Playa del Carmen is beautiful. It’s one of the most sought-after beach destinations in the Riviera Maya. It’s developed commercially, but not to the extent of Cancun or Tulum. At the moment, it’s closer in feel to Puerto Vallarta which is a very good thing.
Like any tourist hotspot in the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen can be expensive. Take a stroll along its main walking street – La Quinta Avenida – and you’ll find dozens of designer boutiques and high-concept restaurants.
I looked at one fine dining restaurant’s menu and was shocked to find the humble taco priced at MXN 225! At a taqueria in Mexico City, they usually go for about MXN 15-20 apiece. That MXN 225 taco wasn’t filled with lobster, gold leaf, or caviar either. It was made with Yucatecan-style longganiza, which I enjoyed whole plates of for as little as MXN 85 at nice restaurants in Valladolid.
Playa del Carmen is home to many amazing restaurants but you don’t have to sell a kidney to eat delicious food there. I’m not a beach bum so I spent most of my time in Playa del Carmen looking for the best food without breaking the bank.
All the Playa del Carmen restaurants and food stalls in this guide – serving Mexican and International food – offer filling meals for under MXN 200 with drinks (as of April 2022).
PLAYA DEL CARMEN RESTAURANTS QUICK LINKS
To help you plan your trip to Playa del Carmen, we’ve compiled links to top-rated hotels, tours, and other travel services here.
All-inclusive resorts are a favorite in Playa del Carmen, but if you’d like to stay close to the city center, then you may want to consider one of these hotels.
- Sightseeing Tour: Private Walking Tour with a Guide
- Food Tour: 3-Hour Local Food Walking Tour
- Day Trip: Early Chichen Itza and Ik Kil Cenote
- Cooking Classes: Playa del Carmen Cooking Classes
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THE BEST AFFORDABLE RESTAURANTS IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN
I’ve organized this list of Playa del Carmen restaurants by category to make it easier to digest. Click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.
1. El Sabrosito del Fogon
If you were to go on popularity alone, then El Sabrosito del Fogon (or El Fogon for short) has to be one of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen. It’s a hugely popular Mexican restaurant that serves delicious tacos and other local food favorites like quesadillas, tortas (sandwiches), alambres, and quesos fundidos.
Pictured below is a pair of Mexican cuisine’s most iconic tacos – tacos al pastor. If you’ve never had it, it consists of a corn tortilla topped with marinated grilled pork shaved from a vertical spit. You can think of it as the Mexican version of Lebanese shawarma, Greek gyros, or Turkish doner kebab.
At El Fogon, you can get delicious pastor tacos for just MXN 22 apiece, MXN 23 if you want it with wheat tortillas you gringo.
What you’re looking at here is an orden of quesadillas con champiñones (mushroom). Orden literally means “order” and always pertains to more than one piece.
At El Fogon, an orden of quesadillas comes with three pieces and ranges in price from MXN 72-104, depending on what it’s made with.
An inside look at my tasty quesadilla filled with mushrooms and melted cheese. Quesadillas are quite filling so an orden of three may be enough to fill up some people.
I spent a total of MXN 184 for two pastor tacos, three quesadillas, and a drink at El Fogon. I went to the branch along Avenida Constituyentes but El Fogon has several locations – four in Playa del Carmen and one in Cancun.
Based on what I’ve read, El Fogon is so popular with both locals and tourists that you sometimes have to queue in line for a table. I suggest going at off-peak hours.
El Sabrosito del Fogon
Address: Av. Constituyentes, Quintas del Carmen, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 1-11:30PM, daily
What to Order: Tacos, quesadillas, tortas, quesos fundidos
What I Paid: MXN 184 with drinks (April 2022)
2. El Chuleton
El Chuleton is another great taqueria in Playa del Carmen. Like El Fogon, they’re known for their tacos and other Mexican food favorites like tortas, molcajetes, alambres, and quesos fundidos. They serve a few desayunos or breakfast dishes as well.
Barely contained on the plate below are six tacos – four tacos al pastor and two tacos de chorizo. Unlike El Fogon, El Chuleton serves their pastor tacos plain without grilled pineapple.
Tacos at El Chuleton go for anywhere between MXN 21-45 each, depending on what they’re made with.
El Chuleton gives you the salsas and garnishes on the side so you can add them to your tacos yourself. I do wish they make the pastor with pineapple though.
I paid a total of MXN 175 for six tacos and a drink at El Chuleton. They’re a Traveler’s Choice awardee with a perfect 5-star rating on TripAdvisor.
If you’re in the mood for great affordable tacos in Playa del Carmen, then El Chuleton is one of the best restaurants you can go to.
Address: Av. 20 entre Constituyentes y, C. 16 Nte. Bis, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 9AM-12MN, daily
What to Order: Tacos, tortas, quesos fundidos
What I Paid: MXN 175 with a drink (April 2022)
3. Taqueria El Ingrato
Taqueria El Ingrato is another great restaurant for tacos in Playa del Carmen. They serve tacos made with different types of meat like cecina, arrachera, chorizo, and pollo but what they’re really known for are their tacos al pastor. They have a perennial 2×1 deal where you get a free pastor taco for every two that you order.
Pictured below is an overflowing plate of four pastor tacos and two tacos campechanos. I forgot about their 2×1 deal so I made the mistake of ordering just three pastor tacos. Had I ordered four, then I would have gotten two more for free.
Here’s a closer look at the taco campechano. A taco campechano is basically a taco topped with a mixture of meats. The meats used can differ from restaurant to restaurant. El Ingrato appears to make theirs with arrachera (skirt steak) and chorizo.
I spent a total of MXN 140 for six tacos and a soda. Please be advised that there’s more than one “El Ingrato” on Google Maps. Click on the link for a map to the correct restaurant.
Taqueria El Ingrato
Address: Av. Constituyentes 280, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 3:15PM-12:45AM, Mon-Sat / 3:15-11:45PM, Sun
What to Order: Tacos
What I Paid: MXN 140 with a drink (April 2022)
4. Ay Taco!
Speaking of al pastor deals, Ay Taco! is another place to get a sweet deal on Mexico’s most beloved taco. Their pastor tacos are normally MXN 20 apiece but you can get six for just MXN 100.
As you can see below, they don’t scrimp on the fillings either. They load up each double tortilla with lots of pastor meat, onions, cilantro, and grilled pineapple. Not only was this a sweet deal, but these were some of the best tacos I had in Playa del Carmen.
Aside from pastor tacos, Ay Taco! serves other Mexican specialties as well like tortas, alambres, quesadillas, and volcanes. They serve hamburgers too.
I spent a total of MXN 120 for six tacos and a drink at Ay Taco! As you can see from the picture below, it isn’t a traditional restaurant but a taco truck with a small covered area of a few tables and chairs. Like El Chuleton, they’re a Traveler’s Choice awardee with a perfect 5-star rating on TripAdvisor.
Ay Taco! is one of the restaurants immediately surrounding Andador Solidaridad, a public park with some of the best affordable restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
Address: Calle 8 Nte, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 1-11PM, daily
What to Order: Tacos, tortas, volcanes, alambres
What I Paid: MXN 120 with a drink (April 2022)
5. Los Culiados Mariscos
Being a coastal city, Playa del Carmen is home to many great restaurants serving fresh seafood. The best seafood restaurants can be painfully expensive but thankfully, there are Mexican restaurants like Los Culiados Mariscos that serve excellent fish tacos and other seafood dishes at reasonable prices.
Located just a block away from Ay Taco!, Los Culiados serves different types of seafood tacos and tostadas, cocteles, ceviches, and aguachiles. Pictured below is a tasty trio of tacos made with fish (de pescado), shrimp (gobernador), and a mixture of fish, shrimp, and octopus (quesadilla de merma al carbon).
The seafood and fish tacos at Los Culiados go for anywhere between MXN 38-60. Tostadas are a little more expensive at about MXN 75 per piece while medium-sized portions of ceviche and aguachile hover around the MXN 150 range.
I spent a total of just MXN 148 for three seafood tacos and a Coke at Los Culiados Mariscos. It’s located right next to Andador Solidaridad, on the same side as Ay Taco! and a couple of other restaurants on this list.
Los Culiados Mariscos
Address: Calle 8 norte #166 Mz13 Lt13, entre Av.15 y, Av. 20, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 11AM-9PM, daily
What to Order: Seafood tostadas, tacos, ceviches, aguachiles
With a Drink: MXN 148 with a drink (April 2022)
6. Señor Taco
So far, all the taquerias on this Playa del Carmen restaurants guide serve either seafood or meat tacos. If you want to go to a restaurant that serves both, then head over to Señor Taco. It’s a humble Mexican restaurant that serves breakfast dishes and tacos made from different types of meat and seafood.
Aside from the usual pastor, chorizo, camaron, and pescado, they serve more daring offerings as well like tripa (small intestines), lengua (tongue), and one of our personal favorites – suadero (meat between the belly and leg).
On the plate below are tacos made with pescado, camaron, suadero, and tripa. To be honest, these weren’t the best tacos I had in Playa del Carmen but they’re pretty good, especially for the price. Their tacos range from just MXN 20-35.
I spent a total of just MXN 157 for four tacos and a soda at Señor Taco.
Personally, I preferred the other taquerias on this list but many people do love Señor Taco. They’re a Traveler’s Choice awardee with a near-perfect 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor.
Address: Calle 2 entre Av. 10 y 15, Centro, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 12NN-9PM, Mon-Fri / 12NN-5PM, Sat (closed Sundays)
What to Order: Tacos
What I Paid: MXN 157 with a drink (April 2022)
7. Restaurante Nativo
Restaurante Nativo is one of the most popular restaurants in Playa del Carmen. They offer an extensive menu of traditional Mexican fare like tacos, enchiladas, antojitos, seafood, and desayunos. They offer many delicious dishes, but what they’re best known for are their drinks. More on that below.
It’s hard to tell what this green and white mess of deliciousness is, but what you’re looking at is a plate of enchiladas suizas. It’s a type of enchilada made with chicken, manchego cheese, and salsa verde.
The enchiladas made for a terrific breakfast but what really blew me away was this yogurt smoothie. This particular concoction is called the mangazo, and it’s made with mango, yogurt, rompope (Mexican eggnog), and milk. My god was this insanely delicious.
Restaurante Nativo serves good food but what they’re really known for are their fresh fruit juices. They offer many different types of fresh juices and smoothies made with either milk or yogurt.
The restaurant was full when I was there but even more people were getting their fresh fruit juices to go. They’re amazingly delicious and as you can see below, quite large too. Those are standard-size salt and pepper shakers.
Restaurante Nativo offers a selection of fresh fruit plates as well. As good as their juices are, I bet those are delicious too.
Restaurante Nativo is designed to look like a beach hut. It’s a colorful restaurant with great atmosphere and tasty food.
I spent MXN 177 for a plate of enchiladas and a yogurt smoothie at Restaurante Nativo. You see those people outside? They’re all waiting for their juices and smoothies to go.
Restaurante Nativo is a Traveler’s Choice awardee with a stellar 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor. Judging by how refreshingly delicious that mangazo was, they have to be one of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen for juices and smoothies. I walked by many juice bars in the city but none were as popular as this.
Address: Lt 2, 30 Avenida Nte. Mz 26, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 7:30AM-12MN, daily
What to Order: Fresh juices, smoothies, traditional Mexican dishes
What I Paid: MXN 177 with a drink (April 2022)
8. Loncheria Los Machacados
Speaking of refreshing drinks, you need to try machacados – a Quintana Roo frozen drink that’s enjoyed mostly as a dessert. Made with shaved ice, it’s similar to raspados except it’s topped with crushed fruit and condensed milk instead of the usual flavored syrups.
Machacados are originally from Chetumal in southern Quintana Roo. You can find it in Playa del Carmen though it isn’t nearly as common as raspados. The only restaurant I could find that was within walking distance of La Quinta Avenida was the aptly named Loncheria Los Machacados.
On a searing Playa del Carmen day, amazing desserts like machacados will feel like a dive into a cenote. Los Machacados offers several flavors but my server recommended I try the fresa con platano (strawberry with banana). It was incredibly refreshing and delicious.
It’s worth noting that machacado in northern Mexico means something completely different. It refers to a dish of shredded dry beef mixed with scrambled eggs.
Los Machacados specializes in the shaved ice dessert but they do offer other Yucatecan dishes as well like sopa de lima, salbutes, and panuchos. I had these two hand-sized empanadas to go with my machacado.
You can get Los Machacados’ empanadas filled with cheese, chicken, or pork, or a mixture of the three.
Here’s an inside look at my empanada mixta. You can clearly see all three fillings in this picture – cheese, pork, and shredded chicken.
These Yucatecan empanadas are a good size and can be quite filling, especially if you get them filled with cheese. Aside from the usual Mexican cheese, Los Machacados also makes them filled with queso de bola (edam cheese).
I spent a whopping MXN 95 on two empanadas and a machacado. I had already eaten dinner before walking to Los Machacados, but the most expensive thing on their menu is the sopa de lima which goes for just MXN 70. You could easily enjoy a full meal here and a machacado for less than MXN 200.
Los Machacados is located about a 15-minute walk from La Quinta Avenida. You can refer to the location map at the bottom of this post to see exactly where it is.
Loncheria Los Machacados
Address: 77710, Av. 45 Nte. 134, Centro, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 4:30-11:30PM, daily
What to Order: Machacados
What I Paid: MXN 95 for two empanadas and a machacado (April 2022)
9. Asadero El Pollo
Who doesn’t like roast chicken? Chicken barbecued on a grill exists in some form in most if not all countries, and Mexico is no exception.
Asadero El Pollo is a no-frills restaurant that offers just one thing on their menu – Mexican roast chicken. You can get half or a whole chicken for just MXN 90 or MXN 140 respectively. It comes with rice, salsa, onions, and tortillas.
I love tacos so I enjoy putting all the components together. If you’re hungry and on a strict budget, then this restaurant is tough to beat. I paid just MXN 110 for half a roast chicken and a drink.
Asadero El Pollo is a simple restaurant frequented by both locals and tourists.
Sitting at the table next to me was a foreigner who had clearly just come from a workout. He was devouring a whole chicken to himself like there was no tomorrow.
Asadero El Pollo looks plain but it’s hard to miss. Just look for the cloud of smoke billowing from the restaurant.
Asadero El Pollo
Address: 20 Avenida Nte. 652, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 10AM-6PM, daily
What to Order: Roast chicken
Expect to Spend: MXN 110 with a drink (April 2022)
There are plenty of inexpensive Mexican restaurants in Playa del Carmen, but there are a good number of affordable international restaurants as well. Here are a few you can go to.
10. Mi Kfe Sabor Venezolano (Venezuelan)
If you’re in the mood for arepas and Venezuelan food, then Mi Kfe is one of the best restaurants you can go to in Playa del Carmen.
I knew that I wanted arepas even before getting to the restaurant, but I was pleased to find tequeños on the menu as well. Tequeños are Venezuelan cheese sticks made with queso blanco wrapped in elastic puff pastry.
Gooey and creamy with a crisp, flaky coating, tequeños are absolutely delicious. If you like mozzarella sticks, then you need to order this.
Here’s a look inside a tequeño. I enjoy most types of cheese sticks but this has to be one of my favorites. The coating is uniquely delicious.
Mi Kfe has almost twenty different types of arepas fillings on their menu, including over a half-dozen vegetarian-friendly options. Most are MXN 83 with the most expensive option priced at just MXN 96.
I asked my server for recommendations and she suggested I get the reina pepeada. It’s filled with chicken breast and a creamy avocado-mayonnaise sauce.
Aside from arepas, Mi Kfe offers many other Venezuelan dishes as well like cachapas, patacones, and empanaditas. If you’re hungry, then you may want to try pabellon criollo, the Venezuelan national dish of shredded beef, black beans, and rice. It’s a starchy and filling meal that goes for just MXN 149.
I paid MXN 190 for an order of five tequeños, an arepa, and a drink.
Mi Kfe is located along Avenida 10 Norte, just one street away from La Quinta Avenida. Like La Quinta, Avenida 10 Norte has plenty of restaurants on either side and most are considerably cheaper. You’ll find plenty of great restaurant options here.
Mi Kfe Sabor Venezolano
Address: Avenida 10 Norte, entre calles 6 y 8, Centro, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 12NN-10PM, Mon-Sat / 11AM-9PM, Sun
What to Order: Arepas, tequeños, patacones, cachapas
Expect to Spend: MXN 190 with a drink (April 2022)
11. N’taconadas Restaurante (Colombian)
If you like Venezuelan food, then you probably enjoy Colombian food as well. Being neighbors in South America, their cuisines are quite similar and share different variations of the same dishes like arepas, empanadas, and patacones.
There are a few Colombian restaurants in Playa del Carmen but one of the best and most accessible is N’taconadas Restaurante. It’s a family-owned restaurant along 15 Avenida Norte, just two streets away from La Quinta Avenida.
N’taconadas doesn’t offer as wide a menu as Mi Kfe but they do serve tasty food. Pictured below is a trio of Colombian empanadas filled with either beef or chicken. Each one costs MXN 25 but you can get three for just MXN 60.
Here’s a look inside my chicken empanada. The pico de gallo they serve on the side goes so well with these empanadas.
For my main course, I had this delicious and filling patacon con chicharron. Patacones are a Colombian staple made with flattened and double-fried unripe plantains. They’re slightly sweet, almost neutral in taste, and have a unique texture that’s quite enjoyable to eat.
At N’taconadas, you can get patacones topped with different ingredients like shredded chicken, chicharron, chorizo, or hogao (Colombian tomato and onion salsa). The chicharron is delicious and highly recommended.
Colombian pride is strong at N’taconadas!
I spent just MXN 180 for a satisfying and filling meal at N’taconadas. Definitely check them out if you get a hankering for Colombian food in Playa del Carmen.
Address: 15 Avenida Nte 152, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 9AM-7PM, Mon-Wed / 9AM-11PM, Thurs-Sat (closed Sundays)
What to Order: Patacones, empanadas, arepas
What I Paid: MXN 180 with a drink (April 2022)
12. Falafel Nessya (Middle Eastern)
I was in the mood for a healthy lunch one day so I dropped by this cute Middle Eastern restaurant that specializes in falafel. If you’ve never had it, falafel is a popular Lebanese or Middle Eastern dish of deep-fried balls made from ground chickpeas, herbs, and spices. It’s a great dish for people looking for vegetarian-friendly options.
Falafel Nessya has a focused menu with just a few items – falafel, sabich, hummus, and Israeli salad. This tasty and filling pita falafel set me back just MXN 80. With a drink, I spent a total of just MXN 100.
Falafel Nessya is a small restaurant with just three or four tables. It’s usually full so I suggest going at off-peak hours to get a table.
Address: Calle 6 Norte entre avenida 10 y 15, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 1-11PM, daily
What to Order: Falafel, hummus
What I Paid: MXN 100 with a drink (April 2022)
13. Eat Bar (Mediterranean)
Speaking of vegetarian-friendly options, another great Playa del Carmen restaurant you can visit for healthy food is Eat Bar. Similar to Falafel Nessya, they offer Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes like hummus, falafel, sabich, and shakshuka.
While Falafel Nessya is a strictly vegetarian restaurant, Eat Bar offers meat dishes as well like beef kebabs, burgers, roast chicken, and tuna salad pita sandwiches.
Pictured below is my tasty sabich pita sandwich. It’s an Israeli dish made with fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, hummus, and vegetable salad. If you like falafel, then you’ll probably enjoy this as well.
I spent a total of MXN 130 on my sabich pita sandwich and a drink. Eat Bar has two branches, one along Avenida 10 Norte (near Mi Kfe) and another at Andador Solidaridad, right next to Ay Taco!
The Avenida 10 Norte branch (pictured below) gets more crowded so you may want to try the Andador Solidarid shop if this is one is full.
Address: 10 Avenida Nte. LB, entre calle 6 y 8, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 11AM-11PM, daily
What to Order: Sabich, hummus, shakshuka, kebabs
What I Paid: MXN 130 with a drink (April 2022)
14. Tom Yam Gong (Thai)
After month of traveling in Mexico, do you know what I miss most about Southeast Asia? The taste of fish sauce. I had been craving dishes made with fish sauce for weeks when I chanced upon Tom Yam Gong, a terrific restaurant that serves affordable and authentic Thai meals.
Normally, I’d be apprehensive about going to a Thai restaurant in Mexico, but I read that the chef at Tom Yam Gong was a Thai national now living in Playa del Carmen. Yes folks, this restaurant is the real deal.
Tom Yam Gong offers many Thai dishes on their menu like som tam, satay, tom yum goong, and tom kha gai, but I went for this plate of good old-fashioned pad thai. It’s that delicious and ever-reliable stir-fried noodle dish made with chicken, shrimp, fried tofu, peanuts, egg, and bean sprouts. Fish sauce craving satisfied.
I spent a total of MXN 184 for pad thai and a soda at Tom Yam Gong. It’s near two other international restaurants that didn’t make it to this list but you may want to check out as well – Machu Picchu (Peruvian food) and La Cubana (Cuban food).
Tom Yam Gong
Address: Avenida 15 entre calle 4 y, Calle 2 Nte, Centro, 77724 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 12NN-10PM, daily
What to Order: Pad Thai, som tam, tom yum goong, satay
What I Paid: MXN 184 with a drink (April 2022)
15. Comet 984 (Vegan)
Comet 984 is probably one of the more interesting restaurants on this list. It’s interesting because it looks and sounds like an American 50s diner – the kind of place you’d go to for burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes.
While you can find all those diner staples at Comet 984, none of them are made with animal products. Comet 984 is a vegan restaurant that serves hamburgers and hot dogs made exclusively with plant-based products.
What you’re looking at below is the Krusty Burger, a vegan burger made with a slice of breaded cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and salsa. The “cheese” is made with soya milk.
I ordered a side of french fries as well which were amazing.
I spent a total of MXN 175 for a vegan burger, french fries, and a soda at Comet 984. This vegan 50s diner is definitely a unique restaurant in Playa del Carmen.
Address: 77710 Calle 8 Norte LB Entre avenida 20 y 25, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: 1-9PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What to Order: Vegan burgers, hot dogs, milkshakes
Expect to Spend: MXN 175 with a drink (April 2022)
When you’re traveling on a budget and want good local food, then there’s no better choice than street food. It’s cheap and delicious and gives you an unfiltered look at how locals eat.
There are a few street food clusters you can visit in Playa del Carmen.
CALLE 14 NORTE BIS
Calle 14 Norte Bis is the street that divides the Super Aki and Mega supermarkets. On that street are three to four food trucks selling different types of Mexican antojitos, tacos, and tortas.
16. Tacos de Birria El Compa
The Tacos de Birria El Compa food truck is by far the most popular stall on this strip. They serve the usual tacos and tortas but as their name suggests, what they’re really known for is their birria.
A specialty of Gudalajara and Jalisco state, birria is a type of Mexican stew made from spicy goat meat adobo that’s slow-cooked in a pot till tender. It’s typically eaten in corn tortillas with onions, cilantro, lime, and salsa.
At El Compa, you can enjoy birria in tacos, tacos dorados (rolled up and crunchy), and tortas, but the best way to have it is in quesabirria tacos.
Quesabirria refers to a variation of birria tacos that first emerged in Tijuana. They’re basically birria tacos made with melted cheese. Quesabirria is absolutely delicious and something you don’t see as often so you should definitely try it here.
I paid just MXN 87 for three quesabirria tacos and a soda. Quesabirria tacos are filling because of the cheese so start of with two or three first before getting more.
Calle 14 Norte Bis Street Food Stalls
Address: Avenida Nte. 101, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: Around 7AM-10PM, daily
What to Order: Quesabirria tacos
What I Paid: MXN 87 with a drink (April 2022)
CALLE 2 NORTE
Calle 2 Norte is home to another cluster of street food stalls in Playa del Carmen. You’ll find around four to five food stalls between Asadero El Pollo and Señor Taco along Calle 2 Norte.
17. Taqueria El Jarocho
This taco food truck is one of the most popular stalls on this strip. It doesn’t show up on Google Maps but the sign on the truck says “Taqueria El Jarocho”.
I saw the word “jarocho” attached to many restaurant names in Playa del Carmen so I googled it. Apparently, jarocho refers to someone from the city of Veracruz.
El Jarocho serves the usual taqueria offerings like tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and burritos. You can get them filled with different types of meat and seafood like pastor, carne asada, camaron, and pescado.
What you’re looking at below are tacos filled with two of my favorite type of meat – suadero and tripa. These were delicious and among the best tacos I had in Playa del Carmen, all for just MXN 100 with a drink.
Calle 2 Norte Street Food Stalls
Address: Calle 2 Nte, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: Around 2-11:30PM, daily
What to Order: Tacos
What I Paid: MXN 100 with a drink (April 2022)
I already liked Andador Solidaridad park because of all the cheap and delicious restaurants around it, but this weekend night market made me love it even more. From Friday till Sunday, you’ll find a variety of crafts vendors and food stands setting up at the park. I don’t know exactly what time it starts and ends but I believe it goes from around 5PM till midnight.
You’ll find live musicians and bands performing at the park as well. The weekend night market has great atmosphere and lots of delicious street food.
18. Andador Solidaridad Weekend Night Market
There wasn’t any one stall that stood out at the market so I just went to the ones I found most interesting.
One stall called Las Jarochitas was selling tamales and atole de coco. The tamale is probably the most well-known pre-Hispanic dish in Latin America. It’s made with masa corn dough that’s filled with a variety of ingredients and then steamed in corn husk.
Tamales are often enjoyed with atole, a pre-Hispanic drink made with masa, water, piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar), cinnamon, and vanilla. In some versions like this one, chocolate can also be mixed in.
This is arguably the most popular snack in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. You’ll find food stalls, mostly at night, selling this dessert snack throughout the Yucatan.
What you’re looking at is a marquesita, a Yucatan food favorite made with a rolled-up crunchy crepe. It can be filled with a variety of ingredients like fruit, cajeta (dulce de leche), jam, and chocolate, but one of the most common versions is made with Nutella and shreds of edam cheese.
I paid MXN 100 for the marquesita, tamale, and atole de coco. I don’t know how often the food vendors change but there were stalls selling tacos, antojitos, pozole, arepas, pastries, cakes, raspados, and drinks.
Andador Solidaridad Weekend Night Market
Address: Unnamed Road, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Operating Hours: Around 5PM-12MN, Fri-Sun
To help you navigate to these food stalls and restaurants in Playa del Carmen, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. Click on the link for a live version of the map.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST CHEAP RESTAURANTS IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Eating out in Playa del Carmen can be expensive, but as this list shows you, it doesn’t have to be. You can have tasty and filling meals for less than MXN 200. You just have to get off toruisty La Quinta Avenida to find them.
If you’re visiting the Riviera Maya and traveling with limited funds, then I hope this article helps you stretch your budget and make the most of your time there.
Thanks for reading and have an amazing time in Playa del Carmen!
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