Best Restaurants in Cancun & Riviera Maya and Authentic Mexican Food You Don't Want to Miss Out On

Food is an important part of any vacation. Experience the authentic cuisine and iconic dishes of Mexico by checking out these best Mexican restaurants in Cancun & Riviera Maya.

Travel is about experiencing a new culture, and a central part of any culture is the food. A trip to Cancun or Riviera Maya isn’t complete without taking the time to find the best restaurants in Cancun & Riviera Maya and sample the local authentic Mexican food. Sure, you’ll find plenty of American fast-food staples in touristy areas, but make the most of your time in Cancun or Riviera Maya by seeking out a truly authentic eating experience.

Iconic Mexican dishes you’ll definitely want to try include

  • Papadzules

  • Cochinita pibil 

  • Huevos motulenos

  • Mole Poblano

  • Chiles en Nogada

  • Tamales

  • Pozole

  • Chilaquiles

Where can you find these traditional meals and more? We recommend the following Mexican restaurants so you can eat like a local in Cancun or Riviera Maya.

1. Alux Restaurant and Lounge in Playa del Carmen

Here, you can eat the best authentic Mexican cuisine that Playa del Carmen has to offer, with some international flare—while sitting inside a literal cave. Alux’s dining room was built into a 10,000-year-old cavern, offering a unique dining experience you won’t find replicated anywhere else. Enjoy some of Cancun’s best contemporary Mexican food while appreciating the area’s stunning natural beauty. Dine with friends and family, or mingle with other travelers in the bar and lounge.

2. La Cueva del Chango in Playa del Carmen

La Cueva del Chango is one of the best restaurants in Cancun and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a focus on traditional local Mexican cuisine. They serve delicious food and drinks throughout the day, including fresh fruit juices. Fair prices and a comfortable atmosphere make for a relaxing dining experience.

This restaurant will have you feeling like you’ve let the streets of downtown Playa del Carmen and ended up deep in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by trees and lush greenery. The colorful artwork, a rustic atmosphere, and dark wood finishes manage to feel both exotic and at welcoming at the same time.

tour group at the traveler's table cancun adventures tour

3. The Traveler’s Table at Punta Venado

More than a restaurant, The Traveler’s Table is a communal gastronomic experience at Cancun Adventure’s private beach club, Punta Venado. According to diners, it is one of the best restaurants in Riviera Maya and Cancun, holding the top spot on TripAdvisor. Visitors begin their experience at The Traveler’s Table mingling on the beachside during sunset enjoying some of the finest wine. This is then followed by mojito classes and education in local Mexican spirits (mezcal and tequila).

The five-course Masterchef tasting menu will take your tastebuds on a journey through the peninsula’s history, showcasing flavors and techniques from the Mayan empire to the present day.. This unforgettable dining experience will leave you with new friends and a greater appreciation for local foods and culture.

4. Lorenzillo’s in Cancun

Are you a fan of fresh seafood? A trip to a beautiful coastal city is a great opportunity to taste the freshest seafood available. Another one of the best Mexican restaurants in Cancun, Lorenzillo’s offers some of the tastiest seafood in the area, featuring fresh live lobster you can choose yourself.

The appealing nautical themed decor gives a nod to the restaurant’s star dish. Lorenzillo’s is located next to a bay, with breathtaking views and reflective lighting sparking over the water. This restaurant is perfect for a romantic, upscale dining experience.

5. Porfirio’s in Cancun

The Porfirio’s menu makes it one of the best restaurants in Cancun by creatively combining flavors from throughout Mexico in dishes that pair with the carefully selected tequila and mezcal from Porfirio’s extensive winery.

This upscale restaurant brings Mexico’s traditional favorite dishes into the modern era, transforming them with creative new flavors and textures. Stunning dining room views showcase the natural beauty of Cancun, surrounded by colorful and stunning decor. The atmosphere is lively and casual, complete with inside and outside dining options.

The Best Authentic Mexican Food in Cancun & Rivera Maya

No trip abroad is complete without making great eating a priority. Each of these authentic Mexican restaurants represents the best local dining available to travelers. A truly great dining experience will introduce you to new flavors and provide opportunities to learn about the culture and connect with new people. Make dining an important part of your Cancun or Riviera Maya adventure while you’re in town and find great dishes that showcase traditional tastes.

Get the most out of your trip to Cancun with one of our delectable food tours. Plan all your activities and experiences with Cancun Adventures.

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