All you need to know about Mexico’s most famous dish and where to get the best tacos in Playa del Carmen.
Mexico’s cuisine is not only delicious, but also very diverse. Every region has its own specialties, flavors and textures and food plays an essential role in Mexico. Of all the possible dishes you could eat in Mexico, probably the most famous is the taco.
Tacos itself come in an incredible variety of filling and preparation. Any possible kinds of meat (think further than just flank steak, think brain or tongue) combined with different spices, chili peppers and salsas.
Facts you should know about tacos:
- Authentic Mexican tacos never come in a hard shell. Never. Ever. They are wrapped in a palm-sized soft corn tortilla. If they’re made with wheat tortillas they’re considered burritos.
- You eat them by hand. The less messy it gets, the more Mexican you are.
- Squeeze lemon on your taco.
- Put salsa on your taco. Friendly advice: make sure to ask which one is the real spicy one.
- The taquero might ask you if you want your taco con todo (with everything), meaning if you want it with coriander and onion.
As in any Mexican city, there are hundreds of taquerías in Playa del Carmen. These are Playa Palms’ 6 favorite taco places:
1 El Fogón
The tourist favorite spot to try Mexico’s most popular taco: the taco al pastor. You’ve surely seen the huge chunks of vibrant red colored pork meat on a vertical spit, suspended in front of a flame that reminds of shawarma or kebap. That’s the meat you use for the tacos al pastor. It actually derives from the original shawarma, brought to Mexico by Lebanese migrants in the early 1900s. It’s marinated with different spices and chile peppers, and the tacos typically come with a piece of pineapple, coriander and onion. (Constituyentes, between Avenues 25 and 30 / Avenue 30 between Streets 6 and 8)
2 Taquería El Ñero
The local’s favorite. With their chef being from Mexico City, they serve tacos which are difficult to find elsewhere in Playa del Carmen, among them tacos de suadero and tacos de tripas. Suadero is a very tender cut that comes from underneath the cow’s skin. Tripas are the cow’s intestine. Maybe non-Mexican palates need to get used to it first, but according to most Mexicans it’s the most delicious taco of them all. Once you dared to try them , how about some tacos de sesos (brain)? (Ave. Juarez, between Streets 40 and 45)
3 El Buen Taco
Try the grilled beef taco arrachera. They have several condiments and extra fillings you can add to your taco, like potatoes, nopales (cactus, you should definitely try it!) or cucumber. The green salsa is to be handled VERY carefully, it’s hotter than the hinges of hell. (Constituyentes, between Avenues 35 and 40)
4 El Borrego Loco
They serve incredibly delicious barbacoa style tacos, meaning lamb tacos, which are usually eaten for breakfast. The meat is slow cooked so it’s very tender. In case you’re not a heavy eater early in the morning, you can eat them for lunch too, they’re open until 3 pm. Oh, and apparently they’re an excellent hangover cure. (Highway road, just north of Ave. Constituyentes)
5 Lajam Tacos Arabes
Again, you can taste the Middle Eastern influence on Mexican food. The Arab-style tacos are also based on spit-grilled pork meat, but induced with oregano, thyme and onion. Traditionally they’re served in pita bread, but nowadays you can order them with a tortilla. (32 Street between Avenues 5 and 10)
6 El Oasis
The place to go for seafood in general, but one of their most popular dishes are fish and shrimp tacos. Originally from Baja California, these delicious tacos found their way to the Riviera Maya. (12th Street, between Avenues 5 and 10)
Spoilt for choice? If you’re staying at Playa Palms Beach Hotel just ask anyone of our staff – we all love tacos!