Playa del Carmen has great restaurants. But my favorite meal isn’t Italian, seafood, or even tacos (gasp!). My favorite meal is breakfast, and so I have created a list of places with the best breakfast in Playa del Carmen. If you have never had Chilaquiles, then you must try this traditional Mexican dish. Or you can find things like huevos rancheros, huevos motuleños, or huevos divorciados (2 eggs on tortillas – one covered in red salsa and the other in green salsa). But with visitors and expats from all over the world, you can find many types of breakfast options.
This is where you can find a great breakfast in Playa del Carmen near the main tourist areas, with some a bit further out.
Best Breakfast in Playa del Carmen
La Cueva del Chango (Top Pick)
La Cueva del Chango is my top pick for best breakfast in Playa del Carmen’s main tourist area that gives you a taste of Mexican cuisine. It is located on the prettiest street in Playa del Carmen (Calle 38) and tucked away in the trees. Most tables are outside in the courtyard, but they have some that are covered in case of rain. Try the one of the several varieties of chilaquiles: fried tortillas made with different chiles and red or green sauce, molletes (traditional open-faced sandwich with fried beans, and cheese), huevos rancheros, or huevos Motuleños (fried eggs with peas, ham, and tomato sauce).
I also recommend their sister restaurant Amate 38, right across the street.
El Hongo (Top Pick)
If you want to venture further out of the downtown area, you can find some restaurants that are hidden gems. But you might need a car or to hail a taxi, as some places are a bit of a trip or hidden on quiet streets within small neighborhoods. Both are the case with El Hongo, although if you’re staying in the Playacar neighborhood you could potentially walk here. It’s a colorful little spot with some of the same items you’ll find elsewhere, but also has Mexican dishes like chicken tostadas, gorditas, or come back at lunch for some great mole.
Bonus: It’s not breakfast, but about a block away from El Hongo is a place called Anafre, which is a top dinner pick to get away from the busy 5th Ave area.
Best Breakfast - Uptown
I had breakfast here more than any other place in Playa del Carmen. Sure, that’s partly because I lived a block away… but I assure you I wouldn’t go if I didn’t love it. It’s a casual and reasonably priced breakfast restaurant, and I could probably eat the egg and chorizo tacos or the Mexican scrambled eggs with a side of tortilla chips every morning. Que Huevos is in the very north of the downtown area, just past Av. CTM so it is a little further from most hotels. The area has is a mix of foreigners living here longer term and locals.
Right next to Que Huevos, is Capitan Sandwich. It has a small menu of egg dishes, chilaquiles, and you guessed it…. sandwiches. My favorite is the ham and egg tostada, which is essentially an open-faced sandwich. But their best-known dish might be the giant stack of hotcakes which are served with jam, fruit, Nutella, and syrup. Good luck trying to finish them on your own!
Best Breakfast - French Bakeries
Chez Celine is one of the most popular breakfast spots in Playa del Carmen, and so it will be busy almost every morning. It’s also conveniently located right on 5th Ave. You can find an assortment of homemade sweet pastries inside and tables outside for full food service. They have a full menu of hot and cold coffee drinks. And then the large menu includes everything from omelets, to quiche, crepes, and really almost anything. Prices are in line with spots that cater to tourists.
Choux Choux Cafe
Despite its smaller menu and pastry selection vs the other two French Bakeries, Choux Choux Cafe could be my favorite of them. It’s only a few blocks off the main strip on 20th Ave, and typically has a young crowd because of good WiFi for digital nomads. Weekend brunch will be busy, and there will usually be digital nomads working at the back tables during the week. I’m a big fan of the quiche Lorraine, breakfast tacos, and salmon benedict.
Another great spot on 38th Street is LaBrioche. They have an assortment of breads and pastries in addition to a full typical breakfast menu with things like scrambled eggs, omeletes, and eggs benedict.
Best Breakfast - West of 5th Ave
Bajo Cafe is a coffee shop and breakfast spot in Mercado 30, a small market with several other small food counters. You’ll generally find digital nomads spread throughout the outdoor market working on their laptops. They are often people living in town for an extended period of time rather than people on vacation for the week.
Cafe orange is a small local spot with both Mexican breakfast and non-Mexican dishes. Because it’s a few blocks off 5th Ave, the prices are much better.
Breakfast in Downtown and Playacar
What started in 2010 as a small shack selling antojitos (small street snacks) has now serves up some of the best breakfast in Playa del Carmen. Their burritos and gorditas are what originally made this place popular, but they have now expanded to a larger menu. And a few years ago, they even expanded into the U.S., opening a 2nd location in Flagstaff, Arizona. I haven’t been that that one yet, so someone let me know how it is!
Recommendation: the egg and chorizo gorditas are my favorite
Lara & Luca
Lara & Luca advertises themselves as a French inspired cafe, so you will find many great egg dishes, muffins, pastries, and coffee here. It’s located along the edge of the Playacar neighborhood behind the airport.
Local Breakfast Spots
La Ceiba de la 30
Once you get as far west as 30th Avenue, you will start getting a much more local crowd. There will still be tourists and expats (or longer-term visitors) but you will find that few seem to venture past this avenue. One spot I like here is La Ceiba de la 30. It is attached to a small fruit and vegetable market. For breakfast, they have eggs, several varieties of chilaquiles, and an array of tropical juices.
It’s hard to find a place that feels more local than El Huerto near downtown. In a small green and orange building, it has just a few tables and a handful seats at the outside counter where you can watch your breakfast being made. Egg breakfasts are around $3 USD and tostadas and flautas are the equivalent of $1.25 USD each. This could be the best breakfast in Playa del Carmen if you’re on a tight budget.