Some of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen are located on 38th Street (Calle 38). This is perhaps the most beautiful street in Playa and in a quieter area than more downtown. It leads from the busy 5th Ave right to the beach. These are best restaurants on 38th St, including one that is also a beautiful cocktail bar.
La Perla Pixan
La Perla Pixan is a restaurant and Mezcaleria that specializes in various dishes from around Mexico, with a particular focus on traditional pre-Hispanic food. You can even try Chapulines (grasshoppers) here. The Chile Relleno is fantastic and the octopus gordito is one of my favorite appetizers. Their mezcal cocktails are among the best in playa, but make sure you also try the pulque (traditional alcohol from the region).
Best For: Pre-Hispanic food and mezcal cocktails
La Cueva de Chango
La Cueva del Chango is of the most popular restaurants on 38th Street for breakfast. Despite the large outdoor courtyard tucked away into the trees, weekend brunch will often have a short wait… And for good reason. They have great chilaquiles offered with several different red or green salsas as well as molletes (bread with refried beans, cheese, and pico). They also have a variety of egg dishes, crepes, and healthy options.
You might even see monkeys climbing the trees overhead while you dine.
Best for: One of the best breakfast restaurants in Play del Carmen
Trujillo's Cantina De Selva
Trujillos could be the most beautiful and best cocktail bar in Playa del Carmen. Order some guacamole or elote to share at the bar, or they have a full menu.
They typically have Pox in stock as well, a liquor sipped by the Mayans during ceremonial purposes. Ask for a cocktail that uses it or for a small taste on the side and try it before it becomes known outside of Mexico.
Trujillos is only open in the evenings and is a great spot for dinner with friends or for one last drink before heading home.
Best for: One of the best cocktail bars in Playa del Carmen
Mariskinky advertises themselves as funky beach food with a variety of seafood focused small items and shareable dishes. The marlin tostadas are a favorite as are the selection of aguachiles.
But Mariskinky also has one of the best happy hours in Playa del Carmen. It is located on 38th St just to the west of 5th Ave and is a spot for a livelier atmosphere.
Best for: Happy hour and small food items
Amate 38 is a Playa del Carmen restaurant that specializes in dishes from around the Yucatan Peninsula. The chochinita pibil is my favorite, but you can’t go wrong with anything here. Their homemade salsa is also probably my favorite in all of Playa. And their brunch is very underrated and too often overlooked. I have a lot of great things to say about this restaurant!
Best for: Yucatan food, Mexican wine, and an underrated brunch spot
Labrioche is a French bakery and brunch spot. You’ll find the usual array of egg dishes for breakfast here plus some good pastries. The food can sometimes be hit or miss here, but overall I kept it in my breakfast rotation.
Best for: Breakfast and pastries