7 of the Best 'Hidden' Gem Restaurants in Tulum, on Mexico's Riviera Maya

In the beginning of the 1990s, Tulum was a sleepy town located on Mexico's Riviera Maya. It was a day journey from a hotel located in Playa del Carmen or Cancun to visit the ruins and wander around the town. At the end in the second half of 20th century Tulum was on its journey to becoming a major destination. It was first a hot spot for hippies who wanted Yoga and retreats for meditation, later for famous people, and finally for developers. International investors, hoteliers restaurants of Mexico City, and chefs from all across the globe were soon following, creating an expensive, tropical resort with a beach.

But, eating out in Tulum is usually expensive and if you're planning to spend over $300 on drinks and dinner for two, it's best to ensure your meal is worth the cost. The top restaurants offer the romance, magic, and beauty promises of the beachside resort. They serve food that is influenced by the fauna and flora of the area and cook using techniques that have been that are derived from the Maya and often include records (colorful marinades made of herbs) particularly grilling octopus with the form of a record negro. It is an iconic dish created by the chef José Luis Hinostroza's Arca.

Hence, to enjoy a classic holiday, book your cheap flights to Tulum soon.


The gastronomy of her native state of Puebla Chef Claudia Perez Rivas prepares moles and other regional dishes using an older style of Mexican gourmet cuisine that is an uncommon treat nowadays. Her seasonally-inspired Pueblan traditional, chiles in nogada is a perfect balance of succulent meat, sweet picadillo, poblano roasted and a silky White Walnut Sauce. Local fish is served similarly however, with a white mole that is thickened by almonds. Perez makes several moles using chicken breasts rolled in a roll and filled with local chaya, too. You can enjoy all this while being in the midst of beautiful Mexican Folk art work that adorns the walls of white adobe, and make sure you pick up mole pastes for taking home with you.

Dona Paty Tacos de Guisado

Visit Dona Paty when you're on the Tulum taco crawl to sample her tacos deguisados, Mexican stews poured in fresh tortillas. The menus change every day however Dona Paty usually offers around 10 traditional dishes, such as a chicken meatball that is smothered in salsa croquettes of cheese and ham with smoky dark pork ribs cooked in chili morita and chile slices, melting cheese, as well as chillies rellenos. Also, answer"yes" when she inquires you if you would like rice with your taco. It helps preserve all the delicious juices from the tortilla. Dona Paty also serves breakfasts like chilaquiles and huevos mexicanas and fluffy pancakes.

Aca Tacos de Canasta

In the midst of the street vendors along Avenida Satelite, you'll find an attractive yellow banner, a tan beach umbrella and a pair of bamboo tiki bar that are used as a taco stands. There's the perfect snack for mid-morning tacos decanasta (steamed tacos) filled with scrambled egg along with chaya flavored like spinach mole, red with the chicken and chicharron prénsado (intense pork seasoned in adobo). When they are cooked and cook, the tortillas soak up the flavor and color of the fillings and emit a sweaty, oily shine. Get five and a freshly squeezed juice to prepare to shop in the center of Tulum.

Tacos y Tortas El Tio

There are a lot of vendors offering marqueitas (sweet and savory crepes rolled in crepes) and elotes on Avenida Satelite and Calle Geminis Norte in downtown Tulum that attracts tourists during the night. There aren't many taco stands around, however El Tio has been a long-time favourite for tacos that include al pastor as well as tortas made of vibrant orange, tender marinated pork tossed with chopped onions and pineapple, as well as cilantro and salsa. Take a group of friends and share one of the fried shash options prepared on a flattop and that is served alongside corn tortillas to make tacos at home. Some options include matambre (poc chuc Al pastor, Chorizo bacon, ham and tomato), chile poblano (chile poblano) and alambre (pork chop bacon and onions, chile poblano and cheese) as well as fortachon (pork chop bacon, al pastor, chorizo, and onion).

Negro Huitlacoxe

In a tiny space decorated with a local flavor, dark stained wood furniture and the conical lights of Tulum and chefs Carolina Noya and Alonso Lara are creating amazing dishes using the heirloom corn. The vibrant red, yellow blue and red corn tortillas made of 100 percent nixtamalized, nixtamalized, corn are stuffed with ribs from pork or huitlacoche. They are served on handmade ceramic plates, accompanied by clay bowls that are bursting with vibrant red and green salsa. The large quesadillas are multicolored and include strong Epazote (using an Indigenous recipe of south-central Mexico) and huitlacoche and plump tamales are drenched in a rich tomato or poblano sauce. There's also quesabirria that is served with adobo-dipped corn tortillas, which are blackened on an comal, then served on an unbreakable clay plate.

Taqueria Honorio

This hip street stall was transformed into Tulum's most sought-after taqueria, and was a viral phenomenon during chef Rene Redzepi's stay in Noma Mexico in 2017, when foodies who were visiting in the U.S. It morphed into Taqueria Honorio and was flooded on Instagram with delicious photos of Yucatan-style tortas (suckling pork) and tacos de cochinita, pibil (roasted barbecued pork) and relleno negro in pavo (marinated turkey). These dishes provide a class in the recaudos of Maya cuisine, including the acidic and sour recaudo rojo for the cochinita pibil; the smoky and charred recaudo of negro to make the relleno negro as well as the all-purpose spices mix, known as recaudo blanco, which aromas the slow-roasted the suckling pig. Take a stroll through this hip street food market and savor on the most essential tastes and hues of the Yucatan.

La Negra Tomasa

The place is named for an original song by Cuban composer Guillermo Rodriguez Fiffe that was recorded by Mexican rockers Caifanes in 1989. similar to the song, this particular version of Sinaloan cevicheria is more of a cumbia, and a bit rock and roll. In the shade of a salmon-colored umbrella and a roof made of corrugated steel Try the Torresona an impressive Sinaloan seafood tower that consists of cooked and raw shrimp, the octopus cooked, tuna, and mahi-mahi, all stuffed into an ring mold, topped with slices of cucumber, purple onion and layers of avocado, all soaked with lime juice, salsa negra. A assortment of seafood tostadas, spicy aguachiles and Sinaloan seafood tacos, including the gobernador, which is stuffed with melting Gouda with grilled shrimp are served with cold beer and international cocktails, such as Old Fashioneds, Aperol spritzes or espresso martinis.

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