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Where to eat in Tulum, Mexico on a budget

Where to eat in Tulum, Mexico on a budget

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If you’re looking for the cheapest places to travel to in Mexico, Tulum isn’t going to be at the top of that list. Is Tulum expensive? Well, it’s no longer a cheap travel destination and, in fact, many things are going to cost even more than they do in Vancouver (which also isn’t cheap!). One of the things that might end up costing rather a lot is food. Especially if you’re anything like me and just want to eat aaaaall the Mexican food.

There are lots of expensive restaurants in Tulum, Mexico, like Hartwood Tulum and Kitchen Table, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best restaurants in Tulum. Some of the cheapest Tulum food we ate was also the best! However, that’s not to say that you can’t travel on a budget in Tulum. If you’re looking for where to eat in Tulum on a budget (which is also one of the best things to do in Tulum) then be sure to check out this guide to the top restaurants in Tulum!

best cheap restaurants in tulum mexico

Where to eat in Tulum on a budget

Below are some of the best cheap places to eat in Tulum which are great if you’re trying to travel on more of a budget. Check out these Tulum restaurants and add them to your list of places to visit in Tulum! It’s a great Tulum guide for those on a budget (even if I do say so myself). 

Best breakfast in Tulum

The hotel we stayed at in Tulum didn’t include breakfast which was fine by us as it meant we got to explore more of the best places to eat in Tulum! These were our favourite places for breakfast. 

Ki’bok Coffee Shop

kibok cafe tulum huevos rancheroskibok cafe tulum

Ki’bok Coffee Shop came highly recommended and we arrived bright and early for breakfast. They’re best known for their delicious and strong coffee, but the breakfast was great too and reasonably priced at around $7.50US per meal. They offer traditional Mexican foods such as huevos rancheros and chilaquiles as well as fruit platters and more ‘American’ style breakfasts.

It’s a great option if you’re looking for vegan restaurants in Tulum too.

Address: Calle Centauro Sur Mz 05 Lt 11, Tulum Centro

DelCielo

delcielo breakfast tulumdelcielo breakfast tulum

Slightly more expensive but with cheaper options available, Del Cielo is a beautiful breakfast spot in downtown Tulum. If this were in the Tulum beach area I’m sure it’d be a lot more expensive than it actually is! 

You can get a coffee, orange juice and croissant with jams for around $6USD and they also do juices, smoothies, omelettes and traditional Mexican breakfasts to name a few. This was one of the best places in Tulum for getting that hippy/beachy vibe you’re after without breaking the bank. 

Find it: Av, Satélite Sur 5, Centro

Chedraui supermarket

If you’re just looking for something to have quickly on the go then the Chedraui supermarket has the best selection of morning pastries and muffins. We grabbed breakfast from here before getting on the bus to Isla Holbox and the muffin was deeelicious! 

If you’re staying in an apartment in Tulum then you can also get all your ingredients for cooking up your own breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Where to find it: Neptuno, mza. 004 Tulum 2, Lomas de Padierna

Taqueria Honorio

What we didn’t realise was that Taqueria Honorio is a breakfast joint and is actually closed by about 3 pm (if they haven’t run out before then!). Go before 10 am to get the best selection of tacos in Tulum. Make sure to try the Cochinita Pibil as that was recommended to us by everyone. 

Where to find Taqueria Honorio: Satélite Sur Sm10 lote 3, Centro

Matcha Mama, Tulum

matcha mama tulum matcha mama smoothie tulum

I’m putting this down under breakfast, but really it’s great for breakfast in Tulum or a mid-day snack/light lunch. Matcha Mama is super popular on instagram because it’s just so damn cute looking. There are chair swings to chill out on and the smoothies and juices here are guuuuuud! You can also grab a smoothie bowl if you’re looking for something a little more substantial for breakfast. Not the cheapest place, but smoothie bowls are surprisingly filling and they’re under $200MXN ($10US). 

Best cheap lunch and dinner in Tulum

If you’re spending all day by the beach, it may be worth heading into town to find cheap places to eat in Tulum. The Tulum beach resorts and cabanas are great, but most of them (with a few exceptions) are pretty expensive places to be eating in Tulum. Downtown Tulum has the best choices of cheap restaurants and they’re super tasty too. 

Antojitos la Chiapaneca

Antojitos la Chiapaneca tacos tulum Antojitos la Chiapaneca tacos tulum Antojitos la Chiapaneca tacos tulumAntojitos la Chiapaneca Antojitos la Chiapaneca

This was the first place we ate at in Tulum and it’s a proper locals’ joint. There were families pulling up on their scooters and bikes to grab take-out tacos and plenty sat down inside too. The kitchen is open and you can see the chefs preparing the tacos as they’re ordered. It’s certainly a must do in Tulum.

They’re by no means the fanciest looking tacos you’ll ever find, nor are they necessarily the best tasting ones, but they’re good and you won’t be able to beat the price. 

Tacos start at $10MXN each and you can add cheese, get a flour tortilla over a corn one or add avocado for slightly more. They also have tostadas, sopes, quesadilla, empanadas and more. 

What to order: The tacos al pastor are great! I don’t recommend the vegetarian one though as that was just lettuce on a tortilla.

Where to find them: Av. Tulum, Tulum Centro,

Safari Campfire Food

safari campfire food tulum ceviche

Tulum beach restaurants can be expensive but this one is a fantastic option if you’re down by the Tulum beaches and are looking for somewhere to eat that isn’t too expensive or requires a long reservation period. If you’re staying downtown there’s also a Safari Comedor in the Aldea Zama part of Tulum Pueblo. 

The food at Safari restaurant Tulum is cooked up in an airstream and on a grill in front of it which automatically makes it a super cool spot for food, obviously. There are fairy lights and plenty of tables for groups if you’re travelling as a larger group.

I highly recommend the ceviche and the corn esquites (Mexican street corn salad) and the Shrimp Mole Verde taco. While not cheap, the tacos cost between $60MXN and $95MXN (roughly $3-5US) which is cheap for Tulum! 

Where to find it: Safari Campfire is at Carr. Tulum-Boca Paila km8 & Safari Comedor is Calle itzamna MANZANA 26, LOTE 13, Aldea Zama

Tacqueria La Eufemia

If you’re looking for a cheap beach club in Tulum then head down to Tacqueria La Eufemia (but go early in high season!). It’s a favourite beach club among locals and gringos and you’ll find delicious tacos and cheap beer making it one of the best beach clubs in Tulum. It has a fun atmosphere, the view of the ocean is incredible and it’s a great place to hang out all day.

Oh and fun fact, the restaurant takes its name from Eufemia, the dog who frequents this spot! So that’s just one more reason to add this to your list of Tulum bars to visit. 

Where is Tacqueria La Eufemia?: Carr. Tulum-Boca Paila 7.5, Tulum Beach

La Barracuda

la barracuda fish restaurant tulum

Our driver from the airport to our hotel in Tulum recommended we eat at La Barracuda if we liked seafood and he was not wrong! 

If it’s Tulum seafood you’re after, be sure to go here. The portions are huge and the ceviche tasted fresh and delicious which is exactly what you want when you’re getting ceviche! They also served grilled fish, fish tacos and more.

Slightly more expensive than some of the other Tulum restaurants on this list, but a darn sight cheaper than the restaurants along the beach zone in Tulum. 

Where to find it: Av. Tulum Mza. 2, Tulum Centro

Burrito Amor

burrito amor tulum restaurantburrito amor tulum vegetarian burrito

This was one of our favourite places to eat in Tulum. We went here for lunch after exploring the cenotes in Tulum (definitely check out a few if you’re wondering what to do in Tulum) and had SUCH a tasty and filling burrito. They have a lot of choice and some great veggie options too which aren’t just lettuce in a burrito either. 

On top of that, it’s a cool looking spot too and has bike racks outside which was super handy since we cycled there (and not everywhere has a bike rack nearby). Can highly recommend their coffee as well!

Burrito Amor location: Av Tulum Pte Mz 3 Lote 5 Local 1, Av. Tulum, Centro

Don Cafeto

don cafeto tulum mexicana platter

We went here on the last night of our stay in Tulum after finding out that Tacqueria Honorio was closed in the evenings. This place more than made up for the disappointment, however! 

This classical Mexican restaurant in Tulum serves up hearty portions of all types of classic Mexican dishes. You can also get a Mexican platter if you’re finding it hard to choose just one option. Anything with a mole sauce gets my vote.

Dan Cafeto Tulum: Av. Tulum No. 64 Lote 12Tulum

Where to stay in Tulum

nomade tulum hotel

There are so many choices when it comes to Tulum accommodation and, when booking a hotel for our stay, I found it really difficult to decide. In the end, our hotel, Aluna Hotel, was great! It was situated in between the town and the beaches in a quiet area which is currently under development. And one big bonus is that we could use the beach club of its sister hotel too. I think it’s usually more expensive to stay here, but since we visited in low season (October) the rates were reasonable. Here are a few of the other places I would’ve chosen too, all of which are reasonably priced, unlike some!

Want more places to stay in Tulum? Check out this guide to see the best hotels and decide which area of Tulum to stay in

Hotels in Tulum town centre

  • Tulum Rocks: This hostel has 4-bed rooms as a dormitory or private and includes a buffet breakfast. It’s in the perfect location for Tulum’s cheaper bars and restaurants.
  • Secret Garden Tulum hotel: You’ll really feel like you’re in a secret garden at this hotel. There’s a beautiful outdoor area with tropical plants and each room is decorated with handmade ornaments.
  • Prana Boutique Hotel: This hotel in Tulum is pet-friendly and has a sun terrace and an on-site bar. There’s free parking available as well as bikes for guest use. Some rooms also have a patio or terrace.
  • Xscape Tulum: Xscape Tulum has an outdoor pool and is in a great location for exploring the town of Tulum.

Tulum beach hotels

  • Diamante K: Diamante K has a restaurant, private beach area (which is beautiful!), and can offer support booking tours. It’s on the beach area, but slightly off the main drag which means it’s more peaceful and, I think, a lot more picturesque. 
  • Coco Tulum: This beach hotel in Tulum has a spa, private beach and a Mexican-Italian fusion restaurant onsite. Every room has a view of the sea or jungle too.
  • Hotels & Cabanas Zacil Kin Tulum: 500m from the Tulum Ruins, this hotel has its own private beach area on Playa Pescadores (which is gorgeous) and has an onsite restaurant and bar. 

Tabitha

Saturday 18th of July 2020

Thank you for this! Traveling to Tulum next month and love all the recs - these places look delicious!

Hannah Kacary

Tuesday 21st of July 2020

Hope you have a great time!