5 Incredible Restaurants in Playa del Carmen That Expats LOVE!

There are many incredible restaurants in Playa del Carmen that expats love to visit to enjoy a diverse selection of food. Find out our Top 5 choices! ... Continue Reading »
By: The KKIS Project  
on: September 11, 2023

In Playa we are ever so lucky to be able to sample cuisines from all over the globe. Culinary influence has had a great impact on the variety of places to eat in our beautiful beachfront town, and in this list, we are going to share with you some of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen that expats LOVE, and are away from the hustle and bustle of 5th Avenue.

The locals who live in Playa del Carmen love these restaurants. Read on so we can let you in on the best foodie secrets, so you can enjoy them too!

Best Restaurants in Playa del Carmen – from an Expat’s POV!

The Lost Tiki

Calle 4 y Avenida 20

best restaurant playa del carmen

An evening at The Lost Tiki is always a fun affair! This charming bar tops the list of best restaurants in Playa del Carmen for locals, and from the combination of the great cocktails, even better food, and lively atmosphere, it’s easy to know why.

The menu is a fusion of Mexican cuisine, inspired by Asian influences. As well as traditional tacos, you’ll also find delectable ramen, wok dishes, and both chicken and cauliflower wings, at great prices.

I personally can’t visit without sampling the ‘Bang Bang Shrimp’, and their edamame beans in their signature house spice blend are some of the tastiest that I’ve ever eaten!

As well as great food, you will also find a cocktail menu beyond your usual Mai Tais and Cuba Libres, and the experienced bartenders at The Lost Tiki, ensure that your drink choices are shaken and stirred to perfection.

Not only do the drinks taste great, but they look Instagrammable too – served in quirky tiki-themed mugs with special garnishes to boot!

Join the crowd for live music each day, and great event nights. But be sure to make a reservation if you want to visit, this Playa del Carmen restaurant is quite small, and it gets filled with eager and happy guests every day!


Calle 10 y La Playa

restaurants playa del carmen

There’s no better way to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat than with your toes in the sand and staring out at the Caribbean Sea, so Zenzi ticks the boxes for this!

This bar and restaurant has tables right on the golden sand of the Riviera Maya and is always bustling with patrons, there to enjoy the cocktails, beers, and great food selection.

Top recommendations are to check out their loaded nachos and delicious fish and chips, but this diverse menu will have something to tempt all taste buds, with food served from breakfast time until they close.

As well as the beachfront ambiance and top food, Zenzi also proudly brings you a great schedule of live entertainment, with a great daily lineup of the best bands and DJs that Playa del Carmen has to offer. You can also join them for free salsa dancing classes and special events weekly too.

This beach club really is a place you can enjoy from sunrise until the latest of Playa nights.

Lido Beach Club

Calle 10 y Avenida 1

best restaurants playa del carmen

Another favorite restaurant in Playa del Carmen that locals love is Lido Beach Club. This beachfront location has both tables to sit at, and sun loungers to laze on in order to relax and make the most of your beach day.

Not only does Lido have a great beach vibe, but it’s also got a great menu too, with it frequently being discussed and rated on many of the expat food pages for a great spot to visit for a bite to eat.

Not only is their food deliciously tasty, but it also comes well-presented and there is a wide range of options on the menu, including choices that are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Favorites of those who frequently visit include the Pil-Pil Octopus, the Lido Shrimp, and the Lido Burger, or you can even create your own sampler of treats to share from their ‘bites’ menu, which is perfect for sharing between friends.

Daily, you’ll also find great live music to enjoy as you sip on cocktails while your toes are nestled in the sand.

Amate 38

Calle 38 entre Avenida 5 y La Playa 

playa del carmen best restaurants

This quaint and local spot is on the tree-lined Calle 38, which is known for its plethora of restaurant choices. The popular Amate 38 is a must-try when visiting this street for a true taste of Yucatecan traditional foods.

The chefs use regionally grown produce and follow ancestral cooking methods utilizing fire and charcoal to enhance the flavors of their dishes.

Complement your meal with a fresh juice or one of the house-blended cocktails from their mixology menu. The beverage bar also includes a range of mezcals, craft beers, and a variety of Mexican wines.

This enchanting Playa del Carmen restaurant not only gives you the taste of the Yucatan, but its open-air areas, surrounded by trees and even a cenote, will help you to discover the charm of the region while you dine.


Manne’s Biergarten

Calle 4 entre Avenida 10 y Avenida 15

top restaurant playa del carmen

This cozy, homely Manne’s Biergarten is taken directly from Germany and stands proudly on the streets of Playa del Carmen. Owned and run by the man himself, Manne, for over 20 years, this local favorite is known for serving a wide variety of local and European beers at reasonable prices.

It stands off the normal tourist hotspot of Fifth Avenue, but if you care to explore the side streets, this Playa del Carmen restaurant isn’t too far away.

Their menu is filled with homemade European and German food options, with great weekly specials that have people coming back for more! On Wednesday this includes tasty slow-cooked ribs, traditionally cooked pork on Fridays, and on Sunday you can get their famous juicy prime rib. These specials don’t usually last long, and people usually reserve their table for this incredible home cooking.

Even if you visit them on a usual day, the menu has other great and unusual options, including traditional German currywurst, bratwurst, and sauerkraut, to let you sample the flavors of Europe, from the streets of Mexico.

 Keeping Kids in School

You can enjoy some incredible restaurants in Playa del Carmen but while you choose your next spot to eat at (I know it’s hard to pick!) we would like you to also consider the work we do with KKIS.

The KKIS Project is a non-profit charity that supports students to continue their learning and education. Many children in this part of Mexico do not go on to finish high school or go on to further education, as unlike in other places, high school education is not free for students to attend.

The local families in the Riviera Maya can struggle with the admission fees, along with the price of resources, uniforms, and other supplies that they need.

At KKIS we know that it costs less than $2 USD per day to support a student to achieve a high school education. 

So, when you grab a bite at one of our favorite restaurants in Playa del Carmen, can you also think about how you could donate your time, money, or support to help a local child gain their education and open the door to a better future.

Donate today, or find out more about how you can volunteer with KKIS.


Thanks for checking out our KKIS blog on ‘Top 5 Restaurants in Playa del Carmen’

Check out the other posts in our Top 5 series here…

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