Cozumel Casual Dining Restaurant Guide

Cozumel is by no means a foodie hotspot, nor do the words fine dining come to mind when you think of Cozumel’s food scene, but hey, this a diver’s paradise and it is an island after all with a laid back flare so why not dine casually? Enjoy the variety of options to choose from…

Want a guided tour of restaurants “Not Found on TripAdviser”? Join the chef for a truly unique culinary experience on the famous Cozumel Food Tour! This all inclusive tour will take your away from the tourist main-stays. You will dine like a local as the say and taste authentic Mexican/ Yucatecán food. 

AL PIE DE CARBON

Corner of Calle 6 & Avenida 5 | Tues-Sat 3pm-11pm | (987) 101-2599 | $$

Love a good steak? Al Pie Carbon is an Argentinian steak house that offers a great selection of meat cuts, salads, and appetizers. This place specializes in grilling so not the greatest place for a vegetarian. Sorry. You can dine outside on the corner and watch the world go by. Also, you can even order a steak to go!

CASA DENNIS

Calle 1 off the San Miguel Square | Mon- Sun 7am-11pm | (987) 872-0067 | www.casadenis.com | $$

Also, considered one of the oldest restaurants on the island. This restaurant offers traditional Yucatecan and Mexican food. This restaurant has been operating out of the family home for over 90 years! Come try one of Cozumel’s oldest traditions right in the San Miguel Square.

EL VOLADO

Corner of Avenida Xelha & Avenida 20 | Thur-Sat 7pm-2am or later | www.elvolado.com | $

This is a tapas/ bar food type restaurant. On an occasion we come here for the BBQ wings (alitas), a Cesar salad and great drink specials (lots of 2 for 1 deals). This restaurant/bar is quite popular with the locals and it seems to turn into a club at night. This place also has one of the few beer taps on the island and you can order the beer by the “meter”. Be sure to bring some friends with you to help you drink! The place itself is really unique, it has this quirky atmosphere with loud music videos playing on the TV, surrounded by Andy Warhol like paintings set in a wooden European house. We love it!

EMPANADAS DEL SUR

Corner of Avenida 5 & Calle 3 | Mon-Sun 5pm-11pm | (987) 101-7108 | $$$

We just love this place! From the empanada menu to their salads and the traditional Argentinean menu you cannot go wrong. Try the plum & bacon empanada or De la Huerte Salad. If you are adventurous try the delicious grilled sweetbreads. Be sure to save room for dessert as the you may need to eat two of the Dulce de Leche empanadas. Stop by during the week of come in on Sat night when they offer tango lessons!

ESPECIAS

Calle 3 between Avenida 5 & 10 | Mon-Sat 6pm-11pm | (987) 876-1558 | $$$

We like Especias not because of the food, but because of the atmosphere and the gregarious owner Adrian. Perhaps the most popular guy on Facebook, Adrian is a 3rd generation Cozumelanean. He has many stories to tell and offers great live music (the guitarist that plays here can also be found at Tio Jose in the afternoons before Especias opens. If anything saddle up to the bar and enjoy the Sangria & music!

HOTEL B’S COSTENITO “B”ISTRO

Carretera Playa San Juan Km 2.5, Zona Hotelera Norte  | Daily 7am-11pm | (987) 203-00420 | www.hotelbcozumel.com/restaurante |$$$

Cozumel’s newest “Boutique Hotel”. This hip-retro hotel by the sea offers up some of the best sunsets in a great, relaxing setting. The Hotel has a restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving Mediterranean-fusion cuisine. Civiche lovers “B” inspired as Costenito “B”istro has 10 varieties. Not a fish lover? No worries as there are other options too such as steaks, salads and more. I will let you in on a little secret….this is our “beach club” of choice. If you come here for lunch or drinks you are welcome to sit poolside and soak up the sun. I love coming here for a bite to eat on Sundays’ for lunch to relax on my day off. Another great thing about Hotel B is some of the events that they hold. Hip fashions shows and live music that strays from the standar American rock scene…

JERUSALEM KOSHER RESTAURANT & STORE

Rafael Melgar & 10th Street, 2nd Floor, Forum Shops | Mon – Thurs 8:30am-9pm, Fri 8:30am-3pm, Sun 1:30pm-9:30pm | (987) 869-5333 | www.dicozumel.net/jerusalem/index.html |$$$

It is nice to have a taste of the Middle East and a change from the flavors of Mexico. Also, this is the only restaurant with kosher food. Located in the fabulous Forum Shops (had to italicize as we are talking about Diamond shops folks) on the second floor, come and try the delicious kabobs, falafel & more. I am also a sucker for the french fries and the fresh pita bread. It’s funny every time I dine at this restaurant for lunch it seems to be raining, but I have to mention that the view is pretty spectacular, overlooking the turquoise Caribbean ocean. Also, those looking for Kosher products checkout the kosher “grocery” store right next door, offering a wide variety of products from Israel….snacks, pickles, wine, meat cheese and more!

KONDESA

Avenida 5 between Calle 5 & 7 | Tue-Sun 5:30pm-11pm | (987) 869-1086 | www.kondesarestaurant.com | $$$

If you are familiar with Kinta, this is the sister restaurant. Recently opened in December of 2010, Kondesa is offering a more casual Mexican meal. From guacamole to traditional Mexican cocktails, dine in this outside garden space while listening to trendy ambient music.

LA MISSION

Corner of Avenida 55 & Benito Juarez | Mon-Sun 3pm-11pm | (987) 872-1641 | www.missioncoz.com | $$

La Mission owns a few restaurants in Cozumel, but we highly recommend Casa Mission. You will feel like you are dining in a traditional Mexican Hacienda. The traditional Mexican/ Yucatecan offerings are tasty and the service is great. Also, the gardens of this hidden gem in Cozumel are quite beautiful.

LA TIENDA GUIDO’S DELICATESSEN

Corner of Avenida 15 & Calle 10 | Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 9am-1pm | (987) 120-1827 | $$

Welcome to Cozumel’s first REAL deli. Foodies, organic “huggers” and specialty import lovers UNITE, you will be in for a treat! Ivonne, of Guido’s Restaurant, has opened a wonderful delicatessen on the corner of Avenida 15th and Calle 10, stocking the shelves with delightful food products that you can’t find anywhere else on the island. Spices, pastas, cookies, meats, cheeses.  Duvel, Chemay, hooray! La Tienda carries a variety of import beers, wine and more! Looking for a bite to eat rather than carry-out? Sit outside and enjoy a leisurely lunch in the beautiful garden as La Tienda offers daily menu specials all for 85 pesos! What I love most about this place is that they have REAL roasted roast beef and turkey. Not this “pickled ham/ pechuga de pavo” that reminds me of Oscar Mayer Bologne. Blah! No deliciously sliced deli meat. My favorite thing to order is a the fresh pasta salad to start and a specialty baguette; pesto, tomato, mozzarella & turkey. Desserts, cookies mousse and Guidos specialty ice cream, don’t leave without dessert and perhaps an espresso.

READ THE CHEF’S REVIEW

Other reviews

MOSAICO

Right corner of San Miguel Square when facing clock tower | Mon-Sun 11am-11pm | $

Do you like to people watch? This restaurant is right on the San Miguel Square. Only outdoor dining so do not come on a rainy day. This restaurant offers a variety of thin crust pizzas each with unique toppings. We enjoy ours with a cold cerveza and of course habanero salsa…the way the Mexican eats pizza!

OLIVES (LE CHEF)

Corner of Avenida 5 & Calle 5 | Mon-Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 8am-1pm | (987) 878-4371 | $$

This mediterranean inspired restaurant is popular among the locals. Many people enjoy dining outside on quiet 5th Ave. We highly recommend the salads!

PANCHO’S BACKYARD

Avenida Rafael Melgar and Calle 8, inside Los Cinco Soles Mall | Mon-Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 5pm-11pm | (987) 872-2141 | www.panchosbackyard.com | $$

Though never really busy, this restaurant has a fantastic dining space sometimes accompanied with live Mexican music. Panchos offers Mexican/ Seafood. After you finish dining checkout the shops of Los Cinco Soles! Beautiful gifts.

ROCK N’ JAVA

Avenida Rafael Melgar, near Mega on the waterfront | Mon-Sun 7am-10pm | (987) 872-4405 | www.rocknjavacozumel.com | $$

A mix of Tex-Mex American fare this restaurant is popular for breakfast by the locals and popular during the day as an internet cafe for cruise ship staff members. We highly recommend the milkshakes, a club sandwich or just a simple latte.

ROCK N’ JAVA NOODLE BAR & SUSHI

Avenida Rafael Melgar, inside Mega shopping center first floor | Mon-Sat 11am-11pm | (987) 869-2794 | www.rocknjavacozumel.com | $$

Looking for a change of pace from Mexican cuisine? Rock n’ Java’s Noodle Bar offers Thai and Sushi. Recently relocated to the MEGA shopping plaza we recommend calling for take out as the dining space is not as intimate as it use to be and they do not have a liquor license anymore. However, what’s also great about this place is you can “build” your own noodle combination and specify a “heat” level.

READ THE CHEF’S REVIEW

ROLANDI’S

Avenida Rafael Melgar at Calle 11 on the waterfront | Mon-Sun 11am-11pm | (987) 872-1097 | www.rolandi.com | $$

Probably one of the most fantastic restaurant locations, Rolandi’s offers indoor and outdoor seating right on the water. Enjoy the sunset with a nice glass of wine. We have had a few of the main entrees, but honestly the list of pizzas is enough to keep you busy. We love the Mexicana with habanero salsa.

THE FRENCH QUARTER

Avenida 5 between Calle 3 & AR Salas | Mon-Sun 5pm-11pm | (987) 872-6321 | $$

Recently purchased and under new ownership this restaurant is a great place to catch the “game”, live entertainment and of course DRINKS! Come and check out the New Orleans/ Bar inspired menu and make a friend or two while you are here.

Copyright © 2017 Cozumel Chef: Cooking & Food Tour Services in Cozumel, Mexico. Food photography by Emily Egge.