French contemporary restaurant Les Cepages just celebrated its 4th anniversary. 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 singature dish Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint demi-glaze. They are open Monday from 6 to 11pm and Tuesday throught Saturday from 3 to 11pm and are closed Sundays. Due to the size of the dining space, reservations are suggested. To get there, take the R1 or R2 bus to the first stop downtown, then take a taxi to Plaza Nichupte on Nichupte Avenue.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Les Cepages became one of Cancun's highest rated restaurants shortly after it opened.
Kristin's expert tip: Make your reservation online if you are worried about attempting to speak Spanish over the telephone. A reservation form is available on the restaurant's website.
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. There aren't waiters or waitresses. 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 would 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 Fine Dining because: Du Mexique serves French-Mayan cuisine and is one of Cancun's finest restaurants. It's very popular with locals.
Kristin's expert tip: Try a Mexican wine with your dinner. Not many people know that Mexico produces some very good wine.
For more than 45 years, Ruth's Chris Steak House has been serving prime cuts of beef to its discerning customers. Cancun's Ruth's Chris Steak House is no different and serves nothing but the finest cuts of USDA beef. In addition to top-notch steaks, you'll also find perfectly prepared seafood dishes at this upscale eatery. If a large steak isn't your style, you'll still have a wonderful array of large salads and side dishes to choose from, as well as potatoes served seven different ways. Conveniently located in Plaza Kukulcan, you can easily reach the restaurant via bus or taxi.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Ruth's Chris' reputation proceeds it, and the Cancun version doesn't disappoint.
Kristin's expert tip: Before dinner, enjoy a Luxurita, Ruth's Chris' top-shelf margarita. It's made with Patron Silver Tequila and Remy Martin VS Cognac.
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 kitchen to greet customers and ask if they are enjoying their meal. If you have a taste for something, just ask, the kitchen is very accommodating. This is a great setting to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. If you arrive at 8 pm, you'll wonder where all of the customers are, but by 10 pm Locanda Paolo will be full.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Locando Paolo has been providing excellent personal service and creating delicious cuisine since 1989.
Kristin's expert tip: Dress to impress, no shorts or flip-flops here.
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 incorporate traditional flavors and ingredients. The inspiration behind Julia Mia (My Julia) is a woman "that's not afraid of anything or anyone, she enjoys ilfe and her traditional Mexican drink, tequila, as well as the best selection of recipes from Mexico which integrate tastes and smells, always respecting and honoring each ingredient." Expect to be wowed by the tostadas, flautas, sopes, quesadillas, enchiladas, sea bass tacos, blue crab taquitos, roast corn soup, red pozole, chicken with mole, salmon al pastor, corn smut and goat cheese ravioli, garlic octopus fettuccini, and scrumptious desserts like flan, chocolate volcano, and chocolate truffles with mole and churros. Julia Mia is open daily from 1 pm to 12 am.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Julia Mia serves dreamy gourmet Mexican cuisine and the ambiance can't be beat.
Kristin's expert tip: Julia Mia is new on the scene so if the taxi driver doesn't know where it is, tell him/her that it's across the street from Costco and just a block away from OXXO.
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 lounge. You'll find 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 Fine Dining because: La Habichela's cuisine, service and ambiance are the reason it has been open for over 30 years.
Kristin's expert tip: The garden area is lovely. Request a table in that section.
Arguably 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, as you might have deduced, they serve lots of fresh seafood and prime steaks grilled to your specifications but they 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 Fine Dining because: Argentinian restaurant Puerto Madero is one of Cancun's most popular dining establishments due to its delicious cuisine and upscale ambiance.
Kristin's expert tip: Ask your concierge to make a reservation. Puerto Madero is one of the most popular restaurants in the Hotel Zone.
Prime cuts of USDA, dry-aged 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 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 want to try something a little different. There is an extensive selection of wines to accompany the melt-in-your-mouth steak. Your team of waiters will take wonderful care of you. Harry's is worth the money.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Harry's Prime Steakhouse and Raw Bar serves Cancun's most coveted steak.
Kristin's expert tip: Save room for the cotton candy that is delivered to each table at the end of the meal. Portions are large. You might want to consider sharing an entre or side dishes.
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 yet warm and inviting. 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. There is a private dining room for parties or celebrations. Standout dishes include the Watermelon Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella, Parmesan Soup and Porcini Crusted Filet Mignon. Save room for the dessert cart.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Fantino is a AAA Five Diamond Award restaurant. Need we say more?
Kristin's expert tip: For the ultimate Fantino experience, order the tasting menu with wine parings.
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. There is a dance floor and a jazz band plays softly, during dinner. The soft lighting and dark woods 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 Fine Dining because: The Club Grill combines classic cuisine with modern cooking techniques in a gorgeous setting.
Kristin's expert tip: Try the roasted duck. It is excellent. Before dinner, have a drink in the martini bar.