The 17 Best Restaurants in Cancun Hotel Zone That You Must Try in 2023
If you are looking for the best restaurants in Cancun Hotel Zone, you are in luck. Because I am a Cancun Resident and I love to try different restaurants
In this article, I will share some of my favorite restaurants in the Cancun hotel zone. The popular tourist area of Cancun boasts some of the most delicious and diverse dining options and although most of the eateries here are mainly high-end, you can also find some affordable yet delicious places.
No matter what your budget or preference is, you will find a restaurant that suits your needs in the Cancun Hotel Zone.
While in my other popular post on Cancun Restaurants, I share all the top restaurants in different areas of Cancun, in this one I will get more specific on the Hotel Zone Area and will share more different options.
So prepare your tastebuds for some of the best food in the Cancun Hotel Zone and join me in discovering the best restaurants.
Map of the Best Restaurants in Cancun Hotel Zone
In a rush? Best Restaurant in the Cancun Hotel Zone by Budgets
Budget Options: Taqueria Los Chachalacos
Midrange Options: Thai
High-End Options: Puerto Madero
Best Places to Eat in Cancun Hotel Zone: Mexican Cuisine
1. Restaurante Benazuza
Restaurante Benazuza is a unique dining experience that combines molecular gastronomy with Mexican influences.
At the time of writing this article, the restaurant is rated as the #7 restaurant in Cancun by TripAdvisor (where it has more than 2,000 glowing reviews).
The restaurant offers an 8+ course menu that takes you on a journey of flavors, textures, and emotions. Each dish is carefully crafted and presented with creativity and flair.
In essence, you are not just served a meal; you’re served an adventure for your senses that’ll be hard to forget.
2. Hacienda Sisal
Hacienda Sisal is an iconic restaurant in Cancun Hotel Zone that specializes in traditional Mexican grill and regional dishes. The restaurant has a cozy and rustic atmosphere, with colorful decorations and live music.
Their menu offers a variety of options, such as tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, mole, pozole, and more. There’s also a kids menu for your little ones. The portions are generous and the flavors are authentic. The on-site bar serves margaritas, tequila, beer, and wine.
Hacienda Sisal is a great place to enjoy a delicious meal with your family or friends. The restaurant is open daily for dinner and on Sundays for brunch. It is an authentic taste of Mexico in Cancun Hotel Zone that you don’t want to miss.
3. Carajillo Cancun
If you are looking for a place to enjoy a delicious fusion of Mexican and contemporary cuisine, be sure to try Carajillo Cancun. This restaurant offers a variety of dishes that will delight your palate, from tacos and ceviches to risottos and steaks.
The service is highly rated, and the atmosphere is cozy and elegant. You can also try their signature drink, the Carajillo, which is espresso mixed with a liquor that tastes better at Carajillo Cancun.
4. Mamazzita Cancun
Mamazzita Cancun is a Mexican restaurant that offers a wide range of dishes, from traditional favorites like tacos and enchiladas to more exotic options like seafood and steaks.
Mamazzita has a modern and colorful decor, with a cozy and inviting ambiance. Their food has received glowing reviews on TripAdvisor and beyond.
The restaurant also has a lively nightlife scene, with live music and DJs playing every night; there are also salsa nights every Friday and Saturday.
With its rustic and fun atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a tasty meal and have a good time with your loved ones.
5. Taqueria Los Chachalacos
Who doesn’t love tacos? And some people say that you haven’t really visited Mexico unless you eat authentic tacos in the country.
With Taqueria Los Chachaacos, you get to fulfill those taco cravings while staying within the Hotel Zone. As I covered in the beginning of this article, it’s easily of the best affordable restaurants in Cancun.
The taco restaurant is known for its authentic Mexican food with a touch of charcoal and comal flavor. There are a variety of dishes inspired by the 90s style of Mexico City, such as tacos, quesadillas, gringas, and more.
The meat is tender and juicy, the tortillas are handmade and the sauces are spicy and delicious. Many customers praise the quality, quantity, and affordability of the food, as well as the friendly and fast service.
Best restaurants in Cancun Hotel Zone for international cuisine
5. Ilios Greek Estiatorio (Greek and Mediterranean cuisine)
Ilios Greek Estiatorio Cancun is a restaurant that offers authentic Greek cuisine in a stylish and lively setting.
The restaurant is located in the hotel zone of Cancun, with a spacious parking lot and plenty of live entertainment options while you enjoy your delicious meal.
Customers who have visited Ilios Greek Estiatorio Cancun have praised its food quality, service, upbeat ambiance, and top-notch entertainment.
The restaurant has received glowing reviews across the board (at the time of writing this, it has an average rating of 5/5 stars on TripAdvisor).
Some of the most popular dishes are lamb chops, octopus, moussaka, and baklava. There are also Greek performances that take place on certain days.
7. Cambalache (Argentinian cuisine)
Cambalache is a steak house located in La Isla Shopping Mall, only 3.5 miles away from the infamous Playa Delfines.
The restaurant has cozy and elegant decor, with wooden furniture, warm lighting, and an inviting atmosphere which makes it a great place to celebrate your special occasions.
The restaurant has more than 30 years of experience and serves Argentinean cuisine with a variety of dishes, such as salads, pasta, empanadas, and grilled meats.
Customers love the quality and flavor of the food, especially the steaks, which are cooked to perfection and served with delicious sauces.
8. La Palapa Belga (French and Belgian cuisine)
This charming restaurant serves French-Belgian cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood. It is a true gem in the heart of the Hotel Zone, with 25 years of experience in serving up some of the best dishes in town.
If you’re a fan of traditional Belgian and French cuisine, you won’t want to miss out on their star dish, the mussel casserole.
One of the things that makes La Palapa Belga stand out is its stunning location right on the shores of the Nichupte lagoon, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
It’s the perfect spot to admire the full moon and enjoy the magical nights on the lagoon.
9. Puerto Madero (Mainly Argentinian cuisine)
Puerto Madero restaurant is a true gem of Cancun, offering an informal but elegant atmosphere, soft music, and warm Caribbean vibes that invite you to enjoy good food and some of the best service you’ll find in Mexico.
Their menu offers the best meat, fish, seafood, and lobster imported from different parts of the world and masterfully cooked in their exclusive Charcoal Grill.
The restaurant is situated on the edge of the lagoon, offering incredible sunset and marina/water views, making it one of the best places to admire the spectacular “Puesta de Sol” (sunset) every afternoon from the outdoor terrace.
10. Elefanta (Indian cuisine)
Elefanta Restaurant is a must-visit spot for those looking to experience the vibrant flavors and rich culture of India in the heart of Cancun.
Situated in Plaza la Isla, this restaurant offers breathtaking views of the Nichupté Lagoon from its garden or water tables, providing a serene and tranquil atmosphere that complements the dining experience.
One of the unique features of Elefanta Restaurant is the option to dine in a jungle hut or a bungalow over the lagoon, providing an intimate and immersive experience that heightens the senses.
With its commitment to honoring tradition and culture, along with its stunning views and impeccable service, Elefanta Restaurant is not to be missed if you’re a fan of Indian food.
Best Italian Restaurants in Cancun Hotel Zone
11. Bacoli Trattoria
Bacoli Trattoria restaurant is located at the Emporio Resort in the Cancun Hotel Zone. Even if you’re not staying at the resort itself, this restaurant is definitely worth a try if you’re a fan of Italian food. (Let’s be honest, who isn’t?)
The atmosphere here is styled to resemble a traditional Italian pizzeria with red and white checkered tablecloths, brick accents, and a brick-fired oven.
Reviews of this restaurant are glowing, praising the amazing drinks and food combined with the exceptional service.
The outstanding service provided by the servers is something that guests will remember long after their meal has ended.
Nicoletta Italian Kitchen in Cancun offers a comfortable and lively environment for those seeking authentic Italian cuisine.
The restaurant’s diverse menu includes classic Italian dishes, such as seasonal salads, house-made pastas, and specialty pizzas.
What sets this restaurant apart (according to hundreds of raving reviews) is its focus on friendly service, perfectly executed dishes, and an Italian-inspired bar that guarantees a memorable dining experience.
This restaurant has managed to maintain the essence of Italian traditions while incorporating local ingredients, resulting in unique and delicious flavors in every dish.
13. Limoncello Trattoria
Limoncello Trattoria is easily one of the most popular Italian restaurants in Cancun, offering customers a relaxed atmosphere and a diverse menu of delicious dishes.
It is also one of the best restaurants in Cancun with a view. With stunning views of Nichupte Lagoon, customers can savor the true flavors and aromas of authentic Italian cuisine, thanks to internationally acclaimed Chef Rino Balzano’s 35 years of experience.
The restaurant’s balance between sophistication and informality, together with attentive staff and Mexican hospitality, creates a perfect setting for a romantic evening or special occasion. With the attentive service of the staff and the delicious menu, you can be assured of a delightful dining experience.
With excellent food and top-notch service, Restaurante Chianti is a great spot for a special night out. The restaurant boasts beautiful decor, which creates a lovely ambiance for a memorable dinner.
You will find the staff to be incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, with waiters who are passionate about the food and attentive to the needs of their guests.
The food itself is prepared by talented chefs who use fresh ingredients to create delicious and flavorful dishes. The restaurant also features live music, adding to the already perfect atmosphere and delicious food.
Best Restaurants in the Cancun Hotel Zone: Asian Cuisines
Thai Restaurant offers an enchanting atmosphere with stunning views of the Nichupte Lagoon, providing an unforgettable dining experience.
The restaurant’s aim is to transport guests to Thailand, immersing them in the rich culture and flavors of the country.
Guests can choose to dine in a semi-indoor hut or a bungalow over the lagoon, accompanied by signature cocktails, providing a complete culinary experience.
Thai Restaurant’s concept is casual-formal, with tables in the garden and lagoon, providing a truly open-air dining experience.
16. Indochine (Nizuc Hotel & Spa)
The indochine restaurant is an exotic Asian-themed eatery located in the luxurious NIZUC resort in Cancun.
The restaurant offers an imaginative and savory menu that captures the essence of diverse culinary cultures of Asia, with fresh ingredients and exotic spices that are sure to make you come back for more.
The venue overlooks a dramatic, illuminated reflective pool, creating a romantic ambiance that’s perfect for a dinner date.
The menu includes a variety of dishes, such as sushi, Thai noodles, Indonesian soups, and Wok with beef, all of which are prepared to perfection. The restaurant also offers an excellent selection of sakes and wines to complement the food.
If you’re looking for a contemporary concept of fine Japanese cuisine in Cancun, Tora restaurant is the place to be.
With a perfect balance between culinary traditions and modern techniques, Tora offers a unique dining experience that integrates the best quality gourmet products in its dishes.
The restaurant’s innovation and creative plating are impressive, making every dish a work of art that is worth trying.
The Japanese art of sharing is also prominent in Tora’s Izakaya-style gourmet dinner, where you can enjoy a fantastic culinary experience with your loved ones.
How much is a meal in Cancun Hotel Zone?
The cost of a meal in the Cancun Hotel Zone can vary depending on the type of restaurant you choose, the cuisine you want to eat, and the time of day you are dining.
Generally speaking, prices can range from inexpensive fast-food options such as tacos or street food for around $5-$10 USD per person, to mid-range restaurants with a wider variety of dishes for around $15-$30 USD per person, to high-end fine dining options that can cost upwards of $50-$100 USD per person.
Is the tip mandatory in Cancun Restaurants?
Also, keep in mind that the tip is not mandatory but expected. Usually, you will get a suggested % amount on the bill, or when you pay by card the waiter will ask you if you want to add a tip.
Although the minimum expected is 10%, the average is usually 15%. Taxes, are already included though.
How much are the drinks in Cancun Hotel Zone?
In general, the price of alcoholic drinks such as beer, cocktails, and wine can range from around $5 USD to $15 USD per drink at most bars and restaurants in the Hotel Zone. Non-alcoholic drinks such as soda, juice, and water may be less expensive, ranging from $2 USD to $5 USD per drink.
Some bars and clubs may have higher prices for drinks, especially during peak times or special events.
Additionally, some establishments may offer happy hour or other specials where drinks are available at a discounted price.
Be sure to check the menu or ask your server about any specials or promotions before ordering to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.
Is it cheap to eat out in Cancun Hotel Zone?
It depends on what you consider cheap and what your point of comparison is. Generally speaking, eating out in Cancun Hotel Zone is not very cheap compared to downtown Cancun or other less touristy areas of Mexico.
If you compare Cancun with Cabo San Lucas, then Cancun Hotel Zone is cheaper.
Where can I go for street food in Cancun?
There are several areas in Downtown Cancun where you can find some of the best street food in Canun. Some of the popular ones are:
- Market 28 (Mercado 28): is a large outdoor market where you can find a variety of street food stalls selling everything from tacos to empanadas to fresh fruit juices.
- Parque de las Palapas: is a popular public park in the city center where you can find street food vendors selling local favorites like marquesitas (a type of sweet crepe) and esquites (corn cups with mayonnaise, cheese, and chili powder).
- Avenida Tulum: is a busy street in Downtown Cancun where you can find street food carts selling tacos, tortas, and other Mexican specialties.
- Plaza de Toros: is a bullfighting arena that also has a large outdoor market where you can find street food vendors selling everything from tacos to churros.
While street food can be delicious, it’s important to be cautious and choose vendors that look clean and hygienic to avoid getting sick.
As a general rule of thumb, you want to pick vendors that have a high turnover rate and are frequented by locals.
The locals usually know which places to avoid and where the best local food can be found in Cancun.
The best restaurants in the Cancun Hotel Zone: FAQs
What food is famous in Cancun?
Thanks to Cancun’s being an international tourist hub, almost all types of cuisine are very popular here.
But some foods are a bit more popular than others. Let’s start with breakfast, considered by many to be the most important meal of the day.
If you want to try a typical Cancun breakfast, you can’t go wrong with huevos motuleños, a dish that consists of fried eggs on top of tortillas with black beans, cheese, ham, peas, and tomato sauce.
For lunch, you might want to cool off with some ceviche, a refreshing dish of raw fish marinated in lime juice and spices, served with onions, cilantro, avocado, and tortilla chips.
Ceviche is one of the most popular seafood dishes in Cancun and you can find it at many beachfront restaurants and bars.
For dinner, you can indulge in some of the most famous dishes of Cancun’s Mayan heritage, such as papadzules or cochinita pibil.
Papadzules are corn tortillas filled with hard-boiled eggs and covered with pumpkin seed sauce and tomato sauce.
Cochinita pibil is slow-roasted pork marinated in achiote paste and citrus juice, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in an underground oven.
Both dishes are rich in flavor and history and are loved by many who visit the city.
For dessert, you can treat yourself with marquesitas or churros.
Marquesitas are thin crepes filled with cheese and Nutella or jam and rolled into a cone shape.
Churros are fried dough sticks sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and dipped in chocolate sauce.
The best thing about these foods is that they’re very easy to find in Cancun. You’ll get plenty of budget and upscale options for all of these. But I also invite you to experiment and try out new foods and cuisines. Find the flavors that you love.
How to get to Cancun Hotel Zone?
Once you’re in Cancun, you have several options to get to the Hotel Zone.
I have covered all of these in detail in my post about getting from Cancun airport to the Cancun Hotel zone, but in short, here they are:
Rental car: Very good option if you also plan to explore beyond Cancun. There are several car rental companies located at the airport, and you can book a rental in advance or on arrival.
However, be aware that driving in Cancun can be hectic, especially during peak tourist season.
Airport shuttle: There are several shuttle companies that operate at the airport and offer shared or private rides to the hotels in the Hotel Zone. I always recommend Cancun Transportation Service because they are the ones I use and love them. It feels like a friend is picking me up.
The resort you’re staying at might also provide you with a shuttle service (sometimes complimentary) to transport you from the airport to the resort.
Public transportation: I don’t recommend this one, but it’s the most budget-friendly option. The ADO bus company operates regular services from the airport to the downtown bus terminal, where you can transfer to another bus that goes to the Hotel Zone.
Taxi: The least recommended. You can find taxis outside the terminal building, and the ride should take about 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic. This is probably the most expensive option, as they charge you around 69 USD. (It’s a lot!)
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Is it good to stay in the Hotel Zone in Cancun?
Like everything in life, staying in the Hotel Zone comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here they are:
👍🏽You will have easy access to some of the most beautiful beaches in Cancun, with white sand and turquoise water. You can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, and other water activities.
👍🏽 You will be close to many entertainment options, such as shopping malls, cinemas, museums, golf courses, and amusement parks. You can also experience Cancun’s famous nightlife scene at places like Coco Bongo, The City, or Mandala.
👍🏽 You will have a wide range of accommodation choices for different budgets and preferences. You can find luxury resorts with all-inclusive packages, family-friendly hotels with water parks, or boutique hotels with personalized service.
👍🏽 You will have convenient transportation options to get around the Hotel Zone and other parts of Cancun.
You can take buses that run 24/7 along the main avenue (Kukulcan Blvd.), taxis that are readily available at hotel entrances or street corners, and rental cars that you can book online.
👎🏼 You will pay more for everything in the Hotel Zone than in other parts of Cancun. The Hotel Zone is one of the most expensive areas in Cancun, so expect to pay higher prices for food, drinks, souvenirs, tours, services, and more.
👎🏼 You will not experience much of the local culture and history of Cancun/Mexico. The Hotel Zone is mostly catered to tourists who want a relaxing beach vacation with modern amenities. The area is basically tailor-made for tourists and tourism.
But that’s actually the case for downtown as well. Not much cultural charm in this Caribbean destination.
How much do you tip in Cancun restaurants?
Tipping customs in Cancun are generally similar to those in the United States, where it is customary to leave a gratuity of 15-20% of the total bill for good service.
Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check your bill to see if a service charge has been included before deciding how much to tip.
What is the best month to visit Cancun?
There’s no objective best month to visit Cancun. It depends on your budget and what you want out of your vacation. Many people consider the period from December to April to be the best month.
You’ll experience near-perfect weather, with almost no rain and mild temperatures. However, you’ll also encounter heavier crowds, higher demand for activities and tours, and, as a consequence, more expensive flights, accommodations, and tours.
If you’re planning on visiting during the aforementioned months, you’ll have to make your bookings at least a couple of months in advance as the demand is as high as it gets.
If you prefer a quieter and more budget-friendly trip, you might want to consider visiting Cancún between May and October, which is the rainy season.
These months still offer good weather, but with fewer crowds and lower prices.
Is food free in an all-inclusive in Cancun?
Generally, yes. You can enjoy a variety of dishes and drinks without paying extra, as they are included in the price of your stay.
However, not everything is free. Some restaurants may require reservations or have dress codes, and some may charge extra for premium drinks or specialty items like lobster or premium steaks.
You may also be expected to pay for tips or gratuities at some places. If you want to try other dining options outside the resort, you will have to pay for them separately.
Final Thoughts on the Best Restaurants in the Cancun Hotel Zone
Cancun Hotel Zone is a food lover’s paradise, with a vast array of restaurants serving delicious and diverse cuisines from around the world.
Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, Mexican specialties, or international fusion dishes, you’re sure to find something to please your palate.
Before we wrap this up, I think it’s important to mention that you should treat my (or anyone else’s) restaurant recommendations as a general guideline rather than an absolute rule. Make sure to experiment with new foods and cuisines.
The Hotel Zone is a hotspot for some of the best chefs in the world. Don’t miss the opportunity to try them out when you visit this beautiful destination.
About the Author
Hey there! This is Isabella, the owner, and writer of this site. I have been living in Cancun for the past 12 years and although I have been roaming around Mexico, Cancun’s spectacular turquoise waters and pristine beach draw me back to this popular Mexican beach destination. That is why I decided to start this blog, to show you all the beauty you can find in Cancun and share helpful travel tips to help you plan a fabulous vacation in Cancun!