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Drinks, Food and the Beach on Playa del Carmen’s 38th Street

The area around 38th Street in Playa del Carmen is one of the nicest in the entire city, in particular the part that stretches between 5th Avenue and the beach. Not only is it a very safe area, it’s a great place to go for a walk. As you make your way east to the Caribbean you find yourself flanked by gigantic trees both sides of the street, as well as lush vegetation.

It is also a great place to spend an entire day, from early morning until late at night, enjoying the coffee shops, restaurants, bars and beach. Here are our recommendations of how to spend your day on 38th Street.

Ah Cacao

You can begin your  day nice and early by visiting one of Playa’s most recognizable brands. Ah Cacao is famous for their organic coffee and natural cacao chocolate, which is the basis of their main beverages.  We recommend one of their mocha coffee (made with real cacao), either served hot or as a frappuccino, ideal for hot summer days. If you feel like a light snack before breakfast try one of their chocolate brownies.

They have three locations, but the one on 5th avenue just north of 38th is by far the best. It has two air conditioned floors with free Wifi, a few couches to sit on, and a nice patio for people watching.

La Cueva del Chango

For breakfast we recommend a visit to this place located a half block east of 5th Avenue. This restaurant is has been a staple of 38th street for many years now. It opens daily at 8.00am, and it is common to see people waiting around at the entrance since it fills up quickly. The name of this place translates as “Cave of the Monkey,” no doubt influenced by the green, vegetative surroundings and the Cenote located on site.

Their menu is full of authentic Mexican authentic food in a wide variety of delicious flavors. You can choose from a variety of egg dishes, empanadas, molletes, and chilaquiles, as well as French toast, crepes. They serve various juices (orange, watermelon, guava, kiwi, lime) as well as milkshakes, coffee and tea.

“Shangri La” Beach

After breakfast, we recommend a visit to the beach located at the very end of 38th street. It is one of the nicest in the entire city, with a large area of white sand and plenty of room to set up your towels, beach chairs and umbrellas. It’s a great place to spend the afternoon swimming, getting a tan, or hanging out with friends and family.

La Piola

When your day at the beach is done you will likely be hungry for dinner, so we suggest a trip back up 38th street until you reach Piola. This Italian restaurant is famous for their pizza, but they serve an abundance of dishes such as gnocchi, lasagna, spaghetti, Garibaldi (sautéed chicken breast), Toscanini (smoked salmon, shrimp, tuna), and Calvino (NY strip steak mixed with greens, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and tomatoes). 

When your day at the beach is done you will likely be hungry for dinner, so we suggest a trip back up 38th street until you reach Piola. This Italian restaurant is famous for their pizza, but they serve an abundance of dishes such as gnocchi, lasagna, spaghetti, Garibaldi (sautéed chicken breast), Toscanini (smoked salmon, shrimp, tuna), and Calvino (NY strip steak mixed with greens, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and tomatoes). 

Trujillos Cantina de Selva

To end of the evening, we recommend a visit to Trujillos to end the night off with some of their signature cocktails, served by their mixology experts. Their Bucanero No.5 combines Jack Daniels whisky with passion fruit, the Pasión Mezcal blends tropical maracuyá with mescal and fruit, and their Toloache combines Hendricks gin with aquafaba, lemon and red wine.

Like the rest of 38th street, this place is surrounded by foliage and vegetation, including a large ceiba tree, making you feel as if you are sitting somewhere deep in the jungle enjoying drinks with your friends.

Would you like to know more about places to visit in Playa del Carmen’s 38th street neighborhood? Or information about nearby real estate developments?

If you are in the US call us 512 410-8831, or if you are in Mexico call 984 807-7717.

You can also email us: Joaquin@bricinternational.com