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8 BEST Mexican Restaurants in Cancun

8 BEST Mexican Restaurants in Cancun

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Cancun is one of my favorite resort cities in the world. This bright and colorful city is one of Mexico’s safest places to explore, and it’s full of tons of fun things to do!

Walking along the stunning white sandy beaches in Cancun, where the gorgeous turquoise ocean waters sparkle in the sun, you really have to pinch yourself to check that you’re not dreaming. The nightlife is also such a blast (Cancun is famous for it, after all), with cheery locals and travelers mixing and having a fiesta. It’s ideal for a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or even as a solo travel destination! 

Despite being a pretty popular tourist 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 simply incomplete without visiting one of the restaurants below!

So, get your palette ready as we explore some of the best Mexican restaurants in Cancun!

Don’t have time to read the full article? If you’re looking for some outstanding tacos, then we have just the spot for you! Check out Taqueria Coapenitos which easily has some of the best tacos in Cancun – we can’t recommend them enough. Of course, you could also opt in to this 5-stop taco tour if you’re looking to dive into the Cancun taco scene.

The BEST Mexican Restaurants in Cancun  

1. Mextreme  

Bailey with her Mole and Mextreme in Cancun, Mexico
A waiter at Mextreme in Cancun carries 4 margaritas on his head
It’s so cool to watch!
  • Location: Mextreme, Cancun Hotel Zone not far from Coco Bongo
  • Price Range: $$
  • Why we love it: Vibrant, authentic ambiance. And the Mole!

For a genuine all-around Mexican experience, Mextreme is one of the best! You truly get a feel for the culture and vibe of the city, and I couldn’t help but sit at the bar on one of the “bum seats” to enjoy a beer before tucking into some fantastic Mexican food.  

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. 

In short, Mextreme offers delicious food and so much more! They invite you to immerse in their culture while putting on a fun show. I actually witnessed a waitress successfully carry four margaritas on her head – that’s no easy feat!

You can see Mextreme’s menu here.

2. CAO De Tierra Y De Mar  

People dining at CAO De Tierra Y De Mar in Cancun, Mexico
Photo credit: CAO Modern Mexican Kitchen
  • Location: CAO, 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. 

Have look at their menu here! 

3. El Huerto del Eden  

egg meal at El Huerto del Eden in Cancun, Mexico
Photo credit: El Huerto del Eden
Cup of coffee at El Huerto del Eden in Cancun, Mexico
Photo credit: El Huerto del Eden
  • Location: El Huerto, 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 and El Huerto del Eden came highly recommended. Now I can totally 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. Safe to say, he loved every bite! I couldn’t 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 without a doubt 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 of them 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. All in all, the perfect way to start your day! 

Have a look at their full menu here.

4. Taqueria Coapenitos  

Bailey with her tacos and margarita on a taco tour in Cancun, Mexico
Tacos and margaritas!
Tacos on a food tour in Cancun, Mexico
And more tacos!

Taqueria Coapenitos is an awesome street-side restaurant! The seating is limited; however, this isn’t a reflection of their incredible food. If you are a taco enthusiast, then this spot is a must-visit. There are so many taco options to choose from, with some fantastic and innovative combinations. These might even 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 we 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!

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 playing softly in the background. The food itself is only matched by the friendly Cancun service! Plus, the prices are great – it is easily one of the most affordable Mexican restaurants in Cancun.

Related Read: Heading to Tulum? Check out the best restaurants in Tulum.

5. Hacienda Sisal  

Grilled meal at Food from Hacienda Sisal in Cancun, Mexico
Photo credit: Hacienda Sisal – Mexican Restaurant Cancun

I can already tell, you’ll love walking into Hacienda Sisal, a Mexican Villa Style restaurant. This fantastic family establishment is a favorite among 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.  

With one of the best Mexican grill-style menus I’ve seen in a loooong time, Dan and I decided to try some of the Chef’s recommendations. Dan ordered the Taxco-Style Pink Mole. This was made up 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 simply divine (am I a food critic yet!?). Offset with serrano chili and grilled pineapple, it was 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 came alive with sparkling faerie lights. Alongside some of the best Mexican food in Cancun, you can’t go wrong! 

Here is their fantastic menu! 

 6. Taqueria Los Chachalacos  

Taco galore at Taqueria Los Chachalacos in Cancun
Photo credit: Los Chachalacos
Rotating spit from Taqueria Los Chachalacos in Cancun, Mexico
Photo credit: Los Chachalacos
  • Location: Los Chachalacos, locations both downtown and in the Hotel Zone
  • Price Range: $
  • Why we love it: Affordable typical Mexican food, varied menu.

Taqueria Los Chachalacos is such a fun 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 they were pretty affordable. This makes it an awesome opportunity to tuck in and try a variety of scrumptious Mexican cuisine options.  

Dan and I ordered a variety of tacos and quesadillas to sample. Their food isn’t 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. As an added bonus, there are surf rentals right across the road. A super little spot to grab some authentic Mexican food in Cancun.  

Check out their menu here.

Related Read: Looking for more than just Mexican food? Check out the BEST restaurants in Cancun!

7. Los Caporales  

dining area of Los Caporales in Cancun, Mexico
Photo credit: https://www.moonpalacecancun.com/
  • Location: Los Caporales, Cancun Hotel Zone in the Moon Palace Resort
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Why we love it: Great all-inclusive resort restaurant!

Los Caporales is a guest-only restaurant that’s 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! 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  

Gory Tacos, Cancun, Mexico
Yum!
  • Location: Gory Tacos, 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 among the locals, so you expect traditional and authentic Mexican food.  

The burritos are excellent, and the quesadillas are super cheesy with a lovely chili kick.  

The chips and salsa are also soooo 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, as always I ate way too much salsa!  

The host is so enthusiastic about his culture and cuisine. This really comes through in the flavor of the food, which is just how it should be. There are also 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!

The BEST Mexican Food Tours in Cancun

Our tour group sit at a table ready to try tacos in Cancun, Mexico
With an expert guide, you’ll be in safe hands!

While exploring the foodie scene on your own can be tons of fun, Dan and I always try to include a food tour whenever we visit a new place. And when you’re in a city with as much choice as Cancun, going on a food tour can save you from picking the wrong restaurants or ending up away from all the action!

Many of these food tours also visit local markets and food stands, so you can get a really authentic feel of the local scene. At the same time, there are still tons of great tours which are all about a great sit-down dining experience.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite food tours in Cancun!

Evening Cruise with Dinner and Entertainment

Some of the boats with set tables at Xoximilco Cancun
This is a unique way to enjoy dinner in Cancun! Photo credit: Xoximilco Cancun

If a sit-down meal with great company and tasty Mexican food sounds like fun, then this 4-hour evening cruise is definitely worth checking out! You’ll enjoy 3 courses while gliding down the river on a traditional tranjinera, which is a little bit like a traditional gondola. With a maximum of 20 people per boat, you’ll get to meet some new faces without it feeling overcrowded.

But, of course, no dining experience in Cancun would be the same without a little fiesta! On this tour, you’ll have live entertainment from a mariachi and bolero band while floating along the river – what could be more ‘Cancun’ than that? You’ll also have access to the open bar, with as much tequila, beer, or soft drinks as you could possibly want – now that’s my kind of night.

You can purchase tickets for this tour for $117 USD per person, which also includes hotel pick-up and drop-off from most hotels in Cancun. This is a pretty popular dinner experience though, so don’t forget to secure your spot on the tour online here.

5-Stop Cancun Taco Tour with Local Beer and Night Market

Beef tacos in Mexico
Yum!

Fancy a tour with a little more in-town exploration? Well, if you’re a fan of tacos (and I mean, who isn’t?!) then you really can’t miss out on this 5-stop Cancun Taco Tour. The entire tour takes a little over 4 hours, and will guide you around some of the all-time best spots in Cancun to grab these delicious local bites. If you’re going on this tour at the start of your holiday, you’ll know exactly where to come back to!

Every stop along the way is different, and the itinerary will have you sampling some delicious starters and mains, as well as churros for dessert (yum!). Better yet, your ticket also includes four complimentary beers, allows you to skip the line, and you’ll also get to visit a local night market too.

With hotel pick-up and drop-off included, this tour kicks off in the evening and costs $95 USD per person. To find the best dates for you, I’d suggest booking in advance to secure your spot!

Other Activities to do While You’re in Cancun

Bailey and Daniel look at a Sting Ray at the MUSA dive site in Cancun
A stingray at MUSA!
Bailey looks out the window of the Cancun Scenic Tower in Cancun, Mexico
Views for days at the Cancun Scenic Tower!

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!

  • 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

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
Photo credit: Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach 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.

Selina Cancun Laguna Hotel Zone – $

For budget travelers, the Selina Cancun Laguna Hotel Zone is one of my personal favorites! While some people online found their stay to be hit-and-miss, I really enjoyed my stay here, plus for the price and fun atmosphere, you really can’t go wrong! It’s also located right in the heart of the Hotel Zone, meaning you’re right where all the action is, and they even have an outdoor pool and a bar.

They offer a range of room types, with a bed in a large dorm starting as low as $24 USD and a standard room at around $97 USD per night. To reserve your spot in advance, you can check out Selina Cancun Laguna over on Hostelworld or Booking.com.

JW Marriott Cancun Resort – $$

For somewhere in the mid-range category, I absolutely love the JW Marriott Cancun Resort. While it’s not all-inclusive, I personally think that’s a plus since you get to explore the wonderful restaurants in Cancun! That said, the hotel has no less than 6 incredible restaurants on-site, so if you’re feeling like a well-deserved evening in, then you’re spoiled for choice.

Talking of pampered evenings (and mornings!), JW Marriott also has a world-class spa offering a host of treatments, as well as three gorgeous pools. Located right on the beachfront, every room in this hotel has a 32-inch flat-panel LCD TV, as well as the softest bedding to rest your head after a busy day out exploring.

Rooms here at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort average between $350-500 USD per night depending on the time of year. To check availability and reserve your room, you can secure your spot on Booking.com.

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun – $$$

Of course, we all love a luxury all-inclusive stay and for that, the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun is among the best of the best. It really is its very own oasis in paradise where you can rest, relax, and try the most delicious food in any of the six fine-dining restaurants, including an AAA Five Diamond French dining experience!

When you fancy going for a dip, there’s a huge outdoor pool which is nothing short of mesmerizing at night when it’s lit up. Seriously, you have to see it for yourself! If that wasn’t enough, Grand Fiesta also boasts a 40,000 sq. ft (3,716 sq. m) full-service spa, with a ton of treatment and massage options. A word of warning though – once you stay here, you’ll never look at luxury the same way again.

Of course, with a luxury hotel comes a luxury price tag, with rooms ranging from $500-800 USD per night depending on the room category and time of year. I’d recommend booking your stay in advance to secure the best rates.

More of a luxury traveler? Learn about the absolute best resorts in Cancun to choose from!

Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!

We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!

SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.

They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)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!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!

Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie with beers in Cancun, Mexico
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:

The Most Luxurious Resorts in Cancun

The BEST Things to do in Tulum

Guide to visiting Palenque, Mexico