Playa del Carmen with infant and family entourage
We've got quite a crew heading down for a midwinter dose of sun. Six adults, two infants and one toddler. Staying near 5th Ave and ferry.
The last time we were there (w/o infant), we greatly enjoyed the little casual taco stands as opposed to some of the bigger places. For quasi-authentic food, we did enjoy Yaxche quite a bit.
Wondering about some other recent updates (found some good tips on the board already) that might be decent for both the parents and the kids. Authenticity and short-medium length meals are key.
The most family-friendly dinner spot is La Parilla on Avenida cinco at sixth st. Year in, year out, they are the highest grossing restaurant in Playa, which is not necessarily a good thing, but their longevity and success since the 80's says something. Extensive menu, and they do all the flaming stuff that is fun to watch. If they can set you up with a table for 8-9 right on the Avenida you will enjoy the parade of nocturnal strollers that is its own spectacle in high season. Also, the small fry may enjoy the mariachis that ply their trade out front. A bit tacky, sure, but almost essential to early Mexican experience. Most of the Euro-trash themed spots there chase off the mariachis like horseflies. Hey, the musicians are trying to make an honest living.
Best good in-and-out lunch: Dr. Taco, on 10th Ave between 8 and 10 st. Best shrimp tacos since Jaime sold the Oasis; great homemade sauces and relishes.
Dr. Taco also has another location on 28th, right up from the beach.
There is a taco truck, out of an old volkswagon van, on 12th street (between Quinta and 10th) that is excellent.
La Cueva del Chango (38th between Quinta and the beach) is pretty good food and a very nice spot for a big group that includes kids.
Dr. Taco is excellent! However, the location on 10th avenue is rather small - seating a large party may be difficult. I recommend going to the location on 28th. Playa is VERY family friendly. I made my fourth trip down to Playa del Carmen in January, and noticed families eatting in almost every restaurant. Also, Luna Media (one of my favorites) on 5th Ave between 8th & 10th has a large table upstairs.
If you want an informal lunch with authentic seafood/seviche try Cocktaleria Veracruz (I think that was the name?). Its in the vicinity of 10th Ave and 2nd Street South. It is a bright gold/yellow painted building, hard to miss. The best seviche and seafood cocktail my wife and I have ever had!
Thanks everyone, for the great recommendations.
We had some weird familial tension between the highly local and the 5th ave table cloth spots. I lost several times to the pressure. But a few of our highlights -
- Dr. Taco. Thank you so much. Great after a dive too. Loved both the fried shrimp and fish tacos and the grilled (a la parilla). Vibe and service were good. Loved that everything was made to order. Relish/salsa bar was fantastic. Highlight - was a fried xcatic (local) pepper stuffed with shrimp. Delish.
- Cocktaleria Veracruz. Great reco, thanks. The ceviche was great, but don't miss the sopa de camarones. Very rich seafoody broth reminiscent of a thai tom yum (shrimp stock, cilantro, lime and chiles). And the service here was the best - owner's mom lent us their kid's baby seat for our infant.
- The taco stands near the bus station! Morning to midday, I loved these guys. The cochinita with the greenish-brown/onion salsa was awesome. Last morning, tried something different - huevos and carne tacos with green avocado-chile salsa. Wow. New favorite that I'll be trying to recreate here stateside.
Was very sorry to miss out on HC Monterrey and El Cejas.
Attached photo is of Dr. Taco goodness. Shrimp a la parilla, with necessary refreshments.