Coconuts Bar and Grill: Have lunch on "the other side"
On the windward (east) side of the island, at the top of a cliff looking down over the waves breaking, is a little restaurant with an attitude. Tropical birds come to sit on your shoulder; you can play with a pet iguana, you can kick back in a hammock, and of course get something to eat and drink as well.
Favorite Dish: Nachos! Lots of 'em and loaded with topping.
Sabores: Lunch on a budget
Sabores isn't a typical restaurant. It's more like a Mexican family's house where whoever is around can drop in for lunch. You can sit indoors or walk through the kitchen and eat in the back garden. It advertizes "comida casera" or homestyle cooking. The place is open only for lunch--noon to 4.
Favorite Dish: The very satisfying and tasty selections vary from day to day and are written on a whiteboard you can check out when you go in. You won't be disappointed.
Restaurante Cocos Cozumel: Short order breakfast
Just the place for a pre-dive breakfast! It opens at 6 and stays open till noon. They specialize in breakfast. Prices are right, too, considering it's in a tourist zone.
One other thing, they have a used book buy-and-sell deal. Trade in your own cast-off paperback for half off the price of a different title. If you don't have one to trade in, no problem, just pay the standard two bucks and pick out your book.
Favorite Dish: They've got all the North American (including Mexican) clasics. I generally opted for an English muffin and eggs, or a bagel plus juice. Just a quick food-fix before the short hike down to the pier.
Hog Town Cafe: Breakfast before Diving
Part of our dive package included one meal a day at this cafe which was right across from Papa Hogs and right in front of the Villa Blanca Hotel. As far as I know this is the only restaurant in the vicinity of this hotel, and they only serve breakfast and lunch
Favorite Dish: Mexican and Canadian breakfasts omelets, pancakes and home fries. Lunch - fresh salads, delicious sandwiches on freshly baked bread, lasagna, hamburgers and other specialities.
They take MasterCard and VISA
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Budget Travel
French Quarter: A nice place to eat and hang out
This place bills itself as Louisiana Cajun, but I didn't notice when I chose my meal from the menu--probably since I was looking for veggie options, LOL. What I liked about the place was that the owner and local dive pros who hang out there are so welcoming and friendly, even when they know you'll be gone in a week.
Favorite Dish: No matter where I ended up at for dinner, I always stopped in at FQ for a beer and a chat with my new friends. For a woman traveling alone, that's quite a recommendation!
I don't remember.....: The BEST Guacamole
It's right on that main shopping strip and it's on the top of a two-level mini-mall type of place with shopping kiosks all around.
Favorite Dish: We had some excellent fried Tacos and the most delicious Guacamole I've ever had. Washed them down with some Sols. (Beer.) Muy Sabroso!
- Budget Travel
Carlos 'N Charlies: World Famous Carlos 'N Charlies
Well, I am sure I am not the first person to write a tip about Carlos and Charlie's. This is definitely the most popular and well known restaurant on Cozumel, and also has locations in Cancun as well as American locations like Austin, TX.
Known for its safe party atmosphere, close location to the cruise pier, and delicious margaritas, it should be a stop for at least one meal for every traveler to Cozumel.
Favorite Dish: I had the "Combo" of ribs, chicken and beef.
La Lobsteria: A great unspoilt local restaurant
This place was recommended by a friend. If you did not know about it in advance, I doubt you would find it as it is away from the places on the main street.
The building is a typical Mayan house built in 1899, rustic, casual decor and a thatched roof. Looks quite romantic at night with all of those candles. Pleasant courtyard foe eating outside.
It is a simple, friendly place with great food, good service, at good prices....give it a go! I can't remember the exact prices but they were very reasonable!
NOTE...it does not take credit cards.
Favorite Dish: Green fish! Sounds strange but it was super...the green came from the mint it was cooked in.
Lobster tails...cooked to your liking and reasonably priced.
Prawns...large and lovely, mine came with super fresh vegetables.
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
Hard Rock Cafe Cozumel: They are Everywhere!
I am not quite sure why these restaurants are so popular, since I do not think the food is anything special, but then again I am the guy who never eats McDonalds at home, but still will have one in every major city outside the US just to say I did.
Hard Rock I think is more popular for the t-shirts than the food, and for that purpose, I feel obliged to tell you that you can pick one up in Cozumel, right across from the Ship Terminal.
Casablanca: Mexican near the square
We ate at Casablanca both times we visited Cozumel because it was one of the very few places open on Sunday afternoon. They lure tourists in with two for one drink specials like many of the places in Mexico, the tropical drinks were around 50 pesos so not a bad deal.
We sat outside and enjoyed a cool breeze from the ocean and a little people watching.
Favorite Dish: The food was pretty good, I had the breaded shrimp tacos with crema, we shared some queso fundido with chorizo and David had fried chicken tacos
KFC, Pizza Hut, Mickey D's & Burger King: Fast Food Franchises
One of the wonderful things about Cozumel is the large number of good restaurants in the town. One of my favorite things to do was to go walking around town, window shopping and visiting various restaurants that I had heard about.
I have to wait until I find my little book to write these restaurants up. :-(
There are, however, some various US based chain restaurants, which we did get take-away food from at times when we were too tired from diving to be able to walk to dinner.
Favorite Dish: The food is about the same as it is in the states. The only good thing about it is that you can take it back to your room.
There's even a Starbucks by the lighthouse at the cruise ship dock (photo 5)
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Casa Mission: Maybe next time
As we were wandering around Cozumel, trying to get away from the tourist area, we ran into someone who thought we were lost. We asked him where to get good food and he said Casa Mission was one of the best, unfortunately it was closed as were many restaurants on Sunday afternoon. Maybe next time we will remember not to go on a Sunday!
Pasta Prima: Dog Sized Crabs!
I know that the last thing I should be eating in Mexixo is Italian food. But some of our dive group kept yapping about the giant crab at this restaurant. And after seeing GIANT crabs on a night dive, we had to see if the rumors were true.
This restaurant was excellent. The food was great, the atmosphere romantic and the crabs were HUGE! The service was a bit lax, but we had a big party and the food made up for it.
Oh, the crabs are not on the menu and they cost $30 USD.. but its well worth it!
Favorite Dish: The giant crab!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Mezcalito's Restaurant & Beach Bar: Mezcalitos--Not to be missed on eastern Cozumel!
Let me start off by saying --I LOVE MEZCALITO'S!! I have loved the place since my 1st visit several years ago and I never go to Cozumel without making the trip to the island's east coast to spend time here.
I know it is a combination of a great staff (thanks Francisco!), great guests (thanks Nancy &
JoJo), great food & great margaritas--all in a setting that is postcard perfect. It has been there over 25 years & has a very interesting history (see their website).
Whether you go there to eat, drink, take a siesta in their hammocks, listen to Jimmy Buffett or Bob Marley music, play the ring-toss game, have a shot out of one of their "special shot glasses", people-watch, buy a t-shirt, cavort on their "Naked Beach", or just gaze at the beach & water---you will have a great time.
They feature the islands' coldest beer (all of the Mexican brands), “The Mother of All Margaritas” (my favorite drink), Mezcalito's Super Shrimp & their half-pound "Gilligan's" Cheeseburger (my favorite also).
You can take a cab from downtown to and from Mezcalito's. I have always arranged for a round trip & agreed upon the price ahead of time. It has never been more than USD $10-15 one-way. I also arrange for a cab to pick me up at a fixed time for the same amount & they have always been there but don't rely on this if you need to get back to town quickly to catch a cruise ship!
Mezcalito's can always help you catch a ride back into town if needed.
There is always something happening there. Last trip in March 2007, I started a "shot frenzy" among the female patrons. Mezcalito's uses some unusally shaped shot glasses. :-)
I then had my signed "The Travel Slut" t-shirt nailed to the ceiling after some time on the attached "Naked Beach" & later some "negotiations". See if you can spot it near the other t-shirt with my VT motto.
NOTES: Mezcalito's does not accept credit cards (cash only).
They use 100% purified ice for beer & drinks & use gas for their food preparation.
It's hot & sunny so stay hydrated & use plenty of sunscreen.
Favorite Dish: Mezcalito's offers some great food along with their signature drinks and beers.
Everything from Catch of the day (with butter & garlic), Mezcalitos Super Shrimp, Seafood platter to shrimp fixed just about any way you can think of.
They also feature (my favorite) Gilligans cheese burger with over ½ pound of meat plus
Fish burgers, Chicken burgers and Shrimp burgers.
More traditional items include fajitas made of chicken, fish, shrimp, burgers, combination, and
vegeterian. The same goes for tacos.
A nice starter is their chicken nachos!
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Ernesto's: Ernesto's: Best pina coladas on the island
We searched long and hard for the perfect pina colada while we were on Cozumel and finally found it at Ernesto's in San Miguel. Ernesto's is conveniently located right on the main north-south road and has a decent view of the ocean. Our waiter was very friendly and helpful, though like anywhere you go in Mexico remember that when you order two drinks you'll actually get four if there's a drink special at the time. Not that having twice as many pina coladas is ever a bad thing, but I prefer them fresh and cold.
Although I never tried the food at Ernesto's I am told that it is also well-known for its fajitas. There are lots of places to eat in San Miguel, some good and some not so good. Knowning a good place ahead of time is always helpful. There's also an Ernesto's south of town, but I have not been there.
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