Best Romantic Dining in Cancún

Indulge in Long, Leisurely Dinners in Cancun's Most Romantic Restaurants

Cancun, with its swaying palms and balmy Caribbean nights, is one of the most romantic places on Earth. This dreamy vacation destination is the perfect place to relax, revitalize and reconnect with your partner. In our daily lives, we often rush through meals before we're on to the next task, but while on vacation, there's time to indulge in long, leisurely, sunset dinners that you and your partner will never forget.

Cancun's most romantic restaurant, Casitas, located in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, is comprised of private cabañas right on the beach. We're talking the Ritz Carlton here, so of course the cuisine is delectable. Fantino, also located in the Ritz Carlton, offers an elegant, formal ambiance.

La Habichuela, which is in downtown Cancun, is set in a beautiful garden complete with tropical plants and twinkling lights. Marakame, also located downtown, has a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere and live music every night.

Cenacolo's upscale ambiance and location on the lagoon makes it perfect for couples. Lorenzillo's is a Cancun institution and has been serving-up delicious lobster and gorgeous views of Nichupte Lagoon since 1979.

Peter's Restaurante and L'escargot, both located in downtown Cancun, offer an intimate setting and specialized dishes.

La Palapa Belga, located off-the-beaten path in a small hotel in the Pok-Ta-Pok neighborhood, is an old favorite of locals.

Last but not least, Thai, with its candlelit thatched huts, is another great option for a romantic meal with the one you love.


Zona Hotelera

This open-air restaurant is small, but wonderful, and a welcomed change from all the flashy new restaurants in the Hotel Zone. It's one of Cancun's hidden treasures. Located in Cancun's hotel zone, but slightly off-the-beaten-path, inside a small hotel, this little gem easily be overlooked. It's well-known to locals, but is still relatively unknown to tourists. French and Belgian dishes are served up, while you dine under the stars overlooking the lagoon. The service is personalized and very attentive. This place is not very large so be sure to make a reservation. When you do, ask which night they offer live music.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: La Palapa Belga offers an intimate setting and has been a local favorite for many years.

Kristin's expert tip: Make sure you have directions to the restaurant, in case your taxi driver doesn't know where it's located. The food is great and it's worth the extra effort required to find the place.

Read more about La Palapa Belga →

Zona Hotelera

One of Cancun's oldest restaurants, Lorenzillo's has been a favorite among locals and tourists since it opened in 1979 due to it's ambiance, outdoor deck, impeccable service and delicious cuisine. Since there is a lobster farm on the premises it's no surprise that the menu consists primarily of seafood dishes. A few meat, poultry, pasta and combination dishes are also offered. For starters, try Las Cornamusas, which are lobster croquettes, served with chipotle mayonnaise. There are many lobster entrees to choose from, plus fish and shrimp. Finish off the evening by indulging in one of Lorenzillo's sinful desserts.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Lorenzillo's has been open for decades because they serve up delicious food and unforgettable Cancun sunsets.

Susan's expert tip: This restaurant has a lobster farm on-site, so you can enjoy sweet, succulent lobster year-round.

Read more about Lorenzillo's →

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. They feature live music many evenings outside under the twinkling lights. 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 taxi to the restaurant.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Marakame's ambiance can't be beat and they feature live music many nights.

Kristin's expert tip: The best place to dine is in the garden.

Read more about Marakame →

Cenacolo Zona Hotelera
Photo courtesy of Grupo Cenacolo

Cenacolo Zona Hotelera, located at km. 12.6 of Blvd. Kukulcan in the la Europea building, offers upscale Italian dishes and beautiful views of Nichupte Lagoon. The main focus here is seafood, and all of the pasta is handmade and homemade every day. Service is excellent, their wine list includes 100 wines and portions are large. The decor is chic, light and modern, which in combination with Cancun's unparalleled sunsets over the lagoon, creates a lovely ambiance. There is another Cenacolo restaurant located in Marina Town Center. Dress up and leave your flip-flops at the resort for this fine dining experience.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The ambiance and the location on the lagoon make Cenacolo a romantic dining experience.

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

Read more about Cenacolo Zona Hotelera →

This cozy restaurant in downtown Cancun is a quaint, European style eatery that locals and tourists visit over and over. The restaurant is run by a family, the owner Peter, his wife Claudia, their son Eder. Dishes include shrimp, fish, veal, beef and pasta, desserts, and a small, but good wine list. Prices are considerably lower than they would be for a restaurant of this caliber in the Hotel Zone. You can easily take the bus to Peter's Restaurante by getting off at the first stop downtown and walking just a few blocks to their location on Bonampak. If you are celebrating a special occasion be sure to mention it when making a reservation.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Peter's is a beloved Cancun restaurant. Owner Peter and his wife, son and staff really value every customer.

Kristin's expert tip: Be sure to make reservations as the charming dining room has only 8 tables.

Read more about Peter's Restaurante →

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 40 years ago. Don't be surprised if she's sitting at the door waiting for you when you arrive. The menu is small but the fare is fresh and perfectly prepared. At night the garden area is filled with twinkling lights. The intimate setting is lush with tropical vegetation and is perfect for a romantic date or a quiet dinner with a friend. With an impeccably trained wait staff and french music, L'escargot makes for a delightful evening in Cancun.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: L'escargot serves excellent French cuisine in a lovely, intimate setting.

Kristin's expert tip: Call ahead or message them through their Facebook page and ask which night they will have live music.

Read more about L'escargot →

Zona Hotelera
Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Cancun

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. The ambiance is elegant and the 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. Save room for the dessert cart. This is truly fine dining.

Recommended for Romantic 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.

Read more about Fantino →

La Habichuela has been a fixture in Cancun for over 40 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 indoor section. Offering 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 Romantic Dining because: La Habichuela is one of Cancun's finest and most romantic restaurants.

Kristin's expert tip: Request a table in the dreamy garden area.

Read more about La Habichuela →

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; picture 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 Lounge is located in Plaza La Isla at km 12.5 in the Hotel Zone.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Thai is one of the most romantic restaurants in Cancun. The private tables add a special touch.

Kristin's expert tip: Call ahead to reserve a private, over-the-water table for special occasions.

Read more about Thai →

Zona Hotelera

This incredibly romantic restaurant is located in The Ritz-Carlton hotel. There are tables around the pool, as well as in private cabanas right on the beach. An individual cabana can be reserved at an extra cost, and this romantic, unique, tropical setting is well worth every penny. A saxophone player performs while you dine under the stars, however the music is soft enough for you to enjoy the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore. Casitas serves primarily steak and seafood and, as you would expect from the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, the food is divine and the service is impeccable.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Casitas' setting is romantic to say the least and the cuisine and service are top notch.

Kristin's expert tip: For an unforgettable evening, reserve a private cabana on the beach.

Read more about Casitas →


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