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My picks for Cancun restaurants

 Here are my picks for the best restaurants in The Cancun Hotel Zone....these picks take into account value for the money in addition to how good the food, service and surroundings are.


The experience at Navios is like no other.


The restaurant was built entirely over the water of the Nichupté Lagoon.


The seating area consists of several private palapas that are surrounded by water. Imagine being surrounded by water with tasteful romantic lighting that makes the water glimmer all while enjoying your meal in your own private palapa. You walk to each palapa via a pier over the water. The palapas are usually dedicated to groups of 8-10 people because that's about how many each table seats.


The atmosphere is outstanding, particularly at night. The music is gentle and elegant.


All of this of course would only have meaning if the food could match the surroundings, which I am happy to report that it does resoundingly so.


I recommend the fresh grouper; my wife recommends the filet mignon with a tamarind sauce. 


In our experience, the service has always been excellent. That leaves only the price. The fresh grouper runs about $16US.  This outstanding restaurant sits directly across the street from Oleo Playa Cancun at kilometer 19.5.  


If you'd like to experience the gorgeous sunset over the bay, this is a great way to do it.  Get there early if you would like one of the private palapas or make a reservation before you go. Make your reservation now. View Menu Here.


+52 998-885-3848

This little restaurant may not look like much at first glance, but don't be fooled by the outside. La Tora Brava features a variety of authentic Mexican offerings that are delicious.  And moreover, you can have lunch for a true bargain.  

When my manager Abdiel first took me here I was shocked. We both had lunch with good size portions and something to drink and it cost us $10. That was not for each, that was for both of us! 

When you first drive up you see parking is very limited and it looks like you just order your food and have nowhere to go. But around the side is a staircase that takes you up to their dining area that overlooks the beautiful lagoon. 

When my wife and I were there we were also visited by a friendly Pelican (one in picture on the right).They also serve Coronas on ice for a nice value, I think it was $10 for 5 of the smaller bottles of Corona on ice.  

The dining room is casual, nothing fancy at all, but clean. You can order to dine in or to go.  An outstanding value, which is why you normally see many of the locals here.  A diamond in the rough for value and deliciousness.  Located at Kilometer 13.5.

Please note:

The entire name on GOOGLE maps is La Torta Brava Del Tio Buch but the signs on the outside of the building only say Torta Brava

Km. 13.5, Blvd. Kukulcan Local 1, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico

+52 998 840 6461

GOOGLE Map directions here

Closed on Monday

Open Tueday - Sunday 9 - 5 pm

Free Parking

7 minutes by cab or bus

1 hour and 15 minute walk (6.2 km)


They are rated #6 of 2558 Mexican restaurants in Cancun.

Hacienda Sisal

Mexican cuisine at its finest.  Their food is outstanding, the level of service supreme. Anything you order is wonderfully delicious. Their Mexican menu also includes traditional seafood and steak.


It is obvious from their amazing taste sensations that this restaurant has amazing chefs and knows their business well.


Prices vary quite a bit from dish to dish, there is something for most any budget you would expect to pay at a nicer place.  


Traditional live Mexican music performed during the week includes a Mexican quartet on Tuesday and Thursday 7 – 9 pm. and Mariachi band on Wednesday from 6 – 8:30 p.m.


Kilometer 13.5 between Kukulcan Plaza and Royal Sands


+52 998-848-8220


Open daily from 5 – 11 pm.

Reservations required


Sunday Brunch from 8 – 2 pm

Fred's Seafood & Raw Bar

This outstanding Caribbean seafood restaurant and oyster bar is located at kilometer 14.5. They are rated a 4.5 on TripAdvisor with over 4500 reviews.


The food is excellent, the atmosphere amazing, and the service fantastic and genuinely friendly.  


You are looking at anywhere from a low of $18 for a meal to a high of around $75.


It’s a beautiful restaurant with wonderful views of the Nichupte Lagoon. Located right up the street at kilometer 14.5. Make a reservation now.


Open daily 1pm – 12am

+52 998 840 6466

+52 998-840-6467

Champions Sports Bar & Grill
This restaurant did NOT make the list because of its awesomeness as a restaurant.  Yes, it does have VERY

food and the menu is a diverse offering of both American and Mexican favorites from finger food and bar style sides to full on meals. Burgers are 8 oz and start at about $12 US dollars and are served with curly fries.


But the MAIN reason Champions made this list is because if you are a big sports fan and you happen to be in Cancun during one of the "big games" this is the place to be for your game. This is the hottest sports bar in Cancun. 2 giant screens and more than 22 flat screens. Champions has televisions everywhere.


I am a Chicago Bears fan (unfortunately). In the past I have arrived early and then asked which TV's are going to have my game on?  Sometimes they will let you choose one depending on how busy they are.  


It’s especially nice that you get to watch the game with other people you have never met before, but are kindred sport fans that oftentimes are from the same city you are from.  


For your big game this is the place to be. Book a table here.


Located just outside the Marriott Cancun Resort (under renovations in 2023) at Boulevard Kukulcan Kilometer 14.5 about a 7 minute cab ride or an hour walk (3 miles north)


Open daily 12 pm – 1 am closes at 11pm on Sundays.

+52 998 881 2000

Km 19.5 Restaurant & Bar
For some delicious food at a reasonable price no need to go any further than across the street.  Directly across the street from Yalmakan is another gem of sorts.  Very casual, great views, friendly service, and excellent food at reasonable prices. Its a heck of a combination.  Joe is the owner, terrific guy!  If he or his wife Nicolai are there, tell them you are staying with Tim in one of the penthouse units and he/she will typically give you a little something off the price for you.  But for that, you have to talk to Joe or Nicolai.  They are wonderful people.  The service has always been very good and we have tried most of the menu over the years and the food has always been terrific! Not an extensive menu, but what they offer is very tasty, from the 1/2 pound black angus burgers to the shrimp sandwiches and salads.

Puerto Madero Cancun

This is an Argentinian Restaurant fine dining experience located at kilometer 14.1. The food is exquisite, and the service is amazing. It’s a surf and turf of taste in a beautiful atmosphere. Price range is $25-$75 for most dinners. If you would like to sit outside and enjoy the view of the lagoon you will need to make a reservation. Puerto Madero is extremely popular. The food is sensational, and the portions are good size. So if you would like to treat your family to a special night out with outstanding food and service you will not be disappointed at Puerto Madero. One of the Cancun hotel zone's excellent choices. Dress code required, no shorts, collared shirts.


+_52 998 885 2829


Make Reservation Here


#1 of 7505 Restaurants in Cancun 

#1 of Steak Restaurants in Cancun 

#7 of Seafood Restaurants in Cancun

Honorable mentions and other thoughts.....

Harry's Steakhouse is awesome!!!....but it will cost you.  That's why it didn't make the list, you are looking at about $75 a plate as an AVERAGE.  Their outdoor area is superbly lit, and the steaks are so good.  But its not so good that few people want to spend $100+ for a steak dinner, a couple drinks and a tip for one person. Kilometer 13

Surf'n Burrito has excellent food at very fair prices.  They make excellent Margaritas and have a variety of them.  But if you want to go there to relax, you have to be lucky.  The seating is so limited its crazy.  You have to park across the street at a closed restaurant because otherwise there is no parking.  The bench/bar seating can accommodate maybe 15-18 people, that's for the whole restaurant.  And because the food is really good and reasonably priced, and close to the big clubs in Cancun, the place is always packed.  It would make the list if you could go there and sit down without having to eat your meal on the side walk.  But I have not been there in over a year when I was able to get a seat, and I have tried a few times. Kilometer 9.5

Lorenzillos lobster dishes can be excellent.  And the service can be amazing at times.  But good or great restaurants have to be consistent. I did the homework for you and many reviews on tripadvisor are negative, while others are outstanding.  The negative theme seams to be that at times staff is standing around while people wait on drinks for extended periods.   Other times customers cannot say enough about how fantastic the restaurant is in every way.  If you are a risk taker, this restaurant is surely worth a try. Kilometer 10.5

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse absolutely DESERVES TO BE ON THIS LIST.  The only reason it is not is because this is a restaurant that can be experienced in most major US cities.  In Cancun, Ruth's Christ maintains their incredible level of quality in every way.  If you have never tried this restaurant and you love steaks, then what better place to treat yourself than on your Cancun vacation?  Outstanding service, outstanding food, outstanding atmosphere.  Very cozy.  Love the ribeye and lyonnaise potatoes.  If you order any side dish it will be enough for 2 people unless you are a big eater.  Steaks are out of this world, plates come to your table searing hot to preserve the heat of the steak all the way through dinner.  You are looking at about $50 per person not including drinks and gratuity typically.  Worth every penny. Located about 3 miles North of Yalmakan resort, kilometer 13.

Be careful of following tripadvisor for everything...

Las Brasilenas is rated #1 on tripadvisor for ALL Cancun restaurants, including all of Cancun El Centro, a city of over a million people.  Yet you will see some people on the reviews that are utterly shocked this restaurant made the best list, let alone THE best. There are cases out there these days where reviews are largely purchased.  This might just be the case here.  You read the reviews and decide.

Have you been to a Cancun hotel zone restaurant that you think is OUTSTANDING?  Please email me about your experience.

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