Most people that visit Quintana Roo will visit places like Tulum and Cancún, and in recent years bigger cities like these have exploded with amazing restaurants and bars to cater to the tourist population. But there are so many other places just begging to be explored that offer all the same things you can find in the big tourist cities.
Bacalar is a city located along Laguna Bacalar in the interior of the province, with a mellow beach-town vibe. One of the first questions you might ask is where to eat, and don’t worry. There are plenty of options!
Whether you’re looking for the best tacos in Bacalar has to offer or something plant-based and refreshing. You’ll find what you’re looking for. Check out this list of the best restaurants in Bacalar to satisfy any craving.
1. La Playita
In the heart of downtown Bacalar, right on the banks of the lagoon, is another must-try restaurant called La Playita. With the open-air gazebo in a jungle-like setting but just steps from the sandy beach, you can relax in one of their hammocks while you sip a cocktail and enjoy fresh seafood dishes (or vegan if that’s your thing).
La Playita serves a little bit of everything, from juicy hamburgers to classic Mexican and Latin fusion. Think braised octopus, shrimp sandwiches, buffalo cauliflower, and fresh guacamole.
They also make fresh smoothies (try the mango one), or, if you’re so inclined, they make house cocktails as well, and the strawberry basil daiquiri is quite popular. If you’ve still got room after all this, make sure to try their chocolate lava cake, one of the most popular desserts on the menu.
Live music features every night, the perfect way to end the day!
Address: 1 765 Costera, C. 26 EsqView Menu Here
2. Kai Pez
How does an ice-cold beer, a tray of fresh fish tacos, and a warm sea breeze sound…all in the same spot? Pretty good. We’re sure you’d agree. That’s exactly what Kai Pez has in store.
The food here is simple but flavorful, serving up classics like prawn tacos, grilled octopus, and salmon tartare. You can also get tostadas, empanadas, and ceviche. In fact, their aguachile is one of their most popular dishes. Don’t miss out on their cocktail menu for the perfect fruity complement to the seafood dishes.
It’s located right on the lagoon with unimpeded views of the crystal blue water. There’s also a jetty that extends out to a small thatched gazebo on the water, perfect for dipping your toes or going for a swim. You can book a Bacalar lagoon boat tour right at the restaurant, where a guide will take you out on the water, explain the history of the region, and show you some of the nearby sights.
We had our waiter book our Bacalar boat tour last time, the price was reasonable, and it took the headache out of negotiating and finding a driver that spoke English and had a nice pontoon.
Address: Av 1 S/N, CentroView Menu Here
3. Mango y Chile
If you’re looking for a restaurant that serves only plant-based dishes, you can stop searching because Mango y Chile is the gold standard in fresh vegan fare. It is hands down the best vegan restaurant in Bacalar. Even non-vegans love it.
The restaurant is just across the street from the beach, on an elevated patio with views of the blue lagoon through swaying palm trees. The vegan burgers are one of the most popular things to eat here and come with a side of extra-crispy fries. If you want something a little more fresh, they offer a medley of salads and tacos.
You also can’t miss their fresh fruit smoothies, coffee frappes, and “milkshakes,” which come in so many flavors it’s hard to keep track. They also make their own vegan ice cream that you can get in cups with toppings, which will surely be a welcome treat on a hot day.
Address: Av.3 Fuerte San Felipe, entre calle 22 y calle 24, Centro
4. Nixtamal (Cocina a Fuego y Ceniza)
Nixtamal is a little more expensive than many restaurants in Bacalar, but the menu and ambiance make it worth the extra spend. Plus, you can’t deny that there’s something nice about an occasional splurge, and the menu makes this one of the best restaurants in Bacalar.
Nixtamal specializes in fresh seafood dishes with bold flavors that are expertly cooked. The first notable thing about this beautiful restaurant is the open-concept kitchen and grill, set in a jungle-like atmosphere. When it’s all lit up at night with colored lanterns and torches, you’ll really feel like you’ve stepped into another world.
Juicy grilled lobster tails and rib-eye steaks are some of their popular dishes, but the most talked about is their Salmon Xocolatl, a salmon dish made with white chocolate. And, of course, you can’t miss their actual desserts, which use house-made chocolate, fresh fruit, and honey to make the most creative sweet treats.
Address: Av 5 Esquina, C. 12
Small, laid-back, and relaxing: that’s what you’ll find at Enamora. They are a breakfast café, so this would make a great spot to start your day with a good meal. The spot is charming and rustic, with simple picnic tables under the shade of the trees.
Some of the dishes you can find here include shrimp omelets, goat cheese, prosciutto charcuterie boards, french toast, breakfast tortillas, and even cake. There’s even a Swedish egg dish, courtesy of the Swedish owner’s homeland. Their coffee is also extremely popular, with many calling it the best in town.
The location is quiet much of the time, but sometimes it’s bustling with activity thanks to live music and even artisan markets, which take place right beside the seating area. Overall this is a great spot for breakfast that you shouldn’t miss if you’re staying in Bacalar.
Address: C. 18, Centro
6. Los de Atlixco
Los de Atlixco is the perfect spot for a relaxed lunchtime or dinner meal with a few friends. They are located in the center of Bacalar, just two blocks from the sandy banks of the Bacalar Lagoon.
The menu is a mix of American dishes, Mexican classics, and Latin fusion-style food. That means just one thing: nothing but the best flavors.
The burgers here are extremely popular, and the restaurant has 12 burger choices on its menu (three of which are vegan or vegetarian). Aside from the classic handhelds, the menu is full of typical Mexican foods like tacos, gringas, burritos, nachos, and more.
Most dishes have a meat or seafood base, and there are meat-free options for vegans or vegetarians. Overall, this is a great restaurant in Bacalar with a fun and mellow vibe and some seriously delicious food.
Address: Adolfo López Mateos 332, Centro
7. El Taco Loco
El Taco Loco was first founded in the nearby city of Chetumal over 30 years ago, where they were one of the first seafood restaurants.
They became so popular that they opened a second location in Bacalar. It’s a bit off the beaten track in a quieter area just north of the center, but it’s worth the trek. The place is lively without being rowdy, with lots of indoor and outdoor seating amidst lots of lush greenery.
El Taco Loco’s service, meals, and ambiance make it one of the best restaurants in Bacalar. They have a very big menu with lots of different choices. Of course, they specialize in tacos with all kinds of unique toppings like octopus and fried snail. But they also do meat and seafood dishes like flank steak, creamy shrimp, and whole-fried fish. You can also get the classic shrimp cocktail here, the perfect appetizer before your meal.
Address: C. 19 Libramiento 92, Luis Donaldo ColosioView Menu Here
8. Madre Masa
This is another great little spot in the center of Bacalar that would be perfect for a lighter snack or something in between meals to keep you going. Madre Masa is a bakery-café offering light meals like homemade sandwiches, gorditas, and pastries like croissants and cinnamon buns. Their bread loaves and baguettes are made fresh in-house.
Many of their savory bread and pastries are used for sandwiches, and there are even vegetarian and vegan options. Try the croissant with guacamole and tempura cauliflower or the pork chicharron on ciabatta.
And, of course, no visit is complete without trying some of their homemade black tea kombuchas. But if you don’t like kombucha, they also make some delicious iced coffee drinks, like their cold mocha coffee, made with French chocolate.
Address: Av 1 Número 958-Local 2, Mario Villanueva Madrid
9. La Piña
La Piña is one of the best spots in Bacalar, where the setting is almost as good as the food! It’s small, with only six tables, but that just gives it an intimate, cozy feel. Tables are set under thatched gazebos and surrounded by jungle and tropical plants, the perfect place to unwind.
The restaurant has a great variety of pizzas, which isn’t usually what you’d expect from a restaurant in Mexico, but these are oven-fired and of top-notch quality.
You can also get rolled pitas here, jumbo fresh fruit smoothies, and of course the classics like chicken quesadillas and fresh seafood tacos. Their corn tortillas are made-to-order, and you can’t beat that kind of freshness.
Address: Av 3 206, Centro
A sunny deck shaded by palm trees, a comfy bar with cushioned seating, and some very tasty meals will start your day off right. Picaflor is a breakfast nook just one street away from the lagoon (with views), serving up breakfast and lunch.
There are lots of egg-based dishes here, like the mushroom omelet, egg chilaquiles, or avocado egg toast. They also use tons of fresh fruit, and their smoothies are the most refreshing thing on the menu, but we wouldn’t say no to a freshly brewed espresso, their matcha lattes, or a glass of their homemade kombucha.
With so many options, there’s something for everyone, and the light but fueling dishes are the best way to start a day of exploring Bacalar.
Address: Avenida Costera, entre calle 26, C. 28 yView Menu Here
11. Finisterre Bacalar
It seems impossible to get sick of Mexican food, but every now and then, you might just want something a little different. You’ll find it at Finisterre, a restaurant serving Greek and Italian-style cuisine like risotto, homemade pasta from scratch, and fresh seafood dishes using clams, mussels, and more.
But of course, Finisterre’s claim to fame is having the best pizza in Bacalar. They do wood-fired pizzas in a huge range of toppings, from the classic 3-ingredient margarita pizza to more elaborate toppings like prosciutto and chorizo.
Pair your dish with one of their many signature cocktails, or ask to take a look at their wine menu for something more refined. There is often live music or singers, the perfect accompaniment to a rich Mediterranean meal.
Address: Av. 3 entre Calle 24 y Calle 26, Lote 16, CentroView Menu Here
12. Navieros Bacalar
Naverios is located just across the street from the lagoon, with views of the blue water. If you love shrimp, this is definitely the place to come since they are known for the quality of their shrimp dishes.
Try the shrimp burger, the coconut shrimp, or the shrimp ceviche. All of these are popular with restaurant visitors, and many have returned more than once to eat their favorites again.
If you want to try something besides shrimp, you still have options. They do tacos, steak filets, soups, salads, and more.
This is a small spot with a quiet atmosphere, which makes it great for a low-key afternoon meal to recharge your batteries before you get back to exploring Bacalar.
Address: calle 16 con, Costera
13. La Cabañita Grill & Cantina
When it comes to choices, La Cabañita is one of the best restaurants in Bacalar. You simply can’t beat the variety on the menu and the quality of the dishes. They have recently celebrated 30 years in business, and they are a popular place for locals and tourists alike.
They do a breakfast menu, lunch menu, and an all-day menu. The classics are all there: tacos, empanadas, taquitos, nachos, enchiladas, and more. But they also do lighter meals like soups and salads, all with a Mexican twist. Try coming for breakfast to get their many huevos (egg) dishes. They also have a long drinks menu, with everything from juices to beers on tap and craft cocktails.
The good news for families is that there is a kid’s menu with simple dishes, which is perfect for really young kids and picky eaters.
Address: 5 entre 26 y 28