For a small town, Puerto Morelos has an array of fantastic restaurants; the majority with English-speaking staff. The quality dining is probably due to Puerto’s size–because it’s small and quaint, the competition is high. Here, a restaurant’s success very much depends on happy, return customers, not a steady flow of new tourists!
The variety of cuisine in Puerto is excellent. This is a fishing town, so you will find deliciously fresh seafood at a number of places. There are also Argentinian, Greek and Thai fusion restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for a steak and a glass of wine, shrimp or pastor tacos, lamb, pulled pork, or vegan fare, you’ll find it here.
Enjoy a great meal along with a superb ocean view–Puerto has several to choose from. The town’s main square is right next to the pier, and restaurants like La Sirena and Punta Corcho have breezy second-storey ocean views and lots of space for groups. Others, like El Merkadito, are right on the beach.
The best bet for great seafood is either La Playita or Los Pelicanos. Both are seaside, so you can keep your toes in the sand while you sip something cool and refreshing!
Los Pelicanos is a prominent establishment on the southeast corner of the main square; you’ll notice its huge thatched palm frond (palapa) roof. Order up a kilo of shrimp to share with your posse! They also serve great chicken quesadillas and fajitas.
La Playita is a little further north, on one of Puerto’s widest stretches of shoreline. It’s just a short walk from the main square, on Rafael Melgar avenue. This is a great option for those long sunny beach days–you don’t have to leave the beach to get some good grub. Try the grilled fish, it’s delicious.
El Merkadito is beachfront and has a charming character. It’s the perfect spot to sip margaritas (served in aluminum camping-style mugs) and gaze out at the water. Across the street (not oceanfront but well worth mentioning), is El Pesquero. Their homemade salsa and hot sauce are amazing. Both of these restaurants are within walking distance from the main square, on Rafael Melgar.
Punta Corcho is a good choice for a fancy evening out on the town. The ambiance and décor are spectacular. The menu is more upscale; with offerings like marinated lamb shank and lobster pizza, plus a delightful variety of cocktails and wines. It’s easy to find, upstairs at the southeast corner of the main square, across from Pelicanos.
BREAKFAST & LUNCH
Sometimes a good, hearty breakfast can be hard to find in Mexico. Owing to its substantial ex-pat population, though, Puerto Morelos doesn’t have this problem.
For great coffee and amazing Eggs Benedict, El Nicho is a must. This little restaurant/art gallery is on the south side of the main square. They also serve omelettes, waffles and chilaquiles (eggs and savory green or red sauce served over tortilla chips). It’s all delectable!
Mi Cocina is a cool blend of Thai/American/Mexican cuisine. They’re famous for their fresh-fruit smoothies and breakfast burritos. This colorful, laid-back restaurant is a short walk south from the main square. Stop in for a bite after you shop the market and souvenir stores nearby.
Along the main road of Rojo Gomez, you’ll find delicious pizza, sandwiches and burgers at La Cantina Habanero. (It’s the one with dozens of license plates decorating the walls–very fun vibe.) This outdoor bar/restaurant has some tables set right on the sidewalk so you can enjoy sea breezes while you watch the passersby.
When the sun goes down, Puerto Morelos becomes even more charming. The main square often hosts special events (concerts, wine festivals, markets, etc.) and the town really comes to life after the heat of the day is over.
La Sirena is a crowd pleaser, with indoor and outdoor seating, a Greek fusion menu, and live bands weekly. The gyro with tzatziki is really tasty, as are the chicken wings and nachos. This is a very fun, lively spot where you can bring the whole crew!
John Gray’s Kitchen is one of the consistently top-rated restaurants in Puerto Morelos, and a good choice for “foodies”. This small, comfortably elegant restaurant has very good service. It’s located on Niños Heroes, the first main road in town. (Turn left or north at the Oxxo convenience store. You can’t miss it.)
Looking for something secluded, low-key and romantic? Tanino’s is a gourmet restaurant tucked away in a courtyard behind the main square. The wine list is incredible, the ambiance is enchanting, and the food is beautifully prepared and presented. A jazz duo performs weekly as well.
Los Gauchos serves up Argentinian fare–this is where you’ll find the best steak (arrachera) in town. A little hole-in-the-wall, it’s located a few steps west of the main square, across from the church. The baked empanadas are hugely popular; served with “chimichurri”, a flavorful dressing made with finely minced parsley, garlic and oregano.
Next door, Los Tejones Locos has great thin-crust forno oven pizza and fresh homemade pasta.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Most of the local population lives on the west side of the Federal Highway 307 (the non-beach side). Here you’ll find some excellent eateries; ranging from vegan fare and coffee shops to taco stands. Be aware though, you may have to brush up on your Spanish to eat over here, as English is not as widely spoken!
There are a variety of street vendors near the main square on this side of town–look for the busiest places and you’ll know that’s where the food is best! There are also fresh markets sprinkled throughout the side streets. Walking or cycling through this little neighborhood is a pleasant experience for those that want to see the more authentic, local side of town.
Lukas & Lorenzo Rincón Vegano is famous for their delicious tofu burger (you will not believe it’s not beef)! A great little sandwich place worth checking out is La Chona, right beside the Aki grocery store on the highway. Carlos, the owner, makes delicious grilled tortas (baguette sandwiches) with the freshest ingredients. Try the chilaquiles torta for a scrumptious twist on a Mexican classic. After all, there’s more to Mexican food than just tacos.
Puerto Morelos has much to offer in the way of good food and drink along with its beautiful scenery. The pace is unhurried, friendly and relaxed. You’ll be treated like an old friend pretty much everywhere you go! It’s a small town with a big heart and an even bigger appetite!