Tulum is a hotspot for hippie travelers and celebrities alike. For those of us who like the laid-back chill out scene with a natural vibe, Tulum is probably at the top of the list in the Mayan Riviera.
When it comes to restaurants, there are many fantastic choices as you stroll the beach or head into town to find out what’s on the menu. Character and style are everywhere you look. In the variety of different eateries, each has its own unique flair in design, décor and dishes.
A Unique And Special Place
If you want a meal where you can relax and with a stunning view as you sip a glass of wine with your favorite person or just have an amazing dining experience, try Mezzanine Thai Restaurant. How does sitting on a cliff-top terrace gazing out over the Caribbean Sea sound? All this while enjoying an authentic Thai meal created by Chef Dim Geefay. (That will have meaning for you if you’re a Thai food enthusiast.)
If you go north up the jungle side of the Boca Paila beach road 1.5 kilometers, you will hit Mezzanine. The menu is typical Thai cuisine fused with some of the flavors of Mexico with local ingredients like chaya, jicama, as well as chilies and fruits. Enjoy the beauty and try the popular Pad Thai or get a whole fish cooked Thai crispy-style.
Atmosphere, Views, Food and Fun
Not every restaurant can be perched on the top of a cliff! Mateo’s isn’t even directly on the beach, but don’t let that stop you. It has a fantastic bar as well as great lunch and dinner menu–try the fish tacos. Mateo’s, like so many restaurants in Tulum, offers much more than food when you dine with them. There’s fantastic service as well as a stellar elevated sunset deck where you can watch the sun drop below the mangrove. They frequently have live local bands play and there’s lots of friendly conversation to be had.
As you travel down the main Boca Paila beach road (heading south this time), Mateo’s is at KM 5.2 on the opposite side of the road from the beach.
Beach and Good Food
Ziggy’s is just a great place to eat seafood, drink, relax and even spend the day if you want. Attached to the restaurant is their own beach club. You can dine under the large palapa with an ocean view or make your way to some scattered tables outside or find a lounge chair if you so desire.
One nice thing about Ziggy’s is they open at 7am. You can get breakfast (the breakfast burritos are pretty good), lunch, or dinner. They also host theme nights which is pretty special to Ziggy’s; sometimes a BBQ and bonfire on the beach, or cocktails by the bonfire. There’s lots of fun to be had at Ziggy’s anytime! (KM 7 on the Boca Paila road)
Pizza and Atmosphere
This has to be included in the list, since pizza is on almost everyone’s list of favorite foods! Where do you get the best pizza in town? It’s definitely a matter of opinion and taste, but the vast majority of people love Manglar.
Manglar isn’t on the beach but is right in town. It’s located just a block off the highway on Calle Asuncion (manzana 38 lote 2). At Manglar, you’ll find delicious and very affordable food and they do deliver. If you choose to dine in, you’ll enjoy the beautiful garden-like setting along with a fantastic fire pit you’ll absolutely love.
The Top Tulum Restaurant
Extremely popular and regarded by many as the top restaurant in Tulum is Hartwood. To visit, you’ll have to make a reservation for this fantastic restaurant. Reservations are taken after 3pm if you go in person. For a group of 8 or more, you can make a reservation online.
Hartwood offers a wood-fire style menu; all the cooking is done over an open fire in their own wood burning oven and grill. In harmony with that, they have almost no footprint on the environment. Their lighting and music and even blender is powered by solar power! Another interesting thing about Hartwood is that their menu continually changes day to day as they adjust to what the sea and land make available. You can always enjoy the catch of the day or some delicious cut of beef or steak.
This is definitely a must-do during your stay in Tulum! It is located at KM 7.6 on the jungle side of the Boca Paila road.
Fantastic Italian Fare
This place is just perfect! It is a fantastic blend of everything: décor, style and spectacular scenery (being right on the water). Oh, and their food is delicious! The menu isn’t super extensive but it doesn’t matter because everything is good. It has a real authentic Italian taste; definitely the best pasta in Tulum. We recommend getting to Posada Margherita early though, because it fills up quickly.
Posada Margherita is located at KM 4.5 on the beautiful Tulum beach, south of the fork.
TIP: They only accept cash so plan accordingly for your visit. You’ll want to go back, trust us!
TAQUERÍA EL CARBONCITO
Tacos, Tacos, Tacos
This has to be included because you’re in Mexico! You need to get a hold of some “tacos al pastor” and this is the spot to go. It’s not on the sea but in town. You can stroll in and seat yourself and enjoy this great little taco spot. It has a fantastic toppings bar for you to load up your 10-peso taco (that’s less than a dollar)!
There are several good taco places you can hit in town, but this is the best option. It’s very easy to find as it’s right off of Avenue Tulum and the side street of Acuario.
TIP: They are only open for dinner, so if you are wanting tacos for lunch you’ll have to venture elsewhere.
The list of excellent places to eat is a long one, but these are a few great suggestions to get you started. As you get more acquainted with Tulum, you’ll discover what your style is and what kind of places you enjoy most. Some travelers like to get away from where the majority of the tourists are and get more of an authentic Mexican feel. Or perhaps you want to be seaside for every meal! Whatever makes your vacation great for you personally, Tulum will be able to provide it.