The afternoon meal is usually the biggest of the day in Mexico
It tends to be eaten late by north-of-the-border standards, around 2 PM to 4 PM and often takes a couple of hours, especially for groups of family or friends.
"Almuerzo" is a late-morning meal occasionally translated as "lunch" and might be nearer to how many Americans might think of "lunch".
Many of these restaurants are open only for lunch, in which case they'll close in the late afternoon - they'll still be open after your dive boat returns and you shower and rinse your gear at Casa Suzana.
Check the Local Cuisine glossary page or use the search box for definitions of unfamiliar terms.
Locate restaurants on a map on the Restaurants page.
Of the many great places for lunch, these are our favorites
A: Calle 2 N at the corner of 10 Av
P: 872 77 49
Very pleasant, bright dining room for brunch. Closes early by Mexican standards for lunch. Besides brunchy favorites such as omelettes and Eggs Benedict, they have patty melts and BLT's.
A: Av. Pedro Juaquin Coldwell #410 at the corner of calle 12 bis N
P: 869 10 03
Established over 20 years ago in a somewhat odd beehive-shaped building (with an interesting history). Great traditionally-made quesadillas, made with masa that's filled and cooked on a comal, not a tortilla, with all the traditional toppings available.
A: 30 Avenida between Calle 2 & 4 Norte
P: 120 82 82
Inexpensive, excellent Mexican-arabian food - tacos (beef, chicken, and pork - this is a Lebanese-Mexican Christian family) served on small pitas, falafel, kefta, excellent hummus and tart homemade yogurt. The owner grows his own grapes for leaves for the stuffed vine leaves and for grape juice. We especially love the kibis de bola.
Asadero el Pollo
A: Av. Pedro Joaquin Coldwell (30) between Calle 5 Sur & Morelos
Grilled chickens and sides. Great for taking to the beach or back to Casa Suzana. They close when they run out of chicken.
A: Calle 17 at 15 Av
P: 869 09 14
Popular Italian place with a wood-burning oven for empanadas and pizzas. Pleasant covered courtyard seating. Daily specials
A: Playa San Juan Costera Norte Km 4.5
P: 872 01 00
Beach club north of town with nice lunches at the edge of the water. Great views. There's a swimming beach, nice snorkeling area, pool, and outdoor shower that restaurant customers can use!
A: 10 Av. Sur at the corner of Calle 3 Sur
P: 872 10 89
La Cozumeleña is a bakery in the center of town. They have great fruit smoothies and fruit plates, sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. Free parking just past their door on the right.
A: 5a Av. Nte #99 between Calle 2 & 4 Nte
P: 872 61 61
This downtown restaurant has tacos such as shrimp or smoked marlin, good seafood soup, and nice fish filets (such as one in poblano cream cheese sauce)
A: 65 Avenida S between Rosado Salas and Calle 3S
Very good carnitas tacos. Closes too early for lunch by Mexican standards at 2 PM but could work for people on NOB lunch schedules.
A: 298-A Av 10 between Rosado Sales & Calle 3
P: 119 28 79
The island's only brewpub, with a range of their own reliable standard beers and some temporary specials. Wood-burning oven for pizzas and empanadas. The lionfish pizza is especially noteworthy, as are the caramelized onion empanadas.
A: Calle 3 Sur at the corner of 5 Av
P: 101 95 89
Serves Mexican classics, properly prepared. These include chamorro (pork shank) and the famous and delicious Chiles en Nogada, traditionally available only seasonally in mid-September for Mexican Independence Day (on the Enlish menu here as "stuffed chiles with walnut cream sauce"). Indoor space and outdoor seating on the sidewalk.
A: Calle 3 between 5 Av and Melgar
This small downtown taqueria has some very interesting tacos with handmade tortillas. The shredded shortrib is great, as is the portobello (and I don't like portobellos). It's one of the few places to offer tacos al pastor during the day. They have some nice drinks including their own custom-brewed bottled beer.
A: 11 Av between Melgar & Calle 5
P: 872 44 21
Located around the corner from Mega across from Parque Quintana Roo and the Municipal palace (in which it used to be located). Traditionally-made quesadillas, meaning they're made from masa that's filled then cooked on a comal, rather than a tortilla. Sopes, too. They sometimes run out of toppings (always the one you want). Very inexpensive and filling.
A: Av. Benito Juárez near 105a Av. Sur
P: 872 72 87
This place on the transversal road is not very near to Casa Suzana, but it's great for wonderful tacos and tortas. Their specialty is fried shrimp, but they have a large range of seafood and non-seafood toppings. They will deliver to Casa Suzana. Closed Mondays and after 3 PM.
A: 20 Av at Calle 1
P: 111 32 59
Of the several locations, this is the one we like. Specializing in seafood tacos and tortas, this is a quick place to get delicious fried shrimp tacos. Grab some tortas for on the plane!
A: Avenida Rafael Melgar entre Calle 10 y 12 Nte
P: 120 15 03
Seafood place on the waterfront, with a playground for the kids. Great ceviche and fish, not to mention fizzy limeade (limonada con gas). The "Mummy Shrimp" with cheese and wrapped in bacon are a favorite. Closed Mondays.
A: Calle 6 Nte. between Melgar & 5 Av
P: 872 58 07
Good coffee drinks, brunch dishes. Sort of chic. Maple Bakehouse is their bakery on 65 Av, El Maple is the restaurant on Calle 6.
El Mercado Municipal
A: Calle Dr. Adolfo Rosado Salas between Av. 20 and 25
There are several food stalls and restaurants in the main city market that offer lunch. These are quick, inexpensive, and filling. You can get many famous Yucatecan specialties here. You'll smell the aromas, especially of the Indonesian places that are packed with ship crew, as you approach - if you weren't hungry before then, you will be.
A: 75 Bis Av. Nte #124 between Calle 2 & 4 Nte
P: 872 30 29
Well-loved but hard-to-find place popular for years and specializing in seafood and Mayan food. Worth the trip. They have daily specials of traditional Yucatecan meals often including Frijol con Puerco at lunch on Mondays. Closed Thursdays.
A: Av. Rafael E. Melgar at Calle 10 Nte
P: 120 27 92
In a lovely villa on the waterfront, this is a beautiful place to enjoy great food and drinks. Pleasant and relaxing. Daily lunch specials along with a well-thought-out regular menu.
Rosticería El Pechugón
A: Av. 8 de Octubre (65) at the corner of Av. A. Q. Roo (Calle 11)
p: 876 89 90
Excellent chain rotisserie chicken location. What really sets this apart is the red potatoes they roast under the dripping chickens. Very good tacos dorados (rolled fried chicken taquitos). Many specials, both regular and daily. Lots come with spaghetti (but why?!) or rice.
El Super Hit
A: Av. Pedro Joaquin Coldwell (30) at the corner of Calle 15 Sur
Good place for cochinita pibil tortas - pick some up to go ("para llevar") to eat on the plane on the way home! They have a large menu emphasizing traditional Yucatecan specialties and have daily specials. One of the two locations is walking distance from Casa Suzana; the original is by the baseball stadium, hence the name ("home run").
Empanadas Los 3 Patitos
A: Av. Pedro Joaquin Coldwell (30) at the corner of Calle 15 Sur
Not far from Casa Suzana, this places sells 4 kinds of traditional empanadas, salbutes, chilindrinas, and drinks including cebada - that's it. You can eat your emapanadas standing at the long counter at the sidewalk or take them home. Get there early, since they close when they sell out every day, usually by early afternoon.
A: 5a Av. Nte at the corner of Calle 6 Nte
P: 878 44 71
A favorite with us and many local residents. In addition to a great menu, they offer daily family-style specials. Eat under a palapa and watch the people go by, then shop downtown or along the waterfront. Finish with mamey or mango pie or the best-of-both-worlds layered combination mamey and mango pie.
A: 10a Av. Sur at the corner of Calle Rosado Salas
P: 872 09 58
A strong, reliable favorite. Offers a range of seafood and traditional Mexican items. Daily lunch specials listed on their Facebook page - all are great but we're particular fans of chiles rellenos on Fridays and puerco entomatada whenever it's available. Chicken mole is particularly good. Famous for their yellow salsa, which you can buy to take home. Their avocado pie is better than it sounds. Free parking in nearby lot.
A: Calle 8 Nte #208 between Av. 10 & 15 Nte
P: 872 55 33
Lovely indoor setting and mediterranean fusion dishes. Famous duck pizza. Closed Sundays.
A: 65a Av. Sur #960 between Calle 13 & 15 Sur
P: 869 12 18
Lots of great seafood options here. The best is to choose your fish from the cooler and have it fried whole.
A: Calle 10 Nte between Av. 65 Bis & 70 Nte
P: 869 83 43
A bit difficult to find, but worth the trouble especially for great lionfish dishes, particularly ceviche and pez leon xcalacoco (breaded in coconut). Two-for-one lionfish dishes on Thursdays!
A: Av. Coldwell (30) at the corner of Calle 1 Sur
Fresh-squeezed juices, cocos frios, seafood tacos and tortas. Cheap, fast, fresh, tasty.
Las Palmas Cocina Economica
A: 25a Av. Sur at the corner of Calle 3 Sur
P: 872 12 95
Busy, popular Cocina Economica "back in the 'hood". Very popular with locals. Great value and good quality. The "Tampiqueña" is a large combo that includes soup and an enchilada in addition to your selected main course.
A: Av. Rafael E Melgar 201-4 Entre calle 4 y 6 Nte.
P: 878 43 91
Creative offerings of fresh local ingredients inspired by French and Mediterranean techniques. Their lobster and bacon sandwich is deservedly famous!
A: Calle 3 Sur between 5 Av and Melgar
P: 869 08 12
Despite appearances, they don't serve New England-style lobster rolls, but this would be impossible using local clawless spiny lobsters. Instead, they serve delicious local lobster cooked on a griddle with cheese stuffed into rolls with avocado. They also have shrimp and arrachera. Their salsas are especially noteworthy - cilantro coconut or 4 chile go particularly well with lobster, and the sweet chipotle goes well with arrachera. They make burritos, but we don't like them nearly as much as the rolls.
Los Chilangos Cocina Economica
A: 10a Av. Sur between Calle 13 & 15 Sur
P: 872 30 72
Neighborhood Cocina Economica not far from Casa Suzana. They offer a changing list of low-priced, delicious meals for lunch daily. Not to be confused with Taqueria los Chilangos, which specializes in huaraches and is open only for supper.
Los Tacotales (formerly Los Otates)
A: 15a Av. Sur between Calle Rosado Salas & Calle 3 Sur
P: 869 10 59
Very popular with locals and tourists alike. Famous for pozole, they also offer a range of tacos, tortas, burritos (unusual in Mexico), and even burgers (but no fries). Free WiFi. Free parking.
A: Transversal Road at the Beach
P: 876 09 14
Deservedly well-known place on the eastern shore of the island. Tables in the sand steps from the ocean. Our favorite is "Mezcalito's Super Shrimp" marinated in tequila and grilled. Possibly the most addictive french fries on the island, which we order with guacamole to dip. They close around dusk, since there is no electricity on this side of the island. Despite not having floors, this is not particularly a low-budget option.
A: Av. Rafael E. Melgar #628 between Calle 7 & 11 Sur
P: 878 40 20
Great view, swim-up bar
A: Av. Rafael E. Melgar #27 at the corner of Calle 8 Nte
P: 842 21 41
Attractive setting in the Los Cinco Soles store on the waterfront at the north end of downtown, they offer some tasty and unusual dishes. You might think a restaurant inside a souvenir/gift shop would be a tourist trap, mediocre at best. It's not - this is an elegant place with great food popular with locals. We particularly like their chiles rellenos stuffed with plaintains and walnuts. Different lunch and supper menus, somewhat unusual for Cozumel.
A: Calle 1 Sur between Calle 50 & 55 (inside Casa Mission)
P: 869 24 63
Longstanding favorite. In addition to a full menu, they also offer great family-style lunchtime specials that are delicious and inexpensive. Currently located in Casa Mission* (with entry from Calle 1) and lunch-only. *Yes, Mission, not Misión.
A: Av. Coldwell (30) at corner of Calle Rosado Salas
P: 123 29 75
Another good choice for grilled chicken and sides to take out to Casa Suzana or to the beach
A: 50a Av. Sur Bis between Calle 3 Sur & Calle A. R. Salas
P: 872 74 40
Some of the very best, freshest seafood around. This is a fish market with a small, pleasant covered dining area out back. They do a large amount of takeout business with local families. The menu isn't extensive, but it is memorably good. You won't regret going. Or navigating the maze of 1-way streets.
A: 30 Av at Calle 7
P: 120 98 36
On Saturdays and Wednesdays, they serve Lechón al Horno, roast suckling pig, in tacos and tortas so cheap it's almost free. Served with crackling, it is addictive. They are open for lunch, but hefty take-out business in the morning means they can run out of lechón by lunch. The rest of the week they have cochinita pibil and a few other toppings every day.
A: Av. Rafael E. Melgar #602-6 across from Mega
P: 872 44 05
Good views, nice vibe. Particularly good if you're craving a salad or something that's not Mexican but is still caribbean or tropical, though their Mexican dishes are very good. Their chicken wrap is good and they have good burgers. Might be one of the best places to feed a group with divergent preferences.
A: 5a Av. Nte between Calle 5 & Benito Juárez (pedestrian)
P: 872 49 70
Famous for innovative margaritas, they also serve Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes including a good chile relleno. And goulash.