10 Best Local Restaurants on Isla Mujeres Mexico
Oct 23 2018
There’s nothing better that being caressed by a warm ocean breeze while enjoying delicious, fresh food and sipping your favorite cocktail. At least I can’t think of anything! Isla Mujeres Mexico is home to some of the best local restaurants and bars that showcase Mexican cuisine. From restaurants featuring Caribbean and Mexican food to cafes that offer innovative fusion fare, there are a number of great restaurants on Isla Mujeres Mexico. Here’s my pick of the top 10 best local restaurants on Isla Mujeres Mexico.
We enjoy many of these on our small group culinary vacation to Mexico each year!
- Javi’s Cantina (Ave. Juarez, 2 blocks north of Ultramar ferry terminal) – Be sure to stop in this popular Isla Mujeres restaurant early in your trip. You’ll want to come back! Get the catch of the day with the parmesan crust and tamarind sauce, and their delicious sides such as garlic mashed potatoes – comfort food meets island fare! Wash it down with a signature tamarind margarita to tie it all together! They accept reservations.
- La Lomita (Ave. Juarez) – this beautiful little restaurant just south of the busy downtown is known for their savory and perfectly tender bean soup served in a clay pot. Seafood lovers, be sure to get the relleno de mariscos, a fresh poblano, roasted and stuffed with various seafood in a creamy sauce and baked to perfection. Wash it down with a cold beer!
- Chaya y Cacao (Avenida Matamoros near Poc Na)- this beautiful cafe from talented Chef Lori Dumm offers a colorful and delicious array of creative dining options that combine traditional Caribbean flavors with local ingredients. Vegetarians unite! The menu is primarily vegan, with the option of eggs in many dishes, however meat eater will certainly feel satisfied with the creative menu including the tofu scramble breakfast tacos, avocado toast with an over easy egg and beet hummus, and delicious smoothies. Also be sure to ask about gluten-free desserts!
- Bastos (La Gloria neighborhood) – You can’t go wrong with the quesadillas from Bastos. Meat eaters, go get the arrachera! If you are in the mood for a perfectly cooked piece of steak, seasoned just right, the arrachera stands out in either tacos or quesadillas. The rajas y crema is perfect if you are leaning toward a meatless dish. Or get one of each and share with a friend.
- Madera Food and Art (Calle Felipe Cetina) – This little boutique restaurant on the Caribbean road offers incredibly fresh salads, burgers and rice bowls. The lettuce is crisp, green, the fish ultra fresh and the beef ground fresh each day. Nick, the owner, hails from Minnesota and fills this gorgeous spot with local art and the freshest food. For a taste of home try the Jucy Lucy burger on homemade brioche roll or the poke bowl with tuna for a light meal. The cocktails are delicious and served with reusable straws. Find beautiful island art for purchase.
- El Varadero (Calle de Septiembre 16) – This popular spot along the lagoon fills up fast on Sundays, when the yachts dock while folks enjoy dinner and live salsa music. The Cuban specialties are perfected, including my faves Ropa Vieja, whole fried fish and tostones. Swing in a hammock while you wait for your food, or get up and dance to the music! Don’t forget a mojito to wash it all down.
- Mercado Municipal – This lunch spot by the mercado downtown has something for everyone. Four different food stalls are located in one place with open air seating near the market, and feature traditional Mexican fare at local prices. Try regional cuisine such as poc chuc, a marinated slow-cooked pork, or fish tacos and chicken mole. The selection is abundant! Closed for dinner.
- Mar-bella (Perimetral poniente) – Stunning ocean and sunset views make this a date night destination. Here fresh seafood reigns. Try a ceviche – shrimp or mixed seafood, or go straight for the catch of the day; a whole or half fish with a savory garlic sauce, blackened or fried. The seafood fried rice is incredible as well. Be aware there is no menu, since the fresh seafood options change daily. Your server will show you the options and you pay by weight.
- Ballyhoo (Ave. Rueda Media near Ultramar) – A great spot for people watching as you enjoy fish tacos and margaritas. Located near the boat docks, you can watch people come and go, fishermen come in and kids play on the docks and nearby sandy beaches. The margaritas are large and refreshing, while the fish tacos are crisp, tender and drizzled with tamarind salsa, a sweet, tangy infusion.
- Tres Mentiras (Ave. Hidalgo) – Though this is certainly more of a bar than a restaurant, both the drinks and the food are worth the stop. The bar features creative cocktails such as avocado martinis, or try the amazing selection of regional mezcal from local distillers. They also serve the local island craft beer! The food choices are inexpensive and solid – three tacos or the queso fundido are perfect for a late night snack.