I embarked upon a mission to find the best tacos in Playa del Carmen while I was living there. Tacos are a staple of Mexican cuisine and the most popular Mexican street food. In this quest, I found there is no single authentic Mexican taco, as there are many types of tacos that come from the different areas of Mexico. Even though none are from the state of Quintana Roo, these are some of the best tacos in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Al Pastor Tacos at El Fogón
El Fogón is probably the most famous taqueria and often regarded by visitors as having the best tacos in Playa del Carmen. And I agree. The al pastor tacos might be my favorite tacos in Playa, which are pork cooked on a vertical rotating spit and served with pineapple. There are 2 locations.
Birria Tacos at Birria de la 30
Birria tacos are a style from Jalisco, a western state of Mexico. The meat is slow cooked like a stew in adobo spices. The tortillas are then dipped in the adobo sauce and heated on the grill, so they turn orange and crisp. These birria tacos at Birria de la 30 might just be the best tacos in Playa del Carmen.
Street Cart Tacos
There are several areas in Playa del Carmen where you can find great street cart tacos, especially along 30th Ave (Avenida 30). Because this is a few blocks off of the main tourist strip of 5th Ave, the tacos here are generally less expensive and catered towards locals. Spots that you can find groups of street carts are:
Tripe Tacos at Taqueria Gomez
Tripe is the stomach lining from cows or other animals, and so tripe tacos aren’t very popular with tourists. But if you want to try them, Taqueria Gomez has some of the best tacos in Playa del Carmen near the main tourist area.
Historically, the wealthy people have been able to afford higher quality cuts of meat, and poorer classes were left with the less desirable cuts and a no waste attitude towards food. Since tripe was inexpensive, it became popular ingredient for tacos among the poor working-class Mexicans… a food of the people you might say.
Alternatives: A little further from downtown Playa del Carmen on Avenida Benito Juarez is Taquerias el Ñero. You will find more locals here along with tacos made with tripe, lengua (tongue), and even ojo (eyes).
If you have a car or another form of transportation, you might want to cross the highway and try Tacos Diaz. I was told by many locals and permanent residents that these are the best tacos in Playa del Carmen. Try the Tacos de Sesos (brain tacos) if you dare!
Tacos Arabes at Bait Lajam
Tacos Arabes are a style that comes from middle eastern immigrants and is served on a pita style bread rather than corn tortillas. True Arabes style is beef or lamb, but due to local preferences, they can also be served with pork. You can try them at Bait Lajam on Calle 32 near the corner of Ave 10.