Rooftop sunset views at Tulum overlooking the jungle and ocean

Tacos, Tostadas, TULUM!

the good life Feb 09, 2021

Who knew Tulum was such a foodie town?! My husband and I recently returned from a 7 day/6 night trip to Tulum, Mexico to celebrate his 40th birthday.  Our original plan was to go snowboarding in Japan, but a global pandemic has pushed that trip to a later date.  So the ocean and a beach were the next best thing!  


Tulum Dining Guide

I have received many inquiries about our trip, what we did, where we stayed, and the restaurants we visited.  I’m going to answer all of those questions in a series of blog posts to go into further detail about each.  To kick off this blog series, I’m going to start with the FOOD!  One of my favorite things about traveling is experiencing a culture through their food.  Any time we travel to a coastal location, I have seafood at least once a day.  Living in the land-locked state of Colorado I feel like I have to take advantage of that fresh seafood!  (Even though Denver has fresh seafood flown in daily).

Prior to leaving for our trip, I had done some research on Pinterest to find blogs related to food in Tulum.  As I was doing my research, I was beginning to see that Tulum was going to offer us a fantastic culinary experience!  Before arriving in Tulum, I had made us a reservation at Kitchen Table and Casa Jaguar.  (You’ll find my review of each below.)  

One thing to note about Tulum is the restaurants in the beach/hotel zone appeared to be a little more pricy than the restaurants in town.  The cost of dinner was about the same price or more than a nice dinner out in Denver.  Here’s everywhere we dined during our stay!

Breakfast

Fresco’s - The restaurant is part of The Beach Tulum and was just a short 15-minute walk from our hotel.  Like most of the restaurants in Tulum, this open-air restaurant was the perfect stop for a fresh breakfast!  After ordering, we received complimentary bread that appeared to have dates, nuts, and coconut with some house-made jam and peanut butter.  I got the avocado toast with a poached egg and not only did it look delicious, but it also tasted delicious!

Mateo’s - We stopped by Mateo’s on our way out of town to visit the ruins in Coba and ordered the breakfast burritos to go.  The burrito was filled with egg, cheese, potatoes, and peppers and served with a side of sour cream and guacamole.  The guacamole had a great tang from the fresh lime juice.  These burritos were filling and perfect to fuel our adventures exploring Coba and checking out 3 different cenotes near Coba.

Oliva’s Marketplace - Olivia’s was part of our hotel’s restaurant offerings.  We grabbed smoothies here a couple of times for breakfast and once for lunch.  They do offer a full breakfast and lunch menu as well.  I highly recommend the Keto Key Lime and Mango Tango smoothies.

Ki’Bok Coffee - We stopped at this place in town after getting our COVID test.  While I was trying to actually direct us to a different breakfast place, I saw this place and changed the plan.  I had read that Ki’Bok has the best coffee in Tulum so of course, I had to check it out!  We ordered iced lattes, chilaquiles with an egg. I loved the vibe of this place!  And they had great music playing as well.

Matcha Mama - We met at Matcha Mama in town for our SUP Yoga adventure.  I had read that Matcha Mama’s was a must-stop spot and could not wait to try one of their famous smoothie bowls!  Each option can be enjoyed as a smoothie or smoothie bowl.  I opted for the bowl while my husband opted for the smoothie since he was driving.  I wish we would have had a little more time to enjoy the super cute and photo-worthy spot.  Matcha Mama has 3 different locations so check out.  Although a quick google search will probably only give you the Hotelera Zona location.  You can use this link to plug the town location into your google map.

Matcha Mama


Lunch:

Hotelito Azul Beach Club - In Tulum, hotels offer beach clubs for you to enjoy a lounger and the beach.  Most will charge around 400 pesos (about $20 USD) for use of their beach club.  Some may waive that fee if you spend a certain amount on food and drink.  Hotelito Azul was the boutique hotel we stayed at which gave us access to their beach club.  We had lunch at the beach club one day - chips and guacamole and a burger with fried potatoes.  The guacamole was excellent and the rest just checked the box of getting some food in our belly.  It wasn’t bad but just a little bland.  It was very convenient to order from our beach lounger and have it delivered right to us, however.  

Restaurante la Tatemada - On our drive back to Tulum from our adventure in Coba we decided to stop at this lively restaurant located between the towns of Francisco Uh Ma and Marcario Gomez.  The music was flowing and there were a fair amount of patrons enjoying a late lunch.  We were given a complimentary soup and chips with salsa.  (Eat the salsa with caution it is extremely HOT!  Dip a corner of your chip before loading it up to ensure you can handle the heat.)  While we had a bit of mix-up with the order due to a language barrier, we still thoroughly enjoy our shrimp and fish tostadas.  I’m all for ambiance and this place brought that authentic Mexican experience.

Ziggy’s - A friend recommended we check out Ziggy’s once she learned that we were in Tulum.  This definitely my favorite lunch on the beach.  We ordered the ceviche and tuna nachos.  I LOVE ceviche and Ziggy’s has many ceviche options available.  The tuna nachos were 3 layers of Asian-inspired wontons and raw tuna.  The portions were surprisingly large and easy to share.  The meal also came with complimentary chips and dip.  If we would have had another night in Tulum, we would have been back for dinner.

Los Aguachiles - Los Aguachiles was recommended for lunch by Nancy from SUP Yoga Tulum after our morning of SUP yoga on a private biosphere lagoon just outside of Tulum.  Aquachile translates to chile water.  In many instances, the water is lime juice.  I had the aguachile shrimp tostada, ceviche tostada, and fish taco - all were very delicious!  Be sure to try all of the sauces they bring to your table as well as the large tortilla chips and add them to your meal.  My favorite was the green sauce!  The clear/cloudy sauce in the smaller bottle packs a little heat as well.  Just like the salsa at ……..you will want to taste a little first before committing to loading your chip up.

Taqueria Hornorio - This was our last stop in Tulum before heading to the airport in Cancun.  We drove into town to grab some lunch and had an idea of where we wanted to go.  But then we made a wrong turn and ended up driving by this bustling place and I had a feeling that we would not want to miss out on this place!  Now that I’m writing this blog, I’m seeing a lot of reviews as this place arguably has the best tacos in town and I could not agree more!  I had the 3 different styles of pork tacos while my husband had a taco and quesadilla.  He said the quesadilla may have been one of the top things he ate all week!  We also ordered the guacamole and chips which was a very generous portion (we had to request more chips!).  The server also brought a caddy of salsas and fresh lime to the table for us to use with our tacos and guac.  Again, beware of that super spicy salsa!  Taqueria Hornorio is open from 6a-3p daily.  Also, note that they do not serve any alcohol but I promise you won’t miss it!


Dinner:

el Tabano - We ended up at this place our very first night mainly because it was close to our hotel and we were STARVING!  The boho ambiance was right up my alley and the tacos checked the box of getting some food in our bellies ASAP.  Complimentary chips and salsa were served as well.

Bal Nak - This place was also recommended by the friend who recommended Ziggy’s and oh man, was it delicious!!!  Everything from the cocktails, to the appetizer, to the entrees, were delectable!  And the service was top-notch as well!  This place is a must if you visit Tulum!

Ukami - Our original plans had us traveling to Japan for my husband’s 40th birthday.  But when the pandemic hit, we had to change up those plans and ended up in Tulum.  So we thought it only fitting to have sushi while in Tulum!  While not the most amazing sushi we’ve ever had, I did appreciate the Mexican twist to traditional sushi dishes.  

Mina - Located on the north end of Tulum Beach, this place was recommended to us by another hotel guest.  It was a bit of a disappointment.  The food lacked flavor and the cocktails were weak.  I recommend you skip this place.

Kitchen Table -  I made reservations at Kitchen Table before arriving in Tulum for the night of my husband’s birthday.  This restaurant had a fantastic ambiance and was located right in the jungle! That being said, this was the first time we really experienced mosquitos.  But the staff is prepared for it and walked through the restaurant with a thurible to smoke out the mosquitoes as well as offered bug spray.  The cocktails were fabulous and the food delicious!  The pork belly was the best I’ve ever had.  I strongly recommend you check out this place!

Casa Jaguar - Every travel or foodie blog I stumbled upon while researching Tulum recommended Casa Jaguar.  I’m here to tell you to skip this hyped-up place.  While the appetizer - camarones de aquachiles - and cocktails were great, the entrees were a huge disappointment.  My octopus and potatoes were swimming and oil and lacked flavor while my husband’s steak was pretty bland as well.  This place was packed and the ambiance more of a club in a jungle rather than the high-end restaurant we thought we were visiting (as reflected on the bill that accompanied our visit).  Had I been 10 years younger, single and it not have been pandemic, I may have enjoyed the vibe even though the food was lacking.  


I hope this guide helps you navigate through some of the restaurants in Tulum.  Of course, there are many more to explore!  If you go or have been, make sure to leave me a comment on the other must-stop restaurants so I can try them out the next time I visit Tulum!

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