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Taste of Playa in Playa del Carmen - A Tasty Treat!

Taste of Playa in Playa del CarmenThis past Sunday was the highly anticipated event 'Taste of Playa' in Playa del Carmen's Parque Fundadores. El Bistro at La Tortuga was proud to be a part of this amazing event for the second year in a row. It was an amazing turnout packed to the gills with tourists and locals alike stuffing themselves with the tasty treats from more than 40 participants! Never mind the amazing drinks that were available, such as top shelf wine choices, tequila mixes and margaritas and ESPRESSO martinis, who could ask for anything more?

Taste of Playa in Playa del CarmenIf you missed this event this year let me assure that you will NOT want to miss it for next year so start planning from now to attend. Where else could you get the opportunity to try all kinds of international foods at bargain prices all in one venue? If you so happened not to grab a VIP pass, it was still a great deal as the 'food tickets' were 10 pesos each with most 'tastes' at each stand no more than 2 tickets each. And we're not talking about any little 'bite' we're talking full little plates of food. I don't know one person that i spoke to that wasn't STUFFED after about 1 hour of being there!

Taste of Playa in Playa del CarmenIf you're a foodie then this is the type of event that can be appreciated and revered.....even if you're not, it's still worth the trip to Playa del Carmen if not for anything else, and we KNOW there's so much to do here in Playa! If you're here this week for Thanksgiving come on out to El Bistro at La Tortuga to have a great dinner or head over to Wicky's for their Thanksgiving spread.

So who was at Taste of Playa this year you ask? Check out the list below:

Lol-Ha Restaurant (meaning water lily in Mayan) on Akumal Beach has three dining areas, the Palapa Bar, the Pizzeria, and the main dining room. Specialties include lobster, steak and an ever changing nightly buffet that showcases the culinary diversity of the chef. Lol-Ha also presents two dinner shows weekly, a folkloric show and a flamenco show. On the Beach Akumal Bay  (TERRIFIC sushi here, wow, i'm still dreaming about it)

Dirty Martini Lounge is a stylish cocktail lounge and popular gathering spot in the heart of Playa del Carmen that offers a mature and relaxing atmosphere. The Martini list is impressive and mixologist Karen Lange has developed some unique signature cocktails, always surprising guests with new ingredients and clever twists on the old classics. 1st Ave. between Calles 10 and 12, located next to Hotel Tropical CasaBlanca (ESPRESSO martinis here!) 

People come from far corners of the world to come to Bar Ranita to enjoy a cool draft with the locals, which creates an incredibly fun and enjoyable atmosphere. So whether you live here in Playa del Carmen or are visiting from another part of the world come to Bar Ranita and you will create memories for a lifetime. Calle 10 between 5th and 10th

Tequila Barrel Bar and Grill - Over 10 years in Playa del Carmen. The largest selection of tequila in town, Tex-Mex menu, Live Sports Betting, 18 big screen TVs and 1 jumbo screen, airconditioned. Open daily 9am - 2am. Come join us! Avenue 5 between Calles 10 and 12

Luna Blue Hotel and Bar - A traditional Caribbean-style bar with thatched palapa roof and swings. Our spacious deck overlooks a tropical garden where guests can sit or stroll. Our drink menu specializes in margaritas, from classic to creative. Open daily 3pm - 11pm. Calle 26 between 5th and 10th

Fusion is a funky beachside restaurant that serves Mexican fusion food with a focus on fresh local ingredients. Fresh caught fish, traditional Mexican specialties and tasty sandwiches are some clients’ favorites from their menu. Calle 6 and the Beach

Located on the shores of the Caribbean, Wicky´s Restaurant and Beach Club brings a sophisticated and elegant dining experience to the beach with a focus on fresh seafood and prime USDA steaks. Calle 10 at the Beach

Featuring hundreds of hand-selected local and imported wines, Off the Vine wine store is certain to have a wine to fit your tastes. Whether you're pairing wine with a meal, celebrating a special occasion or just looking for something different, our Playa del Carmen wine store is here to make sure you find just what you're looking for. Don't miss our weekly tastings and special wine dinners! 1st Ave between Calles 26 and 28(Wiiiiiiine)

Babe's Noodles and Bar is a Swedish owned Restaurant and Bar with specialty Thai noodles and a mixed European kitchen. Their home made sauces and eclectic menu is one of the more famous choices in Playa del Carmen. Calle 10 Between 5th and 10th (AMAZING)

La Casa del Agua - Since 2001 offering a select menu of international dishes, specializing in seafood. In a cool atmosphere enjoy European flavors with Caribbean flair. Select from over 140 wine labels from 12 countries. 5th Ave. and Calle 2

Ula Gula Bar & Restaurant with a Twist offers a delicious combination of Asian and Mexican cuisine, served in a casual atmosphere. The bar boasts an extensive drink menu, specializing in Martinis. Daily specials include 2x1 Sushi, 2x1 Martinis, Ladies' Night and more. Live DJ every Friday night. 5th Ave and Calle 10

La Casona de los Vinos - Located in the glamorous InFashion Hotel surrounded by ultamodern style, guests will enjoy world class service and cuisine. The restaurant offers a variety of unique seafood dishes, an open salad bar and the house specialty, "100% Angus Beef" steaks grilled to perfection. Hotel InFashion Calle 12 Between 5th and 10th

Zabor Restaurant located in the Alhambra Hotel on the beach in Playa del Carmen is a spectacular place to have a delicious breakfast, lunch or a moonlit dinner overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Come and discover "Aztec fusion" cuisine, cook your favorite meats and seafood on hot volcanic rocks, or simply enjoy a wide selection of classic Mexican dishes. In the Alhambra Hotel Calle 8 and the Beach

This beach club with many faces and flavors serves beach lovers from morning to night, serving up a variety of cool and catchy meals. The theme at Zenzi Beach Club and Restaurant is beach but beautiful beach, delicious beach with ceviches, fresh fish and unique presentations for the ‘foodie’ in all of us. Calle 10 and the Beach

Turtle Bay Café and Bakery offers a large selection of fresh baked goods each morning and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Using the freshest ingredients available, everybody can find something that pleases their appetite. Come in and chill with an espresso or smoothy, check your email on the free Wi Fi, order food to go or relax in this “one size fits all” restaurant. In the center of Akumal at Plaza Ukana 1

John Gray’s Place, a sophisticated, yet welcoming bistro, encourages the curious passerby to stop in and discover the rich interior and even more tempting cuisine. Part of the reknowned John Gray Restaurant Group, this elegant eatery was recently named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s “Hot Tables". Gray’s signature dishes may be perfectly paired with any one of the vintages from the restaurant's extensive wine list. Calle Corazon off 5th Between Calles 12 & 14

Diablito Cha Cha Cha serves an exquisite fusion of Asian and Mexican flavors using a variety of meats and seafood. The bar chef recommends and serves cocktails which compliment each course throughout the meal. Situated in the heart of Playa del Carmen's exciting club zone, just one block from the beach, Diablito Cha Cha Cha is funky, retro and cool and is a great place to see and be seen. 1st Ave and Calle 12

Located well off the tourist path, Los Aguachiles is one of the best kept secrets in Playa. Serving a variety of seafood tacos and tostadas, Los Aguachiles is known for their fresh ceviches and the delicious sauces and salsas that accompany them. Watching your figure? Try the healthy “Figurines”, fresh seafood wrapped in lettuce leaves. Calle 34 and Ave. 25 (A tasty treat!)

Located on the beautiful beach of Coco Bay in Playa del Carmen, Canibal Royal is a place to enjoy a retro styled beach club, with an unusual touch of class and funk! The eclectic menu features dishes that are the favorites of coastal regions from around the world. Mediterranean, Brazilian, Peruvian Caribbean, African and of course Mexican. Canibal Royal is where the true essence of "La vida de la playa" comes alive! On the beach Calle 48 and Ave. Flamingo

Locals and visitors know that Carboncitos al Hotel El Cielo serves some of the tastiest, most authentic Mexican cuisine in town. Every tantalizing morsel is prepared from scratch; and Carboncito's passion for service, quality and value are evident in every meal it serves. Open daily 7:30am - 11:00pm. Calle 4 Between 5th and 10th

The head chef at El Bistro, originally from Veracruz, draws upon his international influences and travels for the French focused menu and restaurant. Located in Hotel La Tortuga, the restaurant has carefully and with intention picked their menu and wine list to provide a positive experience for all their customers. La Tortuga Hotel Ave. 10 at Calle 14 (We already know how amazing it is here ;)

The Chef at Season Bistro proudly celebrates the slow cooking concept and creates a new menu for each season. Homegrown herbs are featured in the preparation of each dish. Homemade bread served with gourmet infused butter is a daily treat! Open daily 4pm - 11pm. Calle 8 between 5th & the Beach

Juan Diego, the head chef and owner of  Cocina 38 has travelled the world learning to cook and create. His blending of flavors is some of the best in the world and he is  continually creating more recipes that utilize the ingredients in the area. Their food is beyond words and only your palate can really explain the incredible fusion this chef and his team  are sharing with their clients. 5th Ave at Calle 38 in the Via 38 Building

Café Tropical's motto is ‘A different way to eat.’ and whether you arrive for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you are sure to find bold flavors created with the freshest of ingredients. Take a seat downstairs on the terrace and take in all the excitement on 5th Avenue or watch the talented Chefs at work in the open kitchen. Upstairs, the tropical palapa covered dining room is perfect for large groups or parties. 5th Ave Between Calles 8 & 10

Chez Celine Panaderia - Pasteleria is an authentic French bakery and cafe using 100% natural ingredients in each of their artisanal bread and pastry products. Enjoy homemade French cuisine for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Savor a coffee on the open air patio and watch the world go by. Just be sure to save room for dessert. Sweets are their specialty! 5th Ave Between Calles 32 & 34 (CAN'T miss going here at least once!)

Xocolatier is an elegant cafe offering exclusive high quality products at affordable prices. Enjoy breakfast, paninis, desserts and salads. At night, try the delicious Mexican tapas which can be paired with a selection from the extensive list which highlights Mexican wineries. 5th Ave. Between Calles 38 & 40 (Amazing prices fantastic food)

In the heart of Playa del Carmen, Byblos has been delighting destination diners with authentic French dishes for over a decade. A perennial favorite for holidays and special occassion dinners, Byblos now makes haute cuisine affordable everyday with incredible prix fix menus for both lunch and dinner. An extensive wine list with offerings from around the world makes Byblos a must for all gourmands. Calle 14 Between 5th & 10th (Known for their 100 peso dinner special and tasty courses)

Excellent food at a local price! Chef Gynna's daily creations featuring her specialty, Thai-Mexican fusion cuisine, excellent tacos and real 100% beef burgers. Gynn'AK Restaurant is an excellent place for lunch, early dinners or a quick bite to eat. A menu for the whole family at the best prices in Akumal! Halfmoon Bay North Akumal

Mom's Bar is a casual and unique place offering a fully stocked bar and daily dinner specials. Mom's is a great place to relax and meet friends, enjoy a game of pool and a satisfying home cooked meal, just like Mom used to make. Open Monday - Friday 4pm - 11pm. Come and join the fun at Mom's Bar: Where something good is always cooking! Ave. 30 and Calle 4

SWEco - The Swedish Company Bar and Bistro is a sleek new eatery located in the heart of Playa's exicting club zone. A laid back place where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, chat with friends at the fully stocked bar or have fun watching current sports games on the projection TV. Locals and visitors alike are in love with the curry dishes and Chef Lourdes' daily specials! 1st Ave. Between Calles 12 and 14

Era Ora, your home away from home in Playa del Carmen. Owners Anna-Lie and Mario, from Sweden and Italy respectively, have created a place where friends will meet to have a quiet drink and enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner, like part of the family. Don't miss the famous wood oven fired pizzas! The restaurant boasts a large open air terrace as well as a big private room for groups up to 30 people. Open every day except Tuesday. Ave. 1 Between Calles 12 and 14

Aventura Restaurant by Mahékal Beach Resort is a thatched roof palapa restaurant located in front of the Caribbean Sea offering a daily varied buffet-style breakfast and a delicious a la carte menu for lunch with Mexican and International dishes. Open daily from 10 am - 2 pm Mahekal Beach Resort Calle 38 on the Beach

The menu at El Puerto Restaurant at the Fairmont Mayakoba captures all the rich, seasonal and surprising flavors of Mexico alongside international favorites. Distinguished with the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award, El Puerto Restaurant is the place to enjoy succulent Caribbean lobster fresh from the Sian Ka'an biosphere, steaks grilled to perfection, pasta dishes and daily fish market delicacies will make your dining experience at El Puerto an occasion to remember. Fairmont Mayakoba Carr. Fed. km 298 Playa del Carmen

Baremar offers delicious seafood cuisine using ingredients of only the highest quality at competitive prices. The original concept of Baremar makes our restaurant the perfect place to bring together all your senses of the sea. Here, you can enjoy anything from a light snack to a gourmet seafood meal while enjoying a cocktail from our extensive bar. Plaza VIA 38 5th Ave. & Calle 38

Cava Veinte 33 is a restaurant and wine shop. The wine shop specializes in the promotion of Mexican wines, many of which come from boutique wine houses and small producers and are virtually unknown. The restaurant celebrates the gastronomic traditions of Mexico and features elements such as artisanal cheeses, huitlacoche and peanuts. Open 12:30pm - midnight. Plaza VIA 38 Calle 38 Locale #4

CAN'T forget to mention the Taste of Playa Marketplace!

A true Italian deli and more! Sapori di Casa offers top quality specialty meats and cheeses like mortadella, prosciutto di parma, grano padano, fontina and mozzarella. There is also a tantalizing array of homemade and prepackaged Italian pastas, as well as traditional dishes like melanzana, pesto sauce and tiramisu. Everything you need for your own authentic Italian kitchen at home! Ave. Constituyentes Between 15th & 20th

The Little Mexican Cooking School - Offering interactive "Food Adventures for Curious Travelers". Our goal is to teach and preserve the traditions and culture of Mexican food, as well as the cooking methods, tools and ingredients. Whether you are a novice in the kitchen, a curious cook or a gourmet chef looking to expand your repertoire, we offer you insight, fun and a unique experience in our entertaining and informative classes. Calle Andres Puerto Morelos

Dac is Playa del Carmen’s premier produce market with a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The market also offers fresh breads, a full deli department and the area’s largest assortment of organic foods. With a comprehensive selection of dried herbs, spices and chiles, Dac is truly a gourmet chefs destination. Ave. 30 Between Constituyentes & Calle 20

Fresh, gutsy, zesty and not really hot…This sauce is called Hot LIPS because your lips are going to be hot for this sauce! A unique combination of natural Yucatan ingredients, this sauce is bold and adventurous, elegant and classy, sexy and TITILLATING! Hot LIPS is the hot sauce you will would love to have with (almost) every meal or maybe just with a piece of bread (and a beer)! Distributed by North American Standards

A Taste of Italy in downtown Playa del Carmen, Sabrina Pasteleria Italiana offers a wide array of artesenal baked goods, inlcuding authentic Italian bread and a nice selection of homemade pizzas and sandwiches. Start your day with a hot espresso or cappucino along side delicious traditional pastries made fresh daily. Ave. Constituyentes Between 15th and 20th

A visit to Ah Cacao Chocolate Café is literally guaranteed to make you feel good with their mood lifting, all natural treats, where every cup of coffee is prepared like a work of art. Enjoy the Chocolate Maya, the world-famous Brownie, and the totally healthy Cacao snacks, all from the Mayalands of Mexico, the birthplace of chocolate. Best of all, a gift store means you can share the experience with your friends back home (make sure you get enough for yourself too!) Recommended by Rachel Ray, Forbes Traveler, Travel+Leisure and just about anyone who's ever set foot in the place. 2 locations in Playa del Carmen: Constituyentes & 5th and 5th Ave. at Calle 30

Cafe Kawa is an authentically Mexican product with Italian style. The beans are grown, harvested by hand, dried and roasted in the state of Chiapas. The process has changed little over the centuries and the pride of the growers is reflected in the deep rich color, flavor and aroma that this coffee is so famous for. You can taste generations of tradition in every cup. Cafe Kawa can be purchased at DAC and Pacsadeli and is served in many of the finer cafes and restaurants in Playa del Carmen. Distributed by Claudio Lovine 

At Mayan Fiesta Rum Cake Co. we make all our cakes with authentic rum and top shelf tequilas from Mexico. In fact, we do not use any other liquids in the baking process other then RUM and TEQUILA! That is why they are the moistest and most flavorful on the market!  Packed in a great little Mayan Pyramid Box and vacuum sealed for eight months of freshness, our cakes make the perfect snack or souvenir for friends and family.  They can be purchased at only the finest retailers in Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Cozumel! Enjoy the Rummiest Gift from Mexico! Distributed by Rainforest Rum Cakes Mexico-Belize-Honduras


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