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Where the Locals Eat in Cozumel, Mexico

Where the Locals Eat in Cozumel, Mexico

I was invited to a girls’ getaway to the island of Cozumel, Mexico. My traveling companions were three fellow bloggers (Sara of Travel with Sara and Suzanne of Adventures of Empty Nesters), and another (Tam of Travels with Tam) who has lived part-time in Cozumel for quite a few years. She knew all of the cool places to go and even scored a special tasting event for the four of us. Knowing the locals favorite places to eat in Cozumel made all the difference between good food and fantastic food. Take a peek at them. 

four traveling chicas in Cozumel

Buccano’s at Night

The most lavish restaurant on the island is most certainly Buccano’s at Night. On the second floor of Buccano’s Beach Club, this swanky eatery has picturesque waterfront views, fantastic art (originals by the owner’s daughter), an intimate patio, fire pit, and a glass-enclosed open-air kitchen with gorgeous furnishings. If you are a seafood lover, it doesn’t get much fresher than Buccano’s at Night. Dining in Cozumel, Mexico, is at its best here!


Recommended Dishes:

  • Shrimp Pops (crunchy wonton strips, plum pico, black sesame seeds)
  • Snapper Tartare (plantain chips, pickled avocado, poke dressing)
  • Lobster Ravioli (brown butter, almonds, poblano peppers, fresh corn)
  • Lobster Stack (miso butter, coconut rice)
  • Buccanos Fish and Chips

Guido’s Restaurant & Bar

Guido’s Restaurant & Bar is a vibrantly decorated restaurant that has both an indoor and a charming outdoor dining area. They also have the best bread in town. Forget about counting carbs; indulge in it! You can purchase a piece of art from Guido’s walls if you see one that you like. Guido’s allows you to order half portions of their incredibly satisfying pasta dishes so that way you can hold an appetizer and salad as well. It is all so good that it’s hard choosing between them. Save room for dessert; the souffle gets rave reviews.


Recommended Dishes:

  • Chocolate Souffle with Whipped Cream
  • Ravioli with Goat Cheese
  • Pasta Carbonara (egg, pancetta, onion)
  • Mushroom Fettuccine

La Cocay

This upscale Mediterranean restaurant is in the heart of Cozumel. It is tastefully decorated with lovely artwork on the walls and has friendly staff. Our visit was near Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), so one table was set up for the “special guests.” The service was spot on and the food, exquisite. One of my favorite parts was the presentation of the fancy salads, tied up in a bundle with beet strips.

Recommended Dishes:

  • Duck Firecrackers (duck confit, pineapple, chipotle, pepper & mango salsa)
  • Florentina Salad (frizzled bacon, memorable blackberry vinaigrette)
  • Cocay Chocolate Torte, Ricotta Ravioli
  • Goat Cheese Empanaditas (mango chutney)


Pepe’s is an elegant restaurant overlooking the waterfront in downtown San Miguel. It is only two blocks from the main pier, easy to get to, and has street parking available. Try to sit upstairs; the views cannot be beaten. One of the things I loved about Pepe’s is that they will prepare your choice of fish in four different styles: grilled, Shittake mushrooms and sake sauce, mojo serrano, or broiled with sage butter. This is another reason it is a locals’ favorite place to eat in Cozumel.  Don’t miss Pepe’s impressive wine list.  


Recommended Dishes:

  • Beef Carpaccio (capers, special mustard sauce, and arugula)
  • Famous Tableside Caesar Salad (tangy and delicious!)
  • Chicken with spinach and potatoes
  • Fresh Fish Filet of the Day

The Money Bar Beach Club

The Money Bar Beach Club is popular among cruise visitors. Located on the waterfront at Dzul-Ha Reef, this fun restaurant has everybody’s favorite Mexican dishes and really good burgers. Prices are just right, and the atmosphere is super comfortable. Guests can also rent bikes, paddleboards, and snorkel gear from here or have a relaxing spa treatment on the oceanfront.


Recommended Dishes:

  • Chicken Nachos
  • French Fries
  • Fajitas/Tacos
  • Bushwacker Drinks

Cozumel is Definitely for Foodies

Having a local show me the ropes in her town certainly helped me see the best places to eat in Cozumel. It is a foodie city with an emphasis on local, fresh seafood and impeccable service. I can’t wait for you to try these yummy eateries!

Check out our other Mexico posts:

Affordable Luxury in Cancun

12 Hours of Fun in Puerto Vallarta

Thanks to Inez for hosting the four of us to a very special day at Buccano’s. 


Looking for a Place to Stay on your Trip?

The Villa Coronado is a fantastically located house featuring four bedrooms and four 1/2 baths, rooftop palapa, plus a private pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea. You can book your accommodation via VRBO.

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where the locals eat in Cozumel

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Kate Lubinski

Tuesday 11th of September 2018

oh my, the shrimp pops just made my mouth water, I bet they were extremely tasty! all the pics look absolutely fabulous, Cozumel really seems like a foodie's paradise! I have recently gained my diving certification and I've heard Cozumel is also a fantastic destination for divers, especially at Paradise Reef. thanks for sharing all these tasty recommendations, I will definitely have what to feast on after exploring the underwater world!


Sunday 23rd of September 2018

That is great! Yes, my daughter and husband are divers and we've been to Cozumel for just that reason in the past. I didn't realize how dynamite their food scene was until this trip though. Amazing local restaurants! Be sure to visit Buccanos, you can dive there as well and it is $15 admission to use the facilities. ;) Good luck.

Tam Warner Minton

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

I was so happy to show you my very favorite restaurants on the island! I'm headed to the island at the end of the month, cannot wait to eat at my fav places!

Lee Williams

Thursday 15th of March 2018

Among Mexican dishes the money Bar Beach Club is popular. I have a passion to travel by cruise and its a great hobby. Cruise is so beautiful and all facilities are over there. And there we can rent bikes, paddle boards and snorkel gear. I just want this to earn this feelings. Thanks for sharing.


Sunday 18th of March 2018

Thanks for reading! ;) I'm about to try paddle boarding for the first time tomorrow.


Tuesday 27th of February 2018

Thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.

Sara Broers

Tuesday 13th of February 2018

What a fun trip and a great way to get to know the island of Cozumel!

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