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Everything Travelers Need To Know About Cancun As A Foodie Destination

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Cancun has everything it takes to become one of the trendiest foodie destinations in Mexico. From its vibrant downtown eateries to its more lavish fine-dining establishments, there’s something for all tastes. Trying out some of Cancun’s many restaurants is one of the best ways to learn more about the city’s history, culture, and of course, its unique tropical flavors. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Cancun as a foodie destination.

Exterior dining area in cancun

Discover Cancun’s Culinary Routes 

Cancun is home to several interesting culinary routes where a foodie can find some of the top local restaurants and street food sites. The city’s bustling downtown area – often neglected by tourists – is gaining in popularity thanks to an abundance of local flavors cooked with passion. With affordable prices and varied dishes, Cancun’s downtown district has become a hotspot for local tour companies, who offer tailor-made foodie routes allowing travelers to savor local delicacies. 

@ashleydesires Yeah Bet I Make The Best Mexican Food Now 😋 Thanks To Cancun Food Tours ! #cancunmexico #thingstodoincancun #foodtour #mexicanfood #mexicanfoodrecipes #cookingclass ♬ Tropical Beach(812641) – TimTaj

With an average 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, Cancun Food Tours has emerged as one of the top local tour companies specializing in food and drink. Travelers can opt for several tours, which start at $75 all the way to $120 per person. Most tours include classics like pork tacos and tamales, but travelers can also find tours focusing on specialties like beer. 

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Tourists on a Beach in Cancun, Mexico

These Are The Top Restaurants 

Cancun is home to countless restaurants catering to all types of travelers. From luxurious fine-dining restaurants in some of Cancun’s top-rated all-inclusive resorts to local establishments serving up Mexican classics. 

Travelers can find some of the top Cancun restaurants in the city’s hotel zone, including the revered CAO – Modern Mexican Kitchen with a stellar 5-star rating on TripAdvisor. For a more budget-friendly option, opt for the likes of Taqueria Coapenitos or Casa Bea, which serve local delicacies – including beloved tacos – and are conveniently located close to the main resort zone.

Some of the best restaurants in North America call Cancun home, including:

  • Chambao Cancun – An incredible upscale steakhouse with great music and entertainment
  • Ryoshi – A Japanese restaurant with an atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else
  • Taboo – A Meditteranean restaurant with a cozy ambiance perfect for a romantic night out
@ayale_unique If your in Cancun Mexico put Chambao on your must do list!! #traveltiktok #cancun #tulum #mexico #placestoeatinmexico #placestoeatincancun #chambao #chambaocancún #chambaotulum #blacktravel #foodtiktok ♬ Play For Keeps – Runzo

Food Safety And Hygiene

Food safety is naturally a major concern when it comes to street food, which is abundant across much of Cancun. Safety and hygiene conditions can vary greatly between dine-in restaurants and street food locations. While restaurants generally follow strict food and hygiene guidelines, the same cannot be said for street vendors, many of which operate informally. 

It’s a good idea to read reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor or Google Reviews when choosing where to eat. Pay attention to things like the quality and freshness of food, as well as adherence to safety guidelines. 

Street food site on a busy street with local food in Cancun

Tipping Is Not Mandatory 

Tipping is expected – even mandatory – across much of North America, but in Cancun and Mexico, every customer can choose whether to tip or not. That being said, gratuity is much appreciated, especially thanks to the renowned hospitality and professionalism of Cancun’s thousands of restaurant workers. Travelers are advised to tip between 10% and 20% based on excellent customer service and tasty food.

Yummy fish tacos near a beach in Cancun Mexico

Although leaving a tip can be a sign of gratitude, it’s by no means obligatory, and some restaurants have even attempted to automatically include a 15% service fee on customers’ bills – a highly illegal practice.

Expect To Pay This Much For Dinner

Dinner for two will set travelers back anywhere from $30 to $70 on average in a mid-range restaurant in Cancun’s hotel zone. As always, prices vary wildly depending on several factors, including location and the type of accommodation. Expect to pay similar prices as in the U.S. when staying in the city’s hotel zone, although travelers headed to Cancun’s downtown area can find much more affordable prices.

Couple eating Mexican food in Cancun alongside refreshing drink

Travelers staying at an all-inclusive can save money by dining on-site. For example, the Grand Park Royal Cancún offers guests 13 different restaurants to choose from, and most resorts have at least 5 restaurants and several bars.

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