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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Off the Grid in Playa del Carmen


2. Where to Eat

Yaxche features new takes on traditional Mayan recipes.  

Taste indigenous recipes at Yaxche, where the chef adds contemporary touches to dishes he learned how to make while living in a Mayan village for five years. The restaurant is on the quieter side of Avenida La Quinta, and its outdoor tables are perfect for enjoying tsotobilchay (Mayan-style tamales, $6) and tikin xic (marinated fish grilled in a banana leaf, $16).

Follow the smell of meat over an open flame to Taqueria El Fogon (Calle 6 and Av. 30; no phone), an open-air restaurant where the grill takes up half the space. Locals flock here for the arrachera ($9), a well-seasoned skirt steak and tacos al pastor ($1 each), filled with pork cooked on a spit.

Sample no-frills seafood dishes, like octopus tentacles in chipotle sauce ($7) and frosty micheladas ($3), at the fisherman-owned La Tarraya (Calle 2 Norte at the beach; 984/873 2040), not far from the ferry dock. The divey spot, with a wood hut and plastic chairs right on the beachfront, is a throwback to the days when this was just a tiny fishing village.

Published on Dec 6, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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