How can I write about our vacation without mentioning all the delicious food we tried? Well, I can’t. So, I’m dedicating this entire blog post to all the restaurants we visited in Cozumel.
When Kyle was booking our vacation, he thought about getting an all-inclusive package at a resort since we did that at Sandals in Antigua and had a great time. But, as he researched more on Cozumel, he learned that there is a huge restaurant scene and tons of great food, so staying at your hotel for all meals would be a big mistake. We did have breakfast at our hotel every morning, which was fabulous and made the trip easier since we didn’t have to go out searching for food at 7 am every day.
Sometimes, I would sneak a few things from breakfast (extra bananas, muffins, bread and peanut butter) back to our room so that we could have snacks after diving. We were never really all that hungry for lunch after diving, so usually we would have a snack around 1 when we got home and then head out for chips and salsa before dinner at 4-ish, and then have dinner around 6-ish (we go to bed really early- even on vacation.)
On our first diving day, our dive master Steve recommended a place called The Bungalow. So, after diving that day, we relaxed at the pool for a bit, and then got cleaned up to go into town and explore, and to find The Bungalow.
We walked SO much that day, exploring downtown and trying to find a pesos/dollar exchange, so by the time we reached The Bungalow we had walked about 4-5 miles, were sunburned, starving, dehydrated, and exhausted. Seeing the little restaurant perched up on the beach was like seeing a mirage. Had we really made it?
As soon as we walked in, we were seated and had a gigantic gravy boat full of fresh pico de gallo and guacamole placed before us.
We were in paradise!!
Kyle and I demolished the chips, pico, and guacamole, and then sat and enjoyed a mango margarita and the beach breeze coming through the open air restaurant. Bliss!
Ceviche was on my Cozumel food bucket list (really all I wanted to eat and drink all week was chips and guacamole, ceviche, fresh fish, and margaritas) so I ordered the mixed fish ceviche.
The ceviche came out with fresh conch, shrimp, and octopus, with more pico de gallo and more fresh avocado. I was already so stuffed from all the chips and guacamole, so I was disappointed that I couldn’t eat all the beautiful ceviche. Next time, I would have skipped the chips and guac and just got this dish because it actually came with chips on the side! Who knew.
Kyle got “baja fish tacos” which was actually kind of a strange dish. The fish was delicious, but the tacos had cauliflower and carrots mixed in, which seemed odd and the flavors were a little different as well… not the best meal he’s ever had, but still good.
Despite my stomach being stuffed to the max and Kyle’s strange tacos, we loved the Bungalow because of the beautiful view, and the fact that it saved us when we were exhausted and sunburned from traversing all over downtown Cozumel.
The following day, we decided to venture to the opposite side of the island of Cozumel to try out a place called Coconuts. We had both read raving reviews about Coconuts fun atmosphere and beautiful views, so we wanted to check it out. The only negative about Coconuts is the fact that it’s a 30 minute cab ride away and will cost you about 400 pesos total to get there and back (about 24 dollars not including tip).
As soon as our cab pulled up to Coconuts, we knew it was all going to be worth it.
We climbed the stairway entrance and found ourselves in a secluded tropical paradise, overlooking a rocky ocean shore.
The ocean on this side of the island is gorgeous and there are no hotels or any development so your view is unobstructed and spectacular!
Kyle and I picked a table outside and took off our shoes, put our feet in the sand, and enjoyed more chips and pico de gallo to start (I just couldn’t get enough!)
We knew we get filled up from the chips so we decided to just split an entree, which turned out to be the best decision ever, and a decision we stuck with for the rest of the trip- splitting avoids wasting food and saves money! Hooray!
We got a classic- shrimp fajitas.
I can’t say enough good things about the food here! Everything we ate was SO tasty! The shrimp was sweet, cooked perfectly, and so fresh. Just thinking about it makes me want to fly back to Cozumel just to go back to Coconuts!
The other great thing about Coconuts is the ambiance. They have parrots, chickens, dogs, alligators (so I hear- I didn’t see one), turtles, and more birds, all living around the restaurant.
The inside of the bar is filled with funny tee-shirts, and all kinds of other random things, so I know it’s a fun place to party.
After dinner, Kyle and I walked down by the beach and soaked in the twilight beach air while listening to the waves crash against the rocks. It was a perfect evening.
For the next 2 days, Kyle and I had dinner in the main part of downtown Cozumel. We stumbled upon a tiny restaurant that had hands down the best chips and salsa and the best margaritas I’ve ever had.
Unfortunately, we can’t find the name of this place and we’ve looked at maps and restaurant directories for the downtown square to no avail!! I’m so sad, because even though we never ate dinner at this place, we went back twice for chips and salsa and I got margaritas twice.
What set the salsa apart was the fact that you got 3 different kinds of salsa! The pico de gallo is the most mild. The chipotle salsa was my personal favorite. I couldn’t try the habanero salsa because it was way too spicy but Kyle loved it.
La Choza is a restaurant downtown that kept turning up on our “best restaurant” list so we had to try it. It’s a super cute, kind of touristy place, but the food did not disappoint!
Kyle and I were so happy with our fajitas at Coconuts that we opted for fajitas to share again (it really is the perfect dish to share) but this time we got red snapper instead of shrimp.
The fish was fantastic, melt in your mouth fresh. Yummmmmm.
We also read a lot about the avocado pie they serve as dessert, so we had to give it a try.
The pie had a frozen avocado filling, on a grahm-cracker-type crust, with cinnamon sugar topping. It was definitely unique, and pretty good, but I don’t know if I would get it again even though I love avocado.
For one of our last meals, we decided to go to a fancier place that had also gotten great reviews online, called Kinta.
We started the evening sitting outside in their little garden, but after we started to get eaten alive by mosquitos we moved inside. I really hope I don’t have Zika virus!!
We started our meal by splitting the fish taco appetizer (first time not getting chips and salsa!)
These little tacos were so flavorful and had every aspect of a perfect bit- crunch from the corn tortilla, sweetness from pineapple, a spicy sauce, and flaky fish. So yum!
We wanted more fish so we chose the cast-iron skillet fish dish for our main entree to split. Kinta restaurant has a huge wood fire oven, and the fish was one of the dishes cooked in the oven, so we knew it would be good!
When the fish first came out, it wasn’t cooked completely through in the center. We felt so bad sending it back, but it was actually completely raw in the middle, so we let our waiter know and he took it back to be cooked more.
I always feel so guilty complaining at a restaurant, but they brought the fish back no problem and returned it cooked thoroughly, so it was worth it. We loved the flavorful fish and veggies cooked in the skillet.
Since we had to send back our meal, our waiter brought us out a complimentary dessert which was so kind of him! The dessert STOLE the show. It was so so so so good. Chocolate molten cake that oozed out warm chocolate sauce with coconut ice cream and fresh fruit. It just doesn’t get any better.
I licked the plate clean.
Overall, the food in Cozumel did not disappoint! If you are traveling there I definitely recommend exploring the local restaurants. There were so many we wanted to try and so we will be back!!!
Do you like exploring restaurants when you travel? Tell me about the best food you’ve had on vacation!