There are so many dining options in Tulum and honestly each one is more delicious, and often times instagramable, than the next. Orientation wise, there are two main tourist areas in Tulum: The beach zone and the downtown zone. Downtown will generally have cheaper options while the beach zone is definitely a bit pricer. For both zones here were my favorites restaurants - and a couple of places I didn't have time to visit but everyone raves about.
Best Restaurants Downtown Tulum
From the outside this looks like a typical hipster burrito joint you would find in Brooklyn. It is hipster, and it does serve burritos, but its also DELICIOUS. I ate here twice in 48 hours. And even grabbed breakfast for the next day from them one night. So yeah... I guess I liked this place.
La Hoja Verde
Tons of veggie options for a super affordable price. They also have burgers and pastas if you want to change it up.
An amazing ice cream place - conveniently across the street from Burrito Amor. And Oh. My. God. (said like Janice from friends) This place is... I don't even have words. They have won so many awards and I totally see why. The ice cream is so silky and smooth. I tried the bread pudding one night which was also fantastic. Thank god I only found out about this place the last night here. I would have come home 10 pounds heavier.
Best Restaurants Beach Tulum
An awesome choice for a beach-side restaurant. They serve food all day, with breakfast starting at 7 AM. Lunch begins at 11 AM and dinner is served 6 PM till 10:30 PM. They have primarily seafood specialties but there is an extensive selection of other bites.
I bet if you Instagram search Tulum, Matcha Mama coffee shack will be in the top photos. Most people - probablyyyy - come here for the photo shoot. But every one stays and raves about the bowls.
Fresh, delicious food made from the surroundings. A bit pricey. They are open daily from 7:30 AM till 10 PM. You can make a reservation by emailing them: firstname.lastname@example.org
When you're called the best restaurant in Tulum by the New York Times you know you've made it. Take notice of this place and visit it if you can. The meals at Hartwood are cooked without electricity and the menu changes daily. Hartwood only uses the freshest, and best, local ingredients.
They take reservations for dinner only, Wednesday to Sunday. The website says walk-ins are encouraged at any time - but I've heard people start lining up at 3 pm for walk-ins. They accept reservations one month in advance via email: email@example.com
The good: It's right on the beach making it absolutely gorgeous for sunset. Even if you forget the sunset views, the interior is decorated so every nook and cranny is completely instagramable. You'll want to bring a friend to take beautiful, 'effortless' pictures of you.
The bad: I thought the food was good, not great, but good. BUT, it was not worth the price. More than that though, the service was HORRENDOUS. I travel alone often - I'm kind of used to being ignored for couples and bigger parties (that spend more money) but I literally was never spoken to other than when my order was taken. I never received the water I ordered - but don't worry, they did charge me for it. Although, they were very nice when I asked to get it taken off my bill. And they never came back to check and see if the food was good for me. When I asked for a box to go I got a very big eye roll. I was a server for a long time so I'm a harsh judge, but it felt like they thought they were doing me a favor by serving me.
So while it wasn't the worst experience in the world, the good (not great) food, high prices, and awful service soured my experience. Although, if you want a good insta photo and don't care about the price then go!
Best Places to Drink in Tulum
I'm not a huge partier - ok, actually I rarely even drink alcohol - so take all these recommendations with a grain of salt. It's a mix of places I tried and the spots followers and friends couldn't stop recommending to me.
Great for a couple of drinks late night.
I almost put this spot under restaurants instead of bars. The place itself is chill and bohemian, like a lot of spots in Tulum, but they just pull it off so perfectly. Located jungle side they have a gorgeous neon to mark the entrance and distressed wood tables to sip, gossip, and flirt. It's a great place to start the night, have dinner, and then party late. All of the cocktails are mezcal-based.
Papaya Playa Project
For a beach club vibe - think Miami - check out nights at Papaya Playa Project. Especially on Fridays, Saturdays, and during their full moon parties.
Final Thoughts on Tulum
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).