Look for the palapa roof and the neon sign, and you'll end up at Blue Gecko Cantina — Photo courtesy of Blue Gecko Cantina
Cancun's Hotel Zone offers countless restaurants. Most of them are really nice – and really expensive.
However, there are some economical options in the Hotel Zone where you don't have to sacrifice taste or quality. Blue Gecko Cantina is one of those options.
Located at kilometer 16 of Boulevard Kukulcan at the end of a little shopping plaza on the lagoon side of the street, Blue Gecko just feels like vacation. This is a tiny place with a palapa roof and a neon sign.
However, they offer a large menu and free WiFI, and their food and drinks are made with fresh ingredients.
The Smoke Chile Butter Shrimp Taco is not to be missed — Photo courtesy of Kristin Busse
The menu includes appetizers (Try the jalapeño poppers, which aren't of the frozen variety.); salads; desserts; and the main attraction – their scrumptious chicken, beef, pork and seafood tacos, which are huge.
This isn't a place where you order three, four or five tacos. One should do the trick, and maybe, just maybe, you can eat two. Standouts include the Smoke Chile Butter Shrimp Taco and the Hurricane Fish Taco.
The drink side of the menu is just as packed as the food side, and it includes frozen drinks like margaritas and daiquiris, beer, tequila, martinis, Grand Marnier cocktails, mixed drinks, non-alcoholic choices and Blue Gecko's famous mojitos, which come mixed or frozen in nine different flavors.
For those with a sweet tooth, the frozen blackberry mojito hits the spot. Again, the drinks are made with real fruit. No sugary syrup here.
Blue Gecko Cantina offers nine flavors of mojitos, both mixed and frozen — Photo courtesy of Kristin Busse
Blue Gecko is even open for breakfast, when patrons can order special breakfast items or order from the regular menu. Desserts – including chocolate cake, pie and ice cream – are also available. And most items on the menu are 100 pesos or less, any time of day.
Blue Gecko Cantina is really popular with spring breakers, and things can get a little wild. But most of the time, you'll find customers of all ages, including a lot of flight attendants from various airlines. Seating consists of long wooden benches or stools, both inside and around the perimeter.
Unlike most places in Cancun, Blue Gecko allows smoking, since the restaurant's open air. The waitstaff is friendly and efficient, speaks English and enjoys exchanging stories with customers. The owners, who are originally from Texas, are often on-site as well.
Lively pop and hip-hop music complete the ambiance.
Blue Gecko Cantina is a place you will visit more than once during your vacation in Cancun.