Why get a cheeseburger in paradise?
Mexican cuisine is literally a national treasure. UNESCO designated in 2010 Mexican food, along with French gastronomy, as cultural treasures worthy of celebration and preservation. As locals, we delight in the richness and diversity of Yucatecan food, especially cochinita pibil, sopa de lima, and chile relleno.
But sometimes, especially while enjoying the powdery-soft sand and turquoise waters of the Caribbean, you just need a burger and fries.
We scoured the Mexican-Caribbean and took recommendations from locals and ex-pats about the best places in the Riviera Maya to get a burger. Here are the top five (in no particular order):
Mu Burgerhouse is a favorite among locals, ex-pats and tourists alike in Playa del Carmen. Located off-the-beaten-path on Avenida 40 Norte between 4th and 6th streets, Mu features 12 different burgers with inventive names to suit a variety of taste buds and preferences.
The “Una Hamburgesa Llamada Deseo” and “La Lolita” burgers are two favorites. The La Lolita burger seduces with 180 grams of meat, blue cheese, arugula, tomato, and caramelized onion. The “One Hamburger Called Desired” burger features 180 grams of meat, melted gouda cheese, portobello mushroom with chimichurri, mayonnaise, and crispy bacon.
A vegetarian option includes the “No Como Carne” (Not Like Meat), which is a lentil burger with potato and pepper, gouda cheese, avocado, sprouts, and curry mustard.
All burgers come with your choice of a mixed salad, corn-on-the-cob, fries, plantains, or sweet potato fries. A full bar and a large selection of craft beers are available to help you wash down your burger.
Location – Avenida 40 Norte between 4th and 6th streets in Playa del Carmen
Hours – Open daily 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Cost – Burgers range from 105 to 150 pesos. Sweet potato is an extra 15 pesos.
Turtle Bay Bakery and Café in Akumal is the home of all things comfort food.
One bite of the Turtle Bay Café Hamburger, which includes a half-pound of black Angus ground beef, served with lettuce, tomato, and balsamic caramelized onion, and we were hooked.
Other burger offerings include Big Bleu & Bacon Burger, BBQ Bacon Cheese Burger, Lentil Burger, Guacamole Jalapeno Cheese Burger, and the Lamb Burger. All burgers are served with your choice of fries, potato salad, house coleslaw, or green salad.
To say the hamburgers are large is an understatement. They are the size of planets and reminiscent of the brontosaurus burger eaten by Fred Flintstone.
Location – Plaza Ukana I, Main Akumal Beach Access Road, Akumal
Hours – Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Lunch starts at noon.
Cost – Burgers start at 120 pesos.
The Good Burger in Tulum lives up to its name by consistently providing good burgers in a fun atmosphere.
The burger joint and cocktail bar are located on the ground and first floors while Swoon Rooftop Bar serves cocktails.
There are eight types of burgers ranging from the “Classic Beef Burger” made with fresh ingredients you’d come to expect like Angus beef, melted cheese, onions, pickles, lettuce, yellow mustard, and ketchup to the “Local Shrimp Burger.” Shrimp, chorizo, Oaxaca cheese comprise the Local Shrimp Burger. It’s also accompanied by avocado, lettuce, red onion, sriracha, lemon cocktail sauce, and mayonnaise.
“The Good Burger” is another intriguing option. It boasts a “100% Angus, premium beef patty,” maple bacon, melted cheese, grilled onions, pickled gherkins, fried egg, garlic mayonnaise, and BBQ sauce. The “Vegetarian Burger” includes a chickpea, mushroom and quinoa patty served with roasted eggplant, tomato, cheddar cheese, chili jam, and truffle mayonnaise.
Sides are extra and include regular fries, chipotle corn, loaded fries, and popcorn chicken. A wide selection of drinks include milkshakes, soft drinks, beer, wine, cocktails, juices, and fizz.
Location – Avenida Tulum S/N Centro in Tulum
Hours – Open daily from 12:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Cost – Expect to pay “Tulum” prices. Burgers range from 160 to 280 pesos. Sides are 80 to 140 pesos. Gluten-free bread is available for an extra 40 pesos.
The Burger Underground in Puerto Morelos boasts made-to-order, hand-crafted patties, made with 100 percent real, ground beef.
If you like your burgers made with “understated perfection,” try the “Jane,” which has lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and American cheese with a side of house sauce. More adventurous types might order the “Trish,” topped with grilled pineapple, pickled jalapenos, and guacamole.
Among its specialties are hand-cut fries, locally-sourced vegetables, and house-made dipping sauces. You can substitute beef with breaded/grilled chicken or a gluten-free, vegan burger. All combos include fries and a drink.
The Burger Underground likes to keep its “food real and the atmosphere fun.” There is minimal waiting with fast and relaxed dining, making it a perfect option for families with children looking for good, quick food. They also deliver.
Location – Ninos Heroes, 28 Sm 2 Mz 5, in Puerto Morelos
Hours – Open daily from noon to 9 p.m.
Cost – Burgers range from 100 to 130 pesos. Combos are from 130 to 160 pesos. Extra toppings, cheese, meat, and dipping sauces range from 10 to 30 pesos.
Clan Destino in Tulum is not your father’s burger joint. A Mexican version of a speakeasy, Clan Destino is only open at night and offers a small menu of burgers, fries, vegetarian options, and cocktails.
The “Res” burger includes Angus beef, yellow cheese, tomato, grilled onions, and pickles. A shrimp and coconut burger is prepared with fried shrimp breaded with coconut and marinated in a BBQ Jack Daniels sauce and served with grilled onions and pickles. We were intrigued by the “Portobello with Pineapple,” which consists of portobello mushroom, blue cheese, balsamic dressing, and grilled pineapple.
Fries are an extra 35 pesos. Toppings such as bacon, cheese (if it doesn’t come with the burger), toasted chiles, and BBQ sauce are an additional 15 pesos. The bar includes the usual drinks – an array of margaritas, cocktails, wine, beer, mescal, smoothies, soft drinks, and water.
The boutique burger joint boasts a cenote within, jukebox, karaoke, and char-grilled hamburgers, making it a cool place to jump in on a hot, Caribbean night.
Location – Carretera Tulum Boca Paila; Km 8 on Tulum’s Beach Road.
Hours – Open nightly from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Cost – Prices range from 95 to 125 pesos. Pay by cash and PayPal only. The bill often includes a 20 percent tip.
Want more ideas about where to get the best burgers and food throughout the Riviera Maya? Check out our blog, which is always brimming with restaurant reviews and great recommendations. And if you need a place to sleep off your food coma, contact our reservations team, who can help you book your next vacation escape.