jumbo shrimp dinner best places to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico restaurants

Mexico is my happy place. I’ve visited nearly 30 times. Love the beaches, the people, the culture, and the food. One of my favorite places to stay in Mexico is Isla Mujeres. This tiny island (five miles long and one-half mile wide) is just a short ferry ride from Cancun. If you’re visiting Riviera Maya, consider staying on Isla Mujeres or take a day trip.

I’ve curated a list of the best places to eat in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. This list is based on personal experience as well as recommendations from people who live in Isla Mujeres, Mexico as well as other Islaholics.

See my related Mexico posts.


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Where to eat in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Best restaurants in Isla Mujeres Mexico places to eat Rosa Sirena

Full disclosure. I’ve never had a bad meal anywhere in Isla Mujeres. Even just stopping in for a quick bite and a cold beer or cocktail. Here is a list (alpha order) of some of the best restaurants in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Always check the restaurant’s website to confirm the days and hours of operation.

Good to know: Many Isla Mujeres restaurants only accept cash so bring your pesos!

Aurora Cocina & Bar

Aurora Cocina best places to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico restaurants

One of the best places to eat in Isla Mujeres, Mexico is Aurora Cocina. This hidden gem is located behind the Isla Village Shopping area (Central Isla Mujeres). Aurora Cocina is an intimate outdoor setting where you feel like you’re eating dinner in someone’s home. Open for lunch and dinner, take a short walk up the hill for some scenic Caribbean views.

Aurora Cocina best places to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico restaurants

Where is Aurora Cocina in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours for Aurora Concina? Are reservations needed for Aurora Cocina?

Island location: Central

Address: SM04 M91 LT03 1, Meteorologico, 77400 Isla Mujeres (Take the infinity path leading you to the restaurant at the back of the building.)

Cuisine: Caribbean and seafood

Reservations: We walked in and got a table on the patio right away without reservations. However, you can DM their Facebook page to ensure a spot.

Days/hours of operation: Monday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed on Sundays.

Caribbean Garden

Caribbean Garden cafe restaurant in Isla Mujeres Mexico - best places to eat

We first stopped at Caribbean Garden in Central Isla Mujeres for happy hour. My favorite place for strawberry daiquiris (not too tart or sweet). And check out the vessel for this beautiful and tasty passion fruit martini my friend ordered. How cute!

Caribbean Garden was close to our Airbnb so we returned for drinks and appetizers. And it’s a very pretty outdoor setting amongst all the tropical plants and trees. Watch for iguanas!

Swing beach bar in Isla Mujeres Mexico

Since you’re in the neighborhood, walk south of the Caribbean Garden for a drink at this swing bar. They claim beer so cold it’ll make your teeth hurt. The view here is stunning. Note that they are only open until 6 p.m. and they do not serve food.

Where is Caribbean Garden in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours for the Caribbean Garden? Are reservations needed for Caribbean Garden?

Island location: Central

Address: MZA 091 SM 04 Lote 03-14, Av. Perimentral Ote., Meteorologico, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Cuisine: Caribbean and Mexican – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Reservations: Not necessary.

Days/hours of operation: Monday through Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Chef Sofia and Chef Luis – Personal Chefs (Sofia’s Kitchen Isla)

Chef Luis and Chef Sofia private home caterers traditional and authentic Mexican food best places to eat in Isla Mujeres

Looking for a personal chef who comes to you and creates an authentic and traditional three-course Mexican meal? Then you need to hire Chef Sofia and Chef Luis – a father and daughter duo. Chef Sofia, who was also our property manager host, was professionally trained in Mexico City. Her father is quite the character and very entertaining. While he cooks, he shares lots of insider tips and history about Isla Mujeres. You can book an island tour with him and learn everything you need to know from a local.

Chef Sofia will present you with several options to choose from for your starter and main meal. And she prepares a surprise dessert.

Starter options with Chef Sofia

Delicious chicken Chef Luis and Chef Sofia private home caterers traditional and authentic Mexican food best places to eat in Isla Mujeres

Here is a list of Chef Sofia’s most popular starters/appetizers for your in-home personal chef experience in Isla Mujeres.

  • Mexico City-style flautas/tacos dorados
  • Fish ceviche
  • Shrimp and fish ceviche
  • Sopes
  • Tinga tostadas
  • Fish tacos
  • Shrimp tacos Baja style
  • Gabardine shrimps
  • Ajillo Shrimps
  • Tortilla soup
  • Lima soup
  • Caldo tlapeno

Main dishes options with Chef Sofia

For your main course, you can select from a number of delicious authentic Mexican dishes including:

  • Chiles rellenos
  • Veracruzana-style catch of the day
  • Albondigas (meatballs)
  • Fish with butter/citris sauce
  • Fish with three chili sauce
  • Tic in xic (Yucatan spices)
  • Green, red, or mole enchiladas
  • Filet mignon
  • Chicken with mole

Our traditional in-home personal chef experience dinner menu

Best places to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico Chef Sofia catch of the day

It was difficult to choose from all these authentic Mexican dinner options. But we narrowed it down and selected the Mexican-style flautas and the Veracruzana-style catch of the day (snapper).

Our surprise dessert was flan and we were served refreshing hibiscus water.

How do I book a personal chef experience in Isla Mujeres?

Highly recommend hiring Chef Sofia and Chef Luis to prepare you an authentic Mexican meal when visiting Isla Mujeres. You can find her on Instagram (sofiaskitchenisla).

Fuego de Mar

Catch of the day best restaurant and places to eat in Isla Mujeres Fuego de Mar

Fuego de Mar was our favorite restaurant meal during our last visit to Isa Mujeres. We all loved our meals. This Argentinean-owned restaurant features delicious fresh seafood grilled over an open wood fire. How fresh? We saw a fisherman bring in his fresh catches of the day.

Catch of the day best restaurant and places to eat in Isla Mujeres Fuego de Mar

You can choose to sit outside at a table or the bar or inside. It’s all open air so even when we were sitting inside it felt like al fresco. And love that you can see your food being prepared.

Where is Fuego de Mar in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours of Fuego de Mar? Are reservations needed for Fuego de Mar?

Island location: Central

Address: Jesus Martinez Ross Y Calle 17, Ampliacion La Gloria, 77400 Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Cuisine: Seafood and steak

Reservations: Not necessary. We walked in and were seated immediately.

Days/hours of operation: Wednesday through Monday, 5:30 pm. to 10:30 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays.

Isla Brewing Company

Isla Brewing Company best places to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico

The Isla Brewing Company was conveniently located near our Airbnb. Just a quick walk so we visited for happy hour a couple of times as well as lunch/appetizers. They serve their own craft beer with a Caribbean flair as well as other domestic beers and cocktails. They also serve flights of beers if you can’t decide. Isla Brewing Company is the only place that brews craft beers on the island.

All tables are outdoors in the spacious beer garden as well as bar seating. Make sure to stop by their gift shop for some cool merchandise.

Where is Isla Brewery in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours for Isla Brewery? Are reservations needed for Isla Mujeres?

Island location: Central

Address: Jesus Martinez Ross 61, 77400 Isa Mujeres, Mexico

Cuisine: Mexican

Reservations: Not necessary

Days/hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sundays.

Javi’s Cantina Restaurant and Bar

Two guitar players in restaurant courtyard with customers looking on from tables

Javi’s Cantina Restaurant and Bar is one of the best restaurants for dinner in Isla Mujeres. Loved the live music, exotic cocktails, delicious food, and gorgeous courtyard and murals.

You’ll find two different sections at Javi’s Cantina Restaurant & Bar. The front area is located in the bar area. The other section offers a courtyard sitting area. Both sections provide live music.

snapper in a mushroom cream sauce with a side of veggies Javi Cantina Isla Mujeres Mexico

And I love the history of Javi’s Cantina Restaurant & Bar. This cantina is located in Javi’s grandmother’s family home. They originally started out catering and offering tapas. But then expanded into a full-service restaurant.   

I recommend making a reservation at Javi’s Cantina Restaurant and Bar in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. We were a walk-in, but they were able to seat us in the front of the restaurant. Still great ambiance and we also had live music – a guitar soloist. Pictured above is the courtyard area of Javi’s Cantina.

Two frozen cocktails with candlelight best places to eat in Isla Mujeres

Our pre-dinner cocktails (where we ordered seconds and maybe thirds) at Javi’s Cantina Restaurant and Bar were pretty amazing. My husband ordered a grilled pineapple margarita and I enjoyed a refreshing strawberry daiquiri by candlelight.

For dinner, I devoured the fabulous jumbo shrimp special and took a bite or two of my husband’s fresh catch of the day, snapper, in a mushroom cream sauce. They were both amazing. We will definitely eat at Javi’s Cantina Restaurant and Bar in Isla Mujeres again – one of the best restaurants on the island.

Where is Javi’s Cantina Restaurant and Bar in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours? Are reservations needed?

Island location: North

Address: Av Juarez 12, Centro – Supmza. 001, 77400 Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Cuisine: Caribbean and seafood

Reservations: Highly recommend if you want courtyard sitting. We walked in and were able to sit in the bar dining area, but think we lucked out as seating is limited.

Days/hours of operation: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Closed on Wednesday.

The Joint Reggae Bar N Grill

The Joint Reggae Bar best places to eat Isla Mujeres Mexico

While we did not eat at The Joint, it was a festive outdoor space for happy hour and live music. I’ve heard they have great pizza and the menu looked great. It’s located on the South end of Isla Mujeres. Another great place for pizza recommended by our friends is Sonny’s. Will have to try both next time!

Additionally, The Joint offers a sunset cruise with three hours of live music, drinks, and snacks.

Where is The Joint Reggae Bar N Grill in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours for The Joint? Are reservations needed for The Joint?

Island location: South

Address: Av. Gustavo Rueda Medina, Punta Sur, Isla Mujeres

Cuisine: Caribbean and pizza

Reservations: Not necessary.  

Days/hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Saturday.

North Garden Café Restaurant and Bar

Night shot of two-level outdoor restaurant in Mexico best places to eat Isla Mujeres North Garden

The North Garden in Isla Mujeres is one of the best places to eat in Isla Mujeres. This charming venue is open for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner. Beautiful setting under a palapa night or day, we enjoyed several meals here on our first visit to Isla Mujeres as it was within walking distance of our hotel (Hotel Secreto). It’s also conveniently located near the popular North Beach.

North Garden Café Restaurant and Bar is one of the best restaurants in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. It was within walking distance of our hotel (Hotel Secreto) and near North Beach. We enjoyed happy hour, breakfast, and dinner. Note that they currently serve breakfast and lunch.

Woman cooking dinner next to a table with a large flame best restaurants in Isla Mujeres Mexico North Garden Cafe

I especially loved North Garden Cafe’s tableside flamed salmon entrée: citrus-flavored salmon cooked over coals and marinated with Grand Marnier on a bed of grilled grapefruit and vegetables. Grilled grapefruit is pretty amazing! And my husband enjoyed North Garden Café’s homemade pasta with seafood (fruiti de mar) with pesto cream sauce, roasted jumbo shrimp, fish of the day, and octopus sauteed with white wine.

Where is North Garden Cafe in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours for North Garden Cafe? Are reservations needed for North Garden Cafe?

Island location: North

Address: Carlos Lazo No. 14, Centro – Supmza. 001, 77400, Isla Mujeres

Cuisine: Caribbean and seafood

Reservations: Not necessary.

Days/hours of operation: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. Closed Tuesdays. When we visited, North Garden Café was open for dinner. Posted hours indicate they are now only open for breakfast and lunch.

Olivia

Best place to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico Olivia restaurant

If you’re a fan of Mediterranean, then you must try Olivia’s located in downtown Isla Mujeres. This romantic and charming restaurant offers traditional Mediterranean food such as tapas, hummus, kababs, falafels, and delicious specialties like chicken in olives (pictured), and moussaka. Also loved their chocolate mousse.

Best place to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico Olivia restaurant

Reservations are required for the two dinner sittings at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Seating is set in a pretty courtyard and garden.

Where is Olivia in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours for Olivia in Isla Mujeres? Are reservations needed for Olivia’s in Isla Mujeres?

Island location: North/downtown

Address: Matamoros, Centro – Supmza. 001, 77400, Isla Mujeres

Cuisine: Mediterranean

Reservations: Yes.

Days/hours of operation: 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. sittings. Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sunday.

La Patrona Restaurant and Bar

La Patrona restaurant and bar best places to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico

When we first arrived in Isla Mujeres, we didn’t have a golf cart so wanted to walk to a restaurant close to our Airbnb. It was a Sunday evening so the nearby Isla Brewery was closed. We came across La Patrona so gave this two-story restaurant with a rooftop palapa a try. The service, drinks, and food were awesome. Loved my shrimp tacos – so good!

Where is Patron in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours for La Patrona? Are reservations needed for La Patrona?

Island location: Central

Address: Jesus Martinez Ross 618, Salinas, 77400, Isla Mujeres

Cuisine: Mexican and seafood

Reservations: No

Days/hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily Monday through Sunday.

Polo’s Mango Café

Polo's Mango Cafe best places to eat for breakfast in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

The neighbors living next door to our Airbnb highly recommended Polo’s Mango Café for breakfast or lunch. As did a couple of my friends who love visiting Isla Mujeres.

Polo's Mango Cafe best places to eat for breakfast in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Fell in love with the Mango Café’s colorful and eclectic vibe and the hearty and delicious breakfasts. Come hungry! I went for a savory breakfast and ordered their breakfast quesadillas. Next time I’m going sweet to enjoy their famous coconut French toast.

Walk off your meal by crossing the street and climb up the hill to visit the beautiful Chapel of Guadalupe and the scenic view behind the church.

Where is Polo’s Mango Cafe in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours for Polo’s Mango Cafe? Are reservations needed for Polo’s Mango Cafe?

Island location: Central

Address: Av Payo Obispo S/N, MZA 101 LTE 1, Meteorologico, 77400 Isla Mujeres

Cuisine: Mexican, Caribbean

Reservations: No

Days/hours of operation: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily Monday through Sunday.

Rosa Sirena

Best places to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico Rosa Sirena

We asked Chef Sofia for her favorite restaurant recommendations in Isla Mujeres. When she mentioned one we had not visited, we knew we had to check out Rosa Sirena. And so happy we did. I mean if a chef loves it, you know it’s going to be fabulous. And it was! My husband ordered the pork chop. And they came out with a set of knives to choose from. I chose the catch of the day. Both were amazing!

Rosa Sirena rooftop restaurant best place to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico

Make your reservation for the palapa-covered rooftop where you’ll be treated to live music, a beautiful sunset, fabulous food, and great service.

And maybe the charismatic owners/chefs will stop by your table and chat. The air-conditioned second floor is also available for reservations.

Carrot cake Rosa Sirena rooftop restaurant best place to eat in Isla Mujeres Mexico

Save room for dessert because the multi-layer carrot cake is amazing!

Where is Rosa Sirena in Isla Mujeres located? What are the hours for Rosa Sirena? Are reservations needed for Rosa Sirena?

Island location: Central

Address: Corner of Calle Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez and Narciso Median in Colonia Meteorologico, Isla Mujeres

Cuisine: Mexican, seafood, steak, vegetarian

Reservations: Yes

Days/hours of operation: 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Monday.

More of the best Isla Mujeres restaurants recommended by locals

Isla Mujeres Mexico restaurants best places to eat

Other restaurants that we did not try, but were recommended by locals included:

  • Doro’s Taqueria offers Mexican and a traditional bar and grill menu as well as breakfast.
  • La Lomita’s menu features traditional Mexican.
  • Loncheria Jairo offers BBQ and Mexican dishes.
  • Limon serves seafood, steaks, and pasta.
  • Mahache Fish & Grill’s menu includes seafood, steak, and burgers.
  • Tiny Gecko offers breakfast, Mexican, seafood, chicken, and more.
  • Tonicho’s dishes up Mexican, hamburgers, and pizza.  

Buen provecho!

Pin it for later! Best places to eat in Isla Mujures, Mexico

A curated list of the best Mexican and Caribbean restaurants and travel foodie places to eat in Isla Mujeres, Mexico as recommended by locals and seasoned travelers to this island across from Cancun.

A curated list of the best Mexican and Caribbean restaurants and travel foodie places to eat in Isla Mujeres, Mexico as recommended by locals and seasoned travelers to this island across from Cancun.

Author

Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller

30 comments

  1. We have been to Mexico many times. But have not yet made it to Isla Mujeres. It looks like it is definitely worth a ferry ride for a day or longer. And we would certainly not go hungry! I would love the opportunity to get a personal chef experience.

    1. We love Isla Mujeres! One of our favorite places in Mexico. And loved our personal chef experience with Chef Sofia and Chef Luis.

  2. everything looks so good- so fresh and local..and combos of food I would never think to make at home- best type of vacation~

  3. As a self proclaimed foodie, I love food stories. I particularly love the bird martini glass – adorable. I have been to Isla Mujeres, but I will know where to dine if I ever get the chance!

    1. I hope you get the opportunity to visit Isla Mujeres! We love it there. So many great foodie spots…and we loved the bird glass also.

  4. Oooh nice! This is a bit different to your normal posts with frozen lakes and waterfalls! All this food sounds so, sooo tasty.. you just warmed me up with your enthusiasm for Mexico!

    1. Yes…post is a little different. Had to share my favorite restaurants we experienced in Isla Mujeres on our recent vacation.

  5. I like that fresh catch at Fuego de Mar. It looks delicious, just like the one from Aurora Cocina. But I think the father and daughter duo is a number one must-try when in Isla Mujeres.

  6. Isla Mujeres is a tempting place to eat Mexican food. And, the style of the architecture draws me into the experience as well.

  7. I am going to Playa Mujeres at the end of May and will take the ferry to Isla. Thank you for this post. The last time I went to Isla I felt so overwhelmed and lost in the crowds. I am saving this so I can check out a few of the awesome restaurants/bars. I think Rosa Sirena and Fuego de Mar at the top of my list.

    1. You’re welcome and my pleasure! The north end of the island does get crowded. Try the center and south end. And we loved Fuego de Mar and Rosa Sirena. So good!

  8. I enjoyed reading this! It has been a while since I’ve been to Isla Mujeres. These places look wonderful to eat!

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