RESTAURANTS & DINING
Alberto's Beach Bar Restaurant
Located on the beach south of town approximately 18 KM. There is also a location on the oceanfront road in town.
NOTES: Look for the sign pictured at left to find this casual beach side restaurant. Seafood is the feature here: Lobster, crab, fish tacos, etc. Enjoy a full meal or just snacks and drinks as you enjoy the ocean view.
20th Avenue, between 10th and 12th
NOTES: We have changed our opinion on this eatery. We ate here years ago and were not impressed. However, we tried it again recently and were delighted with everything. The atmosphere under a palapa (thatched) roof is charming. Menu is varied and prices reasonable. Presentation of food was creative and best of all, the food was delicious. We LOVED it; Albino's may go to the top of our list.
Al Pie del Carbon
Corner of Calle 6 and Ave. 5
NOTES: This is a steakhouse that we have not yet sampled; it looks very stylish! They also operate Benito's (listed below).
Located on the corner of Calle 2 and Ave. 10
Opens at 6 a.m. for breakfast
Notes: Oh, my! What a joy it was to discover this little eatery. The breakfasts were incredible. I had one of the skillet breakfasts; it was delicious and MASSIVE! I loved the homemade jellies and jams, too! Count me IN for breakfast again at Amparo's!
Benito's Italian Restaurant
Located on the corner of 50th Ave Sur and Xel-Ha (15th)
Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Notes: LOVE their pizza which is baked in a brick, wood-fired oven. They also have great pasta dishes and the Italian flatbread is delisioso! We felt right at home with their friendly service.
Located south of town, 2.5 Costera Sur, 872-0819
Open 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Serving Mexican, American, Caribbean and seafood
Notes: One of few oceanfront restaurants; you will definitely have great views and a gentle sea breeze. I thought the food and service was "okay" but the view of delicious.
Buccanos and Buccanos at Night
Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Buccanos at Night, Fri. and Sat. nights, 6 to 11 p.m.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Located north of town on San Juan Beach, km. 4.5. 987-872-0100 (Reservations recommended at Buccanos at Night)
NOTES: On our list to visit!
On 5th between 2 and 4.
Said to have the plumpest, most mouthwatering burritos on the island. Choose from several meat fillings (chicken, pork, BBQ beef, etc.) and various sauces.
Corner of Calle 6 and Ave. 5
NOTES: Yummy! We had a GREAT meal here: Complimentary appetizers (garlic bread, carrot sticks and two types of dipping sauces that were out of this world). Then portobello muchrooms stuffed with goat cheese and sundried tomato (nice). We weren't super hungry so we ordered one large lobster and split it. With main entree, you have your choice of two side dishes. We opted for the green beans (they were delicious with almonds and a touch of cheese) along with the new potatoes that were zestfully spicy. The lobster was served with melted butter mixed with gouda cheese. We couldn't have been happier! Try it.
& Senor Frogs)
Punta Langosta Mall, 872-0191 (10 a.m.-1 am.)
Notes: If you are a first timer, you'll want to go here at least once. Food is served, but it's the beer, Margaritas by the yard and other libations that pull in the people. Waiters keep things lively and a disc jockey plays favorite tunes.
Corner of 1st St. and 5th Ave.
Notes: Outdoor seating on the sidewalk or on the second level overlooking the plaza. This restaurant features a selection of popular Tex-Mex entrees as well as seafood, chicken and beef.
1st between 5th & 10th Ave.
(7 a.m.-11 p.m.); 872-0067
NOTES: Casa Denis has been around for many years. Choose a sidewalk seating and great Mexican/Yucatecan dishes. I like the camarone empanizado (shrimp with light breading). Large portions, good prices. Same family also owns Especias and Las Tortugas.
Casa La Mision (2 locations, 2 slightly different names):
1) Casa La Mission: Downtown, 3rd & 5th Ave.
2) Casa Mission : Juarez on 55th Ave, 3 pm. to 12 midnight, 872-1641. One of the most elegant dining spots on the island with incredible international and Mexican food in a lush garden at one of the oldest hacienda's on the island. Lobster is wonderful here.
This is a casual oceanfront restaurant and an outstanding spot to watch the sunset.
Menu features tacos, fresh fish, lobster and a wide assortment of other delicious dishes. Prices are affordable and the staff is friendly and accommodating.
Chicken to Go
No, this is not the name of a restaurant. But chicken roasted over open wood fire are very popular in Cozumel. One of our favorites is located on the corner 30th Ave. and 4th St. Simply tell them how many you need and they'll take one hot off the grill for you.
The chicken is SO delicious. Buy some of that great bread at the bakery at Chedraui or Mega, some fresh fruit and cheese and you have a super meal you can enjoy at your villa or condo . . . take it to the beach for a picnic!
10th Ave. between 13th and 15th. Mon.-Sat., noon to 5 p.m.
NOTES: A homey neighborhood eatery (tables are in the family's living room) offering daily specials at low, low prices. Enjoy a full meal of soup, fish, chicken or pork, beverage (local juice), rice and tortillas at this cocina economica (economical kitchen)
Chillin' Bistro & Lounge
NOTES:European style bistro that features daily specials and tapas.Menu items includes items like roast duck in blackberry sauce, rib eye in plum sauce, pork chops, garlic shrimp, caprese salad. There is a Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Live music is a highlight on the open air terrace.
Located on the oceanfront road and Calle 3.
Notes: Chi's is a Chinese restaurant located on the second floor (over Pizza Hut), overlooking the ocean. Great Chinese foods, salads, soups, drinks . . . not to mention the marvelous ocean views. Chi's serves a Sunday morning buffet that is quite popular.
Chocolateria Isla Bella:
Located on Calle 3 between 5th Ave. and Rafael E. Melgar
Monday-Saturday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., 987-564-1075
Notes: Owned and operated by Megan and daughter, Isabella. Try some samples! They offer everything chocolate: candies, cupcakes, cakes. Their gift boxes make great sourvenirs for yourself and friends at home!
Located on the south end of the plaza
NOTES: Enjoy sidewalk table along the plaza or inside seating. Service was excellent, food tasty and not too expensive. The flaming after dinner drinks are yummy.
Cozumel's East Coast, km 22
NOTES: Travel to the east coast of the island to find this nugget. Menu is limited to lunch and snack items, but the location and views found at this cliffside tropical oasis are worthy of a visit. Don't miss this spot when touring the east coast! If you're interested, you can ask to see their collection of photo albums with pictures of island visitors in various stages of "undress." Put your coconuts on display if you dare!
Calle 3 between ocean and 5th • 872-4918
NOTES: A popular upscale cafe offering coffee–any style–along with incredible desserts. They also offer breakfast and sandwiches.
Calle 7 between 5th & 10th
NOTES: On the scene for years; open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menu choices include seafood, chicken and beef. My husband loves, among other things, the sopa de lima (soup).
Del Sur Argentina Empanadas
Corner of Avenue 5 and Calle 3, 987-101-7108
NOTES: LOVE the empanadas! Empanadas are tasty treats of pastry dough filled with your choice of filling. Choose from a wide assortment ranging from beef, chicken, tuna, spinach, ham/cheese, cheese/bacon/plum or cheese and red sausage to dessert type empanadas stuffed with apples or caramel. Yummmm! Also a full menu featuring steak, fish and more. Now offering pizza as well!
Located on 65th Ave., near the airport
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Notes: Diego's is often the first stop or last stop for many with the location so near to the airport. Diego's is "famous" for their tasty tacos but they have some pretty amazing burritos as well. Look for the bright red tent and enjoy some great food at reasonable prices.
Ice cream!!!! Located across from Mega by Baracuda Hotel. mm, mm, mmm good! Homemade ice cream in a variety of tasty flavors. My personal favorite is white chocolate with almonds.
El Cielito Lindo Bistro
Located on 5th Ave. and 3rd St.
Newly opened by Chef Fernando, a private chef for select villas on the island.
NOTES: Now everyone can enjoy Chef Fernando's fine food creations. We were impressed with the selection, service and TASTY food! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the stuffed poblano pepper topped with pomegranite seeds. Yum!
Just south of the central plaza on Ave. 5
NOTES: I used to think this was a naughty name, but later learned that "el Foco" means The Lightbulb in Spanish. This little taco bar has been open for many years and is often overlooked. Do stop in try their hearty tacos that are a good buy. Beer is nice and cold, too.
Residential area, 75th Bis between 2 & 4 • 872-3029
NOTES: Moro's is way off the beaten path, but taxi drivers know where it is. Mexican dishes are the specialty. Portions are hearty, food good and prices reasonable. If you eat there once, you'll return!
El Museo Restaurante
Second floor of the museum on the oceanfront road and Calle 6
NOTES: A very pleasant place for breakfast or lunch. With direct views of the Caribbean you can watch the activity on the ocean as you enjoy your meal whether it's a hearty omelet for breakfast or a specialty sandwich for lunch.
Open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Oceanfront near La Ceiba Hotel • 872-1154
NOTES: Said to have great breakfasts and tacos. This restaurant has been on the scene since 1985 and offers a variety of Tex-Mex dishes.
Located on 3rd St. on second level, between 10 and 15th
NOTES: Especias (Spices in English) is high on our list of recommended restaurants. Owner of the restaurant is a member of the family who operates the Casa Denis, one of Cozumel's most established restaurants. Menu includes stuffed peppers, an excellent zucchini/cheese dish, fresh fish, chicken and beef. Quality and service is superb. Adrian, the owner/manager is delightfully charming and is always "networking" with folks. Want to go fishing or snorkeling? He'll set it up . . .
On the plaza near ferry pier
Drinks are the highlight here, especially the frozen ones. Get 'em by the gallon! Snacks are also served to go along with their specialty frozen drinks. Take a seat or a stool and enjoy a refreshing drink and watch the people as they stroll by on the plaza.
Oceanfront, south of town, near the lighthouse and car ferry pier.
Pizza and pasta are offered after 6 p.m. with tacos, fish and lighter dishes served before 6 p.m. There is breakfast buffet on Sundays.
Views and sunsets are super in this seaside location.
Oceanfront between 6 & 8 • 872-0946
NOTES: Very pleasant dining atmosphere. Dishes are attractively presented and the quality is excellent (at our table we had pizza, chateaubriand, fish and a pasta dish). Everyone enjoys Guido's and pizza is delicious. Do try the puffy garlic bread, too, it is wonderful!
Havana Club (2 locations):
Second level (up the escalator) in the building north of the museum in the Forum building. Get your authentic Cuban cigar here. Maybe you can now bring them back into the US legally.
Rosada Salas between 5th and 10th. 872-6659. Open Tues.-Sun., 12:30-10 p.m. Pizza by the slice, lasagna and fresh salads.
Oceanfront road & 11th St. • 872-4145
The palapa (thatched) roof has been replaced but Jeanie's still has the same oceanfront location. Snorkeling is quite good here, by the way.
NOTES: Start the day with a hearty breakfast and a great view. Omelets, French toast and fresh squeezed orange juice are served. We understand lunches are very good, too. Everyone loves Jeanie's for the savory meals and stunning views! Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Kelley's Restaurant & Bar
10th Ave. between 3rd and Rosada Salas
NOTES: Outdoor dining in a pleasant garden courtyard in Plaza San Miguel. Food is pretty good and it's a good location to watch sporting events.
Kinta Mexican Bistro
5th Ave. between Calle 2 and 4.
NOTES: Owner, waiter, chef Kris Wallenta (Mexican born and American trained), creates a variety of dishes, including fresh fish, chili relleno, salads, appetizers and desserts. Casual dining inside or out (non-smoking); wine list available. We loved the outdoor garden patio for dining. This has become a favorite of locals and tourists.
5th Ave. between 5 and 7
NOTES: Highly rated on the island, Kondessa features traditional Mexican cuisine with an infusion of Asian and Meiterranean flavors. Owner, waiter, chef is Kris Wallenta (also owns Kinta). Enter thorugh the colorful gates into a tropical garden setting.
Just north of the corner of 5th Ave. and Calle 5
NOTES: Dine inside or outside at Le Chef. Quality of the food is great. I LOVED the pasta primavera which was bursting with flavor.
Calle 8 between Ave 10 and Ave 15. Phone 872-5533. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES: Top notch food and atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor dining. When it's hot, you can enjoy the comfort of air conditioning inside. Other times, you'll want to dine in the garden area. Mediterranean cuisine plus traditional favorites like burgers and arrachera. This one will go in your memory book!
10th and Rosado Salas
NOTES: After a fire in 2008 La Choza rebuilt next door to its former location (at left is an older photo). This is a favorite among travelers and locals alike. Tasty dishes and a couple of specials each day.
La Flor de Michoacan (corner of 20th Ave. and Juarez; other locations throughout town)
The local favorite for ice cream
La Lobsteria: NOW called Chardonnay
Located on Corner of 5 Ave. and 7th St.
NOTES: Delightful, inside and out! This intimate eatery has charming thatched roof and casual decor. Menu includes seafood, pasta and other. Great atmosphere and food.
Las Palmas Loncheria:
25th Ave. and 3rd St.
NOTES: This loncheria features specials of the day at very reasonable prices. Many locals eat here for breakfast or lunch. You'll enjoy hearty portions and good quality food at a fair price.
30th Ave. • 872-1242
NOTES: This was one of our favorites when we first started visiting the island, then it slid off of our list for a few years. It's not fancy so casual's the way to go here. A number of travelers have recently suggested that we add this establishment to our list again. We checked it out again lately and found great food and reasonable prices. Despite its rather off-the-beaten track location, it has a good crowd.
The Pub (was La Veranda):
Calle 4 between 5th and 10th Ave. • 872-4132
NOTES: Food is quite good and the outdoor garden dining is Bee-U-T-ful! If nothing else, stop in for a quick drink; you'll love the setting!
Calle 2, between 15 and 20
NOTES: Mainly local clientele, the pizza is good and price is right. If they don't have someone who can speak English, they'll find someone. No frills, but good.
No longer located on the oceanfront road, but there is one located by Sam's Club. Under the golden arches, business is booming in Cozumel. The McPechuga (chicken sandwich) is actually very good and burgers are pretty much the same as the US . . . you decide if that's a good thing or bad thing. Would you like to super size that fry?
North end of Cozumel's East Coast (wide side) • 872-1616
NOTES: Pretty good food, but most noted for cold beer and drinks. Slip into a comfy hammock for a seaside siesta! Though there's a sign denoting a "nude beach," you're apt to see more bare skin in their collection of photo albums that feature photos of nudes taken on the beach. Every once in a while someone will strip down to pose by the "nude beach" sign . . . and their rosy "cheeks" will be added to the photo collection.
10th Ave., between 3 & Rosado Salas
NOTES: Excellent pizza; eat in or call for delivery. The pizza is inexpensive, tasty and delivered in a snap. We like this one and order pizza every time we visit.
Sorry, Pizza Hut: Nino's wins, hands down!
15th Ave., between 3rd & 5th
A local favorite for arrachera, tacos and traditional Mexican flaors.Palmeras
Downtown on the waterfront, directly across from the ferry pier.
NOTES: This is a popular restaurant because of location and varied menu. Familiar entrees include club sandwiches, fishburgers, burgers, chicken fingers, plus an assortment of Mexican favorites.
Panaderia La Cozumeleña:
Corner of 10th Ave. and 3rd St.
NOTES: This is a bakery and cafe. We often stop at the bakery, but we haven't tried their restaurant. It seems busy all the time with many local diners, so it must be good and reasonably priced.
Oceanfront Road & 8th (in Cinco Soles) • 872-2040
NOTES: Delightful atmosphere in a quiet patio setting. Lively marimba music is featured during lunch hour Mon.-Sat., from 11 to 3. Excellent mini-quesadilla appetizers are served before the meal. Unique individual tabletop BBQ grills are provided for some dishes, such as the shrimp kebab and grilled fish filet. Interesting mole and chipotle sauces add a pleasing zest to dishes. Service is unsurpassed. Menu is varied with emphasis on Mexican cuisine. Don't miss the Cinco Soles department store and tequila bar.
Located at one of Cozumel's finest beaches (Km 15). Snacks, lunches, silly drinks and beer.
NOTES: The landscaping as you enter is lush and green, resembling a carefully maintained golf course. Biggest draw here is the sun and the sand, but the food is great, too. Lots of diversions: parasailing, hair braiding, massages, sea kayaks, bungy trampoline on the beach, water trampoline, climbing "iceberg" in the ocean.
Similar name as the above, but this one's on the "wild side" of Cozumel.
NOTES: As casual as it can get! Come for a drink and climb into a beach side hammock and spend the day. Once known as Bob Marley's bar, reggae music is part of the beachy atmosphere here. Try one of their big fat burgers, their shrimp empanadas some tasty nachos or tacos to go with your beer or margarita.
New location (was 30th Ave. and 2nd) Now located on lot as the the upscale Casa Mission just off Juarez on 55th Ave. Parrilla is located on the south end of the block
Haven't tried this one since it moved. It's a beautiful location!
Owned by the same family that operates Casa Mission and Casa la Mission, this is our FAVORITE of the La Misions. The other two Mission's are fancier (and pricier), but the Parrilla has tasty food, large portions and it is inexpensive. The taco bar with buffet style side dishes is an excellent value! This is a favorite of locals and more tourists are discovering it, too.
Oceanfront and A.R. Salas 872-0213
Seating is on the second floor on this stylish restaurant with fine food, service and ambiance, to boot. This one's been around for years and has earned a reputation for high quality. Unlike some of the trendy restaurants, there's a reason Pepe's is busy. They have some of the best lobster and shrimp around. They also have a salad bar.
Oceanfront and 3rd St.
Rock 'N Java:
Oceanfront and Calle 7, north of El Cantil 872-4405
NOTES: This place has great sandwiches, vegetarian lasagna, quiche plus other tasty treats. Consistent quality, good prices. Most excellent desserts and reasonable!
If you have a hankering for all-American fried chicken, it's available if you order 24 hours in advance; perfect for a beach picnic!!! Take some tasty chicken and salads; fill your cooler with some iced cold beer. Then head to Cozumel's east coast for a picnic along a remote stretch of the beach and fly a kite, build a sandcastle, munch on chicken and enjoy a cold beer.
Oceanfront Road and 11 (just south of Margaritaville)
NOTES: Pizza, of course, as well as pasta, seafood and other dishes. They usually have a special each day. The puff-bread is delicious and their pizza is excellent. You can dine right along the ocean! Prices are moderate.
Oceanfront Road, across from Puerto Maya cruise ship pier
NOTES: Chinese food with a varied menu; daily specials. Spring rolls, hot and sour, sweet and sour, spicy (or not). Owner previously had a location near the central plaza (Asian Garden); when the rent got too high, he relocated to the currently location and has done a booming business. Crew of the cruise ships are frequent diners.
San Francisco Beach
Beach area on Cozumel's west coast (km 15)
NOTES: Burgers, fish, tacos and snacks dominate the menu but the beach is the big draw. Many diversions: parasailing, swimming pool, hair braiding, massage, jet skis, changing rooms, showers. Next to Paradise Beach.
Senor Frog's (Punta Langosta Mall)
NOTES: Second level of Punta Langosta Mall above Carlos'N Charlie's (CNC), it's more or less the same as CNCs. A casual hot spot with food, but mostly cervesa and tequila. Not as much personality as the Senior Frog's located in Playa del Carmen but it's in a shopping mall, so what do you expect?
Located on the ocean on Cozumel's "wild side" (the east coast), near Mezcalito's
NOTES: On the east coast, near Mezcalito's. Cold beer, fancy drinks and views are features of his casual seaside restaurant/bar. You'll also find snacks, burgers, fish and Mexican specialties.
Calle 3 (between Oceanfront Road and 5th Ave.)
Italian restaurant with large wine list and wide assortment of authentic Italian fare, including pizza from a wood-fired oven, calzone, prawns and ravioli with lobster sauce, gnocchi and creamy gelato. Owner, Francisco, of Italy imports many of the food supplies.
All over town!
Maybe everyone shouldn't eat off the street stands, but we have with no problem. You can find inexpensive and tasty empanadas, tamales, quesadillas along with hot dogs and hamburgers. Near the plaza you'll find one of my favorite health foods: Churros (Mexico's version of deep fried mini donuts). In front of San Francisco supermarket on 30th Ave., they sell a variety of tamales (3 for 20 pesos; about $2). I understand there also some tasty tamales sold near the taxi stand on 2nd St. A favorite hot dog stand is on Calle 11 and Avenida 30.
Across from Puerto Maya cruise ship pier on the side street. Look for the battered blue truck (seriously)
NOTES: No signs. No tables. No waiters. No menu. This back-to-the-basics dining experience is not a restaurant at all and it's not for the faint of heart. Tacos and tortas (sandwiches) are prepared and served from the back of a battered old blue truck. They do a VERY brisk business, especially among locals. Choose from shrimp, beef, chicken or fish tacos or tortas (sandwiches). Add your own condiments to taste: onions, salsa, etc. and you're good to go. Tacos and soft drinks are 10 pesos each; the tortas fetch 20 pesos. Find a spot in the shade and enjoy an inexpensive and tasty no frills lunch.
Rosada Salas between Ave. 10 and 15
NOTES: This is a loncheria, which means you'll find good food at a reasonable price, especially if you take advantage of the special of the day. Open for lunch and breakfast, you'll find good home cookin' 6 days a week. The pozole soup is particuarly tasty!
Tony Rome's Bar and Restaurant:
5th Ave., south of the plaza (across from French Quarter)
NOTES: Tony Rome is a rather lengendary name on Cozumel. Enjoy Tony Rome's savory barbecue ribs, parmesan chicken or other treats like tasty pasta dishes. Don't miss the key lime pie, it's the best ever! We often ask Tony make up fresh pies so we could bring them home with us, but BYOP (bring your own pie pans). Enjoy nightly entertainment as Tony takes the mike and welcomes requests; bring your list of favorite tunes and join the fun. Tony performs a number of show tunes, some oldies but goodies, Billy Joel, Elvis, The Ink Spots, Spanish music . . . Bring a big appetite and sit back and relax. You'll have a wonderful evening in a casual setting; enjoy the music and the moment.
Wet Wendy's Margarita House and Restaurant
Located on Juarez between
Monday-Satuday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Notes: Wet Wendy's features FUN, food and sometimes live music (Salsa on Wednesday and Jazz on Saturday). Not only do their serve refreshing Margarita's, but their menu features Mexican, American, BBQ and Hungarian dishes.
Located on Juarez between 5 and 10(just east of the plaza)
Oen 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Notes: Just off the plaza, there is great people-watching opportunities if you dine al fresco. Or dine in air conditioned comfort inside (wide screen TVs for you sports fans!). Crowds often gather for the amazing live music frequently offered. Very good reputation for casual breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks.
Calle 4 & Ave. 5.
Great apple strudel & Neopolitan. Get there early before they sell out!