Riviera Maya Villas: Akumal, Jade Beach, Puerto Aventuras, Soliman Bay, Tankah, Tulum
Restaurants, Regional Foods, Grocery Stores, Shopping, Laundry
You'll find a delightful variety of restaurants in Akumal and along the coast. Choose from upscale eateries offering international dishes, casual beachfront palapa restaurants featuring fresh seafood or mom and pop loncherias offering economical local fare. Part of the adventure of travel is sampling local cuisine, so have fun. Check out the restaurants listed below plus information on regional foods and area grocery stores.
|AKUMAL AREA RESTAURANTS
Turtle Bay Bakery:
Located on the plaza in Akumal Bay. Open daily for breakfast (7-12) and lunch (12-3); dinner is served Tues., Thurs., Fri and Sat. (6-9) in low season and Mon.-Sat. in high season. (984) 875-9138. Email: email@example.com
Turtle Bay makes excellent fresh baked goods daily (stop by early in the morning and buy some fresh hot-out-of-the-oven muffins or rolls to have with your morning coffee. MMM . . . MMM . . . GOOD!! The breakfast menu is varied and imaginative; try the fresh fruit plate or egg dishes. The restaurant also offers catering. Lunches are also very good with large portions. Delicious salads, sandwiches and wraps. The fish sandwich is really tasty. Try the smoothies, drinks rich in flavor blended with tropical juices. Dinner are dandy, too. Also . . . try their homemade ice cream.This restaurant is run by Sydney Brewer and her husband Thomas.
|Lol Ha Restaurant
Located on Akumal Bay. Open all day, everyday: Breakfast 7:30-11; dinner 6:30-10 p.m.; snack bar 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Pizzeria 1-9 p.m. (984) 875-9014.
Lol Ha (means water lily) offers something for every palete . . . beef, chicken, fish, Mexican and Yucatecan specialties. The Caesar Salad and bananas flambe are prepared tableside. The owners have created a truly beautiful place to dine. There is a pizza restaurant attached to the main dining room and a palapa bar on the beach with great tacos, french fries and very cold cerveza among other lunch specialties. The main dining room is open for breakfast and dinner. The food is very good and the prices are moderate. In addition, you can drop your children at the Kids Club while you enjoy a quiet dinner on the veranda and your kids have a fun meal and meet new playmates.
La Cueva Del Pescador:
Located on the plaza in Akumal Bay. Open daily for lunch and dinner. (984) 875-9255; (984) 875-9205.
La Cueva del Pescador is billed as the restaurant owned and operated by local fishermen. Naturally, the specialties include fresh seafood (jumbo shrimp, Caribbean king crab, lobster and fish), as well as a selection of entrees "not from the sea." Motto of La Cueva is "Hook it and Cook it;" meaning that if you've been out fishing, you can bring your catch in and have it prepared to your specications.
A festive hangout for locals and gringos; happy hours get happier with each pitcher of Gonzalo's special margaritas.
La Buena Vida Restaurant:
Located on the beach on Half Moon Bay. Open daily from 10 a.m. on. Don't miss Happy Hour, 5-7 p.m.
Half Moon Bay's most popular hang out; complete with sandy floor and bar swings. Not only will you find a fun and fancy-free atmosphere, but delicious food as well. And greata views, to boot! Catch the sunset from the rooftop lounge, swim in the pool, slip into a hammock or kayak or snorkel in the bay. You can spend an entire day!
La Buena Vida offers a wide varieties on their menu . . . beef, chicken, fish, pasta, salads and Mayan specialties. There are a number of dishes that are prepared tableside. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfasts are especially wonderful. Prices are moderate.
Located in Hacienda de la Turtuga, North Akumal. Open evenings for dinner; closed Sundays.
La Lunita is very popular restaurant on Half Moon Bay located on the 1st floor of La Tortuga Condo building. Offers a variety of food including beef, fish, chicken along with house specialties and daily chef specialtied. Favorites are coconut shrimp, special filet mignon in red wine sauce, corn mushroom empanadas, scallops or Mayan style pork baked in banana leaves in the ground. Choose romantic, candlelit dining with seating inside or on the sand under the stars. Prices are moderate to high.
Que Onda Restaurant :
Located near the entrance to Yalku Lagoon.
Breakfast 8-10:30 a.m.; dinner 5-10 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.
Que Onda has a special ambiance in this open-air, lush garden setting. If you want a leisurely meal in beautiful surroundings and like fresh pasta and seafood, give this a try. The chef is willing to custom prepare pasta dishes to include ingredients of your choice. Everything is made -inhouse with the finest and most flavorful ingredients available. Prices are moderate. They sometimes offer homemade desserts.
Located in Akumal near the CEA Center.
Open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mon.-Sun.; Mayan Buffet at 7 p.m. on Friday
Delightfully charming under a courtyard palapa (thatched roof). Imelda offers traditional favorites such as fajitas, burritos, tacos and quesadillas, with daily specials. In addition, they also offer a Mayan buffet on Friday evenings; feast on a number of delicious Maya dishes and enjoy Mayan, mariachi, cumbia or salsa dances (make sure to stop in to make your reservation!).
Located next to Buena Vida on Half Moon bay. Open daily for breakfast, 7 a.m. to 12 noon
Try their fresh juices and coffee, lattes and smoothies and chow down on nummy breakfast burritos, croissants, bagels, muffins, and more. Get your food items to go or eat on the beachfront dining area.
This no-frills eatery next to Super Chomak grocery store offers inexpensive meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Open daily, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Don't miss Lucy's Kitchen in Akumal for homemade ice cream, served 9:30 to 5 (pick up a quart to take home!). Lucy's Kitchen is in Plaza Ukana in Akumal Playa (opposite the palapa where you can buy crafts, fruit and veggies).
In addition to homemade ice cream, Lucy's serves shrimp tacos and empanadas.
Our low season hours are 11 to 5 from Monday to Saturday.
Donations for animal rescue are accepted at either of Lucy's locations.
LUCY’S KITCHEN Plaza Ukana I, Akumal Playa, 984 127 6791
Located in Akumal Pueblo (across the highway from Akumal beach). This restaurant/bar offers great food plus WiFi and free calls to the US and Canada. Folks that own this restaurant are very promotion minded so you'll often find specials on buckets of beer, live music or try their Texas Barbecues (1st and 3rd Sunday of the month). Sandwiches, salads, fresh fish, shrimp, fajitas, tacos, empanadas and quesadillas are just a few of the menu options; prices are very reasonable on this side of Akumal.
Open Tues.-Sun., 12 p.m.-11 p.m.; Mon. 4 p.m.-11 p.m. 984-108-5117. firstname.lastname@example.org
|The Sopes Lady
Okay, that's not actually the name of the place and we don't know if has a name. We love this little place that is hidden away in Akumal Pueblo. If you can find Tequilaville (above), the sopes lady is just across and down the street (right next to "The Taco Lady"). Sopes are flat miniature tortillas, but a little thicker and topped with a thin layer of refried beans, your choice of meat fillings (BBQ, hamburger, chicken, etc.), then tomatoes, lettuce, onions, avocado slices and hot sauce (if desired).
Each sopes costs about 85 cents; two were plenty for a meal for me. You can get them to go, or there is a small seating area around the corner. Open after 6 p.m. only.
Located near the Playa Caribe Condos, Gynn-Ak serves a variety of foods with some very creative flavors and menu items. How about lionfish (whole or in tacos or tamales)? Yes, lionfish. Owner of the restaurant, Gynna, spears the lionfish herself each day; it's really quite good. Or, if you want something a little more traditional, try the Thai fish tacos, tamarrind glazed shrimp, or a burger. You'll also find a number of other interesting options, like Thai-Mex ceviche and more. The ginger lemonade is very refreshing!
Open 12 noon to 8 p.m.; closed Thursdays
RESTAURANTS IN OTHER AREAS:
Up and down the coast are some great off-the-beaten track restaurants that have GREAT food:
Located in the village of Chemuyil (south of Akumal). Take 307 south until you see signs for Chemuyil; take a right and follow the road into this little berg. Leo's is a small eatery, usually busy because it's well known for its tasty pizzas, pastas and salads. Prices are reasonable. When you're done, take a stroll around this little village; there are a couple of little stores if you need to stock up on any basics.
Open Monday-Saturday, 4 p.m. to 10:30.
Oscar y Lalo's
Located on the main highwway just across from the turn off to Soliman Bay; Ocar y Lalo's is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 7 days a week.
The lush garden setting is delightful; it's worth a stop just to have a drink and enjoy the setting. While you're there, you might want to feast on fresh seafood (lobster, shirmp and fish) or chicken and Mexican specialties like tacos and fajitas.
|Casa Cenote Restaurant:
Located on the beach on beautiful Tankah Bay. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This definitely is off-the-beaten track, but you DO NOT want to miss it! Food is incredible, beach is fantastic . . . plus there's a cenote across the road where you can snorkel for hours in water that loops through the jungle. Bring your snorkel gear, or you can rent it at Casa Cenote (you can also arrange fishing boats, sailing and dive trips). Spend the day feasting on some mighty fine food, snorkel in the bay or in the cenote. Have a few cool beers and just play at the beach.Casa Cenote also offers a popular Texas BBQ every Sunday, featuring ribs, brisket or chicken.
Another restaurant located on Tankah Bay just north of Casa Cenote. Open daily for breakfast and dinner
A fine addition to the shores of Tankah, Blue Sky serves authentic Italian dishes as well as international cuisine. Nice atmosphere, delicious food and soothing background music make it a great choice. They have brick oven pizza!
PUERTO AVENTURAS AREA RESTAURANTS:
Dining is particularly pleasant on the upscale sidewalk cafes along the marina.
RICHARDS: Been around for years. Offers good quality steaks, seafood and pizza, plus a salad bar. Located on the marina. (984) 873-5086
CAFÉ OLE: from Mexican to American with seafood and daily specials. Breakfasts are "it" here. Enjoy pleasant views of the marina while you have your morning coffee. (984) 873-5125. Open for breakfasts from 8 a.m.
Trebol Sports Bar & Marina Cafe: Sports bar inside and elegant outdoor dining at night. Great dinners, particularly the steaks. On the marina. (984) 873-5381
ITALIAN BAKERY: “Not just a bakery” A local favorite offering pizza In PA (eat-in or take-out) and other good, reasonably priced breakfasts amd dinners, daily specials and theme nights. (984) 873-5651. Open daily from 8 a.m.
DOS CHILES: Mexican food on the marina with good views of the performing dolphins.
SOLE MIO: Italy meets France in Mexico. Good Italian, pizza, seafood and some French dishes overseen by a French chef and manager.
DA VINCI: on the ocean in Omni hotel.
TIRAMI SU: Vast menu features fresh seafood, tasty pasta, succulent steaks and, for the kids, pizza, chicken fingers, burgers and small-portion pastas. Elegant dining (and extensive wine list) along the picuresque marina. Enjoy a romantic dinner for two or gather with your friends to celebrate a birthday, anniversar, wedding or just the end of the day. Tirami Su will also prepare your "catch of the day" in one of 10 different ways; you catch . . . they'll cook. And, don't miss their delectible desserts! (984) 873-5654. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
MEDITERRANEO: Italian fare, on the marina. (984) 873-5418
CARIBANA: Offering the “comida corriente” or plate of the day, this is where many of the locals get a quick, very reasonably priced meal. It is good, try it! Open for lunch; closed Sundays.
GOLDEN DRAGON: Caribana by day becomes Golden Dragon in the evening with eat-in or take-out Asian selections.
Arigato: On the marina facing the dolphins. Serving Japanese sushi, crepes and salads. Fresh fish is purchased daily from Puerto Aventuras fishermen.
THE PUB: On the marina, offering a wide selection of beers and good pub fare and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Good food, daily specials, and reasonable prices make this a local favorite. Thursday evening BBQ ribs are a popular choice. (984) 873-5130. Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Manati Palapa: Located near the small fishing boats along the marina. This casual bar/restaurant serves icy cold beer and drinks and light snacks. Seating is under the shade of a palapa or in one of hte swings at the bar. Check the grotto to see the manatees, stingrays and sea lions.
Gringo Dave's: On the far side of marina. Tex-Mex grill and cantina; frequently has live entertainment. (984) 873-5894
Regional food and drink of the Yucatan:
Peppers of the Yucatan: An assortment of chile peppers can be found in this area. They range from red and green bell peppers (not hot) to he hottest of the hot, the habanero. Be careful with the latter! Other peppers are pablano (mild), jalapeno (hot), serrano (hotter), chili de arbol (hottest). The devil favors habanero.
Carne Asada: Pork or beef, grilled over a charcoal fire
Chuleta Yucateca: Pork chop, marinated in red adobado then grilled and smothered wth sauteed onions
Churros: A donut type batter deep fried with a coating of sugar
Ceviche: Fish, shirmp or conch (prounced "konk") marinated in lemon and vinegar with onions, tomatoes and cilantro.
Flan: A popular custard dessert
Horchata: A sweet drink made of rice or barley, almonds, sugar, vanilla and water
Huachinango: Red snapper, usually served whole
Queso "Gallo":Holland cheese that has been imported to the Yucatan. Queso rellano (stuffed cheese) is made with ground beef, raisins, capers, smothered with Holland cheese and topped with a creamy white sauce
Tamalas: Chicken, wwrapped in a heavy dough and cooked in banana leaves
Ixnepech: A hot sauce made with spicy Habanero peppers, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime and vinegar. Means "dog's nose" in Mayan.
Jamaica: Promounced "ha-my-ka", this delicious drink is made from flowers.
Mero: Fresh grouper, usually served as a fillet
Mojo de Ajo: Fish, conch or shrimp, served in butter and garlic sauce
Mole: Chicken or turkey or enchiladas, baked in a thick, spicy brown sauce made of almonds, chocolate, chipotle peppers and peanut oil
Pibil: Chicken or pork baked in a tangy red sauce with orange juice and wrapped in banana leaves
Plantano Frito: Fried bananas, greasy but tasty
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Shopping, Laundry, Etc.:
You can buy just about anything you need at the local markets and supermarkets. One of the great benefits of staying in a private villa or condo is that you have more space, including a full kitchen or kitchenette. You can stock up on your favorite foods and beverages for snacks, lunches or complete dinners. If your property has a barbecue, you can throw some burgers, chicken or shrimp on the grill. You'll save a few bucks by having some meals in your rental property, as well as enjoy the convenience of grabbing a quick snack or beverage out of your own frig. We can also make arrangements in most properties for cook service. Here are some notes on grocery stores:
Playa del Carmen: Chedraui has an in-store bakery and deli, large selection of fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and seafood, dairy case, beer and liquor. Located along Highway 307 (if traveling south on 307, go east on Juarez, take the first right and Chedraui will be on your right). You'll also find a good selection at Sam's Club (south of Chedraui on the main highway). The newest and largest supermarkets are Walmart and Mega (30th Ave. and Calle 8).
Akumal: Super Chomak and El Pueblito Minisuper are located at the entry to Akumal. Super Chomak has an amazing selection for it's size, with many imported Americans items as well as fruits, cheese, some meats, veggies, soft drinks, beer and liquor. El Pueblito is across the street and sells grocery items as well as gifts. It's very convenient to have these two grocery stores in Akumal, but remember that you are paying for the convenience. If you are buying a bunch, you're better off shopping at the large grocery store in Playa del Carmen or Tulum and use these small stores to fill in as needed. Also in Akumal (on Half Moon Bay), are two tiny "tiendas" that offer some basic snack foods, sodas, and small selection of alcohol. You'll find several small stores with reasonable prices in the nearby villages of Pueblo Akumal and Chemuyil. Selection is limited but you'll find the basics plus beer and liquor.
Tulum has a good size supermarket called Super San Francisco.
Puerto Aventuras: There is now a new Super Chedraui just across from Puerto Aventuras as you are heading south (right hand side of the road). This is very convenient if you don't want to stop in Cancun or Playa del Carmen. In addition, there are a couple of small shops right in Puerto Aventuras that offer a VERY limited selection, at inflated prices.
Another alternative to restaurants and cooking your own meals is to have a cook come in and prepare a few meals during the week in your villa or condo. We can make arrangements for you at most properties.
Best selection of liquor (beer, wine, liquors) can be found in the larger supermarkets (Chedraui, Mega, San Francisco, Sam's Club, Walmart). You will also find a limited selection at the smaller grocery stores listed above. You'll also find an assortment at the smaller shops in Akumal or the grocery story in Tulum.
Up and down the coast, shopping opportunities are endless. Browse the small boutique shops for beachwear, swim suits, jewelry, artwork and souvenirs. There are also shops selling everything you can imagine; imported rugs, hand-tied hammocks, Mexican rugs, cigars, black coral, furniture and more. You can't possibly visit all of the shops along the Maya Riviera . . . but you can have fun trying! Here are a few shops right in Akumal:
Across from Buena Vida restaurant is a small shop selling an assortment of silver jewelry
Near the entrance to Akumal is an art gallery offering original paintings
There is a same-day laundry in Akumal (Mulgrew's Laundromat, across from Super Chomak); for same-day service, drop your laundry by 9 a.m. There is also a laundromat in Puerto Avenuras and Tulum.
Major supermarkets have pharmacies. There is also a pharmacy in Akumal Pueblo (across the main highway from the entrance to the Akumal). The pharmacy is in the office of of Dr. Lizbeth Mendoza Morales (fluent in English). Open 7 days a week, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. Pharmacy phone (984) 875-9334; doctor's office (984) 875-9372; cell 044 (984) 806-4072 and 044 (984) 108-0091. Other physician is Dr. Nestor Mendoza (fluent in English) with office on the main square in Akumal; open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and he does house calls as well. Office is (984) 875-9393, cell 044 (984) 806-4616.