The Cancun Hotel Zone sits on one long 20-mile strip, bordered by the Caribbean Sea to one side and Nichupte Lagoon on the other. While the destination’s beachfront resorts have the monopoly on ocean views, travelers who explore the Hotel Zone will discover that the lagoon boasts the best views for enjoying the sunset and the city skyline. You might want the beach during the day, but lagoon front restaurants provide the most photogenic and romantic vistas for dinner or evening drinks. Keep reading to find out our list of some wonderful Cancun restaurants with a view of Nichupte Lagoon:
Location: Boulevard Kukulcan, Kilometer 19
Open for lunch
One of the best and most affordable spots to try authentic Mexican seafood! El Galeon sits hidden away off the main boulevard at the southern end of the Hotel Zone, a popular and super-casual haunt for Cancun locals… and almost entirely unknown to tourists. When you walk down the steps into the palapa, you’ll find plastic tables and chairs, views of the mangrove and lagoon, and an outdoor kitchen. The restaurant serves local seafood options like ceviches and cocktails, along with its famous “pescadillas” (deep-fried tortillas filled with a chopped fish recipe). Sometimes you can even spot the cooks chopping up the fresh catches.
Location: Boulevard Kukulcan, Kilometer 14.5
Open for lunch and dinner
Fred’s House features private lagoon front cabanas set by a tropical garden, a stunning spot for enjoying views of the water and the nearby marinas. The menu, which runs on the expensive side, includes surf and turf options with a raw bar, numerous lobster dishes, and Caribbean ceviches. Especially recommended is the wood-grilled octopus. Call in advance to book one of the private cabanas, or you can choose from seating in the contemporary-style dining room or outside on the deck.
Location: Boulevard Kukulcan, Kilometer 10.5
Open for lunch and dinner
One of Cancun’s most romantic locations! This upscale Italian restaurant has an open-air layout with several terraces set right over Nichupte Lagoon for panoramic views of the water and the sunset. The menu includes classic Italian seafood dishes, pastas, pizzas, calzones and more.
Location: Boulevard Kukulcan, Kilometer 9.5
Open for lunch, dinner, and late-night drinks
Set under a giant palapa roof on a penthouse overlooking the bustling Punta Cancun neighborhood, this bar and restaurant has high-up views of Nichupte Lagoon as well as the ocean and (perhaps best of all) the nightclubs of the infamous Party Center. Its location and vibe make it a fantastic spot for anyone who wants to experience the excitement and lights of Cancun’s nightclub district without the crowds of the clubs. Chuchito Perez shares service with the neighboring James Bar, and the two menus offer a huge variety of choices, from Mexican street food to American bar snacks and even some Japanese-inspired specialties.
Location: Inside the Imperial Laguna Hotel
Open from 3pm – 10:30pm (closed Sundays)
Situated within a hotel garden right by a quiet inlet of Nichupte Lagoon, La Palapa Belga serves French-Belgian fusion cuisine in a perfectly tranquil and private setting. With its lovely skyline views and charming deck, a dinner here feels more like dining at someone’s home than a restaurant.
These five restaurants represent just a few of the dozens of beautiful, romantic, and delicious eateries set on Nichupte Lagoon, so make sure to set aside a few nights of your Cancun vacation to try some of the city’s incredible dining scene. For more on where to eat during your trip, click here to see our list of the best Indian restaurants in Cancun.