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5 Restaurants in Cancun and Riviera Maya that Locals Say You Need to Try

Mexico is renowned for its captivating culture, and its flavorful cuisine has been a key ingredient. While soaking up the sun in the beachy paradises of Cancun and Riviera Maya, be sure to step off the sand and into the Yucatan Peninsula’s most delicious dining establishments. We asked the locals where they go to chow down and found the five restaurants you need to try on your next getaway to Cancun and Riviera Maya.

1. La Parrilla Mexican Grill, Cancun

 

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No visit to Mexico is complete without trying its staple dish – tacos. Whether you prefer your spice-infused fillings wrapped in a warm tortilla or a crunchy shell, follow the locals to La Parrilla, a Cancun favorite that prides itself in creating an authentic experience from table to tongue. Since 1975, this restaurant has been using traditional recipes perfected through generations and a vibrant atmosphere full of colorful art, live mariachi music, and iconic archways and fountains reminiscent of the country’s old haciendas to give diners a true taste of Mexicana. While all the dishes at La Parrilla are delightful, locals and tourists alike rave about their amazing tacos, and many suggest ordering the “Mariachis,” a sampling of five different tacos perfect for finding your favorite – or attempting to.

 

2. Frida, Riviera Maya

 

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Like the artist this restaurant was named after – Frida Kahlo, – this eatery has taken a Mexican tradition and given it a modern and fanciful twist. Located in the luxurious Grand Velas, an all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Frida is the hotel’s crown culinary jewel that’s open to the public for a charge and included for guests. This AAA Four Diamond restaurant serves classic dishes with deliciously different ingredients such as duck carnitas with guajillo chili sauce and veal juice “salsa” or savory gorditas stuffed with crispy pork rind and octopus with dark beer and chili ashes. With curious sweets like creamy cheesecake with poblano chili stripes for dessert, you can bet the boundaries of your taste buds will be pushed from the first bite of your meal to the last.

Related: 7 Best Vacation Spots in Mexico

3. El Fish Fritanga, Cancun

 

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You can’t visit Mexico’s beach-laden Yucatan coast without exploiting the bounties of its surrounding azure seas. Ask any local for the best seafood in town, and they’re sure to recommend El Fish Fritanga, a quaint waterside joint in Cancun’s Hotel Zone. Dip your toes in the sand and enjoy ocean views while munching on chipotle chili shrimp, fresh fish tacos, and octopus ceviche. Land lovers, fear not! They have scrumptious bites for you as well so you can still enjoy the restaurant’s amazing ambiance.

 

4. Alux Restaurant, Riviera Maya

 

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It’s a rare treat when a restaurant’s atmosphere is as captivating as the food, but that’s exactly what you can expect from an evening at Playa del Carmen’s Alux Restaurant. For this meal, you’ll follow your hostess deep inside an ancient cave to dine among glistening stalagmites and, possibly, the legendary Mayan elves known as Aluxes. With perfectly lit tables and dining rooms (caverns?), there’s no need to worry about eating in the dark. And trust us, you’ll want to see your sopa de lima (lime soup), red pipian rib eye, and king crab claws. Wash it down with a perfectly paired wine suggested from the in-cave sommelier, kept in ideal conditions thanks to the cave’s own wine cellar.

Related: A Culinary Haven in Cancun

5. Bovino’s Churrascaria, Cancun

 

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While enjoying all the plentiful authentic delicacies on your trip to Mexico, be sure to break it up a bit with a Brazilian steakhouse that’s a big hit with the locals. Enjoy over 25 varieties of prime cut meats such as sirloin, lamb, and pork, carved tableside by sword service. As you dine on meat after meat with an extra side of meat, make your way to their gourmet buffet bar, serving specialties like paella, sushi, and lobster salad, all concocted from the brilliant mind of a Chef who’s straight from Brazil.

 

Mexico’s cuisine is always a crowd pleaser, and Cancun and Riviera Maya have some of the country’s best meals in restaurants that even the locals flock to. Have your own culinary adventure on the Yucatan Peninsula, and contact your Liberty Travel consultant today to start planning your sun, fun, and food filled getaway.