It’s no secret that tacos are one of my favourite foods. So when we came to Mexico it quickly became a mission to find the best tacos in Playa del Carmen! In our 3 visits to the city, totalling about 9 months, we’ve had the opportunity to try out quite a few taco places. Here I’ve compiled a list of the ones I think serve the best tacos in Playa. Try them out, and let me know if you agree!
Best Tacos in Playa de Carmen
Aranchido, Ave 30, between Calle 22 & Calle 24
This is a new place that just opened up in February of 2017. We were on our way to a new airbnb one night, and saw a sign that said ‘FREE TACOS’ so I obviously had to stop! Man was I glad I did! What followed was what I would not hesitate to call the best tacos in Playa del Carmen.
The server brought out a wooden platter with 2 tacos and 3 sauces. Pretty sweet for a free taco. It was meant to be one for each of us, but Seth wasn’t hungry so I ended up eating both. No complaints from me!! The tacos were almost more like fajitas than tacos, which is something I love. The chicken had been grilled with onions and peppers, and was served on a slightly crispy tortilla. This was a serious departure from the tacos usually served here, and a refreshing change. The sauces were delicious, and the perfect accompaniment to the tacos. There was a chipotle, a guacamole and some roasted red peppers. Basically all of my favourite things, on a little wooden platter.
If you’re stopping in for tacos, you’ll order them as a pack of 8, not individually. At $160mx for 8 they are a bit more expensive than many of the other places in town, but they are definitely worth the extra few pesos.
Las de Asada, Avenida 35 y Calle 6 norte
Found this hidden gem thanks to some Estonian friends I met for a business lunch. It was amazing!! Prices are low, taste is high, and the menu is quite extensive. My only regret was that we were too busy talking to remember to take photos! I didn’t make it back again this trip, but it’s top of my list for next year!
El Fogon, Avenida Constituyentes y Avenida 30; Avenida 30 y Calle 6 norte bis; Avenida 30 y Calle 32 norte
On any given night, around dinner time, you can expect to see a line around the corner at El Fogon. It is clearly a favourite of both locals and tourists. Prices are low, menu is extensive and food is delicious, so it it most definitely worth a visit! Ask anyone in town, and most of them will surely tell you El Fogon has the best tacos in Playa!
I opted for nachos to start, and plain old tacos al pastor for my main course. My goal this trip was to eat tacos as often as possible, so I couldn’t let them pass my by in this place. The meat was cut right off the spit in the front corner of the restaurant, and dinner came very quickly. These were my first tasting of Al Pastor tacos, and I was certainly impressed. The nachos were a delicious, albeit messy, affair. After a few orders in various places we’ve learned that nachos are commonly served with a layer of refried beans topped with cheese. I’ve never seen that before, having grown up only in Canada, but have discovered a new favourite way to make them!
Taquerias el Nero, Av Chemuyil y Mision del Caribe
This was our first Playa taco experience. They specialize in offal meat… tongue, liver, brain, etc… Not my favourite menu, but we were hungry! After stopping in to talk to the manager I learned they also have just regular beef. I decided to order one to try, and when I pulled out my wallet and asked the price, the manager insisted that the first one was on the house. Needless to say, I went back several times!
Don Sirloin, multiple locations throughout Playa
One of the main chain restaurants, this is a great option for any meal. Prices are quite low, and the menu is extensive. They offer a good selection of tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tortas (sandwiches), burgers, sides, cervesas and drinks. Tacos range from 10-20 each, and Seth loved that they offered both corn and flour tortillas.
El Taco Mexicanos, Av 5 y Calle 38
We met some fellow travellers here for dinner one night, and were very pleased with the experience. The meal was delicious, service was excellent, and prices were low (which is really the biggest selling point for me, if you know me at all!). We happened to get there during happy hour, so beers were 2 x 1. Score! Tacos were around the $14mx mark, pretty average for Playa., but cheap for 5th Av!
Tacos Mexicanas is located towards the north end of 5th, so not one you’d likely walk past if you’re staying in Centro. But if you’re at the beach for the day, aim to come up by Mamitas, and you’ll be right up the block! You can also grab a cab from Centro for around $50mx
Las Quekas, multiple locations
While technically not a taco place, I included Las Quekas on this list of the best tacos in Playa because they use fresh made tortillas, cheese and meat or veggie filling to make a delicious, cheap meal. So they mostly qualify as a taco stand 😉
This is a chain restaurant that specializes in quesadillas. They’re all over Playa, so you’ll see them often. We’ve tried m any locations, and have never been disappointed!
They offer several different kinds of filling (see the menu in the photo below), but I usually get the Tinga de Pollo (chicken tinga), It’s a pulled chicken that has a really nice tomato-based flavour to it. They also make their own tortillas to order, which I’ll never get tired of seeing!
It’s impressive to see how full the grill can get in busier locations. And it’s neat to see the way they season the grill: with a fork holding half an onion. I’m not sure that I could taste the difference, but I thought it was a pretty great idea!
El Sabor Mexicano, Juarez y Ave 45
We walked past this restaurant several times a week when we lived in Ejido, and it became a regular nightly snack. Tacos are cheap, around $10-13 pesos each. and the rest of the menu is equally priced.
I love that the grill is right at the front of the restaurant. When you’re walking past and the grills are full with the meat for the evening, it’s easy to get pulled in! The chicken is my favourite, because it has a slightly smoky flavour that can only come from a charcoal grill.
The topping selection is what REALLY sells it though, I think.. 10 different things to add to your taco, turning a couple simple tacos into a meal that will leave you stuffed. The toppings vary from mild to spicy, so there’s something for everyone. Things like rice, pico de gallo, cactus, cucumbers and a few salsas.
Taquiera Arandas, Av 10 & Calle 8
This is one of the few places near the tourist zone that we enjoy frequenting. We stopped in one day after hearing some good reviews, and they were right! This was the place that actually converted Seth to an el pastor fan, so it’s obviously a tasty place! Prices were good too, with tacos only $13mx.
The style of this restaurant is one I really like, with the grill at the front, along the sidewalk. You can watch the cook prepare your meal, and the smell will draw you in as you pass. Stop in here for a couple tacos to go, or for a sit down meal. You won’t regret it!
This list will hopefully direct you to the best tacos in Playa del Carmen. When you visit here, this is definitely a food that you want to eat a few times!
Do you have a favourite place that makes the best tacos in Playa that I haven’t mentioned? Leave a comment so I can check it out!!