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The EAT List

The 13 best restaurants in Cancún

The best restaurants in Cancún offer scenic seaside views paired with fresh seafood and a delightful dose of mezcal

Written by
Lori A May
Kelly Lewis

The flavors of Cancún await. This pearl of a city on the Yucatan Peninsula is overflowing with brilliant things to do, and sampling the delicious dishes is right up there at the top. Throw in those sumptuous Caribbean views, and you’ve got a recipe for an unplanned proposal, a lifetime of happiness, and all those dreams coming true. Wait, what? We got a little carried away, but you get the point.

The culinary influences in Cancún are as local as they are global, meaning there is an abundance of street tacos and fresh seafood to be found alongside international flavors and fusion food per excellence. If you like good food, the best restaurants in Cancún are right up your street.

Best Restaurants in Cancún

1. Sacbé Beach Shack

Sacbé sits right on the beach, in front of the Marriott Cancún Resort. This must-visit venue has an unbeatable pairing menu curated by a certified mezcalier, not to mention a Sunday brunch where every bite is focused on regional Yucatán cuisine. With hammocks, beach pillows, and swing set seating right at the bar, it’s also a super cool place to hang (pun intended) along the beach. 

2. El Fish Fritanga

A casual seafood restaurant with tables on the sand overlooking the lagoon, El Fish Fritanga is located in the middle of Cancún’s Hotel Zone and is popular with locals and tourists. There is a kids play area to keep the youngsters busy while you munch on savory ceviche tostadas, buttery lobster tails, vodka fettucine, or the house specialty of whole-fried fish.


3. A La Burger

Not every meal in Cancún needs to revolve around seafood—when you're craving a juicy burger, A la Burger is the best place to go. Choose from sirloin or ribeye patties with every topping imaginable, and add a side of fries or nachos to round out the meal.

4. Chambao Fashion GrillHouse

Dining at Chambao is an event. Here, the (literally) smoking cocktails and chef-driven dishes are just part of a spectacle that includes evening contortionist performances and models who parade around the restaurant serving fashion with sparklers during an interactive bottle service. Go for the high-end surf and turf, and stay for the sensory overload.


5. Botamero Tropical

The modest exterior will deceive you—inside, this happening locals’ joint is jamp-packed with artisanal seafood dishes and a raw bar that highlights natural seasonings. Can’t decide? Go for classic tostadas served with a shot of mezcal.

6. Navios

Mexican fusion seafood served to you in romantic cabanas set over the water. Navios has epic seafood and a remarkable wine list. Expect standout dishes like robalo al pastor; sea bass carpaccio served over pineapple with cilantro rice.


7. Thai Cancún

Located within La Isla Shopping Village, this popular restaurant serves Thai and Indian classics at a split-venue inside palapa roof huts that overlook the Nichupte Lagoon. Sunset dinners along the lagoon are incredibly popular, so make a reservation to enjoy your choice of satay and spicy lime prawns or tandoori and masala. The inventive cocktail menu focuses on martinis, mojitos, and margaritas.

8. Captain’s Cove

Captain's Cove is a fine-dining seafood restaurant with a thatched roof overlooking the lagoon in the Hotel Zone. Popular for its catch-of-the-day offerings, this restaurant is associated with Royal Resorts. But even if you aren't staying the night, Captain’s Cove is conveniently located, meaning you can still book a table and enjoy the fine dining experience without venturing too far from your own accommodations.


9. Lorenzillo’s

A Cancún staple that’s been serving lobster for more than 30 years. At Lorenzillo’s, come for the live lobster and stay for the atmosphere. This Cancún landmark serves lobster almost any way you want it. Get it grilled, boiled, steamed, or dripped in butter. 

10. Marakame Café

Marakame is a laidback, indoor-outdoor treehouse-style café with traditional Mexican food and international fare. A brunch buffet is served from 8 am to noon (Monday-Friday), and there is a variety of Mexican dishes, including barbacoa, quesadillas, and fresh corn tortillas on the menu. In the evenings, there’s also live music and a festive ambiance. 


11. Irori

Irori is a neat little Japanese joint that has served authentic sushi, ramen, tempura, and the like since 2006. Go to share a “boat of abundance” with a pal to get a generous sample of sashimi and sushi served with lobster. Want to get up close to the kitchen? Book a seat at one of Irori’s teppanyaki tables—watch as chefs cook your food on a sizzling iron griddle right in front of your eyes.

12. Parque de las Palapas

The food available at the stalls in Parque de las Palapas is delicious (think Mexican cakes, empanadas, and cheesy treats), but the people-watching is even better. Come to the park at sunset and be reminded that people actually do live here.


13. Rooster

Go where the locals go in downtown Cancún for wallet-friendly eggs benedict, and avocado toast. For lunch, enjoy a coconut shrimp burrito like no other. At any hour, savor freshly-roasted espresso or chill out with a fresh fruit smoothie.

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