Cozumel’s food scene isn’t as developed as Playa Del Carmen’s or Tulum, as a lot is geared to transient cruise passengers just stopping in for the day but there are some gems and good places to visit beyond the cheesy Senor Frog and similar bar/restaurants. Unfortunately, many of them were closed on New Year’s Day so we didn’t get to try all of them. In this post, we share tips and reviews of the places we ate at during our visit to Cozumel.
For an upscale dinner – Buccano’s At Night:
During the day, Buccano’s is a beach club a short walk away from the Westin and at night from Wednesday through to Sunday, it turns into an upscale ocean view dining terrace. We made a reservation online as it does get quite full and unfortunately, it was raining so we didn’t get to sit outside. The menu is a mix of appetizers and main courses that showcase seafood and other items, done in a contemporary way. Since this was our first real meal of the day, we decided to share 3 appetizers and one main. We had the ‘catch of the day’ sashimi, the blackened fish panuchos, the Oaxaca cheese squares and the seafood skewer. We also each had 2 cocktails which were delicious and a good choice instead of wine or beer for us. In total, the meal came up to $100USD + tip which was really good value. Had we had a meal like this in Vancouver, it would have easily been double the price and with mediocre service.
To be honest, we were a little skeptical about Buccano’s because it looked a little cheesy and chichi, but the service, the food, cocktails, and overall experience was worth it. We also appreciated how they encouraged us to order appetizers and share an entree, which is something many establishments of this caliber frown upon. While we didn’t have any room for dessert as usual, we did appreciate the complimentary truffles they gave us. Give this place a try, you won’t be disappointed!
More information: http://www.buccanos.com/buccanos-at-night.htm
For casual Mexican food in a bistro-style setting – El Cielito Lindo:
We will be honest and say that Cielito Lindo wasn’t our top choice for New Year’s Day dinner but since so many places were closed, it was one of the only options available ( I am always skeptical of restaurants that are highly rated in Lonely Planet…sorry, not sorry!). Not only did they help us park our scooter, they also accommodated our request to eat outside in a less busy spot. We decided to share the ceviche trio and the cochinita pibil entree. Ceviche is one of my favorite things and while these were good, one of them lacked flavour or seasoning. As for the cochinita, it was also very good and we appreciated how they made the tortillas fresh. I’m a big fan of mezcal margaritas and enjoyed theirs more than the one I had at Cervercia Punta Sur (lesson learned: don’t order margaritas at craft beer bars!).
Cielito Lindo was the right balance between street-food and fine-dining: it was casual and comfortable, with reasonable prices and good service. We were worried it might be a tourist trap for cruise ship passengers, but it wasn’t.
More information: http://cielitolindo.restaurantwebexperts.com/
For tacos and guacamole – Cuatro Tacos:
Cuatro Tacos is a no-frills modern taco restaurant in town. Their tacos and guacamole are freshly made and served with a selection of cold beers and drinks. They do cater to tourists but we enjoyed our tacos and guacamole. The guacamole was very filling so we had trouble eating two tacos each. The tacos are more expensive than the small taco stands but it is very convenient to get here.
If you are looking for decent tacos, good service, and a comfortable setting, you will enjoy Cuatro Tacos!
More information: https://www.facebook.com/CuatroTacosCozumel
For pizza and craft beer – Cerveceria Punta Sur:
Cerveceria Punta Sur is the only craft brewery on Cozumel and is located in town and draw a mix between locals and beer geeks visiting Cozumel. On our first visit, we tried a few of the beers but after seeing how good the pizzas looked, we decided to go back for dinner one night. In addition to pizza, they have other food like empenadas, salads, and guacamole.
We really enjoyed the beer, the pizza and the service here and recommend you give it a try. If craft beer is not to your liking, they also have domestic Mexican beer and cocktails.
More information: http://cerveceriapuntasur.com/
For craft beer and snacks – La Internacional Cozumel:
When we were at Cerveceria Punta Sur, the waitress told us about La Internacional Cozumel for craft beer and food. The kitchen was closed while we were there but they did have a nice elevated patio and selection of beers.
More information: https://www.instagram.com/laintercozumel/
We did enjoy the food we had in Cozumel and we were pleasantly surprised by the diversity and quality since the island is the busiest when cruise ships are docked. When we were driving on the scooter, we saw a very busy taco stand but by the time we could go back and check it out, it was closed. People live in Cozumel but it does feel pretty small and quiet so it can be harder to find the highly regarded places locals eat. It is also difficult to find information about places sometimes so if you see something interesting that’s open, just try it!
Have you been to Cozumel? Do you have anything to add to this list?
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