The Best Cancun Restaurants for Local Culture and International Luxury

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Going to Cancun can be an experience unlike any other.

And aside from the great beaches or incredible nightlife, there are some world class eateries. So we decided to introduce you to a few of the best Cancun restaurants you can visit on your next trip. And while there's plenty of regional dishes and seafood, you can get anything you crave.

Some of the world's most talented chefs offer up their specialties every day. And you can enjoy it all, as long as you're trip is long enough. So prioritize if you need to. We'll try to give you the information you need to pick some contenders. And you might want to act quickly. Some of the best Cancun restaurants remain in consistently high demand. They might require reservations days, weeks or even months in advance. 

But once you see what these chefs and restaurants have in store, you'll find the wait was worth it. A few of these places are unassuming and casual. Others are unquestionably upscale and luxurious. They vary widely in atmosphere and cuisine -- but they have one thing in common. Each of these places can provide a dining experience you won't, if ever, forget. 

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The Best Cancun Restaurants for All Appetites 

While you're here, you'll probably want to try cuisine that builds on the local culture. And there are plenty of opportunities to do just that. Then there are seafood places making the most of the fresh ingredients found nearby. But there's so much more located in this resort destination to suit any palate. Keep reading to find the perfect match for whatever you crave when you're in Cancun.

Considering your host nation, you'd be right to assume there's some incredible Mexican food on hand. But even that cuisine is wide ranging and presented in a variety of intriguing ways. Then there are the fusion restaurants with chefs combining the best of local fare with other cultures. Want at steak or something that reminds you of home? There's sure to be a prime location nearby. Basically, this destination caters to tastes of all types. And the best Cancun restaurants offer options no matter your budget or appetite. 

1. Irori

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Credit:Irori

No matter where you travel, a great Japanese restaurant is a joy to behold. And Irori is about the best Cancun has to offer. It dates back well over a decade and specializes in very authentic menu items. Choose from some of the best tempura dishes of your life. Or if fresh sushi is on your wish list, let the experts here fix it up for you fresh. Ramen is authentic and prepared with maximum flavor. 

But one of the most interesting and unforgettable experiences will come in the teppanyaki section. This is where you can sit down right in front of your expert chef and an iron cooking surface. The chef will put on a show worthy of applause while preparing a meal that will satisfy on every level. Whatever you select will be prepared fresh and in traditional Japanese style.

2. El Fish Fritanga

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Credit: El Fish Fritanga

When you're at the beach, there's nothing quite as perfect as a fresh seafood restaurant. And this unassuming location is the perfect spot to pick up a quick bite. You can get there easily from the hub of local resorts and hotels. In addition to the convenient location and delicious menu, there are great views. Choose a table outside and eat with an incredible backdrop of the nearby lagoon.

Though it might get a bit crowded, the service is great and the food is well worth any wait. It's popular and has been for years for good reason. Pick from whatever's freshest or classic mainstays like the incredible ceviche. Plus, if you have late night cravings, you can head back for a late night service. The taco stand will serve up the tastiest creations around until 1 a.m.

3. Captain's Cove

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Credit: Captain's Cove

In the same general area as El Fish Fritanga, this restaurant is on the other side of the scale. It's a seafood restaurant, but the dishes are presented in a decidedly upscale atmosphere. There are many fine dining establishments among the best Cancun restaurants. But few have the understated charm and elegant service of Captain's Cove. 

You'll likely want to inquire about the catch of the day. It's guaranteed to be the freshest seafood in the city prepared by experts in their craft. Plus, it's part of a few really great all inclusive vacation packages. If it's in yours, make sure you make the most of it. You might just want to go more than once. Either way, it's definitely worth a visit if high end seafood is on the agenda. 

4. Thai Lounge

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Credit: Thai

This small Thai eatery is incredibly authentic and it certainly looks the part. A thatched roof sets an intimate atmosphere and you immediately feel comfortable. Then you can check out a wide range of preparations of the fresh foods on the menu. If you're out shopping at the La Isla Shopping Village, it makes a great spot to enjoy a meal.

The setting can be quite romantic and the view of the lagoon is breathtaking. But plan ahead, because this place gets busy just about every night. Make some reservations and plan for great service, delicious food and an unforgettable environment. Folks who love Thai food are sure to get a craving while their out on vacation. And fortunately for you, one of the best Cancun restaurants has you covered. 

5. Du Mexique

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Credit: Du Mexique

​There is great local Mexican food all over the place, as you might imagine. But if you want a twist on the regional fare, Du Mexique is an excellent option. For starters, it's the brainchild of gifted owner Sonya Grimond. With an expert chef in Benjamin Ferra y Castell, the have established a beautifully elegant dining destination.

Find out what is possible when French cooking styles are used to prepare Mexican cuisine. And you know you'll get the most personal service ever when you see how intimate the dining room is. There are just seven tables and each one is set for an elegant and unforgettable experience.

6. La Destileria

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Credit: La Destileria

But if and when you crave the most authentic Mexican dishes, you'll have plenty of options. And there are many we could recommend. It all comes down to the experience of La Distilleria when it comes to its inclusion on our list. We think it truly is one of the best Cancun restaurants based on the overall atmosphere. 

For starters, you can come as a couple, as a family or by yourself and have a great time. Choose from either the most traditional dishes or some new twists on old favorites. But it is all authentic Mexican food served with a party vibe. Find mariachi performers, a fully stocked bar and good times all the time. Then you'll have excellent views of the city and lagoon to fill out the experience.

7. Bovino’s Churrascaria

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Credit: Bovino’s Churrascaria

You've got to include an excellent steakhouse on almost any list of best eateries. And in Cancun, there are several worthy contenders. But if you've ever enjoyed a churrascaria, you know why we've selected Bovino's. It's about the best example of the traditional Brazilian steak service we've seen.

Expert carvers serve exactly the cut you want right at your table. And all it takes is flipping your card to request more. Whether you've had your perfectly seared meat served this way before or not, it's worth a visit. Both fun and filling, we think this is a sure winner for almost any carnivore in your crew. 

8. Tempo

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Credit: Tempo

Let's end with an exclusive entry. This one is reserved for adults, and only those with the budget for an ultra swanky event. First of all, you've got to dress the part to meet the strict dress code. And from there, it's luxury service by staff clad in the finest duds. Talented Michelin star chef Martin Berasategui has restaurants all over the world. But this is his only restaurant in Mexico. And there's no question why it's one of the best Cancun restaurants. 

The 10 course tasting menu is an experience in itself. And the backdrop of elegance and opulence only makes all the flavorful food a sensory treat. Find delicacies like foie gras and ceviche along with expertly crafted and prepared accompanying dishes. And it's all housed in the Hotel Zone, tucked inside the Paradisus Cancun Resort. 


The best Cancun restaurants range from local seafood to international fine dining.

And there are standout options in almost every type of cuisine you could hope to find. We hope our guide has helped narrow down your list of tasty options. If so, share this article with the international foodies in your life. And leave us a comment below if you have any final thoughts or questions.

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