One staple in Playa del Carmen is pollo asado, or roasted chicken. You can find a ‘polleria’ on almost every corner! Many are very small establishments, and only sell until they run out of their daily supply. These places have some of the best chicken in Playa! Prices range from $70mx to $125mx for a whole chicken. Each order typically comes with tortillas, salsa, rice and black beans to make your own tacos. You can order chickens whole, or ask for a half or a quarter. These shops are very popular for locals to stop at for lunch break from work, or on their way home in the evening. Though it’s not uncommon for them to be closed by 7 when they sell out!
These locations have quickly become our favourites, and each is quite different from the next. So give them all a try if you can!
Best Chicken in Playa
El Pechugon multiple locations. Our fav: Av Puerto Juarez & Av 10
El Pechugon quickly became one of our favourite stops, and they have probably the best chicken in Playa. They roast their whole chickens on a rotating spit, and cook baby potatoes below that. So the potatoes are roasting in the chicken juices… Seriously some of the best potatoes you’ll ever eat! And, they’re only $25mx for a bag of them. You HAVE to give them a try!
Their ‘tacos’ (really, taquitos or tacos dorados) are Seth’s favourite snack. Essentially just shredded chicken and a bit of salsa wrapped in a corn tortilla and deep-fried. Sometimes they can have some kick to them, but they’re always tasty. And at only $4mx each (sometimes 2 for 1 if you’re lucky), they are a regular snack for us.
These guys don’t speak English, so be prepared to order in Spanish. But, everything is on the menu board, so you should get by no problem if you know your numbers.
Stop in on a Wednesday to take advantage of their weekly special… $94mx for a whole chicken, tortillas, salsa and rice. This is easily the best chicken in Playa. It’s moist and flavourful. Not to salty, like some I’ve had. Highly recommend you stop in here!
Ferron’s Jamaican Chicken CTM & Calle 105
3 words: JAMAICAN JERK CHICKEN. In a city full of tacos, sometimes you just feel like eating some chicken with a kick. Seriously though. You haven’t had chicken until you’ve eaten here!
The small restaurant is a bit out from centro, but don’t let that stop you! They even deliver, so on those lazy nights all it takes is a simple phone call!
We ordered from them on a day it was raining so hard, I actually didn’t think they’d deliver, since most deliveries are made with motorbikes, but they did! Our meal arrived with a bit of a delay due to weather, which was expected. But it was still piping hot. Needless to say, that driver got a good tip! Even with that and the small delivery fee (I think around $50mx), this feast still cost under $300mx!
Taqueria Jorge Calle Playa del Carmen & Calle Isla Mujeres (Near 28 de Julio)
We stumbled upon this one afternoon while house sitting in the area. We were just walking around, checking out our new neighbourhood, and saw a sign for $50mx half chickens and $90mx whole ones. Since we were hungry, we picked up a half to take home. Boy was I glad I did! It was delicious!! We’ve been back a few times since, and are always eager to stop by when we’re in the area. They give way more tortillas than others we’ve ordered from, which is a night perk! And the chicken is always cooked well, and not dried out.
Asadero el Pollo 20 Av & Calle 2
This is probably the most popular polleria in Playa. This is largely because it is located directly across from a school, and directly across from the Tulum/Cancun colectivo queue. But also because it’s delicious! They have quite the impressive operation going on, and I’d return just to watch it! They had at least 40 whole, flattened chickens on the grill at once. Because of that, the chicken you’ll get is always fresh and not dried out. They come with some delicious pickled onions, and a really spicy sauce, along with the standard tortillas, beans and rice. They are a bit more expensive than some of the other places we frequent, at $110mx for a whole, and $60mx for a half. But you are paying for convenience here, given the location. Still worth a stop in!
I hope these suggestions have given you ideas for where to get your pollo asado when you are in Playa! Do you have a favourite location that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments so I can check it out!!