Cancun's Hotel Zone: please your palate with international cuisine

Cancun's Hotel Zone is home to a lot of restaurants, most either located inside a hotel or resort or overlooking Nichupte Lagoon. You will only find a few independent restaurants located on the Caribbean Sea. Cancun's first-class restaurants feed visitors from all over the world and serve cuisine from many different countries.

For the very best Mexican cuisine and ambiance, La Joya in Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach is the place to dine, the resort is also home to one of the few AAA 5 Diamond restaurants in Cancun, Le Basilic.

Puerto Madero is an Argentinan steak & seafood restaurant. It's not cheap, but you get what you pay for. Cambalache also features Argentinian fare. Fantino and The Club Grill (both in the Ritz Carlton) never disappoint with their delicious cuisine and impeccable service. If you're in the mood for a perfect steak, Harry's Prime Steakhouse and Raw Bar is unbeatable. Cenacolo Zona Hotelera is the place to go for homemade, handmade pasta. Indulge in some of Cancun's fresh seafood at Fred's House Seafood Market & Grill. For amazing ambiance and authentic Thai food, Thai in Plaza La Isla is your best bet.

Escape the resort one evening and dine in one of the Hotel Zone's best restaurants.


Zona Hotelera

One of Cancun's oldest restaurants, Lorenzillo's has been a favorite among locals and tourists since it opened in 1979. Since there is a lobster farm on the premises it's no surprise the menu consists primarily of seafood dishes. A few meat and poultry dishes are also offered. For starters, try Las Cornamusa, which is lobster croquettes, served with chipotle mayonnaise. The hardcore seafood fan should try the Treasure Chest entree. It is a grouper filet, stuffed with lobster, shrimp, mushrooms and Bernaise sauce. Alaskan King Crab Legs are offered seasonally and they are nothing short of fabulous. After enjoying the perfectly prepared seafood entrees, finish off the evening by indulging in one of Lorenzillo's sinful desserts, like the Chocolate Volcano.

Recommended for Hotel Zone's Best Restaurants because: Lorenzillo's is a must for dinner during your Cancun vacation.

Susan's expert tip: This restaurant has a lobster farm on-site and you can choose your own lobster.

Read more about Lorenzillo's →

Zona Hotelera

This Argentine Steakhouse has been one of Cancun's most popular restaurants for many years. Delicious cuts of meat, large portions, and top-notch service make this place a real crowd-pleaser. Cambalache and Puerto Madero restaurant are owned by the same company and both have outstanding reputations for serving tasty, high-quality food. If you would like to order the salad find someone to share it with otherwise you won't have room for your steak. Cambalache has moved and is located in Plaza La Isla, a sprawling outdoor shopping mall located on Nichupte lagoon. Cambalache a great place to have a late dinner. It's worth skipping your all-inclusive meal for one night.

Recommended for Hotel Zone's Best Restaurants because: Cambalache is perfect for a late dinner and drinks. Their steaks can't be beaten.

Kristin's expert tip: After dinner take a stroll around Plaza La Isla, a charming open-air shopping mall.

Read more about Cambalache →

Cenacolo Zona Hotelera
Photo courtesy of Grupo Cenacolo

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 Hotel Zone's Best Restaurants because: Cenacolo's location and view are beautiful, and they make their pasta onsite by hand.

Kristin's expert tip: Plan your dinner around sunset and sit on the terrace. Have your hotel concierge make a reservation so you're sure to get a table.

Read more about Cenacolo Zona Hotelera →

Hotel Zone
La Joya
Photo courtesy of Kristin Busse

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 Hotel Zone's Best Restaurants because: La Joya serves delicious Mexican delicacies in an unforgettable ambiance.

Kristin's expert tip: Don't miss La Joya's Cadillac Margarita, which is oh so strong and oh so Mexican.

Read more about La Joya →

Fred's House Seafood Market & Grill
Photo courtesy of JC Capitan

Fred's House offers fresh, delicious seafood in an elegant waterfront setting. The menu has an extensive selection of seafood dishes, as well as beef, chicken, and specialties of the chef. There are also selections available from the raw bar, including sushi. Caribbean and Maine lobster are both available. Seafood platters are available for parties of two or four people. Fred's House gives many dishes a little Mexican flair. For example, they have a Lobster Cake with habanero pepper, tuna tostadas, and fish, shrimp or lobster tacos. A regional favorite is the Tikin-Xik Style whole fish. The mixture of spices make it incredibly flavorful. Outdoor dining is available, with tables overlooking the lagoon for a great view of the sunset. Private outdoor cabanas are available for small groups.

Recommended for Hotel Zone's Best Restaurants because: Fred's private cabanas for groups are lovely. Many visitors return to eat at Fred's a second time during their stay in Cancun.

Kristin's expert tip: Have your hotel concierge call ahead to reserve a private cabana for your small group.

Read more about Fred's House Seafood Market & Grill →

Hotel Zone

The Ritz-Carlton Cancun has 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 a la carte 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 wood throughout give this luxurious space a cozy feel. No jacket or tie required but no shorts or flip-flops allowed either. Men are required to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.

Recommended for Hotel Zone's Best Restaurants because: The Ritz Carlton is known for its excellence and that shines through in The Club Grill as well. Live music completes the experience.

Kristin's expert tip: Before dinner, have a drink in the martini bar, then try the roasted duck.

Read more about The Club Grill →

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 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 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 Hotel Zone's Best Restaurants because: Harry's is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. It's pretty pricey but worth every penny.

Kristin's expert tip: Portions are very large. You might want to consider sharing an entre or side dishes.

Read more about Harry's Prime Steakhouse and Raw Bar →

Zona Hotelera

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 Hotel Zone's Best Restaurants because: Fantino is a AAA Diamond Award-winning restaurant. From the cuisine to the service, it's an exquisite dining experience.

Kristin's expert tip: For the ultimate Fantino experience, order the tasting menu with wine parings.

Read more about Fantino →

Zona Hotelera

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, as you might have deduced, and they serve 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 Hotel Zone's Best Restaurants because: Puerto Madero is a beautiful restaurant that serves exquisite food and provides exceptional service.

Kristin's expert tip: Dine on the terrace for a spectacular view of a Cancun sunset. Your hotel concierge can reserve a table for you.

Read more about Puerto Madero →

Hotel Zone

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 simply the best, 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 the main course, try the beef with black pepper sauce. It literally melts in your mouth. For dessert, don't miss the creme brulee.

Recommended for Hotel Zone's Best Restaurants because: Le Basilic is a AAA Five Diamond restaurant. It doesn't get much better than that.

Kristin's expert tip: Share an appetizer because the chef provides many amuse bouches and palate cleansers.

Read more about Le Basilic →


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