A Special Christmas in Playa del Carmen …for Everyone!

What are your plans for Christmas in Playa del Carmen?  If you are still stumped on what to do or are looking for a great dinner we’ve got a few suggestions with help and courtesy of “In the Roo”.

Playa del Carmen is filling up with Christmas Cheer!  This weekend we will start to see a huge increase in tourism from Americans and Canadians who will be spending the Christmas holiday with us here in Playa del Carmen!

Many people are asking where they can go to spend the holiday and enjoy a great meal and a fun filled night!

Here are a few restaurants suggestions offering special dinners and celebrations on the eve of Christmas in Playa del Carmen:

  • Fusion– Offering a special menu, dinner and entertainment right on the beach
  • [Cocotte] Cita-Offering a special Christmas menu
  • Ipanema’s Brazillian Steakhouse– Offering Turkey, Fish and Christmas apple salad
  • Las Delicias– Offering a 3 course turkey dinner
  • Palm Playa– Offering a Christmas turkey dinner
  • Tropical– Offering a special menu
  • Zenzi-Offering a 5 course turkey dinner on the beach underneath the starts (24th and 25th)
  • Aldea Corazon– Offering 4 course dinner and live music
  • La Casa del Agua– Offering a 3 course turkey dinner (24th and 25th)
  • Madre Tierra– Offering a special Christmas menu
  • Lol Ha– Offering a special Christmas menu
  • Ziggys– Offering a special Christmas menu
  • Fridas– Offering a special Christmas menu
  • Indigo Beach– Offering a 3 course Christmas menu (24th and 25th)
  • Reina Roja– Offering special Christmas selections
  • Segafredo-Offering a special Christmas menu
  • Wah Wah Beach Bar– Traditional Christmas dinner being served buffet style on the beach. All you can eat. Live music and entertainment (December 25th only)

If you don’t see your favorite spot on the list, be sure to check with them!  Most restaurants will be hosting a little something special to help you make a memorable Christmas in Playa del Carmen! Make sure to book your reservations early!

Feliz Navidad and Merry Christmas to all!

A Sweet Treat – Why expats are raving about Café Martin!

Meet Lesley and Jody; the owners a charming café, new to Playa del Carmen, called Café Martin!  This very friendly Canadian couple moved to Playa del Carmen in 2005 with their 2 children!  They settled quite nice in Playa del Carmen and quickly felt that they were right at home.  They love living in Playa del Carmen and especially being so close to the beach.  So it was not a difficult decision to stay and live their lives in Playa!

Since then they have found their passion in cooking and baking and have wanted to share their creations with the whole community.


Sometimes if you want something done you have to do it yourself!
Playa del Carmen offers many options for delicious treats but Café Martin offers a special shine for the expat community.  When Lesley and Jody arrived, to live in Playa del Carmen, they found it difficult to find the things that they missed and loved to eat.  Lesley had a determination to still enjoy her favorite foods.  She said to herself “If I can’t find it, then I will learn how to make it”.  And that she did!

Lesley, and her husband Jody, starting experimenting cooking their favorite foods from back home in Canada until they got it all down to perfection.  Some of their favorites were pirogues, lasagna, meatballs, spaghetti sauce, shepherd’s pie, pizza, muffins, bagels, cookies, flavored cream cheese, and even ice cream!


Making Café Martin a reality!
They were soon to realize that they weren’t the only ones who were missing those delicious meals from back home!  Other expats from all over town started to contact Lesley to ask her to cook for them.  The excitement drew from the fact that they were making dishes that could not be found in other restaurants or cafes in Playa.  Some items like lasagna can be commonly found but other items like Pirogues or classic bagel breakfast sandwiches are unlikely to be found!  And with that, they started their delivery service!  The couple started to cook food in large batches and freeze them.  Then when and order came in they would have it on hand in ready for delivery!

Their delivery service became so popular that the demand for opening up a store was obvious!  They never had any intention to come to Playa del Carmen to open a business but after finding out their passion in food they knew they had to share it with the whole town.


Lesley’s theory – “Happiness is Homemade!”
We got a chance to try some of their delicious treats and I must say they have a gift!  We sampled cookies, muffins, bagels, pizza, lasagna, cheesecake and of course a Canadian loved dish, Pirogues!  YUM!  We took some items home to feed the family and it was a hit.  Fast, convenient, homemade fresh food made with love!

Café Martin opened its doors at the beginning of September and is very popular among the expat and local community! They are open every day at 7am serving excellent coffee, baked goods, sandwiches, and have a full freezer stocked with your favorite home cooked meals to take home!

In this video Lesley and Jody share their experience about living in Mexico, and give us a firsthand look inside Playa del Carmen’s newest food lovers craze, Café Martin!

Watch and enjoy!  For more information about what café Marin can bring to your table click here to go to their website or find them on Facebook!



-By Bea Lozano
Mexico Real Estate Testimonials

Try This Cafe on Fifth Avenue, Playa del Carmen – You Will NOT Regret it!

A “triple treat” restaurant for me is a place that has:


  – great food
  – great service
  – reasonable prices


Most restaurants – anywhere – offer only 2 of the 3. You either have great food and service at a price, cheap but not so tasty food or great food at a reasonable price but no customer service whatsoever.



It saddens me to say this but customer service is not all that great here in Playa del Carmen. While in hotels and fancy restaurants on the popular Fifth Avenue the service is exceptional, the local hangouts are not as lucky. But I’m happy to report that it is getting better. What gives me this ray of sunshine? Let me explain…


The Task of Choosing a Restaurant

Yesterday, we headed out for lunch like we usually do. Listing the places we normally go out loud until we decided on a restaurant. We walked along thinking about all our experiences in different restaurant, some good, some bad. We like to try new places but we often leave feeling more disappointed than satisfied. But that was not the case yesterday.
Retire in Playa del Carmen, MexicoDiscovering a New “Triple Treat” – Hot Baking Company

We decided against all our judgment and the little voice in our head saying ‘Stick to what you know’, to try Hot Baking Company. And, boy, were we surprised. The prices were the first thing we noticed. I’d always thought it was an expensive place but turns out that it is quite reasonable prices. We decided to share some enchiladas. So decision one was out of the way, but the we had the choice of filling (chicken, cheese, beans, etc), the choice of tortilla (blue, flour, wheat, etc), the choice of sauce (red, green, mole, etc) and of course what we wanted on top (onion, lettuce, cream, cheese, etc).



We were a little overwhelmed at first, but then settled on chicken enchiladas, with blue tortillas, mole sauce and everything on top. And what a great decision it was. They also agreed to split the meal on two plates so we could share – we often do this and then if you like it and we are still hungry we order and share another plate. It’s a great way to enjoy a variety of dishes!


To wash down our delicious enchiladas we ordered a chaya (a Mexican green leaf that is great for juicing or with eggs) and mango juice. It was equally delicious and refreshing. After the enchiladas are tummy were still rumbling so we decided to order a salad. Again with the choices- what kind of lettuce or green leaves? What meat (chicken, beef, fish)? What vegetables and cheese, and to top it off a choice of dressing? And again they offered to put the salad into two bowls!


Retire in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Service to Write Home About (or at least a blog …)

We were amazed. The wait staff was attentive, we were happy with the price and the food was very yummy. We will definitely be going back and with 2 locations to choose from (Fifth Avenue or Centro Maya Shopping Mall) it makes the choice of what to eat even easier.


To sum up the whole experience sometimes new it better and yum, yum, yum!


-by Bea Lozano


Awa Condos Playa del Carmen

Where Can I Watch the Superbowl in Playa del Carmen? Top Bars

One of the worries new expats have living in Playa (or in Mexico in general) is when February rolls around, will they be able to watch the Superbowl?  While this is a very important concern, you’ll be comforted to know that Playa del Carmen leaves you well taken care of!


Besides excellent and affordable satellite T.V. that lets you watch from the comfort of your living room, there are also a growing number of sports bars that show the game – live, of course!  The following are some of the bars you might consider, along with a promotional poster from that bar:


Pinche Gringo Sports Bar
on 26th St., at 1st Ave, down towards Mamitas Beach



Tequila Barrel Sports Bar
on Fifth Avenue



El Sinaloense
at 24th St.



Frida’s Mexican Restaurant
Fifth Ave., between 12th and Calle Corozon



Aldea Corozon
Fifth Ave., at 14th St.



Karen’s Steak House
Fifth Ave., between 2nd and 4th



Sur Steak House
Fifth Ave., at Calle Corozon



Los de Guanatos Restaurant
10th Ave., at 12th, across from Coco Bongo



Zenzi Restaurant and Bar
10th St., at the beach



Coco Bongo
10th Ave, at 12th St.



Blue Parrot
12th St., at the beach



Check out In the Roo’s Facebook page (source of this information) for updates on any new bars that happen to register their Superbowl events.


TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely



Living in Mexico Tip – Should I Eat in the Local Restaurants?

Living in Playa del Carmen
When it comes to food and traveling, the rule for tourists is pretty clear; stick to the restaurants in the resort/hotel or the bigger, nicer restaurants in the tourist areas.  No need to spoil the vacation because you got sick from eating in a sketchy little restaurant.  After all, even in the nicer places, prices are still excellent compared to back home!


However, once you actually settle down and begin living in Mexico as a retiree, either full time or part time on the longer term, it’s nice to try something different, something a bit more adventurous.  Most people know that you can find nice little gems in the local restaurants with excellent food and even lower prices.


The question is: How do you know which ones are good?  How do you know you won’t get sick?


While trial and error may not be the most appealing approach (and could leave you shut in your home when you should be out enjoying the beach), there are tips you can follow, such as the following:Living in Playa del Carmen

    • Ask other expats. Word spreads, and most expats have their regular hang-outs that usually NOT the main tourist spots.  In most communities where there are expats, a good portion of them will be adventurous; they’ll already have been out there and discovered which places have good food. Why reinvent the wheel?
    • Ask Mexicans. Once you get to know Mexican neighbors and you know their individual tastes, ask them for suggestions.  They’ll usually know a good number of local places and can even suggest less commonly known Mexican food.  Many Mexicans will even err on the side of caution when making recommendations to Americans and Canadians.
    • Look it up on the Internet.  While the smallest places won’t be online, sites like TripAdvisor or Foursquare include reports for surprisingly unknown places.  As I said, adventurers are everywhere, and these days most of them can post on the internet instantly.

Living in Playa del Carmen

  • Look at the crowd. In all likelihood, if a restaurant, cafe, bar or even taco stand is full of people every day, it’s probably safe.  If there are regular problems, word spreads quickly and people stop going.  This isn’t a guarantee, but if you’re just walking by on the street and you’re hungry for that taco, it can be one indication.



Of course, now and then a random adventure can be a fun way of being the first among the expat crowd to discover a great place for enchiladas; especially for new places that are just opening, sometimes it’s not a bad idea to give them a chance.  You might do best leaving the more adventurous undertakings for later on, once you know your community and have a better feel of how things work (or know at least basic Spanish.)


The bottom line is that you can try restaurants, cafes, etc., that are not on the main tourist strip, and do so pretty safely.


TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely

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