Places to Eat on Isla Mujeres, Mexico

My friend Barb and I visited Isla Mujeres in September 2011.  We rented a condo and although we ate some of our meals in, we did venture out to restaurants frequently.  We used TripAdvisor as our guide and in most cases we agreed with the ratings that the places got, but in some we disagreed wholeheartedly.  Below are my opinions of the places where we ate (you can find all of my TripAdvisor reviews by clicking here).

Some of our favorite places to eat were…

  1. Barlito – I had their homemade biscuit with eggs, chorizo, and cheese. The biscuit was the best one I have ever ate…anywhere. We were in Isla Mujeres during a relatively slow season (was just starting to get going as we left) so Barlito was closed and only reopened three days before we left. The first day we had plans off the island and the third day was Sunday (they are closed on Sundays). We only had one opportunity to eat there. After seeing all the positive posts we just had to go and boy are we glad we did.  The owners were the nicest people and amazingly energetic. I loved hearing about how they decided to ‘go for it’ and open this restaurant. And, then name it after their son.  If you are in Isla Mujeres, I highly recommend that you not miss it.
  2. Picus Cockteleria – I ate the Grouper. My friend had the conch and octopus. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meal. We knew it was fresh because the fish was being cleaned just outside the restaurant on the beach and being delivered as we were there. It was great to sit right on the beach and eat seafood that was straight from the water to our plates.  We also ordered a fresh coconut. We drank the water and ate the flesh, but honestly were not that impressed. It was not the restaurant’s fault…we just didn’t know what it would taste like so fresh and it wasn’t as sweet as we expected. Our waiter suggested some sort of alcohol inside the coconut next time.
  3. Restaurant Brisa Mexicana – I had chicken fajita and a margarita. Both were great. I loved the atmosphere. It was so fun to watch all the people walking by and shopping. The waiter was extremely nice. I thought it was a bit too fancy for me and the price was ok.
  4. Caffe Italia – We just made a short stop by Caffe Italia. I had a ham and cheese crepe. I really enjoyed it, but it definitely didn’t fill me up. I see it more as a caffe to stop at and get something to go. I can’t see myself hanging out there for a long time. But over-all the food and service were good.
  5. Olivia – While probably a place better left for a romantic evening, my friend and I still enjoyed it as a fancy celebration to the end of our vacation. We heard about it on TripAdvisor, but it took us awhile to track it down. It’s not on the main street…it’s on a side street, but it’s very close to the main street. It was so beautiful inside the restaurant. The smells were just wonderful. I had a roquefort salad and it was just delicious. Service was great too. I would definitely eat there again. Pricier than most options on Isla.
  6. Soggy Peso – Apparently they were closing down for a month and it was their last day, so they ran out of ribs before we got there. Since it’s what they are known for that was a real bummer to us. We had margaritas instead. My friend loved them and said it was the best margarita she’s ever had. I thought they were kind of strong, but then again I don’t drink much.  The owner was a very nice guy and I’d try them again if I ever make it back to Isla Mujeres because now I’m very curious about the ribs.  By the way, they are definitely quite a ways from the main part of Isla, so you’ll want to take a taxi or rent a golf cart. Only walk if you want to be out for a long time.

Now that I have told you the places we liked, here are some we didn’t care for much…

  1. Fayne’s – While in Isla Mujeres that guy promoting Fayne’s tried to get us to have dinner there every single night. We finally gave in. He was exceptionally nice and the service wasn’t bad. But, over-all the place was just ok. They look as if they might have quite a nightlife in the busier season, but when we were there it was pretty boring.
  2. Don Chepo – I had shrimp ceviche. While in Isla Mujeres I tried shrimp ceviche at several places. It wasn’t horrible here, but they are definitely at the bottom of the list. It had an off flavor and while I knew it wasn’t because the shrimp was spoiled it just didn’t sit well with me. The server was nice.
  3. Tortilla Real Maya – We specifically went to Tortilla Real Maya because of the reviews on TripAdvisor. We really, really didn’t get what everyone was raving about. I thought the food wasn’t very good and while the tortillas were fresh they were really plain. There were also only a few items to select from and really not much more than tortillas. Servings were extremely small. The atmosphere was not great and there were maybe 6-8 seats in the whole place.

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