“Eat well, live simply, laugh often” ~
Playa del Carmen is a vibrant town known for its vast culinary choices with hundreds and hundreds of restaurants vying for your business. Restaurants and bars are constantly popping up, and I enjoy checking them out and reporting back to our wonderful guests on where to dine from street-eats, mom & pop diners and everything in between up to fine dining.
Recently I (luckily) came across La Nuestra Senora del Carmen, a new two-level food court open for
business on 10th Avenue between 8th and 10th street. It’s a very innovative concept in food-court dining offering fresh authentic Mexican food at very reasonable prices. (Although they also offer other types of cuisine as you’ll see below).
This food court is dotted with food stalls throughout the building on two levels designed in an open concept style. The front of the building facing the street is open air, including the bar on the second level, creating a very bright atmosphere. Beautifully handmade wooden tables are arranged throughout for large families to dine together as well each kiosk offer bar stools & counters to sit at. Colorful hanging plants and bright Yucatan tile throughout gives the mall a modern chic look.
La Sabrosita offers homemade Mexican ice-cream in creative flavors such as eggnog, tequila and lemon, piña colada, and tres-leches just to name a few! A real treat on a hot day trust me! Across from the ice cream stand is Leche de Tigre Cevicheria offering fresh ceviche and seafood – the nectar of the Mayan gods!
As you walk further into the market you pass by one food kiosk after another with amazing food smells that make your mouth water. The staff greets you with welcoming smiles and offers of tasty food samples from their menus!
This market has it all in terms of food choices. You will find tortas, chilaquiles (with the topping of your choice), tasty ceviche and seafood, fresh Chorizo sausages and meats, Italian sandwiches and cheeses, empanadas and nachos, Mexican candy, handmade ice cream, all-beef burgers, sushi, baked goods, imported deli meats, cheeses and wine. Hungry yet? There’s also a fresh flower shop on the main level bursting with beautiful colors.
We had a drink at Balconcito Las Helodias at the beautiful open-air balcony bar on the second level. Although wine is not on the menu, lickety-split the bartender placed a quick call to the L’Europea wine kiosk downstairs and before long I was delivered a lovely glass of Chardonnay for the amazing price of 35 pesos. Yes you read it right – 35 pesos which translates to a whopping $2.25 and trust me, this was no ‘brown paper bag’ wine. The server, Nancy explained all about the nuances of the wine, and gave me some info about this new food mall which is attracting a lot of business from both tourists and locals.
This place offers a change of pace and pesos to the pricey busy 5th avenue. Being only a few blocks from Luna Encantada where we were staying made it a very attractive food option for us after a day on the beach.
Sometimes you just don’t want to get all gussied up for a night on the town and you just want to grab a torta and some ceviche and relax on your balcony. This also once again proves my point that you don’t have to cook while staying at a condo, and further, you don’t have to break the bank to eat fresh satisfying food in Playa!
Walk quickly past the McDonald’s and Subway and make a pit stop at this authentic food market. A lot of planning and design went into this food court so go check it out let us know what you enjoyed!
*The market is on 10th Avenue between 8th Street and 10th Street east side of the street. Hours: 9:00am-10:00pm but may change to later based on holidays/big events.
Coming soon – more food and drink discoveries in Playa!!
Questions? Email us today at: email@example.com
Sally Foran is a happily married mom of 3, residing in Canada and is a frequent traveler to the Riviera Maya MX. She is an aficionado on ‘everything Playa del Carmen’ and writes with joy and passion about the area. She is also a witty blog contributor to Work & Family Foundation Canada, and NAVUT (offering professionals new to Ottawa the inside scoop!) Sally has also been awarded Blogger of the Week on TravelBlog.Org which enjoys over 250,000 bloggers world-wide.
Photos: Playa Beach Getaways, Everything PlayadelCarmen