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Casa Denis

With a culinary history dating back 90 some odd years on the island, the current restaurant dates to 1946! Cozumel's oldest restaurant is just off town square on the SE pedestrian walk. Serving Yucatecan specialties from Cheese Empanadas, to a classic bean soup, Yucatecan Poc-Chuc style pork chops and delicious shrimp fajitas, this sidewalk café is a must visit. The margaritas are wonderful as well!

La Choza

A large open air cantina style restaurant a short walk from the square, which also serves classic Yucatecan recipes dating back centuries. The margaritas are a treat as well. Reminiscent of Merida or Guadalajara, the atmosphere is festive and traditionally appointed. *On 10, between A. R. Salas and 3...


With several locations along the western water front of the island in the past 50+ years, since 1966 Pepe's has evolved into their current location and are recognized as one of Cozumel's premier dining destinations. Outstanding service, a nice wine selection, and a menu including crisp select salads, perfectly prepared steaks, pastas and the freshest of seafoods. Enjoy a sunset at one of the island's oldest and most respected destinations.


Since 1976, this restaurant has probably received more visitors than any other restaurant on the island. The location helps for sure, directly across from the Playa Del Carmen ferry pier in a spot any establishment would pay dearly to be. If your tastes lean north, then maybe the pancakes, excellent burgers or BLT's might fit the bill, but don't be surprised at their well prepared and filling fresh fish fillets, delicious ceviche's and of course their welcoming and large margaritas!

El Moro

A long time favorite on the island, and while they were originally located in town, their current location is a bit of a trek, but so well worth it! Everything here is home made and prepared with perfection. Traditional Cozumel in every way, with an array of mole dishes and sauces, one of the islands most sought after destinations for the slow cooked pork, Cochinita Pibil, a Cream of Asparagus soup worth the trip alone, and save room for their deserts! Since the late 80's, El Moro has consistently remained a Cozumel must. *75 bis, between 2 & 4.

The Lobster House

Kind of by itself north of town, this is again one of the islands oldest restaurants. The “original” Lobster House moved out here from town years ago, and it was several years ago that the owner’s son opened Fernando’s directly next door. It’s all in the family, because the owner’s wife sold so much Key Lime Pie out of the restaurant, that a few years ago, he opened a place of her own directly next door to the north named appropriately, The Key Lime Pie Factory. I love Key Lime Pie and hers is exquisitely smooth and not too sweet.

So anyway, lobster is not all they sell here but it is certainly the focus. One can sit in the front where you will find a tiny bar, but the funky and lush jungle foliage in back is where you want to be. Yes, there can be skeeters and they do burn citronella candles, but if they are bothering you, they will provide you with a spray. You can select your own lobster tail, and they actually prefer that and will charge by weight. Margaritas are excellent and the bar selection overall is pretty good.

The Shrimp Chowder is thick and can be a meal in and of itself and the grilled grouper, fried or barbequed shrimp, or a Red Snapper stuffed with shrimp and slathered in a not too consuming homemade white sauce is a marvelous choice. Most dishes come with select veggies and rice. Even the BBQ Chicken when on the menu, is awesome if you are just not in the seafood mood. Don’t forget the Conch Soup and for sure do not forget mamas scrumptious Key Lime Pie. *About 2 miles north of the airport road, impossible to miss!

La Cozumeleña

Another of the islands long standing family owned establishments which in my opinion has only one flaw. So, they have no outdoor seating, but everything else about La Cozumelena is pure Cozumel vibe. Since 1962 they have grown into a remarkable but highly underrated island breakfast destination. Not only the restaurant, but the complete bakery directly next door is nothing short of excellent. Anything from the bakery is available in the restaurant. Homemade breads, donuts, cheese breads, pies, pastries and so much more either for carry out or for when you dine in. The breakfast crepes are excellent, from the caramel crepe to the cream cheese, or the sweet vegan crepe with strawberry, coconut oil, Nutella, avocado and cocoa. Fresh fruit, great omelets, a ham and cheese croissant or even pancakes. La Cozumelena is one of the best on the island, enjoy.


My motto when writing these guides has always been, consistency, consistency, consistency. In Guidos own words, they say something quite similar about their ability to grow and evolve since 1978 when they first opened, “time tested restaurant qualities”, and that is exactly what defines this remarkable Italian Restaurant. I don’t pretend to be some lover of Italian food, I rarely indulge, and not because it hasn’t been incredible when I have tried, it is just that my taste buds carry me elsewhere. It is the pizza I have come here for, and all of the rest of this spot’s true excellence, I will leave to the rest of you.

Just look at some of these menu items, and all are created by a classically trained staff. Pastas include the Frutti de Mare, with black linguini, octopus, scallops, fresh tomato sauce, shrimp, cream and cognac, or the Pappardelle with, mascarpone, portobello and Mozzarella, or Yvonnes Salad, a mix of barley, arugula, tomato and lime, basil, pistachio and mint. An appetizer of calamari sautéed with garlic, guajillo and a pepper pure, or the Osso Buco, a slow cooked braised pork shank with a saffron risotto. I can only imagine what it takes to pull this type of a menu off in a place like Cozumel? It is a desire to be the best, and that is what Guidos always reaches for. *On the main drag between 6 & 8.

Taken from the soon to be released, Local Knowledge Travel Guides/Best of Cozumel 2020


Local Knowledge Travel Guides/Isla Mujeres 2020 available now on Amazon, BN, and other sites.

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