Best Restaurants in Tulum, Mexico: Part 2

Best Restaurants in Tulum, Mexico: Part 2

If you haven’t read my previous post about the best budget restaurants in Tulum, check that out first. I’ll wait.

Now that you’re craving tacos and three of your tabs are open to “cheap flights to Mexico,” let’s move on. Today, I want to share a few more of my favorite spots in Tulum. These are a little less budget-friendly (compared to the dollar tacos I raved about earlier), but just as delicious.


Best Date Night Restaurants in Tulum

Ziggy’s Beach Club

Serves: Lunch, Dinner, Alcohol

Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly: ☙ ☙ ☙

Price Range: $12 – 40 USD

Ziggy’s is one of the many beach clubs along the hotel strip. That means that for a flat fee plus minimum food and drink order, you can rent a beach lounger or day bed. Chris and I didn’t do that, though; we just brought towels to the beach and parked our asses in the sand ’cause we’re cheap. But we did enjoy a late lunch here (they serve lunch until 6pm).

There’s no dress code at Ziggy’s (in fact, I don’t think there’s a dress code anywhere in Tulum), so feel free to dress up or down. Although maybe skip the heels: the floor at Ziggy’s is just sand. Soft, sugary white sand.

The tuna nachos we ordered weren’t really nachos, but they were delicious. (Images courtesy of Chris Mougey)

After our Tuna Nachos appetizer, we both ordered a variation of shrimp. Chris had the Coconut Shrimp while I tried the Ceviche Caribe. I am a sucker for a good ceviche and this was a good ceviche. Just the right amounts of sweet, tangy, and spicy. And absolutely brimming with mango.

Divine.

Maybe it was the amazing view of the water or the novelty of eating gourmet food with my toes in the sand (bare foot = best foot), but I was seriously impressed. If we’d had time, we would have come back here to try the other options on the menu – and maybe do some more beach lounging.

Ziggy's Beach Club Tulum
Proof that Chris takes better photos than I do.

Casa Jaguar

Serves: Dinner, Alcohol

Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly: ☙ ☙ ☙

Price Range: About $30 USD/plate

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Casa Jaguar was the smoke. A waiter walked between the tables, swinging a bucket full of coals, like an altar boy with a censer. This was more jungle temple than cathedral, though. Cow skulls, Mayan statuettes, and terracotta crosses adorned the walls in place of saints, flanked by trailing vines, ferns, and foliage.

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The second thing I noticed was the lady of the house, Pantera, the jaguar of Casa Jaguar. She’s a dainty, adorable black cat who is not above begging for table scraps (which of course I gave her).

We found out from the waitress that the smoke wasn’t just pretentious, hipster incense. They burn copal, a sharp-smelling resin that the Mayans use in rituals of protection. When we asked what we were being protected from that night, she said, “Mosquitoes.”

Apparently, they don’t like the smell of copal.

Let’s talk about the food

That blend of old and new is Casa Jaguar’s whole aesthetic. Their dishes use hearty, local ingredients that they’ve elevated with artistic and culinary flair. Chris and I both ordered simple entrees that totally blew us away.

I had the lamb ossobuco with mashed potatoes. I know what you’re thinking: you went to a fancy restaurant in Mexico and ordered a slightly trussed up version of steak and potatoes?? Yes. And while that may seem lame, it was the right choice. Garlic mashed potatoes, y’all.

Date Night at Casa Jaguar Tulum
Pantera got a nibble of this lamb shank, which she deserved as the patron goddess of one of the best restaurants in Tulum.

Chris ordered the whole snapper with chimichurri, which was crispy, flaky, and buttery. Best snapper he’s ever eaten (that’s a direct quote). Meanwhile I nearly died choking on a fish bone.

Low lighting + copal smoke + teeny tiny fish bones = a bad time.

For safety’s sake I decided to stick with the lamb after that, but I would recommend either. Still, take that recommendation with a grain of salt. Casa Jaguar’s menu varies by season and availability, so no guarantees you’ll be able to order these exact dishes, but that’s half the fun.

Let Casa Jaguar surprise you.

Todos Santos

Serves: Artisan Cocktails

Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly: ☙ ☙ ☙ ☙ ☙

Price Range: $15 USD

Todos Santos is the sister bar to Casa Jaguar and Chris and I stumbled in kind of by accident. I’d mixed it up with Santeria, a local favorite in Tulum Pueblo known for cheap drinks and karaoke.

We should have known when we walked in that it was the wrong spot. I mean, it looks like an apothecary but for alcohol and Instagram influencers with fewer than 10k followers (aka, yours truly). It looks like farmer’s market meets witch’s workshop. It looks like the kind of place where you ask to see a cocktail menu only to hear that there is no menu…

Which is exactly what happened.

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Brian, the bartender, instead asked us what we were feeling: light and refreshing, fruity, bitter, sweet? Then he asked what alcohol we preferred. I went with mescal, Chris chose a white rum.

Artisan Cocktail at Todos Santos Tulum
My cocktail had straight up flowers in it, which if that isn’t my aesthetic, I don’t know what is. (Image courtesy of Chris Mougey)

The drinks he prepared for us were absolute originals and undeniably tasty. They were also undeniably on the costly side. But that’s the price of having a cocktail brujo divine your future through his mystic arts.

Spoiler alert: you’re gonna have a great night.


Best Dessert Restaurants in Tulum

We saw so many gelato shops in Tulum, I felt like I was back in Italy. Even vegan options exist! I’ve heard great things about Artehelado and Matcha Mama. Or you could try the vegan ice cream at I Scream Bar, which I mentioned in my list of best budget restaurants in Tulum.

Out of all of them, though, we kept coming back to this one:

La Ceiba

Serves: Dessert

Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly: ☙ ☙ ☙ ☙ ☙

Price Range: $4 – 10 USD

We stopped at La Ceiba for a quick gelato while on an evening stroll our second night in Tulum. It checked all the boxes: within walking distance (literally five minutes from our front door), not crowded, had ice cream.

And what ice cream it was! I ordered a scoop of the Coco y Choco while Chris had the Dulce de Leche.

Waffles and Gelato at La Ceiba
Easily one of the best things I ate in Tulum.

On our last night, we stopped in again, this time for something truly decadent. La Ceiba has both sweet and salty waffles on their menu, which both sounded delicious, but I was on a mission. We paired a Nutella-filled sweet waffle with hazelnut and chocolate ice cream. To DIE for.

My only regret is that we ordered a single one to share, instead of one each.

I think we’ll end on that sweet note. I hope you’ve enjoyed my little restaurant guide and that you’ll try out some of these places! Let me know in the comments if you have any favorite restaurants in Tulum that I missed!

Best Restaurants Tulum Pinterest Image

Note: I’ve provided the price range for these restaurants in Tulum in U.S. dollars, based on the conversion rate today as I’m writing this. These rates fluctuate constantly. The best way to stretch your money no matter where you eat in Tulum is to carry Mexican pesos and pay only with those.



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