Here is my list of the best Puerto Morelos restaurants. It includes the best breakfast spots, a great beach bar to make friends, and one of the best live music bars I found while traveling throughout Quintana Roo. I didn’t know much about the town when I decided to go there, but this town was my best surprise from my time in Mexico.
I had booked just one week here, but great restaurants, live music, and the strong WiFi in the area that made Puerto Morelos a great place for digital nomads led me to extend my stay for a full month. These are just some of the best Puerto Morelos restaurants and bars.
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Where is Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos, Mexico is a small fishing town located about halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. I had no idea what to expect, other than what I had heard from other YouTube creators like Tangerine Travels and My Trish Advisor (follow them both to learn lots of great things about Mexico!!!). But I found out Puerto Morelos might be the best beach town in Quintana Roo. And it has a reef for snorkeling just 300 meters offshore.
is Puerto Morelos Safe
Puerto Morelos is very safe. It is a small town, and the beach area has a large ex-pat community.
Best Restaurants in Puerto Morelos
The biggest reason I was so surprised is the sheer number of fantastic restaurants Puerto Morelos has for such a small town. Larger cities like Playa del Carmen have overpriced tourist traps and can survive serving mediocre food to new tourists that arrive each week. But because Puerto Morelos has many permanent residents and foreigners that spend every winter here, the restaurants must be good to survive. They thrive on repeat business.
We had several of the most romantic and best meals in Mexico here at Boquinete. The main dining room overlooks the beach, and there is a small section that extends out towards the water for a more private experience. They also have tables down on the sand and sometimes live music.
The menu has great seafood, with several types of ceviche, braised octopus, and fresh fish. One of my favorite items is the Pescado (fish) Zarandeado, which is a whole fish opened up, coated in chiles and spices, and then grilled over a wood fire. This style comes from the western city of Nayarit (it looks similar to the Yucatan Tikin-xic style).
Although Boquinete (pictured above as thumbnail for this post) is my pick for the best restaurant in Puerto Morelos, I’ve listed a couple others below that have valid claims.
For a more romantic atmosphere with both live music and great food, the best Puerto Morelos restaurant is probably Tanino’s. They have a beautiful back courtyard, and this is my favorite place to stop for wine and listen to live music that doesn’t overpower the space.
They serve an array of items from land and sea, as well as several pasta dishes as well as a great wine list.
El Campanario could be the most loved Puerto Morelos restaurant by expats. It’s an Argentinean restaurant, with the best steak in town. Cuts of filet and a T-bone are priced under $20 USD. Plus, they have Argentinean favorites like empanadas and choripan (chorizo sandwich).
La Sirena is a restaurant in Puerto Morelos that serves locally inspired Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on Greek food. It is also the best place to watch NFL games (I watched the Super Bowl here). They have various activities on their rooftop as well as live music.
Best Breakfast in Puerto Morelos
Once I found that Mangata has some of the best breakfast in Puerto Morelos, I came here more mornings than anywhere else. They also have super fast WiFi that allowed me to work there, which is important to me as a digital nomad. Their Facebook page markets themselves as a health food restaurant, and they did sneak spinach into my chilaquiles, but I loved this place despite my aversion to “healthy food.” They have a huge smoothie selection as well.
Lola y Moyo
Lola y Moyo is truly “Grandma’s Kitchen.” It’s a Puerto Morelos restaurant popular among residents for breakfast, and each time I came here I met regulars. Anytime I see new dishes somewhere I need to try them, and the Tarascos (eggs over a corn tortilla with ham, beans, and green salsa) was my favorite breakfast dish in town but of course the huevos rancheros with a chunkier tomato salsa (pictured above) was a go-to as well.
Local Coffee, is… well, just as it seems…. a coffee shop. With a whole selection of lattes, tea, and smoothies, you can grab one to go or stay a while and have some good breakfast.
Having a good avocado toast seems to be a requirement here in Mexico. But the coconut French toast became one of my regular items as did the simple breakfast sandwich. This is where my girlfriend Janice sat and worked nearly every day.
Cafe de Amancia
Cafe Amancia is a great restaurant for breakfast and coffee, although I usually got the mocha made with Mexican chocolate. WiFi here is the fastest I have found at any coffee shop in the area (170 Mbps), almost as fast as coworking spaces in Playa del Carmen and Cancun. I worked remotely from here many mornings.
Where to Find Live Music
Lauro’s is THE bar for live music in Puerto Morelos. The owner, Hector, is an amazing guitarist and plays occasionally by himself or with a guest singer. But most nights, other local bands will be playing. One night I was here a big group was in town for a birthday, and one woman who had won a Grammy Award in theater got up and sung several songs with him. While the music is the main draw, stay for the food. All dishes are served in a molcajete. when it comes to live music, this is easily the best bar in Puerto Morelos.
The Best Beach Bar
Diving Lodge Downtown
I found the Diving Lodge Downtown to be the friendliest bar in Puerto Morelos. How can you explain how great a Dive bar right on the beach is? They have cocktails named after some of their best customers, and I aspire to become one of these great customers. It’s a decent walk from downtown, but you can spend the whole day here in their beach chairs.
Other Great Restaurants
The Burger Underground
The Burger Underground has not only the best burgers in Puerto Morelos. It also has one of the best burgers I found in all of Quintana Roo. They have several burger choices that are named after local customers, or you can build your own. The wings are pretty good too.
I don’t typically seek out burgers in Mexico. Afterall, it’s easy to find great burgers back home in the U.S. and I’d typically rather try Mexican cuisine. So, if I’m including a burger joint, then you know it’s good (so far my only other top tier burger recommendation is the Juicy Lucy at what was formerly called Madera Food & art that now goes by Aurora Cocina & Bar in Isla Mujeres which you can read about here).
John Gray's Kitchen
Listed as an “American Restaurant,” you’ll find specials that often include roasted duck breast, grilled pork loin, and a catch of the day. It’s one of the more expensive restaurants in Puerto Morelos.
Carles and his wife could be the nicest restaurant owners in all of Puerto Morelos. It’s a very casual spot along the beach near the Malecon, and a great place to enjoy an afternoon beer with the beach just a few steps away. I typically order snacks and smaller items here like the tostadas and ceviche.
Best Hotels in Puerto Morelos
The Fives Oceanfront
The Fives Oceanfront Hotel is quite simply the best hotel in Puerto Morelos that is on the beach and near the beach town area. It’s pretty much the last hotel on the beach to the north, so it’s about a 15-minute walk to the busy area with most restaurants and bars. But don’t let this stop you from staying here.
You can choose the all-inclusive option or forgo it. I don’t necessarily tell people to skip the all-inclusive in Puerto Morelos, but there are so many great restaurants in town that you would be seriously missing out by having all your meals here.
There are two pools – one beachside and also a rooftop pool. And for restaurants they have the Italian Al Mare and Romarley Beach House with a reggae vibe beside the beach.
We Hotel Puerto Morelos
If you don’t care about being directly on the beach, then the We Hotel is the best budget hotel in Puerto Morelos. It is only a few years old, so it’s very clean and nice for a no-frills hotel. There is a small rooftop pool, but it can be cold in the winter months. If you want to spend your time checking out the town, visiting cenotes, or exploring the surrounding area rather than spending your days lounging at a pool, then this is the best option. The Italian restaurant on the first floor is pretty good too.
When I came to Puerto Morelos for the first time, I booked one week at this hotel and ended up extending to three weeks.
Resorts Near Puerto Morelos
There are many resorts to the north and south of Puerto Morelos. Many of these are all-inclusive and require a taxi to get to town. They are great if you want to spend most of your days at the resort, doing organized excursions, and perhaps coming into town once or twice. Some of the best are:
Dreams Jade Resort & Spa: All-Inclusive
Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya: Great for families who want a premium experience with a waterpark.
Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa: All-Inclusive
Desire Riviera Maya Pearl Resort: Caters to couples in “the lifestyle”