclusive cuts of beef and quality seafood. At Chambao you can order from a selection of 28-day aged beef, imported Australian cuts, and Wagyu and Kobe beef from their Japanese reserve.
Start your meal off with a tasty appetizer. The burrata cheese and surf and turf tacos are my favorites. Always seasoned and plated to perfection.
If you don’t want a steak dinner, their menu also offers items such as gourmet mac and cheese and risotto. They even have a menu just for potatoes to accompany your dish.
You won’t want to skip dessert either. With decadent options from chocolate, fruit desserts, creamy flans, and mousse it will be hard to decide on just one.
The cocktails here are excellent and the restaurant uses top-shelf alcohol in all of its drinks. The wine list is incredibly extensive as well and offers varietals from around the globe.
Service is 5-stars as you would expect at a restaurant of this quality. The staff is more than happy to tend to your needs and make your time at Chambao incredible.
While you dine you can expect to be entertained by live performances of arts and music.
The dress code is upscale so please don’t arrive in flip-flops or t-shirts. You will want to look your best for all of those Instagram-worthy moments. Check out our packing guide for your trip here.
Expect that your bill will reflect the quality of the food and service on the high end of the scale. But in my opinion, it is worth it for an unforgettable night of fine dining and entertainment.
2. Marakame Cafe
Marakame Cafe is the best restaurant in Cancun for a hearty breakfast.
Located in a posh neighborhood of downtown Cancun, Marakame Cafe is open from 8 am until 1 o’clock in the morning, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
With a beautiful indoor/outdoor location surrounded by trees and ambient lights, it is the perfect restaurant for any occasion.
You can even catch live entertainment in the evening while relaxing after your long day of Cancun sightseeing.
The coffee is divine and they have an extensive list of hot, cold, and blended options.
For breakfast, try the crepes camarones. It’s made with white wine-fried shrimp with asparagus and cheese, wrapped in a delicate crepe.
They even offer a breakfast buffet from Monday to Friday for under $15 USD. It includes options like coffee, juice, and even mimosas, along with all your classic breakfast favorites.
The dress code is casual and fashionable, so please leave your beach clothes behind.
Opening its doors in 1985, Lorenzillos Cancun is one of the pioneers of the gastronomic industry in the Riviera Maya.
Lorenzillos was the first restaurant to open on the Nichupte Lagoon in the Cancun hotel zone, built on a grand stilt-house over the lagoon.
In the evening, the exterior lights of the restaurant ignite creating a magical glow over the waters of the lagoon. Take a stroll admiring the ambiance of the property.
You might even catch a glimpse of the friendly crocodile Lorenzo who lives in the waters below. He’s the restaurant’s #1 returning customer.
The interior of the restaurant has an upscale classic vibe with wooden paneling, white table clothes, and wooden chairs.
Be seated indoors under a sheltered dining room, or outside on the terrace for waterfront dining. Whether you are inside or outside, the ambiance is delightful.
Lorenzillo’s is a live lobster house with fresh lobster brought in from Lorenzillo’s own lobster farm. Choose from an extensive list of lobster dishes created with the finest ingredients and prepared with a beautiful flare.
Of course, they have other meat; poultry, shrimp, and fish options as well. You will not be disappointed with any selection you make.
A great experience is to order the caesar salad which is made from scratch directly at your table.
They have an extensive list from the bar featuring classic cocktails, liqueurs, wines, champagne, beer, port, digestives, juices, and more.
Customer service at Lorenzillo’s is impeccable as the service staff creates a memorable experience for you. A must-add to your best restaurants in Cancun list. Book a table here.
4. Surfin Burrito
This colorful joint is the perfect place to enjoy some of the best Mexican food in the Cancun hotel zone.
With tiki-inspired decor, incredible food, freshly-made fruit drinks, and fantastic service, Surfin Burrito ranks quite high on my best Restaurants in Cancun list.
Not only are they serving up jumbo flavor-packed burritos but you can choose from a delicious selection of tacos, fries, and chicken wings as well.
The burritos and tacos are customized to your liking. When you order the staff will pass you a slip of paper where you get to select from a variety of traditional and fresh topping options.
Don’t feel like eating burritos? The jerk chicken wings are an amazing alternative.
Wash down your meal with a selection from their fun bar. Choose from cocktails, beers, micheladas, sodas, and smoothies.
The Coco Loco cocktail is very refreshing and served in a coconut, so it’s delicious and fun. If you’re not in the mood for an alcoholic drink, indulge in a liter-sized smoothie! Definitely a good way to get a few fruit servings for the day in between all those tacos.
The prices are very reasonable with burritos prices ranging from 100 – 190 Pesos ($5-10 USD).
The staff is always happy to serve you, make recommendations, and create a fun and memorable experience. Food is served nice and fast, the perfect spot for lunch on a beautiful beach day.
Make your way over to the trendy restaurant Rooster for a fabulous meal.
This is another one of my favorite breakfast spots in Cancun.
It’s a bakery, a coffee shop, and a deli. It’s the perfect place to start your day.
Choose from classic coffees, teas, and freshly squeezed juices. There is also a great selection of smoothies and gourmet smoothies. The Snickers smoothie is something you don’t want to miss.
On the breakfast menu, you will find a selection of Mexican and American favorites with a nice list of decadent eggs like eggs benedict.
For something a little bit different, try the benedict mole. Mole is an authentic dish you must taste while you are in Mexico!
It is your classic eggs benedict with a Mexican spin. Loaded with traditional Mexican and warm spices as you would expect from the Mole dish.
Another menu favorite is the Monte Cristo waffle. A perfectly cooked waffle topped with ham, cheese, and avocado. It’s fresh, comforting, and filling.
Order a slice of in-house baked banana bread to take away for a sweet snack for later in the day.
Searching for a luxury dining experience? Parole is the place.
It is without a doubt one of the best restaurants in Cancun around the hotel zone for fine Italian dining.
Featuring exotic seafood with Italian and Mediterranean influence, Parole is your perfect destination for an unforgettable evening of elegance, flavor, and fun.
Dreamy chandeliers and sophisticated sofas fill the open-air space overlooking the Nichupte Lagoon.
The restaurant is classy and chic. A perfect spot to visit with a group of friends, romantic date, or celebrate a special occasion.
Some nights they have a beautiful live violinist and even a firework display over the lagoon.
The menu at Parole is top-end using the finest quality ingredients.
Choose from fine imported seafood such as Alaskan king crab, tiger shrimp, and marine lobster all prepared and plated with beautiful imagination.
As a lover of Italian food, all of the menu items sound irresistible. I ordered the shrimp and mozzarella stuffed pasta. Let me tell you it was delectable.
Pair your dish with a selection from their extensive bar menu. For all you gin connoisseurs out there, Parole has a small menu solely dedicated to gin and tonics.
Don’t skip on dessert as they are all homemade and extremely decadent. Sip on an Italian coffee or carajillo to finish off your meal.
Like many other restaurants in this area of the hotel zone, your dinner will be accompanied by delightful entertainment. Be serenaded by the beautiful voice of a tenor bringing you memories of a classy night in Italy.
The dress code at Parole is smart casual and they ask for no flip-flops. You will want to look your best for this beautiful evening experience.
Menu pricing can be on the higher end depending on the dish you order, but the quality of ingredients and presentation is absolutely to match. Check out their menu or book a table here.
7. Gory Tacos
Taste the best Mexican food in Cancun at Gory Tacos. I heard about Gory Tacos through a few friends so I decided to see what it was all about.
Gory Tacos is your traditional Mexican restaurant offering tacos, tortas, fajitas, seafood, and much more.
I love restaurants of this style because pricing is fantastic and you really can get a feel for good Mexican flavors.
I like to go with a few friends, order a few different dishes, and share everything. With dishes averaging around 150 pesos in price (about $7 USD) Gory Tacos will not break the bank.
We ordered beef fajitas, garlic shrimp, and chorizo tacos. The flavors were fantastic and the portions were a good size. We did not leave hungry.
Our server was awesome, providing fast service and keeping us entertained with good humor for the duration of our visit.
The decor of the restaurant is nothing too fancy, just your humble outdoor location serving excellent food.
Grab an ice-cold beer or michelada to go perfectly with your meal and enjoy it in true Mexican fashion.
8. Parque de las Palapas
For a budget-friendly and local experience pay a visit to the Parque de las Palapas.
Parque de las Palapas translated to English mean Park of the Palapas. Palapas are open-sided structures (often shaped like a beach umbrella) usually found near the beach that have thatched roofs usually made of dried palm leaves.
This location is not a restaurant, but rather a group of food stands offering local foods, hand-crafted knickknacks, and entertainment.
It is a big park with a large open area with fixed seating and large trees providing shade. In the middle of the park, there is a palapa roof amphitheater stage, perfect for live performances.
Of course, you will find vendors in the daytime, but as dusk falls the park begins to come alive with sizzling foods and live entertainment.
Sink your teeth into local homemade favorite foods such as tacos, quesadillas, empanadas, fried plantains, churros, marquesitas, and much much more.
This is one of the best places to eat in Cancun to experience traditional Mexican flavors at low Mexican prices.
Located downtown, on the outskirts of the park there are shops where you can find tequilas and jewelry. The perfect souvenir stop.
This is a great place to bring your family as well as there is a playground, kids’ car rentals, and sometimes crafts and painting activities.
Sundays are a great day to visit as you can guarantee there will be lots of local entertainment.
9. La Habichuela
With a prime location in the heart of the city, this is one of the best Cancun restaurants in the downtown area.
With indoor and outdoor seating the ambiance created at La Habichuela is heavenly.
Tropical wood, paintings, and warm lighting fill the interior room. Outside in the garden, the seating area is mystical and equally romantic. Featuring beautiful Mayan architecture, trees, vines, and vintage elegant seating, you will feel totally at ease.
On the menu, seafood is their specialty offering delicious clam chowder, ceviche, grouper, squid, lobster, and many other fine seafood dishes.
Try an order of their famous Cocobichuela. A huge coconut filled with a flavor-packed seafood curry.
The menu also features traditional Mexican dishes such as mole, cochinita, poc choc, and tikin-xic fish. All these dishes are prepared authentically so you can guarantee that the flavors will be incredible.
They have a great selection of beverages and wine to pair with your meal. They even flambe some beverages, setting them on fire at your tableside to add to the magic.
The service staff are warm and strive to create a memorable experience for you. A perfect restaurant to create cherished memories on your vacation to Cancun.
10. Los de Pescado
Your Cancun vacation would not be complete without a visit to a mariscos (seafood) taco shop and Los de Pescado is absolutely where you must try.
With a few locations around Cancun, this is an easy restaurant to access with budget-friendly prices.
Their menu consists of fish and shrimp tacos, and a small variety of ceviches.
The batter they use to coat the shrimp and fish is super tasty and the seafood is always fried to a nice golden brown.
Fresh tomato and cabbage are served on top of the tacos along with some house-made salsas for you to add to your desire.
The portions of ceviche are big, and the ingredients are always incredibly fresh.
Choose from a selection of water, sodas, and beer to wash down your meal.
Service is always quick and very attentive. The waiters love to make sure that you have everything you need and that you are enjoying your meal.
With your total bill averaging around $15 USD (drinks included) what is not to love about this little joint?