Tulum is a a bohemian beach town in the heart of Mexico's Riviera Maya. It’s best known for its ancient Mayan ruins and stunning, white sandy beaches that border the tropical waters of the turquoise Caribbean ocean, but its becoming increasingly known for its incredible food-scene.
With more and more people moving to, and holidaying in, this laid-back, tranquil town, the number of trendy, health-conscious places to eat has sky-rocketed, with somewhere different to eat a delicious meal at every day of the week. Here are our 7 favourites from our time in Tulum.
This was hands-down my favourite breakfast place in Tulum! I’m not normally a coffee drinker, but all the reviews raved about the coffee, so we tried the chai lattes and they were delicious!
It’s a busy little coffee shop that appears small from the outside, so at first we grabbed a table just inside. But we then discovered the lovely, chilled garden area out back so moved there. We ordered the hotcakes (basically pancakes) and omlette. There was lots of food and they were both super yummy!
Being just two minutes away from our AirBnB, we went back the next day for more chai lattes, and tried the cake and pastries. You can find it on Calle Centauro, between Av. Tulum and Andromeda Oriente.
2/ Raw Love Beach
This is a chilled, hippy, vegan hang-out. There’s loads of cool places to sit; you’ve got hammocks, hanging chairs and wooden benches, all on different levels amongst the sand and jungle. I haven't tried an all raw-food restaurant before, but I was happy to experiment.
We had the pesto pasta, pad thai, carrot cake and smoothies. After eating my meal, I could happily go vegan if all food tasted like the menu at Raw Love Beach. The staff are super friendly and although it’s more expensive than some places, considering the location and quality of the food, I think it’s a fair price to pay. You can find it on Tulum beach road, on the beach side, by Ahau Tulum at kilometer 6.7.
3/ El Vegetariano
This is an unassuming, hidden gem in the backstreets of Tulum. It's obviously ideal for vegetarians as well as the health-conscious, but also great if you just want a change from all the meat-centric menus.
We went here hungry after a day of travelling and were served plenty of food! The guacamole portion was plentiful and the homemade carrot and ginger soup was full of flavour. I'm not sure if we were served by the owner, but whoever he was, he was really passionate about all the food, and even bought us a few small samples of dishes, just to try - the sorbet was especially great. I'd highly recommended this place!
This is known as a great breakfast spot, but we went for a casual lunch and the food was fab. If I went to a Mexican restaurant in the UK, I’d always order fish tacos, but in Mexico they weren’t that easy to come by, even when we were in the coastal towns. So when I saw fish and shrimp tacos on the menu, we ordered both!
The tacos were served with fresh tomato salsa, strips of red cabbage and a slightly spicy sauce on the side - and definitely the best fish tacos I’ve ever eaten. It's on the non-beach side of the beach road near kilometre 5.5.
5/ El Pez Restaurant
We stumbled across this restaurant for dinner and were not disappointed. The restaurant is housed in a beautiful Gran Palapa (a classic Mexican giant thatched hut) with tables overlooking the ocean.
It’s a really relaxed atmosphere with a live band playing the night we ate there. And although this was definitely the fanciest restaurant we ate at in Tulum, it wasn’t overly expensive considering. We drank prosecco and a delicious cocktail that was served in a cute china teacup and saucer and then ordered the tuna ceviche, calamari, and fish tacos which were all excellent.
During the day, you can see pelicans soaring above the coastline, diving for fish and perching on the rocky island just out from the bay. The restaurant is on the beach road, near a cover where there’s a break in hotels and restaurants, at kilometer 5.5.
A must go-to place for breakfast or brunch, but make sure you arrive early (before 9:30am) to avoid waiting for a table. We tried to get in twice. The first time was super-busy and we moved on; the second time we waited 15 minutes and then got a spot.
This cosy cafe has a simple, calm interior with a chilled European bakery vibe. There are lots of healthy options on the menu to choose with our food all beautifully presented and tasting delicious. And judging by how busy it was, no doubt whatever you eat or drink here, it will taste as good as it looks. It’s in the main town, in front of Scotia Bank, just off the main road, down Avenida Satelite.
If you’re craving sushi, or something other than Mexican, try this creative blend of “mayapaynese” cuisine – a Japanese-Mexican fusion. Think tuna tostadas and miso soup with a twist. It was served with two vegetable gyozas and cubes of avocado instead of tofu.
When it started pouring with rain as soon as we sat down, we were “thanked” for moving tables and chairs away from the edge of the terrace by being offered 2 free mezcal shots! They also made an amazing kiwi daiquiri cocktail and the bottled water was a cool concept (it was harvested rainwater). You can find it on Tulum beach road, at kilometer 6.7.
*extra/ Panna e Cioccolato
This isn't a restaurant so it's an extra eighth recommendation! Panne e Cioccolato is an ice cream and chocolate shop, and a great stop on your way home from the beach or after dinner.
They serve 20+ flavours of amazing, homemade ice cream and you can try as many as you want, before picking which one to buy. The banana, tiramusu and cinnamon were our three favourites. And it’s really inexpensive. One scoop is 35 peso (about £1.30/$1.80). It's in Tulum town on the main road.