Playa del Carmen is filled with great restaurants. But my favorite meal isn’t Italian, seafood, or even tacos (gasp!). My favorite meal is breakfast, and luckily Playa del Carmen has many great breakfast spots to choose from. 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.
These are some of the best breakfast restaurants in Playa del Carmen that are more centered around the main tourist areas, with some a bit further out
Top Breakfast Picks in Playa del Carmen
La Cueva del Chango (Top Pick)
La Cueva del Chango is my top pick for something in the main tourist area that gives you a taste of Mexican cuisine. It is on the perhaps the prettiest street in Playa 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 gems. But you’ll either want a car or the number for a taxi as some places are hidden on quiet streets within small neighborhoods. This is the case with El Hongo. It’s a colorful little spot with some of the same items you’ll find elsewhere, but also 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.
Uptown Breakfast Spots
I had breakfast here more than any other place in Playa del Carmen. sure, 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 spot, and I could eat the breakfast tacos with chorizo or the Mexican scrambled eggs with a side of tortilla chips every day. It’s in the very north of the downtown area, in an area that is a little further form most hotels and 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!
This place will be busy almost every morning as its not only a great spot, but also 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 that it doesn’t have the pastry selection of the other two, this could be my favorite of these. It’s a bit further off the main strip on 20th Ave, and typically has a young crowd with good WiFi. 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.
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 people spread throughout the outdoor market working on their laptops. They will likely be people living in town rather than people on vacation for the week.
Downtown and Playacar
What started in 2010 as a small shack selling antojitos (small street snacks) has now turned into one of the best casual breakfast spots in town. 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
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. 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. 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.