Why make the definitive Playa del Carmen taco guide for foodies when we are a company that sells airplane tours in Playa del Carmen?
On the one hand, Bob Marley said it best: a hungry man is an angry man.
On the other hand, why we me offer great things to do in Playa del Carmen, there are a number of other wonderful activities and of course places to eat in this cosmopolitan town on the Caribbean Sea.
Plus, you know tacos, but do you really know tacos?
We do. And we want you to enjoy them in all their glory.
That’s why we’ve prepared you this Playa del Carmen taco guide with the best place for some great not just good tortilla-filled goodness.
Here are the top places you should go to satisfy that craving.
Playa del Carmen Taco Guide
Other than our first entry, which can compete with the best tacos anywhere in the universe, this list is rather random.
Not random in the sense that this is just some list of where to eat tacos in Playa del Carmen, but random in that they are not placed in any particular order.
Every single restaurant or taco stand on this list deserves its place of honor alongside the others.
Plus, with few exceptions, each one serves up a different style of tacos.
In other words, you can frequent all of them and never eat the same thing.
#1 El Gran Taco
It may be written in the Bible that the last shall be first, but that’s not the case in our Playa del Carmen taco guide.
First comes first.
And first in this case is El Gran Taco.
Paty is the owner and operator of this incredible eatery located directly in front of the Centro Maya, right across the street from Soriana.
Closed Mondays, six days a week she prepares up her specialties: tacos de guisado or stew-filled tacos.
With a daily variety of around 15 different stews plus quesadillas, flautas, and stuffed chili peppers, this is the Playa del Carmen version of taco heaven.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 8.30 a.m. until about 3:00 p.m.
Address: 41 Street South (across the street from Centro Maya)
Contact: El Gran Taco
#2 Tacos De Cecina Estilo Yecapixtla
This one has some big words for you non-Spanish speakers.
Let’s break it down.
Cecina is a type of thinly sliced cuts of beef that are cured and partially dried.
Yecapixtla is a town in the central Mexican state of Morelos.
They are so famous for their cecina that everyone who is anyone in Mexico knows that the best cecina comes from this small agricultural town known asYecapixtla.
Here, at this taco stand by the same name, you’ll find the absolute best cecina tacos you can find in Playa del Carmen.
Topped with slices of nopal cactus and pieces of pork rinds, these tacos are more than just delicious.
And if you still have your doubts, stop by and see the long lines of people waiting to eat these tacos and you’ll see why they come so highly recommended.
Hours: Friday-Wednesday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m
Address: 44th Street North just one block east of the Federal Highway
Contact: Tacos De Cecina Estilo Yecapixtla
#3 Tacos El Ñero
These are among the most famous tacos in Playa del Carmen.
Served up only in the evening hours, the tacos at El Ñero pass the mustard for being among the best in town.
Their specialties include pastor-style tacos and a cut of beef called suadero (flank steak).
This tough cut of beef is hard to get right, but they do precisely that at El Ñero.
Not exactly the type of diet that will keep you slender, but hey, why did you pack those running shoes if it wasn’t to go for a jog on the beach after a day of gastronomic indulgence?
Hours: Monday-Sunday 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Address: Juarez Avenue and 45th Street
Contact: Tacos El Ñero
#4 El Fogón
This place is a tourist hotspot and that’s not a bad thing.
The largest of all the joints in this Playa del Carmen taco guide, and also the one that mostly caters to the drinking crowd thanks to their long-hours and delicious tacos.
El Fogón also has the most extensive menu, serves beer, and has several locations throughout town to choose from.
And you can’t go wrong no matter what you order.
Like the others on this list, El Fogón is a place for you carnivores.
If that speaks to your heart, you’re in for a tasty taco treat.
Always full, always good.
Address: 46th Street one block before the highway
Hours: Monday-Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Contact: El Fogon
#5 Bait Lajam
No, that’s not some Mayan term for great tacos.
In the best traditions of their Arab forefathers, whose arrival in Mexico initiated the era of the tacos al pastor, Beat Lajam serves up another sort of Middle Eastern-infused goodness: tacos arabes or Arab tacos.
Cooked on a spit just like the tacos al pastor, the main difference here is that these tacos are served up using beef rather than pork.
Furthermore, rather than a traditional tortilla the delicious slices of beef are served up in a pita-style bread.
Tip: Order the tacos with the special tahini sauce (sesame seed paste). They’re awesome.
Address: 32nd between 5th and 10th Avenues or Av Luis Donaldo Colosio 12, Bosque Real (see map)
Hours: Monday-Sunday 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Contact: Bait Lajam
#6 Silao Barbacoa & Carnitas
Barbacoa, which translates as barbecue, is another type of taco that requires lots of skill to get right.
Not to be confused with the barbecue you know from back home, the best barbacoa in Mexico is made from lamb wrapped in maguey leaves and slow-cooked in an underground pit using mesquite wood.
As can be seen by their steady stream of clients, especially on weekends, you know that they do it right here.
In addition to the delicious tacos, you should also make it a point to try to other items on their menu: the broth and a drink called tepache.
The broth is served with diced onions, cilantro, lime, and your choice of how spicy you like to eat.
Tepache, on the other hand, is a fermented pineapple drink you can imbibe to wash down all those delicious tacos.
Hint: this may not sound like a breakfast of champions but it is. Plus, the food is at its best and freshest when you go early.
By the time lunchtime comes around, it’s just not nearly as good or fresh out of the pit.
Address: Av. Petempich and 115th Street (across the street from Punto 115)
Hours: Monday-Sunday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Contact: Silao Barbacoa & Carnitas
Of all the places mentioned here, this one is the most accessible to those spending some time perusing 5th Avenue.
Tacontenedor gets the nod here for the quality of their seafood tacos.
Everything comes together here for El Tacontenedor to make this list.
Price, quality, and service are all spot on, so if it’s seafood tacos you’re after then look no further than Tacontenedor.
Address: Constituyentes between 5th & 10th Ave.
Hours: Monday-Sunday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
#8 Carnitas Teresita
Carnitas are a special type of roasted pork shredded and served in a warm tortilla and covered with diced onions and cilantro.
You can get these tacos maciza, which means meat only, or surtido, meaning they come with things like tongue, cheek, and intestines.
Some say that the surtido tacos have more flavor, others can’t stomach the idea of all those juicy extras.
Whichever you choose, the carnitas at Carnitas Teresita are as good as you’ll find anywhere in Playa del Carmen.
Plus, they also serve castacan, which is a thin slice of pork belly which combines strips of fat and skin for a fantastically crunchy bacon-like taste.
Yes, you read that correct.
Address: 1st Street South & 20th Avenue (one block south of Juarez Avenue)
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Contact: Carnitas Teresita
#9 Hijas de la Tostada
This one comes in more as an honorable mention than as a taco shop.
However, technically speaking we’re not too far off as tostadas are just fried tortillas with the toppings served on top rather than inside.
Hijas de la Tostada serve up some incredible fish and seafood tostadas that will rock your world.
My personal favorite are the tuna fish carnitas, which are large chunks of tuna marinated in a seven-chili pepper sauce, breaded, and then deep fried.
With an extensive menu and a hip location on 5th Avenue, this is a great place to get a wonderful meal while you sip some cold beers and people watch all the beautiful people walking up and down 5th Avenue.
Address: 38th Street & 5th Avenue
Hours: Monday-Sunday 12 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.
Contact: Las Hijas de la Tostada
#10 Rincon Yucateco
We couldn’t make a list about tacos in Playa del Carmen without including Yucatecan cuisine.
After all, even if the identity of the Mexican Caribbean is such an infusion of distinct cultures that the essence of the region is sometimes hidden, Yucatecan food still is the basis of regional culinary identity.
And if we mentioned at the beginning of the article that the last shall not be first, know this: last here is definitely not least.
Rincon Yucateco rocks.
If you’re unfamiliar with the food of Yucatan than be sure to make sure this place makes your list.
Mexico is an enormous country with a rich and diverse gastronomic culture.
In that sense, the cuisine of Yucatan is completely different than anything you’ll find elsewhere in Mexico.
And since this is an article about tacos, then you’ll definitely need to try the tacos called cochinita pibil.
Cochinita is in reference to the fact that it is pork, and pibil is a Yucatec Maya term for basically being cooked in a pit.
Wrapped in banana leaves and served as a type of heavily condimented pulled pork topped with red onions and habanero sauce, these tacos are absolutely delicious.
Address: 10th Avenue & CTM
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: Rincon Yucateco
Have other suggestions?
Would you like to order take-away and eat those tacos in the heavens above the Yucatan Peninsula?
With our Fly Playa hospitality, the sky’s no longer the limit and tacos can be eaten on the plane.