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Get More for Your 'Dinero' at These Cancun Restaurants



Cancun is loaded with expensive world-class restaurants, but don't despair, there are also many delicious options both in the Hotel Zone and downtown for travelers who are on a budget. These eateries not only provide value, but there's something extra special about them, like the ambiance, a great view or just really good food. Many of these Best Value options are local secrets while others are already tourist favorites.

If you're looking for yummy tacos, burritos and wings in a fun, casual atmosphere, The Surfin Burrito, located across the street from the old Senor Frogs, serves huge portions. Blue Gecko serves huge, delicious, unique tacos, while El Galeon del Caribe is famous for their "pescadillas" (fried corn tortillas stuffed with fish). 

Ty-Cos and Tacos Rigo are two options that never disappoint and have locations in both the Hotel Zone and downtown Cancun.

If you're in the mood for a more formal sit-down dinner you'll get the most for your money at La Troje downtown and El Fish Fritanga or Le Natura in the Hotel Zone.

Tacun is an economical option that will satisfy your craving for Mexican food. It's located in the heart of the HoZo (Hotel Zone). Sushi Ken has 2x1 rolls on Wednesdays.

Eating out during your vacation doesn't have to be expensive, so escape the all-inclusive resort for lunch or dinner one day and enjoy the value these restaurants offer.


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Sushi Ken


Sushi Ken is a local favorite. There are 4 locations in Cancun and the main one is downtown on Palenque. There is also a Sushi Ken in Plaza Outlet that is a nice place to have lunch if you feel like going to the movies or doing some shopping as well. Try the Baby Squid, the spicy Tampico (crab salad) or the delicious Tiger Roll. Their menu is in Spanish and it might be a challenge trying to order Japanese food from a Spanish menu when you only speak English, so maybe try pointing at the pictures. Sushi Ken delivers all over Cancun including to the Hotel Zone.

Recommended for Best Value because: Sushi Ken serves affordable sushi with a Mexican twist and they deliver to the Hotel Zone.

Kristin's expert tip: Wednesday is two for one on all rolls!

Read more about Sushi Ken →


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Hotel Zone
Le Natura


Le Natura is located in the heart of the Hotel Zone across the street from the old Senor Frogs, but once you enter this lush, green environment you'll forget that you are in one of the busiest areas of Cancun. They have an extensive menu geared towards fresh, healthy eating and many vegetarian dishes available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The prices are very reasonable, try the breakfast combos or the lunch/dinner combos. The fresh juices and smoothies are a highlight but don't despair, Le Natura also serves beer, margaritas, daiquiris, etc. etc. This is a restaurant that you may want to visit more than once during your stay.

Recommended for Best Value because: Le Natura serves economical healthy dishes in the Hotel Zone. There are lots of choices for vegetarians.

Kristin's expert tip: Le Natura is pet-friendly so go ahead and bring your four-legged friend with you.

Read more about Le Natura →


La Troje


La Troje (The Shed) is tucked in an upscale neighborhood near Plaza Las Americas in downtown Cancun. The restaurant has a sidewalk cafe feeling and they serve delicious salads, pasta, crepes, baguettes, pizza, fondues, beer and wine...so it's a wonderful place for lunch or a light dinner. Try the extremely popular Ensalada Margarita (Margarita Salad) which features shrimp and asparagus. From the Hotel Zone take the R-27 Bus and get off downtown on Tulum avenue in front of Plaza Las Americas, cross Tulum then walk through the old Sport's City parking lot. When you reach the next street La Troje is to the left.

Recommended for Best Value because: La Troje is a local favorite. The food is fresh in a charming ambiance.

Kristin's expert tip: Visit on Tuesday for a 20% discount. Just mention the discount before you order.

Read more about La Troje →


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Hotel Zone
Tacun


This is real Mexican food at a great price. Tacun is located across the street from Plaza Flamingo on the ocean side of the street at km 11.5 in the Hotel Zone. This is the type of authentic, economical food you would normally only find in downtown Cancun. Unlike some larger, less personal restaurants, the owners treasure every single customer. Expect great service and a delicious meal. If you don't see something on the menu, ask. Save yourself a few pesos and eat at Tacun a couple of times during your vacation. You'll be amazed at what you get for the price, but bring cash because Tacun does not accept credit cards.

Recommended for Best Value because: Tacun serves authentic Mexican food at a reasonable price in the Hotel Zone.

Kristin's expert tip: Tacun is located right across the street from Outback Steakhouse... look for the green and white checked tablecloths.

Read more about Tacun →


Blue Gecko Cantina
Photo courtesy of Kristin Busse


Blue Gecko Cantina is a tiny little restaurant with a palapa roof and a neon sign, located at kilometer 16 of Boulevard Kukulcan on the lagoon side of the street in Cancun's Hotel Zone. The place may be small, but the tacos are huge. The mixed or frozen margaritas, daiquiris and mojitos are to die for. All food and drinks are created with fresh ingredients. Friendly waitstaff and lively, casual atmosphere make Blue Gecko Cantina a great place to grab a bite along with a few cocktails. You'll probably find yourself staying late and visiting more than once during your Cancun vacation.

Recommended for Best Value because: Blue Gecko Cantina serves delicious, economical food and drinks in a fun, party atmosphere.

Kristin's expert tip: If you can't wait until lunch for tacos, Blue Gecko Cantina serves them for breakfast.

Read more about Blue Gecko Cantina →


El Galeon del Caribe (Las Pescadillas)
Photo courtesy of Myrna Carrillo - Myrnation


El Galeon del Caribe aka Las Pescadillas is a rustic (to say the least) hidden treasure in Cancun's Hotel Zone. Tucked in between the mangroves on Nichupte Lagoon at km 19.4 of Kukulcan Boulevard (across the street from the GR Solaris Cancun) Las Pescadillas, is essentially chairs and tables under a palapa, but they serve the yummiest, freshest pescadillas (fried corn tortillas stuffed with fish) around. They also serve delicious ceviche, garlic shrimp, soft drinks, cold cerveza and more. This is traditional, authentic Mexican seafood at its best, and the price can't be beaten. Oh, and there's no dress code.

Recommended for Best Value because: El Galeon del Caribe is a hidden treasure in Cancun's Hotel Zone.

Kristin's expert tip: Order two or three pescadillas. One won't be enough.

Read more about El Galeon del Caribe (Las Pescadillas) →


El Fish Fritanga

This casual seafood restaurant is located smack in the middle of the Hotel Zone but it's also a local favorite. El Fish Fritanga is open daily from 11 am to 11 pm but their taco stand is open from 7 am until 1 am. This is a great spot for a family meal. They have high chairs and a changing station available and outdoor kids play area. Prices on their menu range from 10 to 200 pesos (USD: 75 cents to 15 dollars). They are located on the lagoon so you'll enjoy a lovely view. They have all this to offer plus their food is delicious. Try the ceviche or fish tacos with a frosty chelada (prepared beer drink).

Read more about El Fish Fritanga →


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Hotel Zone
Ty-Coz Express
Photo courtesy of Susan R. Vincil


This is one of the best places in Cancun to go for a sandwich. Fresh baguettes or croissants are piled high with meats, cheeses, and vegetables. The garlic mayonnaise served on these sandwiches makes them highly addictive. The restaurant opens early, for breakfast, and stays open until 10:00 pm. At most times of the day, there is usually a crowd of people dining in the restaurant, or waiting near the counter to pick up get their take-out order. Breakfast offerings (only in some locations) consist of croissants, boiled eggs, coffee, cappucino, espresso, hot chocolate, tea, fruit juice, or sandwiches. The most popular item on the menu is the Economica, an economically priced baguette sandwich. The sandwich consists of salami, cheese and peppers on a baguette. At the low price of only $15 pesos (around $1 USD), it's definitely a bargain. Other popular items are the Italian Sandwich and the Vegetarian Sandwich is an option for diners that don't eat meat. If you prefer your sandwich on a croissant instead of on a baguette, croissants can be substituted for five pesos more. Nothing on the menu costs more than $80 pesos, which makes this one of the least expensive spots in town. The delicious food and the low prices make this place a huge hit with locals and tourists alike.

Recommended for Best Value because: Ty-Coz is a locals' favorite. Their sandwiches are delicious and economical.

Kristin's expert tip: Try the Italian sandwich. It's one of the best things on the menu. If you are penny-pinching, opt for the inexpensive, yet tasty, Economica sandwich instead.

Read more about Ty-Coz Express →


Tacos Rigos Zona Hotelera


One of Cancun's most popular downtown taco joints also has a location in the heart of the Hotel Zone, tucked in the courtyard of Plaza Parian, which is next to Chedraui Selecto. It's definitely a hole in the wall, but Tacos Rigo offers an authentic "taqueria" experience and large portions at very economical prices. The menu offers many different types of tacos, including chicken, steak, carnitas, pastor, fish tacos and more, as well as tortas, enchiladas and nachos. They also serve cocktails and beer. To quench your thirst in a very Mexican way, try one of their fresh Aguas. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Recommended for Best Value because: The tacos at Tacos Rigos are authentic, really cheap and delicious.

Kristin's expert tip: Many taco places don't accept credit cards, but Tacos Rigo does.

Read more about Tacos Rigos Zona Hotelera →


The Surfin Burrito
Photo courtesy of Susan R. Vincil


This tiny, open-air restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and they are always serving delicious, economical food. Any time, day or night, you can order made-to-order burritos and tacos, nachos, taco salads, quesadillas, ceviche and appetizers. After 11:30 am, they fire up the grill and start serving barbecue beef ribs, hamburgers, barbecue garlic chicken, jerk chicken, and grilled chicken wings. There is also a full bar so you can get a beer or cocktail at any hour. For breakfast, there are no traditional American breakfast favorites offered, but they do serve breakfast burritos and tacos, which have spicy Mexican sausage and beans inside them. It's a tasty option for breakfast so don't knock it until you try it.

Recommended for Best Value because: The Surfin Burrito serves yummy food in large portions at a great price.

Kristin's expert tip: All seating is outdoors so make sure to wear sunscreen on sunny days and take an umbrella or raincoat on rainy days because you will be exposed to the elements here.

Read more about The Surfin Burrito →


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Meet Kristin Busse

After vacationing in Mexico many times, Kristin decided to move to Cancun "for a year". That was in 2001.

Kristin grew-up in Michigan and studied Communications at Michigan State University....  More About Kristin

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