What I've Been Eating - The Best Food in Tulum, Mexico!

It's been a long pandemic. I've been big on travel for most of my life, vowing to visit at LEAST two new cities a year for the past few years. While I've mostly kept to that pandemic nonwithstanding, it was limited to where I could drive within my new home state of California.

However, with my most recent booster coupled with my light brush with the virus prior to that, I finally felt safe enough to do a bit of international travel. Mexico has been on my shortlist for YEARS, so I knew it was the perfect place to resurrect my travel bug. I figured Tulum would be the ideal adventure: not as crazy a party town as Cancun, but with beautiful beaches and rain forest for exploring. I grabbed a new friend for the journey and took the leap.

And my GOSH you guys, Tulum is GORGEOUS. We snorkeled and scuba'd in the beautiful, crystal-clear Cenotes. We lounged by the warm-water beaches. We explored the adorable town. And we ate. Oh man did we eat.

I say I'm a half-assed vegetarian because when I travel, I don't avoid meat as much as I do in my daily life. Food is so tied to culture that I feel like I'd miss out on an authentic experience if I stuck too strictly to being fully plant-based. And plus, my own internal reasons for going plant-based do allow for some flexibility outside of the US.

So tacos were definitely on the menu.

We seriously did not have a single bad meal the entire time we were in Tulum. If you're staying in Tulum Town, all of the places listed will be within walking distance of the main street. Keep reading for the best and tastiest food in Tulum, Mexico!

La Hacienda Coco Tulum - This was actually our hotel, but it included free breakfast and a reasonably priced cafe on site. The included breakfast was simple but generous: fresh fruit, yogurt, and pastries with your choice of juice or coffee. The lunch options at the cafe were only okay, so we opted to mostly explore outside the hotel for food.

La Barracuda Tulum - This was our first meal in town and we basically just picked a random storefront that didn't have a wait. And we were pleasantly surprised! We started with a mixed ceviche that was extremely fresh and flavorful, accompanied by a variety of hot sauces. I got some spicy shrimp tacos and a very large drink. We spent around $50 total for the meal and left incredibly full. Honestly, it ended up being one of the less memorable meals of the trip, but that's moreso a testament to the endless amazing food in town than the restaurant itself. Solid option if you're staying on the main street.

Potheads Tulum - We kept giggling as we passed this storefront and eventually we had to duck in for a drink and "snack" but ended up getting too intrigued by the menu to pass up some chicken and waffles. The atmosphere alone will make any wannabe influencer happy (I took about a hundred pictures) but I definitely wish we'd hit this place up more for the excellent coffee and breakfast selections. 

Los Aguachiles - One of the best meals of the trip, and the most unique tacos we had. Aguachiles is a Mexican dish, and this restaurant takes it to the next level with all sorts of sea and land options. I highly suggest splitting as many portions as you can to truly get a culinary tour of the menu. Everything was fresh, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. 

Taqueria La Riviera CosteƱa - I wish we'd found this place the first day of our trip--we would have saved SO much money! For $2 you get FIVE PASTOR TACOS that are absolutely incredible. Easily the best meal of our trip, and one of the least expensive. It's hard to find BAD food in Tulum, but the more touristy areas definitely have food that's less amazing. La Riviera Costena is right in the middle of the main street in town and does not disappoint. The one downside is there's no beer or alcohol served here--but there's a number of bars around the area to fill up at afterwards.
Av. Tulum S/N
77760 Tulum, Quintana Roo Mexico

Snack Bar La Chingada - I don't have a picture of this one but we popped in for drinks on our last night and wish we'd found them sooner as they were hands-down the most reasonably priced cocktails we encountered. The menu also had a variety of snacks (we were too full from Taqueria La Riviera!) that are perfect for pairing with their extensive booze menu. A great place to start or end a night out on the town!

Taqueria El Sabor Mexicano - I wanted street tacos and somehow it didn't happen until the very last day, as we were driving to the airport. We'd passed this tiny storefront a few times but upon investigation it looks like you've walked into someone's kitchen. Big terracotta bowls full of saucy deliciousness is spooned into homemade tortillas. For six tacos we paid some ridiculously low price and they were so tasty I tried my best to savor every bite. Pro tip: the family-run taco stands are the best. If I ever go back I'd like to use them exclusively!

During Tours

We didn't REALLY have a choice for food during the tours, but I thought I'd share my experiences anyway (since the food was pretty good!)

-Frosty's at Tulum Archaeological Site: Our tour guide led us here and while I feel like he was biased or recieved a cut of profits I wasn't mad at it, because it was a ton of food for about $12. Again, super tasty, as everything is in Tulum, but not one of or more memorable dishes.

-Now Yaca Tulum at Tulum Diving Tour: Definitely the best breakfast on our tour! It was included in the price of our dive (my travel companion did SCUBA and I did snorkel) so I really don't know how much it cost, but it was so good. The standout here was the sauce--so savory and thinking about it just makes my mouth water. My travel companion got the Avocado Toast and it was everything you could hope for in an Avo Toast.... however, I was much more satisfied with the above enchiladas.

-Homemade Tacos at Selva Maya Eco Adventure Park: Another included dish that I forgot to take a picture of--oops! After a day of zip lining and Cenote diving the cafeteria-style homemade tacos were a welcome treat. We were offered as many helpings as we'd like, and a complementary beer. I was so hungry I scarfed these down while barely tasting them, but from what I remember they were just as good as any other tacos we had. 

I will admit, the majority of these can be considered "Touristy" but for our first trip, we didn't stray far from the main street. Have you visited Tulum? Do you know of any off-the-beaten-path locations we should have tried? Let me know in the comments!