Keep kosher? Keep reading! Today we are introducing the Top 5 Kosher Restaurants in Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, Mexico.
Bienvenidos a Mexico! Land of the mariachis….and a seriously good taco.
The kosher food scene in Playa and Tulum- which is just a short drive from Cancun, is seriously booming. Some of the restaurants even rival the cities top non-kosher eateries. So grab your hat and lets talk food!
First off let me say that I have never been so well fed on vacation! I am used to eating rice cakes and tuna while traveling- with a side of um, did I say rice cakes?
When my husband and I booked a friends trip to Mexico this winter, the first thing I said was- I’m not leaving Mexico without trying a real (kosher) taco!! I was pleasantly surprised. (Maybe a bit more than that- I may have got to a first name basis with my favorite chefs!).
NOTE: There are more kosher restaurants available in Playa del Carmen/Tulum area, than what is listed here, but these are the places I personally ate at (several times!). I’ve included my recommendations on what to order.
(coming to Israel this Hannukah?? Check out our guide on the best Sufganiyot in the city right here)
Location: 5th Avenue Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Situated right off of 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen, this is the hottest, newest restaurant in the area. Just minutes from the beach, this place has all the vibes- people, lights, music, and of course incredible food! The appetizers are fun, the decor is great, and there’s a variety on the menu if you want to try some Mexican specialties too- like pulled beef empanadas.
The service here was exceptional and we got to chat with the owner(who came from Israel), and see the smokers at work. Like the name says- this is a smokehouse. You’ll be drooling from the aromas the second you walk in but don’t fill up too much on the first course because the meats are where its at! Expect juicy smoky chicken(served with corn on the cob and slaw), incredible pulled brisket, and melt in your mouth short ribs, all served with sides.
What to Order:
- Pulled Beef Empanadas with chimmichurri sauce. Price- 250 MXN (about $12)
- Rib Eye Candies with Pistachios(yum!! this could also be a main as it was very filling). Price-350 MXN ( about $17)
- Beetroot Carpaccio. This was served with a bang- on a steamy platter. Super fun for the experience!
- Smoked chicken (served with shredded potatoes, coleslaw, and red rice with spicy salsa)
- 12 hour Smoked Asado-my personal favorite( served with coleslaw, potatoes and corn)
- 12 hour Smoked Brisket (served with coleslaw, potato wedges and corn)
Location: Playa Del Carmen
Avenida Constituyentes lote 01, mz 079, local 2 col Gonzálo Guerrero c.p. 77710 entre la calle 15 y 20nte 77710 Playa del Carmen,
By the time we left Playa Del Carmen, this restaurant was like our second home! Moshe(the owner and chef) is so sweet, and the staff are attentive and very friendly- we got lots of tips on where to go for day trips! (Don’t miss Cenote Azul and Cenote Dos Ojos).
The cooks at Moshe Cube are Mexican- so you can be sure the food is authentic! The ingredients were extremely fresh, and we had some of the best challah I’ve ever eaten, which is saying a lot. While there is of course, Cube, on the menu, my favorite thing about this restaurant is the specials. Listen up:
Call the restaurant( +52 1 984 173 0773) before you plan on stopping in, and ask what the specials of the day are. The specials are not normally advertised, but this is where you get to try real Mexican food. The chefs are also very, very flexible.
I called in and asked if they would make us some specific Mexican dishes not on the menu and they were happy to oblige- we got to try incredible tacos with homemade tortillas, fresh guacamole, and saucy pulled meat. Also possible- Chile rellenos and enchiladas. Just make sure to call up first!
What to Order:
- Taco Special. not on the menu! (if there are tacos as a special ORDER THEM. SO GOOD!!!!)
- Challah Schnitzel (soft fresh challah sliced open and filled with breaded chicken and salads)
- Spicy Moroccan Salmon with Rice and Salad. (incredible. also served with challah)
- Spicy Moroccan Fish Ball (in a tomato based stew. spicy!!)
- Cube– I don’t normally like cube but this was over the top delicious.
- Drink- the lemonade with mint. perfectly made.
Ave. Tulum y calle 12 sur Tulum, Quintana roo
A 45 minute drive away from Playa Del Carmen, Yafe is the newest and ONLY kosher restaurant available in Tulum. If you’re planning a day trip to this beautiful breezy beach town, this is your place to stop for both breakfast and dinner!
The restaurant is clean with lots of open seating, both in the front facing the Main Street of Tulum, and in back by the small pool, which is where we sat. The vibes are chill and you can watch your food being made on the open grill.
We especially loved the seared tuna salad, which was presented beautifully, and the chicken tacos. Expect smaller portions with lots of flavor. They also offer ready made shabbat food.
INSIDE TIP: This kosher restaurant is a short walk from the Chabad of Tulum and also offers a small hotel.
What to Order:
- seared tuna salad- I came back to the restaurant just to get this dish again the next day!
- fried empanadas with corn- so crispy and served with a great sauce!
- Chicken tacos- super fresh tortillas and very delicious
- Chicken enchiladas with half red sauce and half green sauce. authentic!
4. Mas Pan
Location: Playa Del Carmen
Set a short walk from the beach and the bustling main town, and just minutes away from the Chabad of Playa, is Mas Pan. This is the only kosher dairy restaurant in Playa Del Carmen.
The restaurant is newly renovated with sweet Mexican staff, and offers a variety: sushi, pizzas, sandwiches, and pastries.
We stopped here on our way to Cenote Azul to pick up breakfast and pizza- it was delicious! The pizza pies do come on the smaller side- so order extra.
INSIDE TIP: The streets are small and the weather is very, very, humid. It takes a while to get anywhere so for day trips start early and drive in to pick up food before the heat and traffic. Order in advance and you won’t have to wait for your pizza!
WHAT TO ORDER:
Pizza. we tried a variety of the pizzas and topping. they were all very fresh and yummy.
Pastries. I especially loved the croissants with almond filling. I stopped at Mas Pan a couple times to pick up more!
I was blown away by our Chabad experience. All the food was homemade by the Rebbetzin and her crew of Mexican workers, and the tables were choke full of all kinds of people- europeans, Mexicans, Israelis, and Americans. The vibes were fun. The Chabad is set in the jungle- the davening is held outside where there are tables and lights strung between the trees- it’s really lovely.
INSIDE TIP: Word is the Chabad of Tulum is the place to be in the area for Shabbat. Meals at the Chabad of Playa are supposedly less exciting.
We were a lot of people for Friday night so it was a bit hot as the door had to be kept open. There were servers for the meals- it was very professional.
What was served:
Lots of Salatim. homemade challah and fresh guacamole with tortilla chips were my favorite.
Moroccan Fish. this was so good! I ate so much I wasn’t hungry for the main course.
Chicken and Meat.
Fruit and Apple Cakes for dessert.
For kiddish and lunch: dips, cholent, fruits
INSIDE TIP: There is no fresh Chalav Yisrael kosher milk available so expect coffee with coconut or almond milk. The same goes for Yafe restaurant in Tulum.
I hope these inside tips are helpful, and you get to try some of the best authentic kosher Mexican food during your stay in Mexico! Comment below if you know of any places we didn’t get to try that deserve a visit!