One of the great delights awaiting any visitor to the city is the range of food that Cancun offers. From the warm wafts emanating from the chattering street-vendors to the candle-lit restaurants on the beachfront, there seems no end to the gastronomic pleasures awaiting you. Despite this abundance of food however, there are five particular treasures that might be worth looking for…
Traditional Mexican Food – La Destilena
Simply put, an institution in Cancun. Serving local favourites such as tacos, quesadillas and a whole galaxy of seafood, La Destilena is ideal for visitors hoping to experience the best of local culinary culture. And in Mexico, that means tequila. Regular tours of the distillery are offered to anyone interested in the process of producing the elixir while the bar remains open late for anyone more interested in the finished product.
Seafood – The Water Grill
Surrounded by the bountiful blue waters of the Pacific, it is hardly surprising that seafood occupies a special place in the hearts (and diets) of the people of Riviera Maya, a love no more apparent than in the simple yet elegant surroundings of The Water Grill. Shrimp, lobster and monkfish are all established favorites here, served in generous portions and garnished with a flavorsome selection of local spices that is sure to set any palate astir. What really sets the Water Grill apart however, is the service. Special pride is taken in ensuring each guest is catered to individually – names remembered and drinks quick to be freshened – a particular attention to detail that culminates in the warm and welcoming atmosphere that characterizes The Water Grill.
Extravagant – Puerto Madero
For those uninhibited by budgetary constraints, there can be few better places on the Riviera Maya that Puerto Madero. Draped in stylish dark woods and adorned with fine artwork, the restaurant is an exercise in opulence, a view of the harbour that brings to mind the feel and exclusivity of a yacht club. Argentine cuisine is the order of the day here with lobster and particularly the meats proving particular favourites while the selection of wines available enough to leave any aficionado enchanted. Formal to semi-formal attire is encouraged.
Hidden Gem – La Palpapa Belga
Located in the charming backs streets of the hotel district, La Palpapa Belga remains a perplexity unexplored treasure amongst diners on the Riviera. The clientele are compromised almost exclusively of locals who flock here to enjoy the French and Belgian cuisine that has given La Palpapa Belga its much beloved reputation amongst Cancunians, a reputation that surely means it will not remain a secret for long. Offering a wonderfully serene view of the lagoon, La Palpapa Belga is the perfect retreat after a full day of snorkeling in the reef or exploring the rainforest and somewhere the hours will drift by unnoticed.
Something a little Different – Five Senses
With its low level lighting and rather mischievous décor, the Five Senses is one most definitely for couples. The primary cuisine here is seafood the appeal of which extends far beyond its taste. Selected for their aphrodisiacal qualities, the oysters here are perhaps unparalleled on the Riviera and with an ever-so-slightly risqué dance troupe performing nightly, it is a relief that there is a fully-stocked, fully-supervised play area where the kids can happily be detained. Whether celebrating a honeymoon or twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Five Senses will guarantee your evening (and rest of the night!) is one of excitement, titillation and romance.