Where to Eat in Tulum
You won’t eat badly. In fact, you’ll likely eat some of the best food of your life. You can’t go wrong, but here’s where to go to make it super right.
Hartwood is famous in Tulum and beyond—and not for nothing. The food (and atmosphere) is so dazzling, you’ll want to eat here at least twice. Chef Eric Werner—who worked at Peasant in New York before making the move with his family to the Yucatan—serves only local, sustainable ingredients, and everything is cooked using classical techniques over an open flame or in a wood-burning stove. Arrive before 6pm to put your name on the list and plan accordingly: This spot is always (always!) busy, and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
That exclamation point in the name is no accident—this place deserves enthusiasm! It’s always one of our first stops in Tulum, and it never disappoints. Authentic, creative Yucatan fare complemented by super-friendly service and a lively jungle atmosphere. Get whatever’s served with red pumpkin seed sauce.
We dream about the lobster pasta, homemade bread, and fresh-caught fish cooked in sea water all day long, and so will you. And the setting—with its white-washed walls, Mediterranean vibes, and ocean view—is just as gorgeous as the food. You can go for dinner, when it’s super crowded, but lunch time might be more fun—you’ll have a perfect view of the beach and plenty of time to stuff yourself with focaccia.
Even if the food isn’t perfect, you’ll love the cosmic Tulum vibes. The dishes here can be hit or miss, but Jaguar is worth a visit just for its mystical jungle aesthetic: wind chimes, candles, hanging vines, and a big wood-burning hearth. Sitting at the big concrete bar and drinking mezcal-and-juice cocktails out of a big stainless steel mugs and snacking on house-made flatbread and grilled local fish while listening to chilled-out tunes is kind of the best.
Cenzontle Jardin Secreto
This newcomer to Tulum’s jungle road might just give the old standbys a run for their money. Owned and operated by a warm-hearted Mexico City transplant named Ivan, Cenzontle boasts an inventive menu (coconut shrimp, chipotle portobella stew, vanilla pork ribs) and a super romantic garden setting.
Sometimes you just want a classic pizza, a glass of red wine, and a simple bowl of pasta. On those nights, head to to La Onda. It’s a hidden gem, and not pretentious at all. The chef knows his stuff, the staff is as nice as can be, and the owner Matteo is real deal Italian. We go for the penne arrabiata and the low key scene. (Confession: We had our wedding dinner at La Onda and it was nothing short of magical so we are biased.)
Taqueria La Eufemia
The sign that says “Best F-ing Tacos” is not lying. Go here at the beginning of your trip, on your first day if possible. If you don’t, you’ll be sad you missed out on the chance to eat La Eufemia‘s baja fish tacos every day. They’re that good: battered and deep fried, smothered in fresh cabbage, and dressed with whatever yummy homemade salsa you want. Plus, they’re only 35 pesos a pop, and the little hippie beach stand they come from (right next to Coqui Coqui) is about as kitchy as it gets.
This fancy-pants hotel on the southern end of the beach has a giant palapa-covered restaurant with a spectacular view … and the food is pretty tasty too. We’re fans of stopping by around lunchtime for the fish tacos, homemade salsas, and highly drinkable margaritas.
The mostly vegetarian restaurant at Uno Astro Lodge has the best “hippie” breakfast around, all homemade jams and crusty fresh baked breads. Definitely worth skipping your free hotel breakfast for.
The restaurant at this popular yoga hotel offers healthy, super fresh versions of Mexican classics. The beach bar is one of our favorite spots to sip tequila at sunset and listen to tunes. There are always some interesting characters around.
A local favorite on the main road in Tulum pueblo, Don Cafeto serves tasty classics in a no-frills setting. On your table you’ll find a tiny bowl of hot pickled vegetables. If you’re sensitive to heat, proceed with caution.
El Caballo Blanco
A lively spot on the main drag in Tulum pueblo with regular live music and a funny Caribbean-meets-Germany aesthetic. Though the menu is head-scratchingly diverse (vegetable curry, fish tacos, schnitzel?), everything is super tasty and lovingly prepared.
Inside Elsewhere is a travel website dedicated to free spirits near and far. From Bali to Brooklyn and everywhere in between, Christina Pérez and Thomas Beckner explore the best places to stay, eat, shop, and play. Let’s get out of here. Follow along on Instagram at @inside_elsewhere.