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You’ll be surprised by the amount of cheap restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
I spent one month here and I have to say I’m actually shocked by how affordable it is. I was braced to totally blow my budget or live like a pauper, but we actually stayed under budget so far.
I definitely make it a point to eat and drink at cheap restaurants in Playa del Carmen, but I’ve never felt like I’ve been missing out because almost all of my meals so far have been delicious.
Whether you’re a backpacker bummin’ on the beach or a resort goer escaping into town, here are the best cheap restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
1. Antojitos El Paraiso
Location: Calle 8 Between 10th Ave and 15th Ave
Can’t find any web presence, thats how you know it’s good!
This cute little place is a mix between classic diner, outdoor food stand, and restaurant. People sit around the counters and watch the food being made inside. It’s relaxed, quick, and really good!
The gorditas, quesadillas, and sopes can be filled with beef, chicken, beans, chorizo, and many other options, and cost only 15 pesos each.
We split three between us and it was enough food, but if you want something more there are also tortas and huaraches for 35 pesos that were huge and will definitely fill you up.
This is the cheapest option on the list, and one of the most delicious. Highly recommended!
2. La Brocherie
Location: 15th Avenue between Calle 4 and Calle 6
More Info Here
I often complain that Americans don’t know how to cook chicken, but clearly the French do.
This cute little restaurant is run by a French man and his Mexican wife, and is one of the best cheap restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
The fusion of the two cuisines is interesting but delicious and my favorite part of this experience was how clearly in love with food the owner is. He personally explained the menu to us and recommended their most famous dish, the roasted chicken.
This chicken was so tender and juicy and comes with rice, tortillas, and salsa.
We pulled it off the bone and ate it in mini burritos. The meal is only 85 pesos too! Consider making a reservation before you go, though, especially for a large group. We just showed up without one and they were barely able to fit us in.
3. El Doctorcito
Location: The corner of Calle 12 and Avenue 25
More Info Here
This place is for seafood lovers only, because it’s the only thing on the menu.
We passed by on our way to Walmart, and it was so packed we knew we had to give it a try. This hip space is most popular for their ceviche and seafood cocktails. Just be warned though, their servings are huge.
We ordered the small ceviche and it was basically a platter piled high with shrimp, octopus, fish, and other sea creatures and it came with a side of chips as well.
The small portion only costs 150 pesos / 8 usd and is more than enough for two people while the large is 200 pesos / 10 usd and could honestly feed at least four. We also tried the fish and shrimp tacos for only 35 pesos each, and beers are 35 pesos as well.
4. El Fogon
Location: There are four in Playa del Carmen, and three are on Avenue 30 between Calle 34 and Calle 6
More Info Here
This restaurant is number one on TripAdvisor so we definitely had to check it out. True to form, the prices were great, and the food was even better.
I had a side of guacamole for 25 pesos and three tacos for 14 pesos each. It was super filling for only 67 pesos / 3.50 usd total!
I tried the tacos al pastor and the chorizo taco, both of which I highly recommend. They also have steaks, fajitas, quesadillas, and tons of other options on the menu. The beers were only 30 pesos, and mixed drinks for 65 pesos.
My tip: The first time we tried to go there was a huge line outside and we decided not to wait. However, now I know there are multiple locations. We went to a different one and there was no line at all.
So, if one is super crowded, check out the others before you give up on it!
5. El Tenedor
Location: 10th Avenue between Calle 1 Sur and Calle 3 Sur
More Info Here
This place is one of the best cheap restaurants in Playa del Carmen because it has a lively atmosphere.
It seems like the local hangout for the expat community because every group who came in while we ate seemed to know each other. The pizza here is good and only costs 100 pesos/ 5 usd for one that’s definitely big enough to feed two.
I’m also including this because they have some of the best shrimp I’ve ever had.
Go for the pizza and all around vibe, and check out the shrimp appetizer if you can squeeze it into the budget 🙂 Just a tip though: This place is cash only, and they’re closed on Wednesdays.
6. Madrez! Cafe
Location: Calle 8 between the beach and 5th Avenue
More Info Here
This place is everything you need in a cafe. Delicious breakfasts, great coffee, and a super tiny space right by the beach and 5th avenue makes it one of the best cheap restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
I ordered the bagel sandwich while Daniel got the fresh fruit and yogurt meal. We both got iced coffee as well and the meal only set us back 225 pesos / 12 usd total.
The place is great because the portions aren’t too big, so you won’t be stuck stuffing yourself full in hot weather, wasting food, or carrying a to-go bag around all day. Next time I go I’m definitely going to order the savory waffles and fresh squeezed orange juice.
Just keep in mind that Madrez! only serves breakfasts, even though they are open until 4pm!
Discover the Best Cheap Restaurants in Playa del Carmen
You can definitely enjoy the food scene here while still keeping your travels cost-effective, and this article on the best cheap restaurants in Playa del Carmen will help.
If you spot any other good deals on the streets or have any recommendations, definitely comment below and let me know!
Ready to go? Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to nearby Cancun and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in the city.
This article is part of the Playful Playa series. Read the rest below:
Then, explore the Mexico Series for more insider tips on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the Riviera Maya and beyond.
I’ve been traveling full-time for three years, these are the resources that make it happen:
➤ I exclusively use Airbnb for savings and security on long-term stays in furnished apartments.
➤ I use Booking.com for short-term stays in hostels and hotels on weekend trips.
➤ Upwork allowed me to take the leap to travel full-time because they make it so easy to find freelance clients in any field.
➤ The Superstar Blogging Travel Writing Course launched my travel writing career and helped me become a contributor at sites like Cincinnati Refined and International Living, and even get published in the Boston Globe.