Cenacolo Zona Hotelera, located at km. 12.6 of Blvd. Kukulcan in the la Europea building, serves upscale Italian dishes and beautiful views of Nichupte Lagoon. The main focus here is seafood, and all of the pasta is homemade every day. Service is excellent, an extensive wine list is on offer and portions are large. The decor is chic, light and modern with the addition of a live pianist creating a lovely ambiance. There is another Cenacolo restaurant located in Marina Town Center and one in Playa del Carmen. Dress up and leave your flip-flops at the resort.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: From the location on the lagoon to the handmade pasta, Cenacolo is a wonderful fine dining experience.
Susan's expert tip: Plan your dinner around sunset and sit on the terrace.
This cozy restaurant in downtown Cancun is one of the city's most popular eateries. The restaurant is staffed by a family, the owner Peter, his wife Claudia and their son Eder. Dishes include shrimp, fish, veal, beef, vegetarian and pasta and a small, but good wine list. Prices are considerably lower than they would be for a restaurant of this caliber in the Hotel Zone. You can easily take the bus to Peter's Restaurante by getting off at the first stop downtown and walking just a few blocks to their location on Bonampak.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Peter's is a beloved Cancun restaurant. Owner Peter greets each customer personally.
Kristin's expert tip: Be sure to make reservations as the charming dining room has only 8 tables.
Du Mexique is another one of the amazing restaurants on Bonampak Avenue in downtown Cancun. This is a lovely place to celebrate a special occasion like an anniversary or birthday. Located in what used to be a house, the divine ambiance, service and food make this restaurant stand out on the endless list of Cancun restaurants. Sonya Grimond and Chef Benjamin prepare and serve the food themselves and there are no waiters here. The cuisine is an interesting combination of Mayan and French. Have an appetizer in the lounge or "sala," move to the 20-seat dining room for dinner and have dessert on the patio. If you'd like something special that you don't see on the menu, ask and if it's possible, they will prepare it for you.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Du Mexique's French fusion food is unique and world-class. This is one of Cancun's finest restaurants.
Kristin's expert tip: Try a Mexican wine with your dinner. Not many people know that Mexico produces some very good vintages.
La Joya is, in one word, enchanting. From the stained glass windows and the pink flowering trees to the authentic live music and scrumptious Mexican food, a meal at La Joya will charm all of your senses. Parents will love the welcoming room off the restaurant where children can play video games, watch cartoons, take a nap or play with the nanny. La Joya recently added The Table, a divine dining experience which follows the history of the Yucatan Peninsula, as do the ingredients, cuisine, explanations and projections on the table.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Dining at La Joya is a delicious and delightful experience.
Kristin's expert tip: Don't miss La Joya's Cadillac Margarita, which is oh-so strong and oh-so Mexican.
Prime cuts of USDA beef, dry-aged beef and Kobe beef are served at this upscale, waterfront restaurant. Beef that is dry-aged has more flavor and is more tender than beef that has not undergone the dry-aging process. Kobe beef from Japan, Australia and the USA is offered, as well as several Kosher steaks. Kobe beef hot dogs, burgers, sliders and even tacos are available for those that crave beef but are looking for something a little different. Harry's Prime Steakhouse and Raw Bar offers an extensive selection of wines to accompany the melt-in-your-mouth steaks. Portions are large, so you might want to consider sharing an entree or side dishes.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Harry's is a fine dining American steakhouse located in the heart of the Mexican Caribbean.
Susan's expert tip: Save room for the cotton candy that is delivered to each table at the end of the meal.
Fantino is located in the Ritz-Carlton Cancun and is a AAA Diamond Award-winning restaurant. Traditional Mediterranean dishes are perfectly executed with a contemporary touch. Service is exceptional, but still warm and inviting. A pianist plays music to accompany your unforgettable meal. Men are required to wear jackets, long pants and shoes. Fantino is family-friendly and features a children's menu, but keep in mind the atmosphere is quiet and elegant, so children should be well-behaved. If you are celebrating a special occasion, mention it when you are seated. There's a private dining room available for small parties.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Fantino is elegant and romantic and serves world-class cuisine.
Kristin's expert tip: For the ultimate Fantino experience, order the tasting menu with wine parings.
Arguably on of Cancun's finest and certainly one of its most popular restaurants, Puerto Madero is named for the Buenos Aires port district that has risen to upscale trendiness in recent years. The decor has a stylishly industrial feel, much like the district itself. Argentinean cuisine is the specialty and they serve lots of fresh seafood and prime steaks grilled to your specifications, and also offer excellent pasta and salads. If you're watching your pocketbook, order a few appetizers and share them. Puerto Madero is the perfect restaurant for a big date or a special anniversary or birthday. Dress to impress.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Puerto Madero's food, service and ambiance are impeccable. This is the best steakhouse in Cancun.
Susan's expert tip: Reserve a table on the terrace for a romantic dinner.
The Ritz-Carlton Cancun is fortunate enough to have two AAA Five Diamond Restaurants on the premises and The Club Grill is one of them. Seafood, duck and fine cuts of meat are featured. Guests may try the tasting menu or order from the regular menu. Impeccable service and outstanding cuisine make this one of Cancun's finest restaurants. A jazz band plays softly during dinner, and there's also a dance floor for when the spirit moves you. The soft lighting and dark wood throughout the room give this luxurious place a cozy feel. Although the dress code is "smart casual," men are required to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: The Club Grill is one of the Ritz-Carlton Cancun's AAA Five Diamond restaurants.
Kristin's expert tip: Before dinner, have a drink in the martini bar, then try the roasted duck, which is excellent.
Le Basilic is one of the few AAA Five Diamond restaurants in Cancun. Located in the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun, the exquisite French Mediterranean cuisine they serve is prepared by acclaimed Chef Henri Charvet. Everything about Le Basilic is top-notch, from the gourmet cuisine to the service and ambiance. Relaxing piano music played at the perfect volume completes the scene. Le Basilic is only open for dinner. There is a strict dress code and children are not permitted. For dessert, don't miss the creme brulee.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Le Basilic is a AAA Five Diamond restaurant and the cuisine, service and ambiance are simply the best.
Kristin's expert tip: Share an appetizer because the chef provides many amuse bouches and palate cleaners.
La Habichuela has been a fixture in Cancun for over 30 years and is located in what was once owner Armando Pezzotti's home. The delightful ambiance which includes Mayan sculptures, trees, plants and twinkling lights can be enjoyed in the open air garden or from the indoor section. Offering high quality food made with the finest ingredients and superb service, the restaurant's signature dish is Cocobichuela, a mixture of lobster, shrimp, rice, curry sauce and tropical fruits, all served in a coconut shell. No meal at La Habichuela is complete without the Chichen Itza dessert and Mayan coffee.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: La Habichuela is a Cancun institution that has been open since 1977.
Kristin's expert tip: For the best experience, request a table in the lovely garden section.