Often times when people hear about a vacation in Mexico, they think all-inclusive resort. Well, we’re the odd ones that don’t really enjoy all-inclusives because they take away from the culture you could be experiencing. I mean, why fly to a new country and not try to learn more about the land and the people? Of course, to each their own.
On that same note though, we try to venture out a lot when it comes to eating during travel. We’ll try food from “hole in the walls,” to street food, to formal restaurants. It was unfortunate that some places we wanted to revisit were now closed, but we did find some new spots that we enjoyed. Still couldn’t make it to the ever-so-popular Mango’s Cafe though. It was closed when we tried to go 5 years ago, and it was under construction for expansion this time around! I guess those popular coconut pancakes just weren’t meant to be a part of our experience.
Here’s where we ate on Isla Mujeres.
This was a new spot for us, and it was a very fresh and modern interpretation of Mexican food. Their presentation really looked like it was made to be IG friendly, but the best part is that everything we got was truly good. Drinks were fresh juice and house made horchata.
This is the first place we stumbled upon during our honeymoon, so in keeping with tradition, we decided to eat here as our first meal back. The plastic chairs on the sand perfectly set the tone for a chill, beach vacation – not to mention a freshly caught meal.
This is the kind of restaurant that felt like it was strictly catered to tourists, but we went here twice. The first time we just decided to try something new out and noticed a nice dock attached with tables on it. It’s because of that that we came back for dinner for our anniversary – to have a nice dinner with a great view. We got lucky too because the sunset that night was unforgettable.
This is a very popular breakfast spot in downtown for tourists. Food was very much to accommodate Western tastes. They have several variations of eggs benedict and french toasts and a few Mexican-inspired dishes on the menu. Everything was good and well-prepared, and it was incredibly convenient because you can charge your bill to your hotel room if you’re staying at Ixchel Beach Hotel like we did. It’s just a nice option if you want to save your cash for the cash-only locations.
If you head down to Punta Sur, this is the restaurant located there with an amazing view of the water. We decided to take a break here to nibble on some shrimp and enjoy a beverage.
Rosticeria La Mexicana
This spot is located right next to Rooster, but it’s almost the opposite vibe of Rooster. It felt much more traditional, and the servers didn’t speak much English. According to Tristan, that’s when you know the food is truly good. I can’t disagree! Rotisserie chicken served with house made tortillas and sides made right in the restaurant. You can tell it wasn’t anything very fancy, but there was a lot of tradition and love present in the flavors.
Tristan mentioned that we should eat here 5 years ago, but I declined because, well, who eats Italian food in Mexico? I have definitely changed my tune. This place is delicious. I miss the fresh bread they brought out! I miss the delicious pizza! We came back for dessert after our anniversary dinner (look at this special treat!), and we were both tempted to order another full meal. We were just too full though, but the desserts did not disappoint. In this case, Italian in Mexico is a good idea.
And don’t forget…
Two things you should do when you go that aren’t really formal restaurants is to drop by the churro cart and a spot that sells paletas! Fresh churros in Mexico are such a treat.
We ate at the hotel twice strictly due to convenience, but that’s pretty much it. They did have amazing customer service, and I’d definitely recommend the hotel if you’re planning to visit!
In case you missed it, you can see more of our entire trip on this post!