Downtown Cancun Restaurants: Taste What Lies beyond the Hotel Zone

Cancun's Hotel Zone is famous for its beautiful beaches, resorts, nightclubs and restaurants. However, at the northern end of the “HoZo” you'll find downtown Cancun, a city of more than 700,000 residents. Escape the Hotel Zone for an evening or two and make the trip downtown or you will miss some of the best and most charming restaurants that Cancun has to offer.

Both Du Mexique and Peter's on Bonampak Avenue are very close to the Hotel Zone entrance and are local favorites. Locando Paolo, an Italian restaurant also located on Bonampak, serves modern Italian cuisine with Mexican and Asian influences. Julia Mia, which sits across the street from Costco, serves up gourmet Mexican cuisine and lovely ambiance.

L'escargot is a small French restaurant hidden on a side street that some call one of the best restaurants they've ever visited. La Habichuela, a Cancun dining institution, features Yucatecan, Mexican, Caribbean and International food and has been open since 1977.

Hip Marakame is great at anytime of day, visit for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks. For French or French fusion cuisine, visit Les Cepages or Du Mexique.

So venture out of the Hotel Zone and discover Cancun's amazing downtown restaurants. You won't be disappointed. 



Cocina de Autor is hidden away in a residential neighborhood in downtown Cancun. A hotel concierge may not typically recommend this restaurant to guests, but this is one of the best dining establishments in all of Cancun. Chef Cristian Morales...  Read More

La Dolce Vita Centro
Photo courtesy of La Dolce Vita


This small, romantic Italian restaurant has long been a favorite spot for locals, but it is popular with tourists as well. Located right on the bus route, in downtown Cancun, it is just a few blocks away from the entrance to the Hotel Zone and...  Read More



Hidden in an upscale neighborhood in downtown Cancun, Marakame is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They even deliver. This indoor/outdoor restaurant is great for an event, like a baby shower or birthday, a family breakfast or a romantic...  Read More



Julia Mia is Cancun's newest Mexican restaurant and is quickly becoming a local favorite. Owners Lupita and Irma Chavez, sisters from Guadalara, opened Julia Mia in June. The restaurant features contemporary Mexican food, but never forgets to...  Read More



This small French restaurant is tucked away on a quiet side street in downtown Cancun and is operated by a Parisian who arrived in Cancun some 30 years ago. Don't be surprised if she's sitting at the door waiting for you when you arrive. The...  Read More



French contemporary restaurant Les Cepages is located on Nichupte Avenue. They serve imaginative dishes made with the freshest, high-quality ingredients. This is fine dining at a much lower price than you will find in the Hotel Zone. Don't miss...  Read More



This Italian fusion restaurant has been open since 1989, an eternity in Cancun. The fare can be described as Italian with a Mexican Caribbean influence. The service is impeccable, attentive yet unobtrusive, and the chef always comes out of the...  Read More



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...  Read More



This cozy restaurant is staffed by 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...  Read More



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...  Read More


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