Exploring Playa Del Carmen with Tacos on My Mind

By Erin Douglas


When I found out I would be going to Mexico for a wedding, the first thing I thought of was the food.

I knew the area of Mexico I would be traveling to wasn’t exactly known for its food or having the “best”, such as Oaxaca or Mexico City, but I was determined to find the best it had to offer.

My friends connected me to Santiago, a native of Mexico, who was excited to take me to his favorite spots and be my tour guide for a few days. I wanted to eat good food and do something fun during my stay. I explored an abandoned hotel on a gorgeous beach, but after a long day of discovery, we were both ready to eat.  And, my mind was set on eating as many tacos as I could. In two days, I tried three of Santiago’s favorite taco spots in Playa del Carmen. All three left lasting impressions without breaking the bank.

Taco spots you must try while in Playa Del Carmen:

Las Aguachiles

This place was the most expensive of the three but still affordable. It’s only open in the daytime, so plan your visit accordingly. I decided on the soft shell corn taco with fried fish, a hard shell shrimp ceviche and a margarita. I love homemade sauces, and this place gives you more than enough options at your table. They offer an extensive seafood menu, unlike most other places I’d tried, and there was a reason for it. The seafood was so fresh and flavorful. Tourists and locals crowd this place by lunch.

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El Asador

You can’t miss this big whole in the wall enclosed by a tall fence. It’s nothing fancy by sight, but for your taste buds and your pockets, it’s glorious.

Get the charcoal grilled chicken meal. It comes with rice, thin sliced red onion, corn tortillas and some spicy sauce. It’s hands down the best chicken; it’s given to you on a platter, with the bone in. You shred the meat off yourself, and make the taco. It’s delicious! You wont be disappointed, and it wont run you more than 110 pesos for a full chicken. You can’t beat that.

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Cecina Estilo

I would of never bumped into it this little taco stand without Santiago.It was a cold rainy day, but he was determined to take me here.

They offer only three meat options for your taco. I got a salty meat taco and a spicy meat taco with cheese and cactus. My favorite of the two was the salty meat. With one bite, flavors begin to unravel.

Go early; they only cook what they have then shut down for the day once they run out. You’ll find white picnic chairs around to sit in and tree trunk stubs you can use as a small table.

Although several other taco trucks surround this stand, I’ve been told none of them compete with this one. I was happy to have experienced it.


My taco quest came to an end, and I couldn’t of been more satisfied.

Where my love of Mexican culture, salsa dancing and the traditional food comes from, I have no idea. But it keeps me inspired in the kitchen and always looking for a new favorite place that challenges my taste buds in a different way. The El Paso dinner kit in the yellow box was a good introduction, but I’ve moved on to a more complex and authentic love for tacos.

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Now it’s your turn. Whats your favorite place to go for authentic tacos?

Travel Noire

Erin Douglas

I was always the one traveling in my family, but I didn't get the travel bug until I took my first solo and international trip to the Philippines in 2013. With no concrete plans beforehand it turned out to be the most amazing experience; full of adventure, culture and food; of which I turned into a travel photo book (http://blur.by/1g6REy2). I get a thrill out of exploring the unknown, meeting the locals and eating authentic foods. I can enjoy a resort but I like a bit more adventure. Traveling alone has been a life changing experience for me. I'm a freelance photographer; A foodie, who will travel near and far to find the best of; A marathoner. and a girl who's learned mostly everything from the past 14yrs in NYC. Traveling has opened my eyes to so many new things about myself, life, and the people in it. I hope for an opportunity that will allow me to merge my love of photography, food, traveling and writing full time.

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