There are places I have visited that have simply captivated me. Santorini was one of them. London. Portland. Tulum was another.
I hadn’t been to Tulum in years even though my mom lives an hour away, in Cancun. I finally went back in January and found that it had grown and changed so much – in a positive way. We stayed for 3 nights, but one was enough for me to fall in love with this place. Beautiful Rustic. Sustainable. Packed with eco-friendly boutique hotels. Raw. Bohemian. Chic. Visually unpretentious, yet sophisticated. Gorgeous beaches, amazing food, and a chill environment.
After those 3 days I didn’t want to leave and seriously considered moving there (at least temporarily). I honestly called a realtor to ask for property prices in the area. I still see myself living there – maybe someday.
So a few days ago I left NYC and came home for a small vacation and decided to hit the road and go back. And I fell in love – yet again.
There are quite a few restaurants and more are slowly popping up, but there are some you should definitely not miss. They all have the same feel to them – open-air kitchens, amazing + unique decor, rustic cuisine, candle-lit in the evenings – yet all are unique in their own way. The best part? The ingredients are super fresh – specially the fish, which is bought daily from local fishermen.
WARNING: you will encounter the following difficulties when visiting these places:
1. They get fairly packed and you may well have to wait an hour or two for a table if you arrive too late. Get there before 6 or 7 pm – and take cash. Most of these are cash-only.
2. It’s extremely hard to choose what you’ll want to eat from their amazing menus!
Here go my picks for Tulum’s best (and trendiest) restaurants:
1. Posada Marguerita
Also a hotel – stay there if you can. Owned by an Italian tattooed guy (Alessandro), this restaurant sits right on the beach. Their breakfast is amazing (even the menu itself is cool), and for lunch and diner they offer fresh Italian food – including gluten free pasta.
Owned by 2 former New Yorkers, Mya Werner and Jack Henry. They visited Tulum, loved it and made the move to Mexico to open their restaurant. Werner was a chef at Peasant and Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn (two of my favorites, may I add) and Henry used to be at the Soho Grand Hotel. They only operate using electricity generated by solar panels, and their menu changes on a daily basis depending on what’s available.
Only opens for dinner.
3. Casa Jaguar
Great for drinks and dinner as well. It’s quite close to Hartwood, so if you aren’t able to make it to both, visit Casa Jaguar for drinks and appetizers while you wait for your table at Hartwood. Great oven pizza and Asian-Mexican fusion cuisine. Live music and an extremely friendly staff.
4. Casa Banana
Oldie but goodie. A man and his wife once owned a beachfront house and a kitchen across the road. With time, they grew – their home turned into a hotel and their kitchen into a restaurant. Casa Banana is now a seafood and steak house offering wood-oven Argentinean cuisine.
I’d say it’s the most unexplored of these spots – it’s a welcoming restaurant with funky seating options in the middle of the jungle. Funky, friendly staff. Amazing rice with coconut and dried fruit.
The Facebook Page
El Tabano Tulum
6. Off the beaten path: El Camello
Caters more to locals and is not on the main strip, but is a great spot you should try if you can. Don’t expect a hip, beautiful spot, but do expect some of the best fish and seafood in town.