Isla Holbox is one of the most magical getaways in Riviera Maya, and if you are lucky to be here anytime soon, you are in for a quite a treat and so is your belly. The island is one of few eco-friendly beaches that are also a popular tourist attraction thanks to its pristine waters, friendly service and, spectacular food. That’s right, this tiny isle off the Mexican Gulf Coast has quite a vast culinary selection making each one of your meals an adventure for your palate. Isla Holbox has raised the bar for restauranteurs as they have successfully created the most amazing fusion of flavors to delight patrons despite their limited access to large produce and food vendors.
Before we move forward, it is imperative to clarify that this destination offers a unique island experience more reminiscent of the Family Robinson or one of Jacques Cousteau’s journal entries than an Atlantis. Island life here, revolves around the sun’s presence at a slow and peaceful pace so be prepared for long lazy days while hopping from one activity to another. The key to survival away from the mainland is to come equipped with a positive attitude aware that everything will happen exactly how it is supposed to be and enjoy every moment taking in the beauty of the natural paradise you’re surrounded by and appreciate the quaint simplicity of the delicious meals you are about to enjoy. Loco Gringo has even done the hard work for you researching the Holbox’s eateries to bring you the very best eateries in town (in no particular order).
Los Peleones Cocina y Cockteleria de Autor
Los Peleones is one of the most fun restaurants and cocktail bars located in the central town square. This is the place to come in for a refreshing recovery drink and seafood. The restaurant theme is the Mexican Luchadors so ladies if you must wear makeup be sure to go easy on the eyeliner as you will surely want to take that keepsake photo with the luchador mask before for your Instagram POTD.
Raices is the ideal beachfront Caribbean outfit complete with live music. Offering a variety seafood barbecue and tacos the seafood platter comes complete with fishhead soup and lobster tails galore. Just north of Mawimbi, this laid-back grub spot is the place to enjoy the view, the band and of course your beer.
Hands-down the most authentic Mexican restaurant in Holbox. Rosa Mexicano not only stepped up to the plate in elevating one’s expectation for some traditional Mexican dishes but hit the ball out of the park. This restaurant is located just half a block from the main square and the true gourmands’ mecca creating the most amazing concoctions from the most traditional local dishes. Their pink beet mole with beef filet and shrimp is a gastronomic explosion in your mouth.
This streetside restaurant is a great stop for the whole family to grab fresh juices and original sandwiches. There’s no missing this spot when you see the green VW van turned bar you’ll know you’re at Et Voilá. The must-have items on this menu are their homemade chicken, roast beef or prosciutto baguette sandwiches.
Staying on the island the entire week? Hot Corner is the place you’ll visit at least twice. Hot Corner is a makeshift bar and restaurant just off the beach where everyone on the island hangs out after sunset. Serving fish and chips and cocktail drinks with the live music the evenings so you can dance the calories away.
El Chapulim Holbox
This is the one place you will want to make sure you get their extra early. They operate from 6 pm – 9 pm and only have limited seating. El Chapulim prides itself on its Gourmet Mexican cuisine with an ever-changing menu practically on a daily basis. Be sure to let your hotel concierge know you would like to dine here to know the best hour to get there to ensure your seat. Word of caution, once you’re in line be sure to stay in place. Wandering around the town square while you wait your turn will most probably result in you dining elsewhere.
Want a fast hot sandwich without the perennial wait? Head over to the town square, and you’ll find a small streetcar (very small, it’s more of a cart) that reads “Tortas Cubanas” where you’ll have the best pulled-pork sandwiches in “telera” (traditional Mexican bread used for sandwiches). You can enjoy your “torta” standing up as is used at the best Mexican fast food stops or grab your sandwich to go and enjoy on a bench in the square enjoying the color and flare of the local vibe.
Ready for your next foodie adventure? Check out our three favorite places to stay on the island.