Cancun delivers on all kinds of Mexican food, from the very good to very bad, from street food to high-end restaurants. Ubiquitous tacos are available from street vendors on every corner, and really are the best you will find. While in Cancun, if you’re looking for something authentic try round the bus station, around Market 23, or anywhere downtown away from the hotel area. Or if you’re really searching for Cancun’s most delicious grub, here are a few of the better restaurants, in no particular order.
Habaneros is cheap as chips, and has received the title ‘best little lunch café’. Mario, the owner, cooks all the food, and takes into account the specific likes and dislikes of each of his customers. This is as authentic Mexican as you could ask for.
La Habichuela is described as a must do in the centre of Cancun, and has been there more than thirty years. The restaurant is known for its seafood, and the lobster is amazing. The garden is beautiful, and I would recommend you book your table there. For real Mexican ambience and food in downtown Cancun, this is the place.
Hacienda el Mortero is a replica of a traditional 17th century hacienda serving a traditional Mexican menu. A mariachi band makes its way around, adding to the atmosphere. The fajitas are good, and the staff generally excellent. Hacienda el Mortero does tend to have a mainly tourist clientele.
Tumbaburros has two outlets, and serves genuine Mexican food. Tacos abound and are hard to beat. The atmosphere and hospitality are fantastic.
La Destileria is in the hotel zone, and thus has largely tourist patrons. Nonetheless, the food is authentic Mexican, and not too expensive.
Atotonilco again is authentic and quite inexpensive. The staff are welcoming, and eager to please.
Restaurante los Pescaditos is used largely by locals – always a good sign. You must try the pescaditos and pescadillas, but beware if you are watching your weight – everything is deep fried! Absolutely delicious. I guarantee you will return.
100% Natural is what it says – healthy, probably the only truly healthy restaurant around. It is part of a Mexican chain serving healthy foods and drinks, so expect salads, soups and fruit juices. However, they also serve Mexican dishes, and lots of brunch choices. Vegetarians will find this restaurant a great pick.
Los de Pescado is similar to Los Pescaditos, but has only three items on the menu – battered and deep fried fish or shrimp tacos and ceviche made with fish or shrimp served on a tortilla. Everything is made to order, and you can add one of the scrumptious sauces. There are two Los de Pescado in the hotel zone, so take your pick.
Genuine Mexican restaurants may not be easy to find in Cancun because it does seem to be a tourist mecca, but it’s not impossible to locate them. Ask in your Cancun hotel – they are your best source. And if it’s a tourist hotspot, and you enjoy it, so what? Just wipe your chin and order seconds!
By author and travel enthusiast Richard Orban, writing on behalf of Marriot Hotels. If you’re looking for Cancun Hotels, look no further!