By Regina Kaza
Any real taco lover will defend their principles for what makes for a good taco. Some say the meat is key, some swear by the tortilla (corn vs. flour) and some claim it's all in the toppings. But one thing all real taco enthusiasts can agree on is if it has sour cream on it, it isn't an authentic Mexican taco.
Real Mexican tacos are traditionally made with minimal ingredients: a freshly cooked protein laid over a handmade corn tortilla with a squeeze of lime. No cheese, no guac, no fuss. Just fresh, simple ingredients.
So if you're visiting Playa del Carmen — one of my favorite Yucatan fisherman villages turned BPM-lovers' destination — seafood tacos are the way to go. Fishermen bring in their catch throughout the week to the local restaurants which are all just a few steps away from the beach, making seafood tacos the freshest item on the menu and worth indulging in daily.
And since we've tried just about every taco shop in town, here are our top three spots we keep going back to.
Avenida Constituyentes | Entre 5a Avenida y 10 Avenida, Playa del Carmen
This little restaurant with a beach shack vibe tucked away off two main avenues is a best kept secret. TacoTenedor serves seafood-focused tacos in unique combinations, such as octopus with potato and shrimp with creamed peppers and corn. The best part? The tacos come out with only seafood on a corn tortilla which you can then take to a serve-yourself toppings bar and load up your corn cake with as little or as many toppings as you like including pickled onions, chipotle mayo, lime, cilantro and more.
Avenue 25 Calle 34, Playa del Carmen
Aguachiles is another local favorite with a wide variety of seafood tacos and a no-fuss atmosphere.
With several options, you can order your tacos on crunchy or soft tortillas (we prefer the soft corn) and choose from a variety of seafood favorites like tuna, steamed fish or tempura fried shrimp. These come pre-loaded with toppings like fresh red cabbage, crispy onions, crema and more. We recommend just closing your eyes, dropping a finger on the menu and ordering one of each. When in Mexico, right?
Las Hijas De La Tostada
5ta Avenida | Calle 38, Playa del Carmen
This spot is a newcomer on 5ta Avienda (Playa del Carmen's main street) and while it steers away from the traditional simple taco formula, it is well worth trying. Las Hijas is a perfect happy hour spot with a variety of cocktails including freshly squeezed lime margarita paired with tostadas, tacos and more. The star of the show here, however, is the roasted chile poblano taco (pictured on the right) which is a unique take on the traditional Mayan dish, wrapped in a warm tortilla and spicy kick.