It’s nearly impossible to stroll down the sandy, palm tree–populated road that connects Tulum’s Hotel Zone — the area’s eco-chic properties scattered along the street that separates lush jungle from turquoise ocean — without catching rustic signage peeking behind leaves advertising yoga and fresh juice. Those are just early suggestions of the wellness-centered ethos and bohemian vibe that have earned the beachy resort town a following.
About an hour and a half drive south from Cancún, along the Yucatán Peninsula coast and at the tip of the Riviera Maya, Tulum is paradise of ingredient-driven, wood-fired cooking heavily influenced by its crystal waters and tropical environs. Here, there’s no power grid, instead hospitality projects run on generators or solar power, which explains many restaurants’ intensely simple approach to cooking, both in the hotel zone and in downtown Tulum.
Here now, and in geographic order, Eater contributor Kat Odell offers an overview of dining in what has become an epicenter of hipster tourism. A catalog that embraces regional specialties like cochinita pibil and ingredients from corn to cacao, below, the 18 places that define dining in Tulum, Mexico.
June 2017 Update
As always, some places must leave the list to make room for others. Here's the run down:
Added: The Real Coconut, Kitchen Table, Chamicos
Dropped: Cetli, Restaurare, Simple