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We didn’t stray into town for food though we did check out some of the shanty bars, so our recommendations are for restaurants along the beaches only.

What can we say about food in Tulum? Firstly, Tulum was a surprisingly foodie haven with street food, taco bars and juiceries dotted across the main thoroughfare along the beach (where the jungle meets the sea). They range from local taco shacks to classic Mexican, Indian, Italian, Argentinian fare. Everywhere we went it seemed that the ingredients were sourced locally and fresh so wellness came with the territory. We ate excellent king prawns at a table that overlooked the beach – as in, the waves were crashing in our ears and our toes were in the sand – at a little place called Ahau Tulum and we stuffed ourselves at the super-fun Mateo’s Grill. Wherever you go in Tulum, you just can’t get it wrong.

TOP TIP 1 – Take your mosquito repellent with you. You’re in the jungle now and those blighters LOVE juicy tourists. We recommend hard-core Jungle Spray.

TOP TIP 2 – This is Tulum so don’t expect Wi-Fi! Embrace the digital detox and switch off.

TOP TIP 3 –Tulum is super relaxed and chilled so the service is going to be slower and less hectic than what you’re probably used to. Go with it.

As you may have gathered we’re obsessed with good food. We love to eat, to cook ourselves, always trying out new flavours and textures and we’re huge fans of seeking out places which create food that is both incredibly appetising, whilst using healthy alternative ingredients to create magical dishes and tastes.  This list is what we’ve tried and liked. Admittedly, we spent our time on the beach peninsula and only visited shanty bars in town for the live music but there’s plenty here to explore.

Starting with the most famous…


Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila 7.6Km, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

This place is all about sustainability: solar panels power their lights, music and everything else. They break down their waste for a tiny carbon footprint and everything is cooked on an open fire. Each and every ingredient they use is deeply rooted within Mundo Mayan culture and the fish is spear-hunted from the local waters of the Caribbean, using only sustainable fishing methods, of course.

Everything we had was sublime, with special mentions reserved for the jicama salad with papaya empanadas and fresh-as-you-like key lime tart. You can watch everything being cooked and the vibe here is electric, with great music and tasty, super-strong cocktails served by gorgeous Mexican waiters (what?) which made for, quite simply, the sexiest dining experience we’d had in a long time. It’s on the expensive side but worth every peso. Fair warning: this place is packed to the nines every day of the week, so if you want a table we strongly suggest you book up well in advance.



The Real Coconut @ Sanara

Address: Carreterra, Boca Paila Km 8.1, 77780 Tulum, QROO, Mexico

Founded by underwater photographer Daniella Hunter, The Real Coconut’s recipes and restaurants are dedicated to digestive health and sustainable living. Daniella’s menus are all gluten-, grain-, dairy and refined sugar-free, integrating key elements of vegan diet practices. She has introduced original recipes such as Coconut Cheese and Coconut Tortillas; everything is homemade from scratch and, wherever possible, organic and locally sourced.

Better yet, they only cook with organic, extra virgin coconut and avocado oil. We ate here quite a bit and everything was delicious, with each dish carefully curated due to its particular healing abilities. Daniella says: “Every dish is designed to nourish and support both the body and soul down to a cellular level without dismissing the importance of flavour.” The design is quintessentially cool beachfront and the ambience is pure luxury organic. We loved it.




Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila 7.6Km, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

Along the main jungle strip Arca is Chef Maya’s interpretation of beautiful Mexican food combined with Californian sensibilities using local, seasonal produce with a farm to table philosophy. They do an incredible array of Mexican inspired cocktails and the food here is incredible and done in a very creative way. They show us how healthy and haute mix well together.

Our personal favourites were the Seared Quail – Mole of Smoked Medjool Date – Native Seeds with Pickled Mango, for starters; Wood Roasted Whole Fish – salad of chillies, herbs and lime for main and Lima soufflé cake with hibiscus black pepper syrup and vanilla whipped cream. Basically you could go here day after day just to try everything on the menu. We love the way they’ve done this place up. Beautiful mood lighting with mostly tiki torches and tonnes of candles, made us want to get lost in the moment and never go home.



Charly’s Vegan Tacos @ Papaya Playa Project

Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila 4.5Km, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

Charly´s Vegan Tacos is a 100% vegan and organic restaurant located close to the Tulum Hotel Zone, next to Papaya Playa. Offering a large space with chairs and tables in the jungle and a seriously laid-back ambiance. Designed using only eco-friendly materials like local white wood, recycled tiles and gravel for the ground, Charly’s is a real friend to nature. Colourful artisanal skulls, small plants in recycled beer cans and other fun details mark this food truck out as a fun neighbourhood hangout. Mouth-watering tacos that are healthy, original and moreish. You’ll go here more than once.



Le Zebra

Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km. 8.2, Zona Costera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

The margaritas. That’s all we’re going to say. No, it’s not, but seriously those things are amazing. They use fresh sugarcane and generous portions, what’s not to love? The menu is Mexican and features seafood caught daily, an abundance of local fruits and veggies and herbs from their own organic herb garden.

We were crazy about the Mexican Benedict Eggs – two poached eggs served on rye toast with black beans, chipotle, hollandaise with cilantro (coriander) dressing washed down with fresh juice. They do tasty fresh juices here too worth a try. All the ceviche dishes were incredibly light and full of flavour (including the vegan option) and if, like us, you like things on the spicy side, then be brave and ask for their fresh chilli sauce. It’s HOT!

The winning dish for us was the tuna and crispy bacon – seared tuna on a red bell pepper and chilli puya sauce, chickpea puree, asparagus, cauliflower and crispy bacon. We’re getting a bit misty-eyed just remembering it. Bring along your dancing feet as they also have salsa dancing on Sunday nights at 6pm and the restaurant has a pretty nice boutique hotel attached to it if you’re after accommodation.




Address: Carretera Tulum Boca-Paila Km 6, Ejido Jose Maria Pino Suarez, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

It’s not everyday you come across a truly inventive, delicious vegan restaurant. Dedicated to local produce and farmers, inspired by permaculture and sustainable beach- and jungle-side development, Restaurare have nailed vegan / vegetarian ceviche. Try the peanut or mushroom curry with fresh cucumber and chia seeds juice. This is a supremely chilled place with a stylish, homely feel and good music. VEGANS REJOICE!

Visit: restauraretulum


Posada Margharita

Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km. 4.5, Zona Costera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

Offering seafood and vegetarian Italian fare, this place is a mix of rustic and romance – you feel like you’ve stepped into someone’s family home! The food here is hearty and homemade, bonus points for providing a complimentary sharing platter with drinks prior to your meal (a really nice touch) and it’s right next to the yoga retreat, Amansala. They have a great lounge area for wave-watching and a vibrant, energetic bar stoked with all your favourites. Not a cheap night out but if you’re hankering after good Italian and freshly homemade bowls of pasta, then this is the joint for you.




Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km. 5, Zona Costera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

Named after Cuba’s favourite adopted son, Hemingway is another great Italian place that overlooks the ocean and has achieved an upscale, intimate ambience. Bathed in candlelight, there’s no written menu (aside from the chalkboard as you walk in), instead you’re presented with the dishes of the day by handsome, rugged Italian waiters (OH YES!) and offered an excellent selection of wine. And why not. We were about to start Bryan Kest’s yoga retreat and this little treat beforehand did us the world of good!

The food is homemade and very good: high quality ingredients served up in sophisticated surroundings, where you can follow up your meal with a barefoot walk on the beach. The ideal evening spot for literary and culinary fans alike (rumour has it, old Hem loved Tulum as much as we do).

Visit: hemingwaytulum


La Eufemia Taco Shack

Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km. 5, Zona Costera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

This place is where it’s at for fresh fish tacos and beer. It’s rustic and low-key with no frills, just like all good taco stands, yet it’s perfectly situated on a pristine stretch of beach. There’s plenty of seating on which to enjoy the finest shrimp, fish, pork or beef tacos in Tulum. The seafood is grilled and the beef incredibly tender.

Not as healthy as some of our other recommendations but hey, you can’t have everything. The chips and salsa were covered in avocado cream, crème fresh and red chilli sauce rather than chunky salsa and were out of this world. For hot sauce addicts, (like us) they have a salsa bar where you ‘dress’ your taco with lots of fresh goodies!  We really loved the music here too.  Part Roots, part Mexicana.  You’ll be dancing on the table by the end of the night.  We were. This place rocks.

Visit: taqueriaeufemia



Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km. 7.3, S/N, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

This secret gem of a garden is renowned for fusing Mexican flavours with other world cuisine so we wanted to check it out. The dishes on their menu are designed for sharing and whole animals and fish are freshly prepared on site every day. They do excellent margaritas (our Kryptonite) and the tastiest lamb burger we’ve ever had. Try the octopus cocktail plate with ginger mayo, cucumber, avocado (of course), jicama juice, serranitos and chile de arbol. AMAZING.

Visit: cenzontletulum


Ahau Tulum

Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km. 6, Zona Costera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. MexicoI

A toes-in-the-sand restaurant with a beautiful chilled-out atmosphere overlooking the azure waters of the Caribbean, Ahau prepare all their food with fresh, natural local ingredients and serve it up plenty of love. They make great fresh juices here so it’s a great wellness pit stop before cocktail hour.



Be Tulum

Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km. 10, Zona Hotelera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

This place is gorgeous. Service is super relaxed and friendly (so be prepared to take your time) and the restaurant and bar are architecturally stunning. To put it bluntly, this place oozes sex appeal – you half-expect supermodels to dine here. The food’s not bad either: known as ‘mariesas’ (a fusion of the Mediterranean and Mexicana), we plumped for steak tacos and oysters, both of which were very, very good. If you’re here at the weekend, get dressed up and go listen to the live music but do book ahead as it’s popular.



Casa Banana

Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km. 8.5, Zona Hotelera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

For all you meat lovers, this urban, rustic Argentinian/Caribbean restaurant will have you salivating. It is seriously good. They grill steaks the traditional Argentinian way and use a variety of unique ingredients from the local community. They do a meat-lovers plate with homemade chorizo, empanadas and classic Bife de chorizo is sure to satisfy. Follow with a glass of smooth Malbec and you could be forgiven for thinking you’d washed up accidentally in Buenos Aires itself (which happens to be in our Top 5 cities in the world and on our list for next top wellness hot-spots for V&S)




Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km.5, Zona Hotelera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

Zamas was born out of a love affair with Tulum and it’s not hard to see why. Stunning views, a commitment to sourcing local ingredients and a talented visiting chef who brings new techniques and flavours to Zamas every season. They’re really into cross-cultural exchange and are famed for connecting travellers to the local culture through a common bond of foodie-ness. Our favourite thing on the menu was the naughty-but-nice ricotta doughnuts.

They also do great seafood salads and DO NOT under any circumstances miss their thin crust pizzas and gambas pil pil (shrimp appetiser with garlic and dried chillies). On weekends in the high season they do great live music and a BBQ. If you’ve come straight from the beach then saying ‘no’ to a ‘Chelada con Pacifico’ (a salt-rimmed glass full of ice with lime juice and icy cold beer) is basically a crime. Go now and don’t ask questions.




Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km.5.5, Zona Costera, 77766 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

Amansala is the original bikini boot camp. We would say this place is rustic eco-luxury so if you depend on air con, then this isn’t for you. However, what it lacks in mod-cons it more than makes up for in ocean views and cosy beds from which you can order some of their healthy treats. They do big salad bowls with fresh fish, chicken or tofu with generous portions. They also have a resident dog who will often pad up to you and say hello (but no feeding him!).



Mateo’s Mexican Grill

Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km.5.2, Manzana 10 Lote, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

Mateo’s has a great sunset lounge with ocean and jungle views.  remember to bring your loosest clothing for this one. The juices are varied, fresh and the service is quick so it’s a great place to go when you’re absolutely in need of a quick meal. The food is plentiful and excellent: great fish tacos, guacamole and the freshest coconut juice (straight from the tree).  Coconut is one of the healthiest treats known to man –  filling you up with electrolytes – essential after a day in the sun, swimming in the local cenotes, or fresh off your yoga mat and a thrilling kite-boarding session. Mateo’s is a comfortable, friendly, easy place to go when you don’t want to think too hard. Bonus – they also have live music on most weekend nights.

Visit: mateosmexicangrill


Juanita Diavola @ Coco’s

Address: Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km.7, Zone Hotelera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico

Here we found the coolest bar made out of whitewashed wood with handmade swings for a rustic, quirky atmosphere. Although this place is located along the same stretch of sand as the other recommendations, it really stood out as something special. In fact it’s breathtaking.  It’s cool, eclectic with simple, great food. The freshly made pizzas were damn tasty and especially good when accompanied by one of their signature smoothies.



Farmer’s Markets

On Sundays, head to the beach at Ahau Tulum. There’s a seed exchange, organic produce for sale, a sweat lodge and music. You’ll also find something called Frida’s Organic Market which runs each Saturday, from 1pm to 5pm in the winter and 4pm to 7pm in the summer months, in the gardens of Frida’s Hostel in the southern part of Tulum. Local growers bring honey, baked goods, granola and jarred salsas and all items are produced and grown locally using organic farming methods. The market is called ‘Mercado Comunitario de Tulum’ – check their Facebook page for details.


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