Top 20 Delicious Places to Eat in Tulum

by | Last updated Feb 22, 2021 | Mexico | 0 comments

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From fresh Caribbean seafood and juicy street tacos to authentic Italian and vegan cafes, there is no shortage of culinary options and Tulum restaurants to choose from. Whether you’re spending the day in Tulum Town or beaching it up on the chic Tulum Hotel Zone, you will be spoilt for choice for where to eat, drink, and be merry (especially for where to eat in Tulum Town because there are so many good choices here!).

After moving to Tulum as a digital nomad this past year, we’ve had tons of opportunities to test out Tulum’s restaurant scene. We have racked up quite the list so far but still have loads more we want to try! The thing about eating in Tulum is that it can either be super budget-friendly or extremely expensive. We enjoy splurging on food for special occasions, but we usually eat out for around $8-15 USD or $150-300 pesos per person including drinks. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It just depends on where we go and how hungry we are (lol).

This food guide to Tulum includes BOTH options – budget and expensive – so you can choose. However, just know that this guide definitely highlights more local and down-to-earth restaurants rather than $$$$ places. I’ve been to more of these restaurants than the “chic” ones in the hotel zone – but I’ll list them anyway since we all have different tastes. I also prefer to support businesses in town, since most (if not all) places in the Hotel Zone run off diesel generators 24/7.

So below you’ll find the best Tulum restaurants and a few quick details about their menu, price, location, and opening hours. This guide mostly covers where to eat in Tulum Town but at the end goes over a few places to eat in Tulum’s hotel zone (with a suggestion for the best beachfront restaurant). Feel free to scroll through depending on what you’re looking for!

Here’s my ultimate guide for where to eat in Tulum, Mexico!

Exchange rate: The USD to MXN peso fluctuates, but it usually converts to around $19-20 pesos = $1 USD. In my head, I always estimate $200 pesos = $10 USD and then adjust from there.

 

Tipping in Mexico: Tipping is a part of the culture in Mexico, similar to the USA. For restaurants, 10% is usually the base tip and just means everything was OK. 15% is the standard “good tip” and usually means everything was muy bien or excellent. As for us, we usually give 18-20%, especially when the service and food were truly lovely.

Top Restaurants for Where to Eat in Tulum, Mexico

1. TÚ

grilled tuna steak dinner at Tú restaurant in Tulum Mexico

  • Prices: $$+ | $200-500 pesos pp
  • Menu: Gastropub, Root-inspired Dishes, Cocktails
  • Location: Calle Andromeda Ote, Tulum Centro
  • Hours: 4-11 PM

is tucked away off a perpendicular street in Tulum Town, away from the crowds on Calle Centauro. It is the perfect place for creative tacos or vegan snacks, but its character truly comes alive in the evening when its cozy lamps and table candles illuminate the polished concrete walls and minimalist decor. We went here one evening as a last hoorah when my sister was in town and it was one of the best food experiences we’ve had in Tulum so far.

Everything from the attentive service and the laid-back seating, to the unique cocktails and earth-inspired food, sets the mood just right. Their menu takes you back to the “roots” of things with earthy dishes like huitlacoche risotto with fish, baked sweet potatoes with vegan mayo, chile-crusted tuna steak, and mussels bathed in a savory sausage broth. Oh, and their dessert flan is definitely “omg” worthy! By far one of the best (up and coming) restaurants in Tulum.

2. La Hoja Verde (Favorite Vegan Restaurant in Tulum)

  • Prices: $$ | $150-300+ pesos pp
  • Menu: Vegan/Vegetarian | Buddha Bowls, Curry, Tacos, Pasta
  • Location: Calle Beta Sur, Tulum Centro
  • Hours: 8 AM – 10:30 PM

La Hoja Verde is one of the best restaurants in Tulum Town for lunch/dinner if you appreciate creative vegan food. They have awesome food all-around but the trilogy tacos with soy, gluten, and mushrooms are a hit. And if you love soy, their smoked soy sandwich served with rustic potatoes and complemented with tangy mustard is AMAZING. (It’s called “sandwich de barbacoa” on the menu).

We have also tried the vegan risotto with truffle oil and almond cream, a healthy buddha bowl, and the spicy curry with veggies. Their cocktails are pretty good too (get the Mezcalina if you like mezcal) and cost around $120 pesos. La Hoja Verde is located just off the main ave on Calle Beta Sur. You can’t miss it!

Tip: Go for lunch for a smaller crowd or get there early for dinner to enjoy an evening ambiance with cozy lights and probably some live music.

3. Botanica Garden Cafe

  • Prices: $ | $100-200+ pesos pp
  • Menu: Brunch | Homemade toasts, Omelettes, Quiche, Salad/Fries, Desserts
  • Location: Andromeda Ote Manzana 16 (just 2 blocks from Ave. Coba)
  • Hours: 8 AM – 3 PM

Botanica is still a hidden gem but thanks to its inspiring garden atmosphere filled with plants, earthy decor, and delicious food, it’s quickly becoming one of the best restaurants in Tulum. We discovered this quaint cafe one day while cruising around our neighborhood on our bikes. We are so glad we went in because it’s become one of our favorite go-to places for brunch.

Their tartine toasts with house-baked bread are a highlight of the menu (avo toast, salmon, roast beef, and baked beetroot are some of the options). They also have an awesome homemade quiche, eggplant flatbread, omelets, and a few side dish options like fresh salad or fries. They make great fruit juices, like pineapple with basil, and always have great-tasting coffee and lattes. Plus, the kitchen staff and servers are super welcoming and friendly!

Tip: Botanica really has a community vibe and offers special creative classes you can join on certain days, like language immersion or painting! You can also bring your laptop and work for a few hours while you eat/drink (a great option for digital nomads in Tulum).

4. Del Cielo

avocado toast at Del Cielo Tropical Cafe in Tulum Mexico

  • Prices: $$
  • Menu: Brunch | Eggs Benedict, Smoothies, Chilaquiles, French Toast, Baked Goods
  • Location: Satélite Sur 5, Tulum Centro
  • Hours: 8 AM – 2:30 PM

Del Cielo is a tropical bistro in Tulum Town that’s known for its gourmet “heavenly breakfast” and lunch. They are one of the most popular Tulum restaurants in town for brunch, so you’ll need to go early to snag a seat!

Their menu is loaded with scrumptious brunch food with options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. They have lots of egg dishes like eggs benedict (my fav is the Avocado Florentine) and Mexican chilaquiles or huevos rancheros. For drinks, you can get typical brunch-style options like fresh green smoothies, juices, coffee/tea, etc. As for the atmosphere, they have both indoor/outdoor seating in a tropical, plant-filled setting.

5. Bonita Burger Bar

  • Prices: $-$$ | $200-300 pesos pp
  • Menu: Burger Bar | Meat/Vegan options, Fries, Aperol + Cocktails
  • Location: Calle Beta Sur, Tulum Centro
  • Hours: 3-11 PM

Bonita is our go-to place when we want a no-frills good meal in a nice outdoor garden setting. They are located just beside La Hoja Verde so if one is too busy we usually end up at the other. I can’t speak for their beef burgers, but their chicken and vegan patties are tasty! For a little extra you can order a side of garlic, parmesan, or habanero fries.

We’ve also tried their blue cheese fries with caramelized onions and vegan cheese fries with vegan chorizo! I always end up getting a margarita here because they do it the way I like which is not too strong and lots of salt (lol). Their Aperol spritz creations are also a hit on the menu.

Tip: Don’t leave your extra pocket change at the hotel because there are always musicians coming around to play some music (and asking for tips).

6. NAO (Our Favorite Tulum Restaurant for Sushi!)

sushi rolls at sushi restaurant in tulum

  • Prices: $$+ | $200-400+ pesos pp
  • Menu: Japanese Fusion | Sushi, Soups, Nigiri, Seafood, Vegan options
  • Location: Avenida Tulum s/n, Centro
  • Hours: 3-10 PM

Nao is the best place to chow down on sushi in Tulum. They are located on the far end of Avenida Tulum but the walk/bike ride is worth it because this little hole-in-the-wall is a cozy retreat from the busy street. Nao’s atmosphere immediately immerses you into its Japanese decor and prepares you for an equally inspiring meal.

We love tuna and salmon rolls and sashimi (our guilty pleasure), but there are vegan options (i.e. mango rolls, etc.) available if you don’t eat fish. One roll (~8 pieces) will cost you around $150-200 pesos. The seating is also quite limited so go early to snag a table! Needless to say, we will definitely revisit Nao for another experience before leaving Tulum.

7. El Bajon Vegan Tacos

  • Prices: $ | ~$100 pesos pp
  • Menu: Vegan Tacos, Agua del Dia (Fruit Water)
  • Location: Calle Sol junction with Calle Orion Sur, Centro
  • Hours: 1-9 PM

El Bajon is the first Tulum restaurant that we ate at when moving here. We just happened to stumble upon it after riding our bikes down our street and decided to go in for lunch. We’ve been a handful of times since and each time is as satisfying as the last. This place only has a few tables and gives you the feeling of really being in Mexico eating street tacos, but without the meat!

These guys have a passion for veganism but their tacos remain authentically Mexican. Their vegan tacos are served on two hot corn tortillas and served Mexican style with a colorful plastic dish of spicy red onions, cilantro, lime, and salsas for you to garnish as you’d like. The soy-based tacos are my favorite and they’re truly tasty – you hardly can tell that it’s not meat. In fact, I’d argue it’s better!

Tip: Right next door (actually the two connect) is a vegan market shop full of locally and ethically-made items, including eco-friendly hygiene products, recycled clothes, and vegan-based meats and cheeses in the fridge.

8. Maria Maria

avocado brioche at cafe in tulum

maria maria restaurant in tulum

  • Prices: $$ | $150-200 MXN pp
  • Menu: Brunch | Avo Toast, Omelets, Juices
  • Location: Andromeda Ote S/N, Tulum Centro
  • Hours: 8 AM – ?

If you’re in the popular area in downtown Tulum there will be a handful of restaurants to choose from. One day we walked into Maria Maria’s for brunch and weren’t disappointed! The orange juice was fresh-squeezed and our avocado toasts featured deliciously thick brioche-style bread with the right amount of seasonings (and a perfectly poached egg). The service here definitely sets itself apart as well from some of the other places to eat in Tulum. Overall I’d highly recommend it! They also have a window-front bakery part of the cafe. This restaurant also seems to get busy in the afternoons with digital nomads on their laptops.

9. Raw Love

  • Prices: $$+ | $200+ MXN pp
  • Menu: Vegan & Healthy Raw Food
  • Location: Pueblo & Beach
  • Hours: 8 AM – 5 PM

Raw Love is one of the most popular Tulum restaurants. They have two locations – on the beach behind the famous art statue “Ven a la Luz” and also in Tulum pueblo. We’ve been to both. Of course, the beach has the sandy floor and hippie vibe most are after when coming here. But the town location is just as cute and worth trying out. We always go for the avo toast with pickled purple sauerkraut and a smoothie bowl.

10. Street Food in Tulum

night street food market in tulum mexico

  • Prices: $ | < $100 MXN pp
  • Menu: Mexican Tacos, Tortas, Quesadillas, Desserts + Vegan Tacos/Pizza
  • Location: Several locations
  • Hours: Evening

You can’t come to Tulum (or Mexico) without exploring the local street food scene. There are a few places in Tulum for this but the best hotspot for street food in Tulum will be at the night street food market behind the Plaza Municipio and Parque Dos Aguas just off Avenida Tulum (Calle Sol Ote). Here, you’ll find tacos al pastor, esquites and elotes (street corn), tortas (sandwiches), marquesitas (mexican sweet “crepes”), and more!! Another awesome spot for street food is beside the Oxxo located at Av. Tulum Oriente Mza 6.

Here, there is the well-known Tacos y Tortas El Tio food cart that serves up cheap and authentic Mexican tacos like tacos al pastor with pork, chicken, beef, etc. But if you enjoy vegan/vegetarian food, then the food cart right beside it (Cordobesito?) is a cart featuring vegan tacos and vegan pizza! For being grilled on a food cart, the vegan garlic pizza was super good with a thin wood-firey tasting crust. The tacos were also delicious with potatoes, jackfruit, and soy options.

11. Burrito Amor

  • Prices: $$ | $150-200+ MXN pp
  • Menu: Healthy Burritos + Juices
  • Location: Av. Tulum Pte. entre Calle Sol Pte. y Calle Acuario
  • Hours: 8 AM – 10 PM (Wed-Mon)

Burrito Amor is another Tulum classic for where to eat, especially if it’s a delicious burrito you’re craving! There isn’t much to say about this place other than that it’s really good and I love their tropical outdoor seating and the airy interior. I believe they used to have a location in the beach zone but I think it’s closed. In any case, the Tulum pueblo location is spot-on with good food and great service. Their burritos always come stuffed with healthy ingredients, like black beans, avocado, nopal (cactus), pico de gallo, rice, and other yummy stuff. You can also order organic eggs for breakfast, colorful salads, and a few sweet treats.

12. Ki’bok Coffee

  • Prices: $$+ | $200+ MXN pp
  • Menu: Mexican + American Brunch, Organic Coffee
  • Location: Calle Centauro Sur Mz 05 Lt 11, Tulum Centro
  • Hours: 7 AM – 9 PM

Ki’bok Coffee is perhaps the most popular place for breakfast and lunch in Tulum pueblo but it’s not our favorite. They are always packed full of tourists from dawn to dusk. The food is pretty good and the drinks are always reliable (the chai latte is delicious!) but you definitely feel like it’s a tourist trap. They’ve somewhat become a victim of their own success. It’s not the nicest ambiance, or the quietest, especially in the back part of the restaurant in the “garden” where the tables are close together and the sounds bounce off the wall. Although we haven’t been, they also have what looks like a rooftop restaurant for dinner called Once by Ki’bok.

13. Yaax Ik

mayan ceviche at yaax ik restaurant in tulum

  • Prices: $$ $150-200+ MXN pp
  • Menu: Mexican + Mayan Dishes
  • Location: Calle Centauro Sur 249, Tulum Centro
  • Hours: 8-12 AM

Yaax Ik is a beautiful open-air palapa restaurant with swings and fresh cocina mexicana y maya. We came here on multiple occasions and had a great experience each time. You can either order something from the on-site taco cart like tacos al pastor or you can order from the kitchen for a bigger meal like seared salmon or lobster. I can personally vouch for the tuna ceviche because it’s soo good (if you like ceviche). It comes with mango, chaya (mayan spinach), and tortilla chips. Pair with a mezcal cocktail or margarita and you’ll have yourself a delicious meal!

14. Matcha Mama

  • Prices: $$+ | $200+ MXN pp
  • Menu: Smoothies, Bowls, Matcha Drinks
  • Location: Pueblo & Beach
  • Hours: 8 AM – 6 PM

Matcha Mama is famous in Tulum for its tropical swing bar and delicious matcha smoothies and acai bowls. There are two locations – the Instagram hotspot in the Hotel Zone and also in Tulum Town, tucked away on a semi-quiet street. I prefer the one in the pueblo as it’s less crowded, more spacious, and has a nice vibe. It’s a great choice if you are coming back from cenotes or a long day and just want a nice pick-me-up!

15. The Good Burger/Pizza

cocktails at the good pizza rooftop bar in tulum

  • Prices: $$-$$$ | $300-400+ MXN pp
  • Menu: Burgers, Pizza, Ribs, Cocktails
  • Location: Tulum Town
  • Hours: 9 AM – 1 AM

The Good Burger and The Good Pizza are in the same building in Tulum Town. The burger restaurant is on the ground floor and features menu items like wine, ribs, meats, and burgers, while the pizza restaurant is on the top floor of the building and only serves pizza, a few apps, and cocktails. We rarely went here for food, but we would head to the rooftop for a unique view of Tulum pueblo while seated in these little cozy “pods” that kind of hang out beyond the roof.

The cocktails here are expensive (around $200 MXN or $10 USD) but are pretty good – my favorite is made with Ancho Reyes liqueur (poblano chiles), mezcal, passion fruit, lime, and comes with a spicy rim.

16. IL Bacaro

  • Prices: $$-$$$ | $200-300+ MXN pp
  • Menu: Homemade Pastas, Pizzas, Wine, Desserts
  • Location: Calle Centauro, Tulum Pueblo
  • Hours: 11 AM – 11 PM

Il Bacaro features “authentic Italian” in Tulum and I must say they do whip up the best pizzas in Tulum (that we’ve tried). Our favorite is the fresh Bresaola mozzarella pizza with cherry tomatoes and arugula and the Quatro Fromaggi pizza. The atmosphere is cozy with open-air seating in a dark and jungly atmosphere.

They get busy quickly so try to go a bit earlier in the evening to snag a seat. They also have La Brasa – their sister restaurant – located just opposite that looks nice and features a grill and wine bar. Il Bacaro also delivers on tomato.mx (Tulum’s dedicated delivery service website) if you want pizza delivered to your house or hotel.

17. VIVO

green smoothie and egg breakfast | healthy food restaurant in tulum

  • Prices: $$ | $150-200 MXN pp
  • Menu: Vegan / Vegetarian | Mexican + American Brunch
  • Location: Av. Tulum (World By Hand store)
  • Hours: 10-10 PM

VIVO is an outdoor restaurant by the home decor store World By Hand (it connects to the restaurant). If you’re looking for a beautifully decorated and airy place to eat in Tulum with vegan and vegetarian cuisine, head to Vivo! We came here for a late breakfast and had a great meal (avo toast and with fresh agua del dia). They also make homemade ravioli, plant-based burgers, smoothies, lattes, buddha bowls, grilled veggies, and more. If you are a digital nomad in Tulum, Vivo is also laptop-friendly (and pet-friendly, too!) so you can come here for a drink and work (just charge your laptop before since it doesn’t seem to have so many power outlets).

Now it’s time for a few Tulum restaurants in the Beach/Hotel Zone!

Like I said above, I don’t eat often in the Hotel Zone because 1.) It’s expensive and 2.) I live in Centro and only spend time in the Hotel Zone on random weekends so it’s rare we stay for dinner, or even lunch there. In any case, there are a few good places to check out if you’re spending the day down by the beach.

18. Moro (@ Habitas)

  • Prices: $$$+ | $500+ MXN pp
  • Menu: Sustainable Gastronomy
  • Location: Habitas Tulum (Beachfront eco-hotel)
  • Hours: 10-10 PM

Moro is the gastronomic restaurant inside the eco-friendly hotel and beach club called Habitas. We ate here for dinner one special evening to ring in Paul’s 31st birthday. The food and mixology bar didn’t disappoint, but you definitely won’t be able to budget here. The atmosphere is dreamy, with the sandy beach as the floor and the open-air architectural gem rising from it. You can also come to eat here for breakfast/lunch for a cheaper meal, but their dinner menu is filled with combinations you won’t find elsewhere in Tulum. If you want to spend a day at their beach club, the minimum spend per person is $100 USD.

19. Villa Pescadores Beachfront Restaurant

beachfront restaurant tulum

  • Prices: $$+ | $200+ MXN pp
  • Menu: Gourmet Mexican | Fish Tacos, Tostadas, Seafood
  • Location: Playa Pescadores
  • Hours: 11:30 AM – 6 PM

Villa Pescadores is an eco-rustic beachfront hotel and restaurant owned by the Ahau Tulum Hotel Collection. You can eat at the beachfront restaurant here even if you are not a guest. It is one of the best places for lunch when spending the day on the public beach in Tulum (Playa Pescadores). The menu is packed with fresh seafood and Mexican dishes and doesn’t disappoint! We had tuna tostadas and fish tacos here with the turquoise blue Caribbean as our view. If you want a beachfront restaurant experience but don’t want to fork out tons of money on a beach club, then come to Villa Pescadores!

20. Bonus! Cetli Restaurant

Last but not least, I wanted to include Cetli on here as we have heard great things (but never got to try it). Cetli is located just outside of Tulum Town and features upscale Mexican cuisine such as inspiring mole dishes and frozen mezcalitas. It is open from 7 AM – 10 PM. Let me know if you try it!

Other Tulum Restaurants That I Wouldn’t Recommend:

Tres Galeones: We really enjoyed our meal at Tres Galeones (plus the atmosphere is cute and boaty), up until it came time to pay. Beware – they add the tip (15%) into your bill and “hide” it to look like IVA tax. Normally that would be fine, but we were disappointed when our server asked again to add another tip. When confronted, they said the first tip was included for the whole restaurant but that the second tip was for the service. He didn’t approach us as if it was a choice, but more like a requirement. The thing is, when we added the second tip at the end of the bill, we were tipping the total amount already with the first tip. So we calculated it and figured out that they get around a 25-35% tip off each table by tricking people this way! It’s VERY sneaky (not to mention unlawful) and totally a tourist trap. Not many tourists will take the time to study their bill but we’ve been in Mexico for 3 years now and know what tricks to look for. We will not be going back there again for that reason alone…

Palo Santo: This restaurant is owned by Amansala Hotel which is infamously known for polluting the natural environment by emptying its wastewater directly into the fragile mangroves in Tulum. The restaurant itself is attractive, but the owner is far from welcoming and seems to only care about $$$ more than her customers. They also do not have any safety measures in place and don’t care to sit with people very close together. Simply, there are way better places to eat in Tulum than here.

Papaya Pizza & Co: Really cute outdoor spot for eating, but unfortunately the pizzas just were not good. I’m not a picky eater but I couldn’t even finish two slices. There was also a litter of kittens running all over the restaurant (which I loved) but they were malnourished and uncared for. I asked the server and they did indeed belong to the restaurant. Whenever they went into the kitchen they also got kicked out (literally) and I hated to see that. Sadly I do not recommend eating here.

There are literally dozens of other places I could mention for where to eat in Tulum town and where not to eat, but I think this list about sums it up! As for the Hotel Zone, there are other places not mentioned here like Macondo by Nomade, Gitano, Hartwood, Casa Jaguar, etc., but most of those places are overrun and already well-known in the Tulum food scene. I also haven’t eaten at those restaurants as I have the other 22 something restaurants mentioned above!

If you’ve made it this far, thanks so much for reading! If you have any questions about these restaurants in Tulum, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email. 🙂

Here are my other travel guides to Tulum to check out!

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Hi, I’m Bri! I’ve been slow traveling around the world in search of new adventures since 2013. I have lived in 8 countries on 4 continents including Nepal, Mexico, Colombia, and parts of Europe! I created this blog to inspire others to live a life of adventure, seek out meaningful experiences, and to travel slowly and mindfully. Join me on this journey and let’s tick off our bucket lists! Read my story here.