One of the many perks of living in Southern California is having easy access to great, authentic Mexican food. Even though the reviews raved about restaurants on the island, I wasn’t sure what to expect since the bar has been set pretty high for good Mexican food. Without exaggerating, however, almost all of the restaurants we tried in Isla Mujeres exceeded our expectations (there certainly were exceptions, unfortunately). The dishes showcased fresh ingredients and flavor profiles that were well-balanced and not overly seasoned or salty. Read on to find out what we ate and would recommend!*
Contact: 18, Av Vicente Guerrero, Sm 1 Centro, Centro, 77400; +52 998 877 0507
Hours: Google shows that hours are 8 AM to 9 PM everyday.
What we ordered: beer, shrimp ceviche, queso fundido con chorizo (amazing), pork tostadas, and chicken poblano chile special with this amazing soup. Definitely ordered way too much food, but we wanted to try as many dishes as possible. Great service and food. My favorites were the shrimp ceviche and the soup, while my husband’s favorites were queso fundido con chorizo and the soup.
Both indoor and outdoor seating. No A/C, very warm inside.
Contact: Av. Guerrero, Lote 8, Manzana 8; +52 998 156 5689
Hours: Facebook page shows that they’re open daily from 12 PM to 11 PM. 2 story building.
What we ordered: limonada, horchata, guacamole, pork tacos, fish tacos. Standout dishes: guacamole and fish tacos (grilled).
As it was a bit later in the afternoon, we were the only ones in the restaurant. Got seated on the second floor with an open kitchen.
Contact: Centro – Supmza. 001 (Hidalgo Norte on their Facebook page); +52 998 159 2187
Hours: 8 AM – 2 PM; 5 PM – 10 PM daily.
What we ordered: watermelon margarita, pineapple and ginger margarita, Brazilian chicken, fish tacos, apple pie chimichangas. Loved every single thing we ordered, except for husband’s watermelon margarita.
Cute décor and romantic atmosphere in the evening, outdoor and indoor seating. No A/C. Very good service and food, though it is on the pricier side relative to other restaurants.
Contact: Miguel Hidlago 13, Centro – Supmza. 001; +52 998 120 4288
Hours: 1 PM – 1 AM Mondays-Saturdays, closed Sundays (according to Google).
What we ordered: beers, chorizo nachos (my husband said they were the best nachos he’s ever had; they were loaded with a lot of toppings), fish tacos, pork quesadillas. I’m not sure if it’s because we were so hungry, but everything we ordered was very tasty.
Exhausted and hungry, we were looking for a place to grab a quick bite after a very long day on the Chichen Itza tour. Since it was late and raining, we didn’t have a lot of options. The sandwich board in the pub advertised three tacos and a beer for MXN 75, so we decided to give Tres Mentiras a try. There was live music (a solo act with a guitar playing alternative music), no vacant tables indoors, so we were seated outside under their awning, which kept us somewhat dry. Décor is funky, bright, colorful. This place serves craft beers, which is a rarity on the island. Service and food were very good, but not the obnoxiously loud and drunk American tourists that were sitting across from us.
Polos Mango Café:
Contact: Av Payo Obispo S/N MZA 101 LTE 1, Meteorológico; +52 1 998 274 0118
Hours: 7 AM – 3 PM, 4 PM – 9 PM daily (the workers stated that they close for an hour from 3 to 4 PM to clean and prep for their dinner menu).
What we ordered: Hibiscus water, watermelon water, strawberry water, West Indies chicken tacos, and stuffed chile poblano.
We absolutely loved every single thing that we had ordered! This was definitely our favorite restaurant on the island. Very bright, eclectic décor, great service, amazing food. Highly recommend!
Contact: Calle 9 Lte 15, La Gloria; +52 998 147 4386
Hours: 8 AM – 11 PM daily, but closed on Thursdays according to their Facebook page.
What we ordered: beer, horchata (I’m not a big fan, but husband enjoyed it a lot), pescado Tikinxic (traditional Mayan dish), brocheta de arrachera (steak skewer), homemade flan.
Great food, great value, great service. They gave us complimentary chips and four different types of salsa/sauces to munch on while we waited for our dishes, which was a nice touch. It was pouring rain when we were ready to leave, so the staff told us that we could hang out and wait out the rain as long as we needed to. We hung out for a bit but decided to leave, as the streets were getting heavily flooded and we didn’t want to get stuck anywhere.
Av. Rueda Medina, esq. Albatros; 9981 8681 48.
Hrs: Tues-Sun, 8 AM –10 PM (address, phone, hrs according to the restaurant website).
What we ordered: cucumber lemonade (one of the best lemonades I’ve ever had in my life. Must try!), guacamole (tasty and fresh), fish tacos (could not understand the rave reviews; they were beautifully presented, but tasted dry and mishmashed. Reminiscent of Taiwanese popcorn chicken, the fish tacos did not taste like authentic Mexican tacos, but something you might find on a PF Chang menu, which is never a compliment. Maybe if they changed the breading of the fish, switched the weird Asian inspired sauce to a Mexican sauce, and added some acidity and pico de gallo or something, the dish would fare better?), and breakfast enchiladas (husband did not appreciate this dish, but said that it was much better than my fish tacos).
Ah, how I had such high hopes for this cute little restaurant, alas, it was pretty disappointing. I hate saying that, as the service, ambience, cleanliness, and food presentation were great, but the taste was a bit off… Maybe we ordered the wrong things. Maybe it was an off day for them. Maybe we should have just gone with what the server recommended (green omelet), instead of the recommendations of yelpers and tripadvisor. We came for brunch, and as we had such a positive experience with all the restaurants we tried on the island, I was a bit sad to leave with this place as our final meal. Kicking myself for not returning to Mango’s for breakfast.
*Please note that the addresses, phone numbers, and operating hours of all listed restaurants may have changed since they were last updated in January 2017.