Cancun's Best Restaurants for Dining with a Group



Restaurants in Cancun are ready for anything. They cater to visitors of all ages from all over the world every single day. So if you need a highchair, just ask, if you're celebrating a birthday, just let them know, if you're allegric to shellfish, be sure to inform the chef, and if you're visiting Cancun with a big group, don't worry, because in Cancun's dining establishments, the more the merrier rule applies! 

That being said, it is a good idea to make reservations for large groups so that a restaurant can have your table ready and waiting. On the other hand, if you just happen to come across a place that looks interesting, most Cancun restaurants will be more than happy to quickly prepare a table for your group.

There are both casual, inexpensive restaurants and more pricey, formal restaurants in Cancun that are well-suited for large groups. In the Hotel Zone diners will enjoyLa Habichuela Sunset (upscale Mexican, Mayan, Caribbean and International), Mextreme (Mexican), La Destileria (upscale Mexican), El Fish Fritanga (seafood), Thai Lounge (upscale Asian) and Harry's Prime Steakhouse and Raw Bar (upscale steak and seafood). Downtown Cancun is home to Julia Mia (gourmet Mexican), La Parilla (Mexican) and Labna (upscale Yucatecan).



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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.


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The specialized cuisine of the Yucatan is Labn�'s forte. If you've never had this colorful cuisine before you're in for a treat. The menu is divided into two sections, Yucatecan dishes and Mexican haute cuisine � be adventurous! Start off with lime soup (similar to the more familiar tortilla soup but livelier) or papdzules (corn tortillas stiffed with boiled eggs and smothered with pumpkinseed sauce). Move on to pibil (pork with achiote, baked in banana leaves) or Maculam fish (baked in foil with hoja santa). If you visit for lunch, you can sample several different flavors from the buffet.


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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 dinner. Thursday-Saturday nights they feature live music outside under the twinkling lights in the trees. Marakame features an extensive menu of pasta, seafood, salads, pizza and a fully stocked bar. The ambiance is welcoming and relaxing. Leave your board shorts and flip flops at the hotel, this crowd is casual but fashionable. To arrive, take the bus, get off at the first stop downtown and then take a 25 peso taxi to the restaurant.


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Hotel Zone
Mextreme
Photo courtesy of Kristin Busse

 

Mextreme is a colorful open-air Mexican restaurant located at km 9 in the Hotel Zone, right in the heart of Cancun's Party Center. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a whole bunch of fun. Waiters put on little shows, do magic tricks and even prepare guacamole right at your table. Mextreme is not for party poopers, so if you're not in the mood to play along, this isn't the restaurant for you. Be sure to try one of their many flavored margaritas and one of their "parillas" which can be shared by 2-3 people.


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This casual seafood restaurant is located smack in the middle of the Hotel Zone but it's a local favorite. El Fish Fritanga's restaurant 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 an 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).


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When visitors and locals go in search of a festive Mexican meal, they usually end up at La Parrilla. The restaurant features a large salon and terrace, festive colors and fountains, and those wanting a little variety can order a margarita mixed from one of 50 different tequila brands. One menu favorite is tacos al pastor, which is made with pineapple, pork and salsa, and other Mexican staples are served with handmade tortillas. Plenty of seafood choices and steak are also available. Live mariachi music begins at 8:00pm. Look for the Mole (a popular Mexican sauce) Festival each May.


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Zona Hotelera

 

When people think of Mexico, they may picture sunny beaches, haciendas, and sombreros, but the owners of La Destileria have some other images to highlight-excellent Mexican cuisine and tequila. Start with a dish like spiced corn soup or stuffed pastries that feature chicken, cream cheese, and mushrooms. After you've had your fill, head to the bar and ask for a margarita created with one of the more than a hundred tequilas on hand. If you're not interested in at least sampling some of the country's finest concoctions, at least visit the tequila museum located inside the restaurant.


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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.


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This is arguably Cancun's best Thai restaurant and it happens to be the prettiest too. Actually, it's one of the most beautiful, romantic settings in all of Cancun. People rave about the food, the decor, the service, and the waterfront location. As the name implies, Thai cuisine is the specialty of the house. The food and setting will make you feel as though you've been transported to Thailand. The atmosphere is unbeatable and includes soft lighting, ambient music, incense burning, plants, trees, palapas, palm shelters, gardens and little wooden huts. Make sure you arrive on time if you have a reservation because they will only hold your table for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the lagoon for a visit from the resident crocodile. Thai is located in Plaza La Isla at km 12.5 in the Hotel Zone.


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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.


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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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