10 Great Places to Eat on Isla Mujeres

During our three week stay on Isla Mujeres we had the chance to eat at a lot of great restaurants. The island is known for it’s seafood and of course Mexican food, but it also has some great grills and Cuban cuisine. Here is a list of some of our favourite places to eat on Isla Mujeres.

Casa Havana

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One of my biggest disappointments this visit to Isla was to find that Cuba Libre, one of my favourite restaurants on Hidalgo, was gone. In its place now stands Qubano, which is good for the Toston sandwich, but the portions are small and it feels like you are being served lunch for dinner.

While on the strip one night, we spotted Victor, the former owner of Cuba Libre, and after a little searching we found his new restaurant Casa Havana. Victor recognized us and the boys immediately. We have been going to him since Hunter was 7 months old. And his old restaurant was the first place we ate on the island.

His new restaurant is absolutely gorgeous. It feels like you are walking into some one’s home, and the design of the rooms is out of this world. The back room faces the Caribbean; open the sliding doors and you can hear the crash of the waves.We ordered Victor’s Cuban Sandwich, my favourite Cuban sandwich on the island. Served with fried bananas, rice and beans, this hearty meal was enough to feed both Romana and I.

Los Fueguitos

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We ordered the Argentina meat plater and meat empanadas for the four of us (two adults and two kids, 5 and 3) to split. Not only was it the best meal we ate on the island, I would say it was the best steak I’ve ever eaten anywhere, ever. The meal was very reasonably priced and the portion was huge. Between the four of us we couldn’t finish the meal and ended up taking half the meat platter home.

Tino, the Rib Man

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Open only on Saturdays and Sundays during high season, Tino grills up ribs, rib meat and chicken in his tiny kitchen on Matamoros, just off of Medina. We heard about Tino from Map Chick’s Isla Mujeres map. We typically order 2 kilos of poc chuck (rib meat) and use it to make sandwiches for days and days after our initial feast. Tino serves up his meat with tortias, hot sauce, pico de gallo, beans and rice. And it’s standing room only, meaning, there is no place to sit! This is take out, which is fine, because the beach is just around the corner and this meal makes for a mean pick nick.

Lola Valentina’s

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Our neighbours at Mar y Sol put us onto this restaurant. Owned by the woman who started the Mango Cafe (one of the most popular restaurants on the island), Lola’s is a world class restaurant. The food was unreal. The guacamole with pineapple was the best we had on the trip. The watermelon and jalapeño margarita was amazing, and the breaded chicken stuffed with jalapeño and cream cheese was delightful. You must eat here.

Loncheria Alexia y Geovanny

The Swiss enchiladas at Alexia have become a tradition for us. One year we went around and sampled them at every restaurant on the island. Alexia proved to be the best. This year when we went the couple sitting beside us were so enamoured by the goeyness of our meal that they ordered the same thing.

Monchis

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Located on Payo Obispo (the road running along the Caribbean), Monchis was a great find. The cilantro margaritas were some of the best drinks we had during our stay – simply delicious. I had the grouper special, which was great. Romana had the cherry burrito (I can’t remember the name of it on the menu) and it was to die for. It was possibly the best Mexican dish we ate during our stay.

El Charco

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Since we stayed on the lower half of the island, we explored some of the local eateries in La Gloria and the surrounding area. El Charco was one of the highest rated taqueria’s in the area, and it did not disappoint. The guacamole was second only to Lola’s and the roast pork tacos with cheese were the best tacos I have ever eaten. If you make it down to La Gloria, you have to eat here.

Amigos

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This is our go to place for Mexican on the strip, replacing Don Chepos. The service was great, the soup yummy, and the pico de gallo the best we ate.

Caterina

More expensive than Amigos, this Mexican restaurant was recommended by our neighbours. We had the Mexican sampler to start and the sirloin tip in chipotle sauce and black bean soup with bacon and chorizo for dinner. This place is definitely a gem and had we had time we would have definitely gone back.

El Varadero

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We ate at El Varadero twice during our 2012 visit to Isla Mujeres. It’s totally off the beaten path, but well worth the adventure. The restaurant is on the water and the building looks like it is something outnof a movie.

The food and drinks were amazing. My wife had the chicken fricassee and I had the cuban sandwich. Both were out of this world. I am a connoisseur of Cuban Sandwiches and I have to say that this one out did Qubano and is on the same level as Victor’s. The chicken fricassee was like nothing we had ever tasted before. Add to this some of the best mojitos you ever drank and a side of fried bananas and you have the one heck of a great restaurant.