It’s been over a decade since Tulum emerged as one of the world’s top wellness-centered destinations, offering easy access to paradise in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Situated just two hours south of Cancun, Tulum has also become one of the world’s hottest dining destinations in recent years, with a growing number of world-class restaurants serving up some of the most interesting food on the planet! I recommend you take your time and visit each of these restaurants in Tulum, believe me, it would be worth it!
Here’s a quick overview of the five best restaurants in Tulum, serving up incredible menu options that are sure to please even the most sophisticated palate!
Serving up fascinating, modernist Maya fare in Tulum, Arca is the brainchild of former Noma chef Jose Luis Hinostroza. The restaurant in Tulum celebrates wood-fired food in its lush jungle locale, with exotic menu options like roasted bone marrow with tamarind and pasilla glacé, charred grilled scallion salsa and pickled onion flowers, served with fresh grilled house-made pulque sourdough bread from the wood-fired oven. (Don’t forget to leave room for dessert!) Expect to dine al fresco upon elegant dark wood tables with gravel underfoot and the whole scene illuminated by soft candlelight.
Featuring beautiful people and creative cocktails in a lush outdoor lounge with sparkling lights, Gitano boasts a magical vibe that’s totally in keeping with the rest of Tulum and Mexico’s Riviera Maya region. The menu here offers a delicious choice of fresh, modern Mexican food, including basil guacamole and truffle-infused mushroom tacos, as well as a heady list of fruit-forward cocktails, many of which incorporate mezcal – the signature smoky spirit of Mexico. This is one of the best restaurants in Tulum, Mexico!
A boho-chic restaurant and bar with a cool jungle feel, Casa Jaguar has a rustic and eclectic menu featuring a wide variety of wood-fired meat and veggies, as well as a delicious array of fresh ceviches and salads. Also a popular spot for before (and after) dinner drinks, the house-made cocktails are a definite must-try, but we also love to try the catch of the day, which is served glazed with smoked butter and a side of pickled vegetables with coriander aioli and chiles sauce.
Starting three years ago as a beachside pop-up in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Ka’an Tulum has transformed into a full-time restaurant that still remains one of the area’s best-kept secrets! Operated by forager and chef Hugo Duran, the rustic 80-seat outdoor space is shaded by palapas and offers an experience that is inspired by village life in more remote parts of Mexico. The menu features minimalist, Mexican wood-fired fare that is maize-centered, including mouthwatering creations by tortilla master Paula Pedro from Oaxaca, such as hand-pressed blue corn tortillas and house-ground nixtamalized corn. The sweet Chile tamale with prawn broth, and the lamb with frijolillo beans are also must-try culinary creations!
Opened in 2010 by former NYC chef Eric Werner and Mya Henry, Hartwood has become an institution on the Tulum restaurant scene, serving up earthy, wood-fired food in what has become a type of shrine to the traditional flavors of Mexico. Reservations can be hard to come by, but the wait will be worth it! The updated menu is displayed each night via chalkboard, but usually incorporates locally-caught seafood that is grilled and prepared as ceviche, as well as a selection of prime beef and local vegetables.
Do you have questions about the best places to dine in Tulum, Mexico? Have you ever visited one of these restaurants in Tulum? Post them in the comments!