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Akumal Beachfront Condo Nearby Restaurants

 

Akumal Area Restaurants

La Buena Vida (01/01)  - on the south end of Half Moon Bay. We haven't patronized this establishment since the owner (Vista del Mar Properties, d.b.a. Akumal Dive Adventures) brought boats and buoys onto the previously boat-free zone of Half Moon Bay.  For those who are interested, you can read all about it here.   At last visit, the menu too closely resembled Lol-Ha's and the prices were climbing beyond the quality of the food.  Still, we miss enjoying a cold one in the bar swings and look forward to the day we can return - and view the bay without the boats and buoys.  If anything changes, it will be posted both here and at the above link.
La Cueva del Pescador (Cave of the Fishes) - (12/02) – right next door to Turtle Bay.  They are open for lunch and dinner and almost always have a crowd.  Seafood is the specialty here.  The grilled fish of the day is always excellently prepared. Carlos Danú, the owner, has been a professional fisherman in Akumal since 1982 and still offers his services for half and full day charters, in addition to snorkeling and sight seeing trips (inquire at the restaurant or contact us for more info).  He’ll even prepare the fish you catch at his restaurant!  Carlos' son, Alím is pulling more management duty these days and he and the rest of the staff are friendly and accommodating.  Tell them all that Dave and Colette say "Hola"!  As time goes on, we find we take more meals at La Cueva del Pescador than at any other establishment. Might have something to do with the fact that my Cuba Libres come with a glass of ice containing a generous pour of rum and a bottle of Coke on the side...  Watch for signs indicating live entertainment, as Carlos sometimes has musicians from Veracruz perform at the restaurant (typically, on high season weekend nights). 
Lol-Ha - (12/02) - just to the south of the entrance into town, on the beach.  Definitely a favorite and often imitated.  This is Lol-Ha's second incarnation, the first having been burned down by “Americans with fireworks”.  Breakfasts are wonderful.  Lunch duties shift to the beach bar & grille (good pizza, burgers...and killer Margaritas!).  Dinners are fantastic.  Try the Shrimp wrapped in bacon, the Mango Chicken, Pok Chuk or the Shrimp or Lobster Flambe, prepared tableside.  Extremely professional staff.
Lol-ha seasonally features a Mexican Dance show with buffet dinner.  Reservations are recommended, as is this show (different regions may be featured on different nights).
Loncheria Akumalito – (12/02)  - Open air counter outside the main gate (next to Super Chomak grocery).  Inexpensive breakfasts and lunches.  Reasonably quick service.  Many of the Akumal business' workers dine here.
La Lunita - (09/98) - midway up Half Moon Bay.  Open for breakfast and dinner.  Some folks rave about this place.  We have given it a couple of tries, but haven’t been that impressed.  It is conveniently located with respect to our condos, and is on the beach.
Que Onda - (12/02) - Italian cuisine for Dinner.  Occasionally open for breakfast.  Some inconsistencies in the service, but the staff is trying very hard.  We've always had good luck, others haven't reported the same.  The Ceviche (marinated fish) comes highly recommended.  The pastas we've had were very good.  The “Fillet Mignon” was more like “Thin Tenderloin tips in mushroom sauce”, but still very tasty.  The menu is ala carte and the extras  can add up.  Oh, and don't get the Tiramisu too close to an open flame!
Turtle Bay - (12/02) - just inside the archway at Akumal Bay.  Open for breakfast and lunch.  This restaurant has quickly become everyone’s favorite eatery.  It offers great bakery (come early for the best selection – but leave a cinnamon roll for me!) and breakfasts as well as deli sandwiches and fresh fruit smoothies at lunch.  During the high season, Turtle Bay also serves dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.
South of Akumal:
Pizza Leos - (12/02) - in Ciudad Chemuyil.  Great (and inexpensive) pizzas.  Took a few visits before we realized the menu had another side.  Add Lasagna and a gigantic Shrimp Salad to our list of Leo's favorites.
Restaurante Oscar y Lalo - (12/02) - on Bahias de Punta Solimon.  Look for the sign on the east side of the highway, then follow the dirt road a long way (long enough to wonder if it was a good idea....don't worry - it was), then turn at the sign to "La Playa".  In one place, you can swim in a Caribbean bay, a lagoon and a cenote.  Oscar and Lalo used to run the wonderful restaurant at Playa Chemuyil, until that former State Park got abruptly "sold" to Fiesta Americana Resorts and closed to the public.  This idyllic spot is actually world famous.  The Corona beer commercial where the guy skips the beeping pager across the water was shot nearby, as was the movie "Blue Lagoon", years previous.
Casa Cenote - (12/01) - on Tankah bay.  Before the bay got wired for electricity, this restaurant, run by an Expatriate from Texas, was only open during daylight hours.  The Sunday Barbeque is a favorite (served roughly around noon).  The cenote behind the restaurant makes for a refreshing snorkel and we saw a giant grouper while snorkeling the bay.  Watch out for the whirlpools in front of the restaurant - they actually connect to the cenote.  Last I heard, Casa Cenote was "charging" for parking in their lot.  I assume they validate?
Want to prepare your own Meals to Remember at your condo?
Akumal has two convenience stores located just outside the archway, Super Chomak and Mini Super Las Palmas (formerly El Pueblo).  Both have decent selections of food and beverages.  Super Chomak, reportedly, now has an ATM. There are also markets on the other side of the highway in the Pueblo. The prices in the Pueblo will be lower than at Super Chomak.
Half Moon Bay also has The Corner Store (operated by Vista del Mar Properties, see the review of La Buena Vida restaurant) and La Caleta.  Both are quite small, but are very handy for that emergency Cristal (a local soft drink) or Helado (Ice Cream).
For larger grocery (or hard goods) runs, a trip to Chedraui or San Francisco de Asis Markets in Playa del Carmen might be in order.  The prices and selection are much better.  Bring a cooler to prevent spoilage, if you or your condo has one.
Akumal hosts a Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays (verify this when you get to town), outside the archway, near the basketball courts.
In December of 2002, a group of fishermen in a small pickup came by the condos, selling freshly caught shrimp (from Campeche) for $13 U.S. per kilo.  Colette boiled them up and we kept them in the fridge for snacks.  Good stuff!  I hope those fishermen continue to make Half Moon Bay a stop on their route.
Pueblo Tulum has traditional merchants along the boulevard: one selling fish, one chicken, one pork, etc..
If you have favorite spices, you might want to bring them.  It's difficult to keep them stocked in the condos.
 
La Buena Vida - On the south end of Half Moon Bay.

La Cueva del Pescador (Cave of the Fishes) - Right next door to Turtle Bay.  They are open for lunch and dinner, seafood is the specialty here.  The grilled fish of the day is always excellently prepared. Carlos Danú, the owner, has been a professional fisherman in Akumal since 1982 and he’ll even prepare the fish you catch at his restaurant!

Lol-Ha - Just to the south of the entrance into town, on the beach. Breakfasts is wonderful and the lunch shifts to the beach bar & grille), and the Dinners are fantastic. Lol-ha seasonally features a Mexican Dance show with buffet dinner.

Loncheria Akumalito
– Open air counter outside the main gate with inexpensive breakfasts and lunches.

La Lunita - Midway up Half Moon Bay; open for breakfast and dinner.

Que Onda - Italian cuisine for Dinner and occasionally open for breakfast.

Turtle Bay - Just inside the archway at Akumal Bay.  Open for breakfast and lunch featuring a great bakery.

Pizza Leos -  Located in Ciudad Chemuyil, featuring excellent pizza.

Restaurante Oscar y Lalo - Located on Bahias de Punta Solimon.

Casa Cenote - Located on Tankah bay.  Excellent barbecue.

 

Playa del Carmen Restaurants

The Blue Parrot (06/01) - north of Calle 12, on the beach.  The hopping night-spot in PDC is also the best place for breakfast.  Tables are right on the sand.  The view is great:  Beach, cruise ships, people…  One time, our waiter, Pedro, gave us Spanish lessons in exchange for English lessons.  They also have a sushi bar (Boshido) that opens at 1:00pm.  Brunch (on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), is also a treat.  Service has been a bit less than stellar on our last two visits, though.
D’gabi (01/00) - Calle 12 - almost to the beach.  Open for dinner only.  Italian cuisine.  Pizza is a specialty.
El Chino (01/00) – Calle 4 at Ave 15.  A CompuServe Travel Forum member told me that she had one of the best meals of her life at this restaurant.  It’s listed here on that basis, but I’m still waiting for details or to get there personally…
The Blue Parrot - Located north of Calle 12, on the beach.  Great breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the beach.

D’gabi
- On Calle 12 - almost to the beach.  Italian cuisine, only open for dinner.

El Chino - On Calle 4 at Ave 15.

 

Puerto Aventuras Restaurants

Requiem for Papaya Republic: - No listing of Puerto Aventuras restaurants would be complete without honorable mention of one of the area's all time best.  Papaya Republic, tucked between a beautiful beach and "fragrant" mangrove served unique dishes that kept us coming back for more.  Fans of the Soap Opera "Days of Our Lives" may have seen it used as a backdrop for a storyline.  On our first visit, I dubbed this place “Gilligan’s Restaurant”.  The furnishings were rustic, the waiters chaotic (by design) and the food was outstanding.  The Clam Soup,  the Shrimp to Peel, the Calamari in Gary Sauce, the Tenderloin Tips in Sherry Sauce, the Jumbo Shrimp in White Wine Sauce, the graceful and powerful Dobermans that patrolled the property, responding solely to hand signals by their master - we miss them all.  Our last meal at Papaya Republic was in January of 2000.  At that time, the jungle had been bulldozed and the mangrove was on its way to being filled in.  By our September of 2000 visit, the restaurant was closed and giant ReMax signs were plastered to the roof.  In our denial, we hoped it would reopen during the next high season.  Our January of 2001 visit brought us a cold dose of reality - Papaya Republic would not return.  A condominium complex now sits on that stretch of beach, as Phase II of Puerto Aventura's Marina expansion continues.  To our knowledge, the owner and chef have not surfaced elsewhere (sigh).
Café Ole International - (12/02) - Close to Omni Beach Club Hotel.  Good breakfasts.  Try the shrimp tostadas for lunch.  We usually stop here for a meal and then exchange dollars at the nearby Cambios.
Richards Quarterdeck - (04/96) - Near the Dive Museum and Dolphin Discovery - Expensive, but good dinners, especially steaks.  Probably the only salad bar you’ll see on this trip.  Richard is an ex-pat from Chicago who will tell you his life story and philosophize at the drop of a hat.  Though it's been quite awhile since we've eaten there, we continue to hear good reports.
Café Ole International - Featuring great breakfasts.

Richards Quarterdeck - Near the Dive Museum and Dolphin Discovery. Nice dinner, featuring delicious steaks.

 

Tulum Area Restaurants

Tony & Simone's (12/02)  - Head into Pueblo Tulum, take a right where the boulevard begins and, as our friend, Jay (who introduced us to this place), says; "it's about 30 potholes down on the right!".  This off-the-beaten path restaurant is run by Italian Expatriates.  Carmela, the wonderfully quirky hostess, sets the mood from the moment she greets you.  The Quattro Fromage and any of the seafood dishes are recommended.  Come to think of it, I've not heard a complaint about anything on the menu.  Have a glass of wine and enjoy your leisurely dinner.  Might want to bring a little mosquito repellent if you sit by the lily pond.
Breaking from alphabetical order here, as geographic sorting is more logical:
Zamas - (04/02) – in Tulum's Punta Piedra area.  Take a left on the Boca Paila road at the intersection where the road to Coba exits to the left.  Continue on this road until it "Tees".  Take the right fork, heading south, and it's the last cabana resort on the right before a bay cuts into view and the pavement ends.  Interesting (in a good way) menu.  Not your run of the mill cantina.  We've had lunch here on several occasions.  All have been good.  Have never been nearby at dinnertime but, one of these days...
Maya Tulum - (10/00) - (formerly known as Osho Tulum)  continue past Zamas and the bay until the pavement ends.  A hundred yards or so down you will find a parking lot on the right and the resort (with some parking) on the left side of the road.  Maya Tulum is a holistic retreat.  The large and airy, round restaurant (open to the public) serves healthy cuisine and can be a welcome break from the heavier entrees offered elsewhere.  .
Ana y Jose - (12/01) - continue past Zamas and Maya Tulum.  The road can be brutal depending on the season.  Drive slowly and zigzag your way around the Volkswagen-sized potholes.  The location is the feature here, the food is secondary.  Have a burger and beer for lunch and spend some time on that long, wide sandy beach or bodysurfing in the waves (swim suits more or less optional).
Playa Paraiso – (04/02)  - Remember the spot where the road "Tees"?  Well, take a left there instead and head north.  Watch the resort signs on the right.  Playa Paraiso also has a round restaurant, but this one serves more traditional dishes.  Another lovely beach, visited by both locals and tourists.  We only ate there once, but will definitely be back.
El Mirador - continuing along the north fork, there is a driveway somewhere before the road is blocked by boulders (foot traffic can access the Mayan ruins at Tulum from this approach).  The restaurant is perched way up the hill, overlooking the often "Bohemian" beach at Don Armando's & Camping Santa Fe and across to the ruins.  A friend of ours likes this place a lot.  We tried to eat there once, but it was an incredibly windy day and we would have had trouble keeping the plates on the table.  It's on our list to try next time.
Tony & Simone's - Located in Pueblo Tulum.

Zamas - Located in Tulum's Punta Piedra area. This restaurant in on the beach just south of where the connecting road meets the beach road. It is a very good Mexican restaurant.

Maya Tulum - Maya Tulum is a holistic retreat, featuring healthy cuisine.

Ana y Jose - Enjoy a burger and beer for lunch and enjoy the wide sandy beach.

Playa Paraiso –  Overlooking the often "Bohemian" beach at Don Armando's & Camping Santa Fe and across to the ruins.

Posada Margarita: This is a fantastic little restaurant if you are in the mood for delicious handmade pasta and a good range of antipasti. Well worth the visit. Ask if they have the fish cooked in sea water. Bring cash because many of these restaurants do not accept credit cards.

Don Cafeto's: is an institution in Tulum. They have two locations, with one in downtown Tulum and the other is on the beach. Both restaurants are always busy and have a good atmosphere, with a excellent mix of locals and vistors. The plus points have to be the price and of course the coffee.

Mezzanine: This is one of the "trendiest" places to be in Tulum. The restaurant at the this boutique hotel serves a type of Asian fusion, with a heavy Thai influence. It's not cheap, but the quality is outstanding.

Charlies: This is a very good Mexican/Yucatecan food restaurant in the Pueblo (on the highway) on the west side of the road. Try to Chaya drink. The salsa and guacamole are very good as is the chile relleno.

Nave: A very good Italian restaurant on the highway in the Pueblo on the east (left) side of the road. Nave has good pastas, pizza and fish. It is great for kids because they like that stuff.

*if you have any questions about any of these restaurants, call the owner of the condo. He will be happy to answer your questions and make recommendations.

 

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