5 Great Budget Restaurants in Cancún’s Hotel Zone

by Joseph Reaney on April 19, 2012

Finding cheap eats in Cancún’s tourist center is easier than you think.  It’s a strange quirk of Cancún’s touristic Hotel Zone that it’s home to very few decent budget restaurants and take-outs. In fact, you can be scouring the streets for hours in the vain hope of finding something both tasty and frugal.

But the good news is that they do exist – you just have to know where to look. So to help you get started, here are just five of our favorites…


This laid-back restaurant is set on the waterfront next to Basic Disco nightclub, and it serves up ‘pescadillas’ – deep-fried fish tacos – for just 10 pesos (or 70¢) each. They even cut the price to 7 pesos on special occasions, just in case 10 is too much of a stretch…

Casa Tequila

If you’re after a genuine Mexican restaurant experience but you’re low on funds, try Casa Tequila. Fine Cancún cuisine, friendly service and an extensive list of fruity cocktails make it a real local favorite. Try the luminescent ‘Jumbo Strawberry Margarita’.

Santos Mariscos

Fresh, delicious and affordable: those are three big selling points that make Santos Mariscos’ meals some of the best in Cancún. Famous for its special guacamole, soups and shrimp tacos, you can gorge yourself and pay just 150 to 200 pesos ($11-$14).

El Fish Fritanga

Located right at the southern tip of the Hotel Zone, with a garden setting overlooking the still lagoon, El Fish Fritanga boasts the city’s best seafood for budget diners. You’ll find pescadillas for 12 pesos (85¢), huge seafood cocktails for 100 ($7.20) and more.


Hidden down an narrow alleyway between the Terrasta Bar and Señor Frog’s nightclub, this easy-to-miss take-out serves up some of Cancún’s finest burritos, with rice and beans on the side, for just 50 pesos ($3.20). Add a beer for just 14 pesos ($1) more!

There are many other budget food options in the Hotel Zone as well – you just have to keep an eye out for them! Or, easier still, follow the locals on their lunch break. Buen provecho!

Photo: thinkstockphotos.com

Joseph Reaney is a freelance travel journalist who has written for The Telegraph, Reader's Digest, Shoestring Magazine and various other travel publications. Find out more about him at josephreaney.com. He often writes for Pimsleur Approach, leading retailers of language learning courses including www.pimsleurapproach.com/learn-portuguese-brazilian and www.pimsleurapproach.com/learn-japanese.
Joseph Reaney
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