Playa del Carmen, Mexico's virtual guidebook written by locals

read more

printer friendly version


make sure to check the forum for the latest info!

Eating out

Fortunately, the climate in the Caribbean is very well suited for socializing, as you can be outdoors day and night all year around. The town of Playa del Carmen further extends this warm welcome by making it easy for you to entertain and meet new people. At night, Playa's 5th Avenue is bustling with friendly energy. Apart from the shops and stands selling jewelry and souvenirs, bars and restaurants are full of people enjoying a refreshing drink or a tasty dinner. Most restaurants are open towards the street, a feature that offers great possibilities to see and be seen. Sitting in a nice restaurant on 5th Avenue, watching people go by, must be one of the most popular past times here. It also gives you a great opportunity to practice the popular vacation game 'spot the nationality'.

Restaurant Diversity

Beach, sun, good food, a refreshing drink and private entertainment.  All on the Caribbean beach of Playa del Carmen!The eclectic and fun 5th Avenue, or La Quinta as it is more commonly known, is Playa's epicenter. You will find the majority of the restaurants, bars and shops along and around this pretty pedestrian street. Of course, being in the Caribbean, the beach is also a great place to have lunch or dinner. The major international influence is apparent in Playa's array of restaurants. You won't run the risk of being bored of the food when in Playa. You can go Mexican, Mayan, Tex-Mex, Italian, Thai, German, Japanese, Cuban, Chinese, Argentinean, Swedish, Spanish and probably something else that we can't think of right now. Oh, yeah, seafood! The Caribbean Sea supplies us with fantastic fish and lobster. Most of the restaurants and bars in Playa are owner-operated, which gives a personal touch to your dining. The Mexican experience is further enhanced by small groups of mariachis or other musicians entertaining you while you eat.

Mexican Authenticity

The many great restaurants around La Quinta may make you forget about the local little places, where we Playenses often eat. Do try and expand your eating register with a couple of antojitos, a bowl of pozole soup or a comida corrida. You will not regret it! Some nice places can be found on 30th Avenue, especially between Constituyentes and Calle 34. Walk up Juarez for more authentic Mexican food. The corner of Calle 4 and Avenida 15 also has some good taco places. Read more about what to expect in our Mexican food article.

Night Life

Ready for some fun?  Playa has lots of great bars!You can either go for it or elude it, as you wish. Playa is a fun town with fun loving people and you can party all night if you want. However, it is not Ft. Lauderdale at Spring Break (American reference) or Ibiza (for the Europeans). Just walk along La Quinta and you will find a bar of your taste and daily mood. There are quiet bars, rowdy bars, bars on the second floor, bars with trees, bars on the beach, sports bars and bars with TV, pool tables or games (or all of the above) and bars with live music. Most of the bars close at 2am. Night clubs and discos are open until 4 am or later. Almost all of them are free of charge. Sometimes, especially around full moon, all-night raves are arranged on the beach, quite often at Coco Beach.