You can't visit the Yucatan Peninsula without trying delicious Yucatecan food, which has ancient Mayan roots. Try some at El Jardin which also offers your favorite Mexican dishes. This open air restaurant has a wonderful jungle oasis feel, with natural foliage, wooden furniture, a water fountain, paper lamps and palapas. They offer breakfast and lunch for the most part, since they close at 5:00 pm (although sometimes they feature evening shows). El Jardin is also a Bed & Breakfast and offers a space for events. Please note that El Jardin does not accept credit cards.
Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Breakfast because: El Jardin feels like a jungle oasis in the middle of busy Playa del Carmen.
Kristin's expert tip: On Tuesday and Friday evenings El Jardin features singers and musicians.
Nativo is a healthy foods restaurant located on 30th Avenue between Constituyentes y 20th Street. They specialize in low calorie Mexican fare made with fresh ingredients. They serve a variety of natural juices and smoothies and they offer vegetarian dishes. Menus are available in both Spanish and English. The colorful, eclectic decoration makes this a fun place to eat a meal and Nativo is popular with both locals and tourists. There's no excuse for not eating healthy in Playa del Carmen, as Nativo is open from 7:00 am until midnight every day of the week.
Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Breakfast because: Nativo serves delicious, fresh food at an economical price.
Kristin's expert tip: Nativo does not serve any alcohol.
Owned by Chef Juan Diego Solombrino of Imprevist, number 5 on this list, the concept is well, planking, or cooking food directly on a piece of hardwood. The Chef also has incorporated the use of Himalayan salt blocks and a smoke shack in his cooking, and the result is spectacular. The service is efficient and friendly and the space is elegantly decorated. On Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm Plank hosts a very popular brunch. The cost is 350 mxn for adults and 250 mxn for children under 12. Otherwise they are open for dinner.
Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Breakfast because: Plank is one of Playa's best restaurants, and they serve a must-try seafood tower at brunch.
Kristin's expert tip: Plank is great for groups, but make a reservation.
This is an authentic French patisserie, located in a funky Mexican beach town on the Carribbean Sea. Some people feel impelled to visit Chez Celine every day of their vacation. It's that good. From their freshly baked croissants, bread and pastries to their quiches, salads, crepes and soups, everything here is fresh and tasty. Chez Celine is located on 5th Avenue, but doesn't have that "touristy" feel. They are open daily from 7:30 am to 11:30 pm. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, Chez Celine won't disappoint. Try the breakfast special and order extra pastries to go.
Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Breakfast because: Chez Celine is a real French patisserie in Mexico.
Kristin's expert tip: Be sure to have a mimosa with breakfast (after 10 am).
Calling all vegetarians and vegans. La Senda serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a fun and funky atmosphere. One work describes the fare here; healthy. Oh wait, maybe two words, because delicious fits too. The huge menu includes drinks, savory snacks, something for your sweet tooth, Mexican dishes, pitas and salads. You don't even have to be a vegan or vegetarian to enjoy La Senda, which is located on 10th Avenue (Avenida 10) between 10 and 10 Bis. Streets. They are open every day from 8:00 am to 10:30 pm.
Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Breakfast because: Locals love La Senda because of their large vegan and vegetarian menu.
Kristin's expert tip: La Senda only accepts cash.
Imprevist is another spectacular restaurant in Playa del Carmen that is not located on 5th Avenue. Open for Sunday-style breakfast and brunch from 7 am to 2 pm and dinner from 6 pm to 11 pm (12 am on Fridays and Saturdays, closed Sundays) this popular restaurant serves international and Asian fusion dishes. Guatemalan Chef Juan Diego Solombrino has trained and worked all over the world and co-owns the restaurant with two childhood friends. The tasting menu with wine pairing is a highlight. Both air-conditioned and outdoor seating are available. Like a song you're hearing? Ask for their playlist.
Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Breakfast because: Imprevist's delicious brunch on Fridays and Saturdays is upscale yet unpretentious.
Kristin's expert tip: Imprevist is closed Sundays.
Breakfast on the beach? Si por favor! Lido Beach Club is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and what could be better than starting your day with a scrumptious breakfast accompanied by a mimosa and the turquoise blue Caribbean Sea? Located on the beach between 10th and 12th Streets (Calle 10 y 12), Lido Beach Club offers many economical breakfast combos, egg dishes, fruit plates and pastries. After breakfast, move over to a lounge chair with an umbrella and have a cocktail. Don't miss the drinks served in real coconuts.
Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Breakfast because: Lido Beach Club offers breakfast on the beach. What could be better?
Kristin's expert tip: The best seats in the house at Lido Beach Club are the swings at the bar.
This tiny family-owned and operated restaurant was created by Venezuelans who wanted to offer traditional Venezuelan homemade food to visitors and residents of Playa del Carmen. This tiny eaterie is nothing special to look at, but all dishes from the small menu are cooked to order. Try arepa (flatbread), cachapa (a type of pancake), patacon (fried plantain slices), a vegetarian empanada and a palelon (sweet lime drink) to wash it all down. The friendly owner is very helpful and will explain the menu to newbies in English or Spanish. Prices are very reasonable.
Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Breakfast because: Kaxapa Factory serves authentic Venezuelan food at very economical prices.
Kristin's expert tip: Kaxapa Factory is a sidewalk cafe and doesn't have highchairs, so it might not be the best place to take a baby.
Afrodisiako is a favorite of "Playenses", the name that refers to residents of Playa del Carmen. This Italian eaterie serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but breakfast is the real standout here. They are known for their healthy and delicious green juice and their European-style coffee, especially the cappuccino. Menu items include scrambled eggs, omelettes, croissants and pastries, and creative baguettes. Afrodisiako is not open on Sundays and is located off the beaten path on 26th Street (Calle 26). Don't blink or you might miss this charming little spot.
Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Breakfast because: Afrodisiako offers a scrumptious breakfast and authenic European-style coffee and cappuccino.
Kristin's expert tip: Bring your pesos because Afrodisiako only accepts cash.
La Cueva del Chango is one of "Playa's" most popular restaurants and has been open for over 15 years. This "cave" actually makes you feel like you're picnicking at a secluded jungle spot. Waterfalls, a fishpond, exotic birds and natural wood and stone evoke a tranquil, natural setting. For breakfast, try freshly ground coffee, fresh-squeezed juices and huevos (eggs) rancheros or divorciados. The restaurant makes all of their own breads, salsas and tortillas. Dinner faves include shrimp spiced with cinnamon and tuna fish tostadas. Be sure to sample one of the Mexican wines on the menu.
Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Breakfast because: La Cueva del Chango is one of Playa's most popular restaurants for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Kristin's expert tip: Get there early to get a table and avoid a wait.