Carnival ran from February 14 to March 6 in various Riviera Maya cities. We happened to stumble upon the Playa del Carmen Carnival parade as it marched down Constituyentes Ave. Luckily we had a birds eye view of the party, and a party it was. In all the years that I have seen Carnival parties in the Riviera Maya, this year seemed to take the party up a notch. It is nowhere near the clever costumes and fun of Mardi Gras in new Orleans but the parades this year were great. Cozumel is pretty close to New Orleans if you are looking for a real show and community celebration.
We had the perfect bird’s eye view of the parade from the rooftop restaurant in La Quinta Alegria Mall located on the corner of 5th Ave and Constituyentes. Sanborn’s, an iconic Mexican restaurant found throughout the country, is a great place to get off 5th Avenue and see the city.
If you are a Canadian and remember the old Simpson’s Restaurant or an American that has had lunch at Niemann Marcus, Sanborn’s is about the same experience as these two department store restaurants. Cheap and cheerful, iconic, and part of most families Saturday lunch.
Sanborn’s is a Mexican department store that has a whole bunch of everything. The Playa del Carmen location just happens to have this wonderful roof top restaurant that is not overly busy. I think very few people know of its existence nor its reputation as the store is located on the third floor of the mall. Don’t expect great food, don’t expect a foodie experience. What you will have is an iconic Mexican experience that few foreign visitors are aware of. The staff at this location are very sweet, helpful and kind. The atmosphere is simple with a nice view. The terrace is large and not busy, which is just what we like during high season and a parade.
Curious about other iconic Mexican restaurants in the Riviera Maya. Check out our list of local eateries and restaurants on the Loco Gringo Directory.