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Local Food Options

chicago, illinois
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24 posts
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Local Food Options

I'm planning a beach trip for late October, but just can't decide where to go. My boyfriend wants beaches with white sand, clear blue water, etc. And, we both want to go to a location where there are great local food vendors/options. Our last beach vacation was to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and while the food was great and cheap from the local stands, the beaches weren't amazing. Looking to go somewhere with both! :)

Thanks in advance for all the help!

Big D
Destination Expert
for Tulum, Dallas
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1. Re: Local Food Options

We've been to PV also - I prefer Tulum - the beaches are a million times better...the water and the sand. Food is great - though, I can't say it's cheap.

Minneapolis...
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2. Re: Local Food Options

You should be able to pick from numerous options with your dates. It is low season and most places have great deals. You won't find better white sand, water and a great walking beach than in Tulum. The food vendors you would have to go into the Pueblo for but there are great restaurants all along the beach. Just spendy is all.

Toronto
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3. Re: Local Food Options

I would highly recommend ordering a Map Chick map for Tulum:

http://www.cancunmap.com/tulum-map.html

It's a combo map/guidebook and lists all the restaurants/food vendors in both the pueblo and on the beach. Her maps are fantastic!

For $13 US you get three maps - the Tulum map (pueblo on one side, beach on the other), Tulum ruins, and the Mayan Riviera overview map.

p.s. they also list all the hotels, beach clubs, stores, etc, and give recommendations on everything

Edited: 22 June 2011, 15:25
Trail, Canada
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4. Re: Local Food Options

A place to fit your needs might be Playa del Carmen. There is a very nice beach, the same blue water as Tulum but many fantastic restaurants, bars, stands, carts and toes in the sand places for great value and with great variety. Stay in town and wander around at night on the pedestrian only fifth ave. that serves as a Malecon. It is very touristy like Niagara falls or PV but you can get normal Mexican experiences a few blocks away from the noise of 5th. We often spend a couple of nights there before heading down to Akumal and Tulum. The Tulum beach experience is awesome and peacefully quiet in the evenings. There are great dining choices with eclectic variety but the prices are normal Chicago prices for sit down dining. The pueblo is a few miles away with great inexpensive variety of eating options. You just have to build in cab fare to go to town a few times if that is what you really want. I see you posted at Isla Mujeres also. Another good choice on it's own or combined with PDC and /or Tulum.

New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Tulum
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5. Re: Local Food Options

I agree that Tulum is the absolute best choice for the white sand/blue water part of the equation, but while I personally love the Tulum beachfront restaurants and happily spend most of my meals walking from place to place on the beach, if you want vendors and/or good cheap local eats, you'll need to go into the pueble, and if you don't have a car, it adds an extra layer of effort to get there.

But how cheap is cheap to you in food terms? I feel that paying 150-200 pesos for a main course at a restaurant with a fabulous view of the water isn't too spendy for what I'm getting. No, it's not "cheap" in Mexican terms, but it is cheap in east coast US terms--for me to have a view of the ocean here and eat, I'd easily have to pay half again as much.

If you want the town to be walking distance from the beach, I agree with Juanrojo that you might look at Playa del Carmen, especially in late October, which is the low season. You can stay on the beach and walk into town with ease, though the more local places are a block or two farther out.

In fact, October is such low season, you could easily do both. Book a few nights in Playa, head down to Tulum for a day and take a look at the layout, and stay if you want to. If not, head back up to Playa. It'll be easy to find rooms in either town.

Isla Mujeres is another good choice, though I didn't love the big beach there quite so much--Playa Norte is their main stretch of white sand/blue water, but they've had some big erosion issues that I'm not sure have been resolved yet. Still, they have a good town/beach walkability ratio, and the golf carts are fun.

New York City, New...
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for Yucatan Peninsula
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6. Re: Local Food Options

Most of the restaurants on the beach in Tulum do have NYC/Chicago type prices (actually, I remember thinking the 6 overcooked shrimp on the plate with some rice was double the price I would pay in my neighborhood in NYC and not nearly the quality).

But, if you go into town, it's completely different. Great taco stands, great panucho and salbute (Yucatecan specialties) stands. I never bought it, but there is a place near the bus station where you can buy pork pibil by the lb, and several roast chicken places that get a lot of locals.

If you really want great local food - consider a mixture beach/Merida vacation.

suitcaseready.com

Washington DC
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7. Re: Local Food Options

You may want to divide your time between Tulum & Isla Mujeres. The beaches of Tulum can't be beat and just hanging out and eating on the beach road is about as relaxing as it can get, Isla's Playa Norte is nice and the town is great fun to explore in the evening with a variety of good very inexpensive places to eat. Just remember that October is in hurricane season.

NC
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8. Re: Local Food Options

I haven't been to Tulum yet but I've definitely been to Isla Mujeres. Probably some of my best, cheapest meals have been eaten on that island! lol. La Bruja (in La Gloria) and La Lomita are probably my 2 favorites Neither are on the main drag but well worth the minimal extra effort to get there. Loncheria Alexia & Geovannit (along with the other loncherias) is excellent for breakfast, too.

I used to frequent another forum dedicated to Isla Mujeres, and the people there would swear by the beaches. They love the white sand, and being able to walk out for yards and yards in the flat beautiful sea. Me, though, I love waves and the only waves are on the rocky Carribean side where body surf just isn't practical.

It all depends on what kind of ocean you want. For us, this is the primary reason we started looking for a new distination. We're planning on renting a car for our stay since there are so many things to do near Tulum besides the beach (as if that wasn't enough!) It will also free us up to have the option of dining either on the beach or in the pueblo without the extra cost of a taxi.

New York City, New...
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for Yucatan Peninsula
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9. Re: Local Food Options

Doula- you may want to check out Belize. So much to do for a tiny country... You can do what they call surf and turf - some time at the beach or on a caye, then inland for Mayan ruins, cave tubing, Mayan caves, kayaking.... Just got back from my 4th trip and I have never repeated a thing there (other than 2 trips to the ruins at Tikal, 2 years apart).

suitcaseready.com

Edited: 22 June 2011, 19:46
10. Re: Local Food Options

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