When you search where to eat in Tulum, you can count on the name Hardwood to pop up. The first thing I would say, make a reservation since this place is very popular so getting a table without one might be impossible. The second thing, take a deep breath before the bill, because this experience dos not come cheap. The location of the restaurant is in the coolest part of Tulum and even though you can easily spend your holiday in Tulum in your Havaianas, you might want to dress up just a little for this one. If you are looking to stay in stylish hotels, anything around Hartwood would probably be a good choice. The service here is very similar to cool London restaurants and our waiter had actually moved from Dalston to Tulum.
The menu changes every day and it is written on a chalkboard. Your waiter will talk you through the menu. I asked a lot of questions, I wanted to make sure that I nail my order. The questions paid off, because I was very pleased with everything that was brought in front of me. The food is cooked on open fire and that plays a big part on every dish. What stood out for me were the simple but interesting combinations of every dish. For example, my starter was flatbread, agave jam, smoked egg and smoked fish dip. Trust me, I am already planning a home version of this dish. Mains are mainly fish and meat and the ribs that I ate where probably the best ones I have had. Go around 7pm so you can see the interior and as it gets dark you wont be able to see your bill.
Del Cielo is located in the town center and is an excellent place for breakfast. They have good selections of coffee, juices, smoothies, sourdough breads and eggs served in many different ways. Everything is healthy and fresh. This seems to be the place where people come after their morning yoga. There is lot of options in the menu. I kept looking around what other people were having and tried to guess what it was in the menu. Got it wrong every time. Every thing I got was good, but not what I was trying to order. There was a yellow smoothie with seeds that everybody was having, I tried to order it three times but always got something else. So the taste of that smoothie will forever stay a mystery to me. Well, it really does not matter what you order, because it is all delicious. The food in the town center is cheaper in general and you will get more value for your money than at the beach. Even though Tulum is a beach destination, staying in the center and cycling to the beach by day is a good option.
Hole in the wall -tacos, we call them. You can find quite a few places at the center for this experience. Look out for plastic chairs and plates covered with tiny plastic bags. I know it sounds weird but these are the best signs for good tacos. I have also added a picture of the junk of meat you should be looking for. It is Pastor and it is pork that should come with a slice of pineapple on a taco. If they do not put the pineapple, ask for it the next time. Tacos Al Pastor con piña, thats what you say. That is all the Spanish that I know and I got by just fine. My recommendation for the best tacos in town is Antojitos La Chiapaneca.
Hartwood, Carretera Tulum Boca Paila 7.6 km, 77780 Q.R. Mexico
Del Cielo, Av.Satelite Sur 5, Centro, 77760 Tulum Q.R. Mexico
Antojitos La Chiapaneca, Cancun-Chetumal Mz 6 Lt 8, Centro, 77780 Tulum, Q.R. Mexico
To sum it up, you can eat very cheap in Tulum but you can also spend as much as you would in London. The choice is yours.