Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Restaurants Reviewed By Listing

Don Cheno, Playa del Carmen

Hijas de La Taostada, Playa del Carmen

Oh La La, Playa del Carmen

Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe, Playa del Carmen

Nibs (Cacao Hotel Rooftop Bar), Playa del Carmen

Mango , Isla Mujeres

 

 

 

 

 

30 Avenida Norte Entre Calle 24 y Norte 26, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

I'M GONNA OFFER YOU A SLICE YOU CAN'T REFUSE

RED. Everything is red. Red lights, red tablecloth, red chairs. That is not a bad thing, just something I noted. Don Chendo is an ode to the Godfather in the feel of the place, but the taste and flavor is all it's own. Save your appetite for this visit because it's worth it. After hearing the raves regarding the pizza at Don Chendo, we took the walk over to have some for ourselves. Bellisimo my friend, bellissimo. We tried the deep dish pizza, Margherita Style. From sauce, to cheese, to crust, every bite is savory. This by far one of the best sauces ever to grace a pizza, the tomatoes and herbs must have been grown in God's personal garden, as it tastes heavenly. The crust is classic deep dish style and below the crusty surface, the goodness continues to deliver. The sweet middle earth of the crust is almost cake like in density. While the décor of furnishings will not blow you away, the food will. Don't ever takes sides against the family, ever. You can taste the pride in the ingredients and preparation. I walked in with an arched eyebrow thinking there might be some sort of manchego cheese at play here, fuggedaboutit, it is fresh mozzarella that will dance on your taste buds.Don Chendo is as authentic as any pizza I have had, and I have had a few pizzas in my time. If your hunger pangs tell you need pizza while in Playa, my friend come sit down and let us break bread together. You do for them a favor, they'll do you a favor.


5ta Avenida | Calle 38, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

CAN YOU KICK IT? YES YOU CAN WITH TACOS & TOSTADAS

Los Hijos is the new spot to sink your face into some of the best tacos and tostadas on 5th Ave. The restaurant has a laid back atmosphere which feels like a millennial heaven for all things hip. The wait staff has swagger, most seemingly young, laid back and very friendly. The choice of tacos and tostadas is amazing and all can be accompanied by the liquid poison of your choice, my choice is cerveza. We had several Tostadas between the two of us and it was a ton of food as the portions are huge. Everything was made to order and while we waited, we took in the sites and sounds of the Avenue.  Let worlds collide with a chill place to check out the traffic on the Avenue, drown in the sound of decent beats being played in the background and treat your palate to tostadas and cervezas. Throw some shade on your day and kick it with the tostadas/tacos at Los Hjos. Never a bad bite to be had.

Oh Lala!

Calle 14 North Bis | Between 10th Avenue and 15th Avenue #147, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico 

APTLY NAMED AND APPLT RATED OH LALA IS WONDERFUL

One's approach to Oh La La finds modern decor, a soft white lighting which offers the restaurant the storied shine it deserves and earns nightly. The framed art adorning the walls, a pair of Van Gogh's and a solitary Klimt "The Kiss", speaks to the deserved reputation of what is about to happen. Oh La La gets all the small details right. Our party of our four began our initial journey into culinary creativity with Warm Flat Bread, drizzled with Olive Oil, Goat Cheese and a sprig of Thyme. This is the table's bread, just say :"thank you" and enjoy. The simplicity of tastes made its point deftly.. Each element was well represented and served notice of what was to come. Duly noted. For an appetizer we continued the flat bread theme with Tuna Foccacia with Chipotle. It arrived in a halo all it's own and tasted every bit angelic. The tuna was marinated in olive oil which is to say splashed, just to let you know it was there but never outshining the quality of the tuna, welcome partners if you will. The true artistry emerges when you get a taste of the accompanying Chipotle in addition to the tuna and foccacia offering the perfect "Kiss" of flavor. For entrees we tried two, the Butter Soy Tuna and the Filet Mignon with Bernaise Sauce. Both dishes are distinctly different of course (yes the obvious), but the meats, tuna and filet, chew like butter melting away in your mouth with each forkful. The Butter Soy Tuna in presentation looks meaty, but it is sweet, succulent and delicate. The Butter Soy seems infused right into the very tuna it graces. Like twins, there is no separation of the flavor with the Butter Soy Tuna, it assaults your palate in the very best way. The Filet takes another path to deliciousness. The filet, ordered medium rare, is tender and lush. Yes lush. The taste lingers and serves to remind you what a well prepared meat should taste like. The Bernaise Sauce is a yellowish, golden silent partner in crime, admittedly complicit in bringing your food senses to life. Each without the other, formidable, together it's just yum, the purest form of yum. Rounding out the sublime orchestration of taste was our shared dessert, Chocolate Mousse. You might think you know what mousse is and you would be wrong, so wrong. Dense, darkly sweet, almost gelato like in texture and thickness. To taste it is to render your mind with this question, "I thought this was Chocolate Mousse" that light airy concoction, a distant cousin to jiggly pudding. Um, no my friends. This Mousse is that suspect friend, that dark alley you might have been warned about, the one that could lead to all your secret inhibitions and bad decisions. The boy/girl you shouldn't date, the gateway drug you shouldn't try. Have some my friend, bathe your soul in it. Roll your eyes back into your head, curl your toes if you must, but enjoy as there is no Chocolate Mousse like this. Yes you've been corrupted, violated and it never felt so right. This is Oh La La, this is goodness, come and be satisfied.

Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe, Via 38

5th Avenue between 38th and 40th Streets, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

DIVE INTO DECADENCE

If you're on 5th Avenue and need a sweet pick me up, stop in to Ah Cacao Chocolate Café, it's one of the best people watching cafes on the Avenue. Oh, and the chocolate desserts and drinks are blissful.

Club Del La Cerveza

5 Av. Norte entre calles 34 y 38 Norte, Xaman-Ha, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

LEDERHOSEN NOT REQUIRED, TASTEBUDS AND THIRST MANDATORY

One tequila shot too many and you need a welcome break? Treat your taste buds to one of the best craft beer places in Playa. Club de la Cerveza is just that. The patio is reminiscent of a small beer garden, the bar is intimate, yea read small but that's ok because everyone here is friendly. The beer selection is AWESOME, large and diverse. From Mexican craft beers (there is a great Mexican craft brew movement if you didn't know), to brew from all over the world. Choice is always a lovely thing and you're not soon to run out of choices as the variety changes often.There's always a new surprise on the beer menu, as well as some craft old favorites. The crowds here seem to love the brew and everyone is generally chilled, just kicking back and taking in the top of the Ave with a beer in hand. Love the music selection by the way, it's always happy music. The bites offered are always beer appropriate. Great place to relax and grab a brew, if not several brews.


Nibs
5ta Avenida Esquina Calle 32 | Colonia Centro, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

MAYBE THE BEST ROOFTOP IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN

If you're not a local or know someone if "the know" there is a little known rooftop situated on top of the Cacao Hotel in the heart of Playa called the Cacao Rooftop Retsurant & Bar. Consider this your invitation to a lovely oasis in the sky. I don't believe you'll find better views. You don't need a secret handshake, a wink or a discerning nod to the doorman, just tell them you're going upstairs to the Restaurant and Bar. Take the elevator to the 4th floor and step out into the beauty and serentiy that is the Rooftop Bar at Cacao. Located conveniently right off 5th, but the rooftop is above it all. Above the noise, the traffic, the local mayhem that Playa can be at times. On a sunny day, it is nothing but blue skies, the Caribbean sun, clever architecture and comfortable surroundings. Chic? Yes, it certainly is. The sea-shelled VW Bug as you exit the elevator is a clear indication of that, whimsical and artfully done. Step further into the surroundings on the beautiful rooftop deck and you'll encounter an inviting space that includes a decorative bar, infinity pool, chaise loungers and seating seemingly everywhere. It is where PDC meets style, romance and cool. The view is forward facing to the Caribbean, offering one hundred and eighty degrees of Playa. Sit back, relax and let the attentive staff treat you to drinks, cervezas or mixed, enjoy a bite (more like an appetizer/tapas menu) presented with Mexican flair in taste and presentation. You need not move for the next several hours. Let the day or evening take it's course, it is relaxation at its best. The Cacao Rooftop Bar is a gem in Playa, and Playa has a lot of cool places. Consider yourself warned. Enjoy.


Isla Mujeres
Mango Cafe Isla

Playa Obispo, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico​

THE ISLAND OF WOMEN SERVES A HEAVENLY BREAKFAST

If you happen to stay on Isla Mujeres for any length of time that includes an overnight or an early arrival, find a jewel of a restaurant called Polo's Mango Cafe. It was recommended to us and was part of our golf cart tour of the island. Their menu genuinely reflects all the great taste of the Caribbean, with Mexican cuisine being the staple. The Mango Cafe is far from pretentious, think of  down home, comfort foods with a twist and the environment reflects the same. The staff is friendly and conversational and the coffee, if you choose, can be endless. The shine is on the food and it's a great wake up or continue your day meal. We tried the Coconut French Toast and the Huevos Rancheros al Guajillo. The two could not have been more opposite in taste, but each equally filling and delicious. The Coconut French Toast is welcoming dish, it's not the "pick a fight with a cavity sweet" but hearty, dense, decadent and filling. The coconut bread as french toast is a very happy marriage. The Huevos Rancheros for the salty side of the palate is nicely done, bursting with flavor and freshness. Think of it as layered flavors and levels of goodness. All the juices come from fruit, like real fruit that was locally grown and freshly squeezed. You can taste the genuineness of the their offerings. Everything that arrived raw to the kitchen is served fresh to your plate. Cocina artesina's I call them. During our breakfast we met Hector, one of the proprietors of Mango's, he is one the nicest human beings I have had the pleasure of meeting. Of course we talked food and a little bit of everything in between. Hector is a gracious host, ask for him. If you visit Mango's while heading to other Isla destinations, you can't miss it. The building is bright blood orange and there will be other golf carts vying for a parking spot to grab some of this deliciousness. Get there first and stay awhile.