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Cancun is one of my favorite resort cities around the world. This bright and colorful city is one of Mexico’s safest places to explore.
Walk along the stunning white sandy beaches around Cancun where gorgeous turquoise ocean waters sparkle in the lush sunshine. The nightlife is fantastic, filled with cheery locals and travelers alike. It’s ideal for a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or even a young traveler’s celebration trip!
Despite being a touristic destination, you can still find delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine all over Cancun. In fact, Cancun is lucky because all those tourist dollars have brought in some of the best Mexican chefs from around the country!
Fresh ingredients with all the exciting flavors you typically expect from Mexican food can be found in both the downtown and Hotel Zone area of Cancun. Trust me, I’m passionate about Mexican food, and a trip to Cancun is incomplete without visiting one of the restaurants below!
So, get your palette ready as we explore some of the best Mexican restaurants in Cancun!
The BEST Mexican Restaurants in Cancun
- Location: Mextreme Google Maps location, Cancun Hotel Zone not far from Coco Bongo
- Price Range: $$
- Why we love it: Vibrant, authentic ambiance. And the Mole!
Mextreme creates a real and genuine all-around Mexican experience. You truly get a feel for the culture and vibe. I could not help to sit at the bar on one of the “bum seats” to enjoy a beer before tucking into some fantastic Mexican food in Cancun.
The Mole sauce is excellent! I felt as though I was back in Oaxaca, which is something only the best Mexican chefs can recreate! I always go for the traditional black Mole, which, if you haven’t tried, you need to! For those who don’t know, Mole is a traditional sauce made with Cacao that is savory. It’s commonly served on chicken but can be poured over any dish.
The Al pastor tacos were also amazingly delicious, but the typical Aztec soup is actually what I always come here for – it’s so rich and full of flavor! Plus, it’s a side of Mexican food that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. Soup lovers, don’t miss it!
If you want to try another authentic dish, order a Molcajete. I’ve eaten these all over Mexico, and you can get them in seafood or meat. I personally prefer seafood, but it’s all my personal preference.
Another reason Mextreme is such a fantastic place to visit is the live music. Sip your margarita with live Mariachi – a typical Mexican band! These guys typically play at dinner after the sun sets.
Mextreme offers more than delicious food. They invite you to immerse in their culture while putting on a fun show. I witnessed a waitress successfully carry four margaritas on her head – that’s no easy feat! It is genuinely a fantastic Mexican restaurant in Cancun!
2. CAO De Tierra Y De Mar
- Location: CAO Google Maps location, Marina Puerto Cancun
- Price Range: $$$
- Why we love it: Fine dining, romantic night out with a water view!
CAO De Tierra Y De Mar is all about exquisite fine dining in Marina Puerto Cancun! Walk into a classy and stylish restaurant with a beautiful view of the marina. This restaurant draws inspiration from North Mexican cuisine including all your favorites with an added twist!
I ordered the Tuna Guacamole for my starter, and Dan opted for the Mamucas “Ramos” Guacamole with a handmade pork rind. Really tasty!
For our mains, we wanted to try something unique, so I opted for the Salmón a la Parrilla, which is something you don’t often see on a Mexican menu. It was served with a cheese sauce which was fantastic and full of Mexican flavors. Dan ordered the Pulpo a las Brasas which is grilled octopus. It was seasoned perfectly and so tender!
This place certainly adds a fine touch to the food, and you can tell there are some skilled chefs behind this restaurant.
We didn’t opt for dessert because CAO De Tierra Y De Mar isn’t the cheapest restaurant to visit. However, the excellent food is matched with brilliant service. The ambiance is warm and friendly. So, come and spoil yourself with some of the best Mexican food in Cancun.
3. El Huerto del Eden
- Location: El Huerto Google Maps location, downtown Cancun
- Price Range: $$
- Why we love it: Affordable traditional Mexican food (the breakie is our fav!)
This is your breakfast spot, for sure! Dan and I were rather hungry after our morning beach walk. El Huerto del Eden came highly recommended, and I can see why. Honestly, it was the best breakfast I have had for a long time.
I ordered the Motuleno eggs, which were super tasty, and my eggs were prepared just right.
Dan loves beans for breakfast, so he opted for the huevos tirados. He loved every bite! I could not resist the croissant with pistachio, vanilla cream, and hazelnuts – the ideal sweet breakfast treat. This we enjoyed alongside a delicious cup of coffee. Also, they offer lovely lunches and dinners, all beautifully prepared and packed with Mexican flavor.
This is certainly the best place to try a typical Mexican breakfast. Of course, for those new to this cuisine, I highly suggest the Huevos Rancheros here. It comes with three sauces, and all are out-of-this-world amazing!
But if I’m being totally honest, my favorite part of this Mexican restaurant in Cancun is the ambiance. The décor is bursting with color and delightful decorations. There is even a little waterfall in the space. The perfect way to start your day!
4. Taqueria Coapenitos
- Location: Taqueria Coapenitos Google Maps location, downtown Cancun
- Price Range: $
- Why we love it: TACOS!
Taqueria Coapenitos is an awesome street-side restaurant! The seating is limited, however, this is not a reflection of their incredible food. If you are a taco enthusiast, this is the spot for you. There are various taco options to choose from, with some fantastic combinations. These might be the best tacos in Cancun!
Dan and I were immediately drawn to the Coapenito tacos. A flavor burst of steak and chorizo topped with pico de gallo, avocado, and ground pork rind. Mouthwatering, right? They have a superb selection of beer, which cooled us down while well loaded our tacos with homemade hot sauce.
Their menu includes suadero, pastor, coateno, lengua, tripa, and arrachera. Basically every type of taco you could want! Each taco is expertly prepared and bursting at the seams with exceptional Mexican flavors.
This restaurant is a must-visit for taco fans for some of the best street-style Cancun Mexican Food! The ambiance is warm, with some chilled background music. Only matched with the friendly Cancun service. Plus, the prices are great – it is easily one of the most affordable Mexican restaurants in Canun!
Related Read: Heading to Tulum? Check out the best restaurants in Tulum!
5. Hacienda Sisal
- Location: Hacienda Sisal Google Maps location, Cancun Hotel Zone
- Price Range: $$$
- Why we love it: Fine dining, romantic night out with a water view!
You’ll love walking into Hacienda Sisal, a Mexican Villa Style restaurant. This fantastic family establishment is a favorite amongst returning travelers serving some of the best food in Cancun! The windows are gorgeous, and the water feature in the center of the space adds to the warm and inviting ambiance. There is a massive covered patio area with beautiful decorations and Mexican colors.
What a fantastic Mexican grill-style menu! Dan and I decided to try some of the Chefs recommendations. Dan ordered the Taxco-Style Pink Mole. Consisting of pork belly smothered in pink mole sauce, served alongside baby vegetables. So delicious! Need I say more?!
I fancied some pork too, so I tried the Pastor-Style Pork Chop. The pork marinade was divine. Offset with serrano chili and grilled pineapple. A flavor burst sensation! All their meals are beautifully plated, and their service is excellent.
As the evening set in, my favorite part was that the patio became alive with sparkling faerie lights. Alongside some of the best Mexican food in Cancun, you can’t go wrong!
6. Taqueria Los Chachalacos
- Location: Los Chachalacos Google Maps location, locations both downtown and in the Hotel Zone
- Price Range: $
- Why we love it: Affordable typical Mexican food, varied menu.
Taqueria Los Chachalacos is a great place to hang out for a bit. All the staff are really upbeat and vibey. I loved this Mexican restaurant in Cancun because the portion sizes were not massive and affordable. This way, you have an opportunity to tuck in a try a variety of scrumptious Mexican cuisine options.
Dan and I ordered a variety of tacos and quesadillas to sample. Their food is not extravagantly presented, yet you experience all the flavor you expect from traditional Mexican food yumminess. If you enjoy an extra spicy bite, you must try their habanero sauce. Sizzling “chili” hot! We decided to try their cocktails too. I ordered the strawberry margarita, and Dan kept it real with a traditional margarita. Both were so refreshing and delicious!
This is a perfect spot to chill after a morning of diving. Added bonus, there are surf rentals right across the road. A super little spot to grab some authentic Mexican food in Cancun.
Related Read: Looking for more than just Mexican food? Check out the BEST restaurants in Cancun!
7. Los Caporales
- Location: Los Caporales Google Maps location, Cancun Hotel Zone in the Moon Palace Resort
- Price Range: $$$
- Why we love it: Great all-inclusive resort restaurant!
Los Caporales is located in the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun. When a restaurant in a resort offers you the “Spirit of Mexico on your Table”, your vacation stay is sure to be complete! You don’t need to venture much and can really relax and unwind. The staff goes out of their way to make your meal special. The menu offers a variety of authentic Mexican food from all around the country.
Choose from tacos, huarache, elote, chilaquiles, and more. We were at the resort for a few days, so we had a chance to try a few options. My favorite dish was the sweaty tacos, and Dan ordered the Mexico City Huarache more than once. That says it all! There are some fabulous desserts for the sweet tooth too. The Corn Cake Dessert is delicious. It is kind of like a bread-and-butter pudding, but better!
We laughed so much as we ate our elote. It’s a messy but morish Mexican dish. Each bite of corn off the cob is spicy with a splash of lime zestiness. So worth it! As always, we enjoyed most of our meals with tantalizing cocktails.
This restaurant is the perfect place to experience some of the best Mexican food in Cancun, especially if you have no desire to venture out of the resort.
Note: You need to be staying at the Moon Palace Resort to dine at this Mexican restaurant.
8. Gory Tacos
- Location: Gory Tacos Google Maps location, downtown Cancun
- Price Range: $
- Why we love it: Fun little place to eat!
We were welcomed with a tequila shot when we visited this Mexican restaurant in Cancun – a clear sign that we were in for a good time! This delightful little streetside restaurant is a favorite amongst the locals, so you expect traditional and authentic Mexican food.
The burritos are excellent! The quesadillas are super cheesy and carry a lovely chili kick.
The chips and salsa are so flavorsome. I honestly think it is the best salsa I have eaten! Dan and I loved this little Mexican restaurant in Cancun. We visited more than once. And yes, I always ate way too much salsa!
The host is so enthusiastic about his culture and cuisine. This really comes through in the flavor of his offerings.
There are several fabulous shops to explore nearby, making this the perfect spot to stop, grab a super lunch and chat with the locals!
Related Read: For more authentic Mexican food, be sure to head to the nearby village of Puerto Morelos!
Other Activities to do While You’re in Cancun
Between bites of the amazing Mexican food in Cancun, there’s plenty to do and see! I’ve been coming to Cancun since I was a kid and I never get tired of visiting. There are so many fun things to do in Cancun, that will make for an amazing vacay. So if you’re looking for even more activities, check out some of my favorites below!
- Hit the beach – I know it goes without saying that you’ll be spending a few days at some of Cancun’s best beaches! Make sure to vary it up and try a few different beaches while you’re here. Playa Chacmool is a hidden gem in the heart of the Cancun Hotel Zone I love and the sunsets at Playa Gaviota Azul are unreal.
- Tour an underwater museum – Whether you’re snorkeling or scuba diving in Cancun, a visit to MUSA (Underwater Museum of Art) is a must. There are hundreds of sculptures down here and it feels like visiting the Lost City of Atlantis! This snorkeling tour takes you to MUSA along with visits to a shipwreck and a cenote!
- See Mayan ruins – Right in Cancun you can step back in time with visits to El Meco Ruins or the San Miguelito Ruins. Of course, to see some of the most famous Mayan ruins in Mexico, you’ll want to visit Chichen Itza from Cancun. We took this tour of the ruins that included a guide, a stop at a cenote, and lunch!
- Cancun Scenic Tower – As if Cancun wasn’t scenic enough, there’s another way to enjoy the views here! The Cancun Scenic Tower gives you amazing views of the Caribbean! The entire viewing deck lifts up, so you won’t even need to climb any stairs to get this view.
- Swim with whale sharks – For a totally unique and memorable experience, jump in the water to swim with whale sharks near Cancun! These gentle giants feast on plankton and fish, so you can relax on this whale shark tour and just admire these giant fish (they aren’t actually sharks!). Whale shark season is from May to September, so if you’re here at a different time of year, this half-day sailing trip is another way to get out on the water and cruise the beautiful ocean!
Where to Stay in Cancun
If you’re going to be vacationing in Cancun for a while, then you’ll need a great place to stay! Below are some of the best hotels (for every budget) in the Cancun Hotel Zone.
For budget travelers, the Selina Cancun Laguna Hotel Zone is a great choice. It doesn’t have the greatest reviews, but I really enjoyed my stay and for the price and fun atmosphere, you can’t go wrong! You can book this hostel on Hostelword or Booking.com.
If you prefer something a little nicer, I love the JW Marriott Cancun Resort. It’s not all-inclusive, which I enjoy because there are so many delicious restaurants in Cancun! The hotel is located right on the beach and has a huge pool. Rooms are typically $300-$500 USD depending on the time of year.
Of course, we all love a luxury all-inclusive stay and for that, I always book either the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun or the Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun Adults Only. Both are not cheap (typically $700-$1,000 USD nightly) but are equally as luxurious with fantastic oceanfront locations, delicious food, quality alcohol, and more.
More of a luxury traveler? Learn about the absolute best resorts in Cancun to choose from!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
Of course, one of the best things to do in Mexico is to eat Mexican food – and lots of it! And just because you’re staying in Cancun doesn’t mean you can’t get a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine. Choose any of the above restaurants and I’m sure you’ll be more than impressed!
If you liked this blog, be sure to check out some of our other Mexico blogs including: