Our Favourite Food and Drink Experiences at Mayakoba

Are you a fan of Mexican food? It’s a lot more varied and healthy than many people realize. Not only that, but quite a few dishes that we think of as being from Mexico, such as chili con carne and fajitas, are actually Tex Mex specialties. We were lucky to taste some authentic Mexican cooking as well as the very best in international cuisine recently at Mayakoba, a luxury resort on the Riviera Maya. Here are our favourite food and drink experiences at Mayakoba – they may leave you feeling rather hungry!

Beachside dining at Sands

There are four top notch hotels at Mayakoba, and guests have the unique opportunity to dine at any of the resort restaurants and have the bill charged directly to their room. It’s easy to get from one hotel to another by walking along the beach, taking a free golf buggy shuttle or borrowing a bicycle if you’re feeling energetic. We kick off our culinary exploration with a visit to Sands at Banyan Tree Mayakoba – as you can see, the view from the restaurant is not too shabby 😉

Sands Banyan Tree
The food was pretty good too, with delicious cocktails and soft-shell tacos.

Sands Banyan Tree MayakobaFor dessert, they offer a selection in a jar – we shared the chocolate one but they all looked tempting.

Sands Banyan Tree reviewContemporary Thai cuisine at Saffron

Banyan Tree’s signature restaurant is Saffron, which has a spectacular location perched atop a wooden deck on the water’s edge. It specializes in modern Thai cuisine, which is as magical as the surroundings. As night fell, we admired the stars shining brightly and feasted on coconut curry chicken and other delicacies.

Saffron Banyan Tree
Chef Renu Homsombat introduced himself and we chatted to him about Bangkok, where he was previously based. The finale was a luscious fresh fruit sorbet dessert.

Saffron Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Fruity cocktails at Cocina Milagro

Another place to get your fruit fix is at Cocina Milagro in funky Andaz Mayakoba. It’s one of their two poolside bars, and there’s also a casual all day dining buffet with farm to table cooking and fresh seafood.

Andaz Mayakoba pool barHome from home at Casa Amate

Casa Amate is the flagship restaurant at Andaz Mayakoba, and has the look and feel of a luxurious Mexican home with a range of intimate dining rooms. It made a great location for a Frida Kahlo inspired photoshoot! There’s a lovely terrace where you can eat overlooking the lagoon, as well as a cosy library that’s the perfect place to enjoy an after dinner drink.

Casa Amate MexicoThe menu focuses on Latin American specialties and there’s an extensive wine list. We really enjoyed the empanada appetizers.

Casa Amate restaurantI think that the chocolate dessert had to be my favourite dish though!

Casa Amate AndazLatin-Asian fusion food at El Puerto

El Puerto is a fabulous Latin-Asian fusion restaurant located within the Fairmont Mayakoba. It’s the brainchild of Richard Sandoval, whom many regard as the father of modern Mexican cuisine. He grew up in Mexico City and now owns over 40 acclaimed restaurant concepts worldwide. He was awarded Mexico’s National Toque d’Oro in 2003 and his cuisine really is top notch. We loved the chipotle miso glazed black cod, one of our favourite food and drink experiences at Mayakoba.

El Puerto Fairmont Mayakoba Mexico
Dessert was equally accomplished and with over 100 tequilas to choose from, you won’t go thirsty.

El Puerto FairmontMexican Cooking School at El Pueblito

El Pueblito is the heart of Mayakoba, a village square styled on traditional Mexican architecture. There’s a great Farmer’s Market selling organic produce on Sundays, and also a popular cooking school.

Chef Karla Enciso was born in Mexico City and has a real passion for Mexican food. She organises cooking classes in small groups which are very hands-on.

El Pueblito cookery school
She’s keen to preserve Mayan and pre-Hispanic cuisine and showed us how to make a taco using a traditional Mexican taco press. Some communities still use these although many households buy ready-made ones these days.

El Pueblito cookingTapas-style Mayan specialties at Punta Bonita

In a prime spot overlooking the pool and beach, Punta Bonita is a relaxed eatery at Rosewood Mayakoba. It specializes in tapas-style Mayan dishes. We particularly enjoyed the fresh juices and ceviches, as well as the Mexican version of a pizza!

Punta Bonita Rosewood
The beef tacos were another highlight, with succulent tender meat and a spicy sauce.

Punta Bonita review
There’s also a cool drinks cart for cocktails by the pool.

Punta Bonita MexicoTequila tasting at Olla Taco

Our final favourite food and wine experience at Mayakoba was a tequila tasting at Andaz Mayakoba. Olla Ceviche is a colourful open-air restaurant and bar by the beach and the perfect place to learn about the different types of tequila. There’s a wide range, including white or silver tequila that is clear and unaged, to the superior varieties that have matured for a specific duration.

Olla Ceviche Tequila
The tequila glasses were decorated with a fetching skull, and accompanied by tasty corn chips.

Olla ceviche Andaz
There are so many great food and drink experiences at Mayakoba, and we didn’t have time to try them all but hope that this has given you a taste of some of the delights on offer! Check out our video for the grand tour…

Have you ever been to Mexico? Which of these experiences would you like to try the most?

Food and drink experiences at Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico

  • Dressed With Soul

    Wow, the food there looks definitely very yummy!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • I totally fell in love with Mexican food in Mayakoba. Everything that we tried was so good!! Punta Bonita was my favourite but I wish they’d been time to try Saffron as many people we met recommended it.

    • We really enjoyed Saffron, especially the ambiance outside and chatting to the chef, but I think that El Puerto at the Fairmont was my fave

  • I don’t know which one I like more – skull bottles or pineapple faces! 😉

  • Rosana McPhee

    This place looks amazing! Another one for the long list! I love the picture of you behind the cart. R x

  • That’s an amazing variety of very colourful and diverse food experiences! If pressed for time I’d definitely go for the Mexican cooking class – I’d love to be able to recreate that culinary magic at home. x

    Cuba, Malaysia, and Montenegro: 4 Hidden Gems in Turquoise Waters – Posh, Broke, & Bored

  • I love Mexican food: fajitas, tacos, burritos, quesadilla, you name it. Everything looks so delicious!

    • I was surprised to learn that quite a lot of that is Tex Mex rather than Mexican – anyway it was all very tasty

      • It’s true… now that you say it; I didn’t have any of this when I was in Mexico 😉

  • AngeliePangilinan

    Where is Mayakoba? I haven’t heard of the place before. 😮

    Angelie // Beauty MNL Haul + Shopping Experience

  • Yum this entire post has me drooling over all of the delicious food you ate in Mexico! The more tacos and tequila, the better!!


  • I like Mexican cuisine, they are always so tasty and filling. I wonder if you could taste the difference when you taste these foods in the country. You look good in pink/red 😉

    Ela BellaWorld

  • Dressed With Soul

    This is not fair! Today I didn’t have lunch and now I saw all the yummy food! You are blessed you enjoyed it 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • What a fantastic foodie tour! One thing I have not yet done is a cooking class and I’m desperate to do one – how fun that you got to use a traditional Mexican taco press too. I must admit to loving Tequila although not many people seem to share my love for it – how did you find the more mature tequilas?

    • We certainly preferred the more mature tequilas although I like to mix them rather than drink them neat ;-). I’m sure you’d really enjoy a cookery class

  • Such colourful and delicious looking food, sure is making me hungry 🙂

  • Coco Cami

    The food looks amazing and what a beautiful setting, great post as always, thanks for sharing 🙂

    Camille xo


  • Ellie Adams

    What an experience, that chocolate dessert really did look absolutely divine!


    • It was so good, Elle – and it’s true that the Mexicans know a thing or two about chocolate!

  • Hanna

    All that food looks so good –Like Hanna

  • Hayley Rubery

    Suze; you literally had me at ‘are you a fan of Mexican food?’ haha! I bloody love Mexican food and everything above looks DELICIOUS – so colourful and flavoursome!

    Hayley xo

  • Lucy

    I love the vibrancy of Mexican food. Chef Karla Enciso desire to preserve tradition is a good one Lucy x