Top Restaurants to Dine at in Tulum, Mexico


Tulum, Mexico is an absolutely magical place, from the moment you turn onto the beaten pathway, into a tropical jungle paradise. The detail in each and every bit of this place is one of a kind. You will see a lot of detailed photos in the design of each place as it is one of my favorite things about Tulum. This blog post is dedicated specifically to my detailed dining experiences. To see and hear about the rest of my trip, check out my travel blogFirst things first!!! As soon as you arrive in Tulum, ride a bike or take a walk down the main road around 5pm and make reservations for the restaurants you would like to dine at for the week. Tulum gets very busy and it is hard to get in the day of. Another place to try, that I did not blog about is, Hartwood. You must email them a month before visiting to place a reservation!


Ahau Tulum Restaurant


Situated on the beach in a garden setting, is Ahau's on-site restaurant which is rustic, yet elegant and at one with nature. Enjoy Mexican Caribbean-style food made with passion and flare. All food is prepared fresh and onsite - using local ingredients – and every dish is put together with love. Their belief is that fresh food is integral to vibrant, happy living. The environment is open, refreshing and the design is amazing. One of my favorite interior design points are the dripping candles all along the stone wall, with plants placed throughout.





The hospitality and service is laid back, but prompt and friendly. I feel like I'd been friends with these people for years. They seemed to remember every little thing, each drink and food selection I preferred, all while seeming like their job was the best one on earth. I mean I wouldn't be complaining if I had that view everyday! The food does not disappoint, I would describe it as Mexican Fusion. They have two restaurants at Ahau, the "All Day", in the upper seating area and they also have a separate menu for the Grill down below on the sand. They offer a large selection of fresh juices and healthy smoothies as well as cocktails, beer & wine. Best part is, you don't have to carry money around, you can charge everything to your room and deal with it later. 


COCO MANGO LASSI - Mango, coconut milk yogurt, orange juice, mayan honey, cinnamon and shredded coconut.

HOUSE MADE BREAD & JAM - Multigrain bread and strawberry jam.

CALIFORNIA BREAKFAST BURRITO - Organic Scrambled Eggs, Carmelized Onions, Manchego Cheese, Beans, Avocado, Lettuce wrapped in an Organic Flour Tortilla, served with local salsas. Add bacon or ham.

HUEVOS RANCHEROS - Two fried eggs on top of a fried tortilla, with refried beans, bathed with "ranchera" sauce, fresh cheese, avocado and sour cream.

HUARACHE - Grilled chicken and two fried eggs served on a bed of refried beans, fresh cheese, lettuce, avocado, caramelized onion, cilantro & sour cream in a corn masa shell. 

DIVORCED EGGS - Two poached eggs, on a homemade tortilla with house beans with red "ranchera" and green tomatillo sauce garnished with spring onions, leek chips and cherry tomato.

Click a photo to enlarge images.



The ambiance couldn't get much better. These restaurants are built throughout the jungle, it is quite an experience, especially when most of us are used to pavement cities. The grounds are un-level, the trees and plants are left in their original placement (for the most part),  the tables are set staggering in and around the natural habitat. You'll find candlelit walkways and delicate lighting throughout each of the spaces. You could say I am slightly obsessed with Arca's Restaurant design, decor and energy. 



We started off with "LOBSTER ESQUITE" - Grilled Lobstertail, Grilled Heirloom Corn, Chipotle Butter, Pickled Red Onions, Watercress, Cheese from Chiapas. Our waiter was especially fond of this dish, he mentioned that it makes them so happy that they can bring a favorite, mexican traditional vegetable, from farms to fine dining. 


We then enjoyed, "WOOD FIRED ROASTED WHOLE FISH" - Fresh catch of the day, Fresh Coconut and Jicama Slaw, Toasted Cashews, Coconut and Local Basil Sauce. The dish was boasting with vibrant flavors and the fish was surely fresh. If you've never enjoyed a whole fish before, it is a small task but worth it. After enjoying the same dish elsewhere, this Grilled whole fish is the best we had in Tulum.


Lastly, we finished our meal with, "GRILLED CORNISH HEN" - Roasted Banana Mole, Plantain Chips, Roasted Plantains, Huitlacoche Mole, Pinenuts. This is definitely a share plate kind of restaurant, I would recommend getting a few items. This dish was on the smaller side, but the hens were moist and flavorful. We enjoyed the traditional flavors of the mole and the incorporation of plantains in multiple forms. Would you look at the artistic plating of the dish? Simply beautiful.


Click a photo to enlarge images.


Raw Love Cafe


After a ocean view yoga class, we walked over to Raw Love Cafe. Through the sand filled walkways lined with trees and plants, there are wooden tables, benches and seats. Intertwined in between trees and plants, hang hammocks and rope hung wooden benches. Everything is so fresh and healthy, they even make their own coconut milk daily. 


Our beverages were, "INDIAN CHAI SPICE" - With cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove and black pepper, made with coconut milk and a "MOCHA" - Organic Coffee, Cacao, Cardamom, Coconut Milk, Honey.


Next we chose our bowls: 

"BERRY LOVE" - Strawberry, Blueberry, Banana, Chia, Passionfruit, Coconut Milk, Bee Pollen, Sprouted Nuts & Seeds, Goju Berries & Shredded Coconut.

"ACAI BERRY" - Acai Berry, Blueberries, Strawberries, Banana, Maracuya, Coconut Milk, Sprouted Nuts & Seeds, Goju Berries & Shredded Coconut. 

Simply amazing, healthy & refreshing! We loved these bowls so much, we ordered them three separate times.


Click a photo to enlarge images.




We are officially half way through our trip... It is all happening too fast, but the list continues with amazing food and ambiance. We rode our bicycles to Gitano about a mile down the Tulum strip, turning left out of Ahau. It is quite an experience every time we leave the resort, crazy drivers and interesting people of all walks of life. We arrived at the Restaurant and stopped in a little boutique just outside. Most of the restaurants have attached boutiques or shops. The storefront designs are so quaint and the clothes are stylish, definitely a different look then i've seen anywhere else. I know, I'm supposed to be talking about the dining experience but there is just so much to tell everyone! Back to Gitano... Not only was the food superb but once again Tulum never fails with design and ambiance. A picture is worth a thousand words, therefore I enjoy showing you as much as I can! This place took the cake, I am a chandelier lover and this place had vintage chandeliers hanging everywhere! Look at the ballroom below!


Click a photo to enlarge images.


We started off with a glass of red wine and a "NIGHT FLOWER" - Mescal, Rum, Hibiscus, Mint. Gitano has an entire cocktail menu revolving around Mezcal, they are known for it. The cocktail was delightful, strong but sweet enough for a little kick start. We had been snacking all day, so we chose multiple smaller dishes. I prefer this way of dining more times then not, because you get to taste multiple dishes. We chose the "TOSTADA" - Tuna Sashimi, Avocado and garnished with crunchy onion strings. This tostada was so flavorful and fresh. Although this was a 5 star tostada, Casa Jaguar had the best Ahi Tostada, see below. Next choice was, "LETTUCE WRAPS" - Chorizo & tomato salsa, they served the dish with multiple kinds of lettuce, cilantro and a lime. Most chorizo I have tasted prior, have been slightly too strong for me, but this was mild and enjoyable. Lastly, we had, "SHRIMP / CHAYA TORTILLA" - Cilantro, Sweet Onion, Sweet Onion, Lemon Jam, fresh flavorful shrimp and you make your own tacos. Recommended to try!

Click a photo to enlarge images.


While we were enjoying our food, the ambiance and the extremely funny and friendly waiter, we were also being serenaded by this amazing musician, Leonardo Prakash. He absolutely blew my mind and gave me chills, he created feel good music with multiple instruments, recorded them on his equipment and continued building the sound he was working on.  All in all, I would highly recommend Gitano, and be sure to check out Leonardo on Youtube!


Casa Banana


This was one of my favorite places to dine and the vibe was enjoyable. The waiter was absolutely amazing, he was sweet, tentative and funny. We were started off with a platter of house made bread, which was amazing, I had to opt out of my gluten free diet this evening! We then started of with a traditional Moscow Mule and a Mojito, the bartender added a nice touch with a cinnamon stick in which they lit the end on fire, resulting in a aromatic experience. The menu has many options, although they do sell out of some items as it is farm to table. We originally wanted to taste the duck, but were unable to. Luckily our next choices were also pleasing. Suckling pig  - of Manuel's farm, baked all day, served with sweet potato puree. This dish literally fell off the bones, full of flavor and served with my favorite potatoes. We then enjoyed a simple dish, Skewers - Steak & Shrimp with onion & peppers. We finished off our meal with dessert ,Creme Brûlée - with fresh local berries. This was one of the best creme brûlées i've had, you must try it!

Click any image to Enlarge.



Rosa Negra

On one of our last evenings in Tulum, we decided to try this restaurant, after having a drink at the bar and watching the dramatic plating of food pass by. Most of the dining in Tulum is served as small share plates. This place was completely the opposite! Everything from the glassware and wine pours, to the massive entrees and desserts. We weren't too hungry but ordered a few things to test it out.


Click a photo to enlarge images.


We started off sitting at the bar while we awaited our table. We were in awe of the massive size of all the beverages. I swear my glass of wine was nearly a half a bottle... I am not complaining! My mother had a passionfruit mojito and she absolutely loved it. You can also order your drinks to be made table side, as you can see in the photos below. Once we were seated, they offer complimentary homemade bread with three dipping sauces, which we highly enjoyed. Be aware that they go from mild to extreme heat quick! Green to red and finishing with the white. Before ordering, we were presented with their seafood platter, explaining where the seafood is from, the quality grade and what they have to offer. We started off with, Grilled Artichokes with a Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette. We also requested fresh drawn butter, it was highly enjoyable. I remember saying to my mother, "this is like popcorn butter!" We then ordered a Caesar Salad with Anchovies, Parmesan Cheese and Croutons. We hadn't had a salad all week and were craving some greens, the greens were ice cold and crunchy, perfect to curb the craving. We finished our meal off with, a 11 Oz. Caribbean Lobster with Smoked Chilies, Sea Salt, Olive Oil and Butter. The seafood was fresh and cooked perfectly, I have had chewy lobster before and this was not the case! As if we needed anymore food... We had seen this dessert presented so many times during our meal that we just had to experience it for ourselves! The Chocolate Sphere with Valrhona Chocolate, Dulce De Leche Ice Cream, Berries, Hot Caramel Syrup, Whipped Cream and Served At The Table. The hot caramel is drizzled and the sphere cracks open to all the goodies inside. Not only is the presentation amazing, but have you seen how big this dessert is! Yum, keep calm the berries are at the bottom!!! Overall, we highly enjoyed our experience from the scrumptious food to the exceptional service.

Click a photo to enlarge images.


Posada Margherita

From the front, you wouldn't necessarily realize that there was a restaurant in the back. You make your way along the sweetest little pathway through amazing greenery and floral that they have planted. You couldn't count the amount of pots and plants if you tried! So delicate and detailed, even the doors blew my mind. The ambiance and interior design... or should I say exterior design since its technically outside, may have been better then the dining... That is saying a lot, because the food was delicious. 


Click a photo to enlarge images.


We started off with a juice called the AFTER PARTY - Carrot, Apple, Beet, Celery & Ginger. It was refreshing and gave us a kick of health, since everywhere else we were consuming cocktails. They offer a complimentary house made focaccia bread with parmesan cheese, oil and balsamic vinegar. We also ordered the salad which was a Caprese Salad, served with basil, tomato and burrata. The salad paired amazingly with the house bread spread they offered. If you could read the menu, props to you! The waiter comes by and explains what they have to offer on their menu, they keep it short and sweet! He recommended the second pasta, he said it was the best on the menu, so that is what we ordered. AI GAMBERI E ZUCCHINI - Gamberi, Pomodorini, Zucchini, Pinoli. Simply put, a fettuccini like noodle pasta with zucchini pine nuts and shrimp. If you've had enough mexican fusion and your ready for some Italian this is the place to go. The view was to die for and the decor was amazing and rustic. This is a perfect place for a lovely lunch.

Click a photo to enlarge images.


Casa Jaguar 


Where do I even begin? This Restaurant is unforgettable, it has multiple bars, multiple boutiques and so many hidden spaces. We ended up using this place for a few of the fashion photoshoots. Literally, every corner was a different scene, we ended up on rooftops overlooking the jungle, steel staircases, concrete steps, a tropical washroom hidden away in between the restaurant and bar, and so much more. Be sure to check into the fashion blog in Tulum! The evening we dined, they had a live dj, chill, burning man vibes. We ended up staying a couple of hours, Tulum time is highly accommodating, but very laid back. They do not rush you out of tables, in fact you have to bother anyone for a check! - Not complaining. The waitstaff are so gracious and polite they allowed us to use their space with the response of, "our home is your home." DREAM! 

Our drinks were lovely, I enjoyed a Pinot Noir wine and my mother had a MOJITO JAGUAR - Classic mojito + Cucumber Rosemary and Sugar Cane, and my friend/photographer had BALAM - Spiced Rum, Passionfruit & Lime Orange. 

Our food selections consisted of, Aguachile Tatemado - Fresh shrimps marinated in lemon, accompanied with a sauce of green tomatoes, chile habanero tatemado, cumin, garlic and onion. This dish was highly recommended! We then had the, Tostadas De Atun - Tostadas with raw and fresh tuna, marinated in sesame oil, ginger, topped with carrot, avocado, chipotle and honey dressing. Hands down out of all of the Ahi Tostadas we had, this one takes the cake. I have never enjoyed flavors like this, regarding Ahi Tuna. Next we had, Pez Rostizado - Catch of the day, glazed with smoked butter, served with a mix of lettuce, pickled vegetables, coriander aioli and soft chiles sauce. While the tuna takes the cake, this fish was a little more fishy, this is me being extremely picky to give you a solid opinion on each place and what to order at each one. The best whole grilled fish was at Arca, this one is still amazing but nothing like the first. Lastly we enjoyed, Costilla A La Lena - Pork ribs, cooked for 4 hours, served with sweet potato puree, green beans and covered with a demi glaze sauce. This plate was absolutely recommended, after having so much seafood all week, this was a homestyle meal for me and "hit the spot".


La Eufemia

Hands down, you must stop in at this taco bar. 

You can walk on the beach from most of the major Tulum resorts, to get there. We stayed at Ahau, in my opinion it's is one of the best resorts in the area and a convenient center point to all the 4+ star restaurants. Back to the tacos...Keep in mind, this is one of the places that you should definitely bring pesos, the exchange rate is about $12 USD to one pesos, instead of approximately $18. It says it right on the menu "hey gringos".  There is a sauce bar, where you can add a variety of different sauces mild to hot, once you've received your tacos. You must try the jalapeño white sauce, it is amazing! This is a fun little spot, it is always busy and buzzing if your looking for a crowd. We ordered tacos, fried fish, grilled shrimp, pastor, and mushrooms & garlic. You really can't go wrong with any of the tacos and it's a bang for your buck! See the photos below for reference. You will also find the cutest photo of a little boy, while his dad was hard at work he was having a hay day playing under the floorboards in the sand. Also photographed is their amazing washroom, the artwork in the building is so unique and one of a kind!  



Needing a nightcap or a daytime snack? This gelato is so gosh darn good! We chose to have it as dessert, after leaving dinner a few places down. On our walk back to Ahau, conveniently located down the street, is this sweet creamery. I ended up having coconut and dulche de leche, there really are no words to describe the flavor, you're just going to have to stop in and see for yourself!

Making reservations and having the opportunity to dine at these places, is a top priority. Tulum is known for their dining, among other things of course, don't miss out! I hope you enjoyed my blog, comment below if you ever get around to these amazing places!

Brooke Ingram4 Comments