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Do you want to visit the most unique restaurants in Playa del Carmen?

Everyone knows 5th Avenue is the coolest place to hang out in Playa del Carmen, and I admit it definitely has its charm. The storefronts are lit up, the restaurants spill out into the streets, the vibe is relaxed and there’s so much to do and see.

However, after awhile in Playa del Carmen the meals and restaurants here can start to blur together.

If you’re ready for something new, don’t miss these four unique restaurants in Playa del Carmen on your next night out!


Rooftop pool in Playa del Carmen


1. The Rooftop Pools

Location: Palm at the Playa or Be Playa Hotel
Price: $$$

The rooftop pools in Playa del Carmen are something of a well-known secret. They’re also my favorite of the unique restaurants in Playa del Carmen because you can swim and chill in the sun all day here… completely free!

All you have to do is buy a certain amount of food and drinks and you can spend the day in paradise.

If you want to eat lunch or dinner poolside or grab a few cocktails, Be Playa Hotel or The Palm at the Playa are both great options.

At Be Playa, you can drink at a table right in the pool and order from their extensive sushi and asian fusion menu. We tried the chicken and noodle wok bowl and it was delicious. Here, you only need to spend 200 pesos / 10 usd per person to spend the day relaxing by the pool.

The Palm at the Playa also has a gorgeous rooftop pool with beds, a jacuzzi, sky bar, and ocean view. Here, you need to spend 300 pesos / 15 usd per person on food and drink from Mon – Fri, and 500 pesos / 26 usd per person the rest of the week.

It’s a little more expensive, but also bigger, more comfortable, and has more amenities than Be Playa. The Palm at the Playa are also on my list of the best cheap bars in Playa del Carmen because they have a free open bar for ladies on Friday from 8 – 11pm!

If you want to cool down and are sick of the crowded and sandy beaches, these rooftop pools are definitely a unique restaurant for lunch in the sun or dinner and drinks with a view.


Alux Cave Restaurant in Playa del Carmen


2. Alux Cave Restaurant

Location: Av. Juárez Mza. 217, Ejidal, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Price: $$$$

If you’re visiting Playa del Carmen you’ve surely heard of cenotes.

They’re the underground rivers and cave systems that the Yucatan Peninsula is famous for. While most people go snorkeling or diving in the cenotes, did you know you can actually eat dinner in one as well?

The Alux cave restaurant is enchanting because it’s built into a huge underground cavern. It’s just spectacular to wander around in and definitely one of the most unique restaurants in Playa del Carmen.

The food is a bit on the pricey side, but if you’re like me and still want to see it you can go for a drink at the bar.

We paid 150 pesos / 8 usd each and got our choice of white or red wine, a rum cocktail, or soft drink. Then, we sipped it and wandered all throughout the caves taking pictures and enjoying the dark twists and turns. It’s seriously such a cool and romantic place!

During your stay here a visit to Alux will let you explore the underground cave system that the area is famous for while also enjoying one of the most unique restaurants in Playa del Carmen. Seriously, a must!


3. The Jungle Restaurants

Location: Calle 38, South of 5th Avenue
Price: $$$

The next unique restaurants on my list are on Calle 38 just south of 5th Avenue. Here, the street transforms into a lush, green jungle and restaurants are hidden inside it.

You can visit La Cueva del Chango, an outdoor Mexican restaurant set in beautifully lit gardens, or the stunning Trujillos restaurant and bar for a hip night out with a super unique twist.

Walk down the street checking out the menus at the six or so restaurants who line this forested drive and enjoy the ambiance as you choose your favorite. You really can’t go wrong with the unique restaurants in Playa del Carmen on Calle 38.


Shrimp tacos from the seafood truck in Playa del Carmen


Seafood Truck and Tiki Bar

Location: Playa Esmeralda
Price: $$

This is an amazing hidden gem in Playa del Carmen and I feel lucky to have discovered it.

If you visit Playa Esmeralda, you’re in for a treat. I may be a bit biased cause I live right by it, but I truly think Playa Esmeralda is the most underrated beach in Playa del Carmen because its the perfect mix of lively but not too crowded.

The entrance to Playa Esmeralda is on Calle 88. Then, to get to the food truck turn left when you enter the beach and walk for about 15 minutes until you get to the tip of the small peninsula sticking out into the sea.

Here is the Seafood Truck and Tiki Bar!

I love it because it’s not connected to any resort and has an amazing relaxed and secluded feel. Order some shrimp or fish tacos for only 90 pesos / 4.75 usd, and wash it down with a liter of beer for only 80 pesos more.

It you want to stay for awhile you can also rent a sun bed here to enjoy the view. Like the same system at the rooftop pools, you can grab a shaded pair for 500 pesos / 26 usd and 400 of that will go toward food and drinks for the day.

The Seafood Truck is one of the most unique restaurants in Playa del Carmen because it’s on the beach but not an overpriced, loud, or giant resort club.

This place is so off the beaten path I can’t even find their website or TripAdvisor page (although you can see their menu and driving directions here.)

If you want to get away from the resort feel and eat with a stunning blue ocean view, the Seafood Truck and Tiki Bar is definitely for you.


Discover the Most Unique Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

This list of the four most unique restaurants in Playa del Carmen has something for everyone to enjoy.

Try something new this weekend and visit the rooftop pools, beachside food trucks, underground caves, and romantic jungle retreats that all made the roundup!

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 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:

The Best Cheap Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

7 Best Cheap Bars in Plaay del Carmen

Why Playa Esmeralda is the Best Beach in Playa del Carmen

Boat Cruise from Playa del Carmen: Catamaya Sailing Review

The Complete Guide to Playa del Carmen Coworking Spaces

Cost of Living in Playa del Carmen: My One Month Budget

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 for short-term stays in hostels and hotels on weekend trips.

Skyscanner and the Scott's Cheap Flights newsletter help me find and book cheap flights and mistake fares.

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.

➤ Finally, I love hosting my travel blog on SiteGround because they have helpful and responsive customer service and I love MediaVine and CJ for helping me make a living doing what I love!


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