by Mac Candee

Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2020

Mexico is unsurprisingly famous for its delicious food. Some of the world’s favorite dishes originate here, including burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, tortillas, and one of the best comfort foods — tacos. If you’re planning a trip there, you would be greatly missing out if you don’t indulge in its colorful food scene. Cuisine in Tulum Mexico varies greatly in price, but the taste is amazing pretty much anywhere you go. Also, it’s always interesting to try something you’ve had many times at home in the country of origin. You’d be surprised at just how different AND tasty it can be.

I recently spent a month in the stunning city of Tulum, which is a lovely Mexican beach town. It’s a very famous destination for Instagrammers and luxury travelers alike, but there’s another side to it as well. Along the beach, that’s where the expensive hotels and villas are, which are incredibly beautiful, but will quickly put a frown on your bank account. You will most likely be spending big there, the prices are similar to those in Miami, or even higher. All the while, much more affordable, yet just as enjoyable experience is hiding in plain sight. You can find that in downtown Tulum, also known as El Centro. That area is not as close to the beach, maybe a 10-15 minute bike ride, but the difference in pricing is enormous.

One thing I fell in love with there were the bargain tacos, which were some of the best I’d ever had. That’s why today I want to tell you all about my favorite places where you can get some of Tulum’s best tacos. I’ve also included their locations right in Google Maps, so if you find yourself craving a tasty snack in Tulum, you can open this article and see which venue is closest to you. The first five you can find in El Centro, so you automatically know that they will be much more affordable. I’ve also ordered them on the basis of how much I enjoyed each one.

1. Taqueria Honorio.

I went there 13 times in 31 days on my stay, so you know I liked it a lot. This place is a Tulum classic! Keep in mind that this place is only open until roughly 3 pm, because by then they’ve usually ran out of their taco meat. So you can start your day here for breakfast and/or lunch. The price you will be paying is 18-22 pesos per taco, so about $1. Their juices are also fantastic, so give them a try as well.

Each time we went there, we averaged around $3-$4 a person, to have a sit down meal with the tip included. Personally, I’d normally get taco asadas(barbeque), pollo (chicken) tacos or beef tacos back at home. But when I went to this venue for the first time, they were all out of my preferred options, so they showed me a new one. It was called cochinita pibil, which is a traditional Mexican pulled pork shoulder recipe. And I have to tell you — it was the most delicious taco I have ever tried, so that is all I got for the next 12 times I went there. It’s truly something you have to try for yourself, because it’s just that delicious. You can also choose whether you want it with or without onions, as well as take your pick from the multiple sauces they offer. I’m certain that you’ll be going here multiple times after you try their food. There are also veg options too!

2. Antojitos la Chiapaneca

This is the cheapest place for tacos, which is still very good and popular. I loved this place, because of their meat kebabs roasting outside, so when you walk in, you’re hit with their delicious smell. Even blocks away, you can see them cooking in the fire. It’s very inviting and a noticeably local place. Each taco costs 10 pesos, which is roughly $0.50. You can take your pick from different meat options, or decide to opt for a vegetarian dish. Their food is very tasty, and aside from tacos, they also have quesadillas, tortas, along with many others, but tacos are the way to go here.

3. El Pescador

This place is more of a sit down restaurant with a very upbeat atmosphere. If you’re looking for a nicer place that’s still affordable, this is one of the best. They play enjoyable electronic music mixed with the top 40 from that time, along with some cool Spanish music. They have Jenga on the tables, and you can also smoke hookah if you want to. It’s generally a very inviting environment with friendly staff and a cozy, fun atmosphere. But what about the tacos? Well, they are delicious. They are a bit pricier than the previous ones — about 120 pesos for a plate of 4, which is about $5,15. Just like at Taqueria Honorio, I recommend the cochinita pibil option, since they are the most delicious (in my opinion). They are ALMOST as good as in the first place we discussed.

4. Tulum Food Carts

This area opens up around 4pm, until very late in the night. Here, you can find 20-30 local food carts. They have everything from tacos, quesadillas, crêpes, churros, and many more different kinds of food. Everything is made by the locals and you get yourself some delicious meals. It’s very famous with the local population as well, so you get a more authentic feel of the place. I found tacos between 10-20 pesos ($0.5 — $1), so you can not only eat delicious food, you can also do it on a budget. There are so many options for you to choose from, so you have to determine for yourself which ones you like best. That said, they are all fantastic.

5. Rosa Negra

This is the most expensive place on the list. I wanted to add it to this list for two reasons. 1. So you can see the differentiation between prices of a place on the beach vs. in El Centro. 2. It is an amazing restaurant that we went to three times in one month. Anyways, it’s a really great spot to have dinner and enjoy the more luxurious feel of Tulum. So here is what the tacos cost: four baked pork tacos are 560 pesos (around $27), and they were also smaller than the ones downtown. The drinks (cocktails) are also around $12 each. The atmosphere is great and the staff is very nice, which makes the overall experience awesome. That said, it is considerably more expensive, so just keep this in mind if you are trying to maintain a lower budget in Tulum.

Closing Thoughts

Just talking about these places has made me hungry and craving a warm taco from Tulum. There are many good options waiting for you there, so feel free to explore and try something new. I really hope you try these out if you go to Tulum, because the food scene there is truly incredible. If you have any recommendations that I’ve missed, feel free to drop them down in the comments!

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