Xcalak has a population of only 400 locals plus a few lucky expats, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that the selection of restaurants in Xcalak is limited. Don’t worry, it’s quality over quantity.
Keep reading for overviews of the restaurants in Xcalak, including where they’re located, what to expect, and when they’re (generally) open.
What is dining in Xcalak like?
Like the town itself, dining in Xcalak is relaxed and opening hours are not set in stone. Planning a meal out in Xcalak can be a bit of a “let’s see what happens” type of adventure. However, there are enough restaurants in town that you won’t go hungry – you’ll always be able to find someplace satisfying.
Without a doubt, fresh seafood should be one of your first choices when dining in Xcalak. Western- and Mexican-style fish, shrimp, and lobster are on the menu at every Xcalak restaurant. Not overly adventurous? You can usually find familiar classics like pizza, burgers, and fries.
Credit cards are accepted at some restaurants in Xcalak, but not all. Come prepared with Mexican Pesos or US Dollars.
What are the restaurants in Xcalak?
There are a few long-time eating establishments in Xcalak, and some exciting newcomers. Let’s find out more.
Toby’s is a favorite for expats and tourists alike. The restaurant is located on Xcalak’s main street in the middle of town and the front of the restaurant is open to the sea breeze and beach view.
The establishment has a laid back “come as you are” atmosphere perfect for a beach town like Xcalak. Pull up a plastic patio chair and admire the buoys and seashell mobiles hanging from the ceiling.
Toby’s in Xcalak is the closest thing you’ll find to a sports bar, and during popular soccer games the satellite TV draws in sports fans. Toby’s also has free Wi-Fi for customers, and a small gift shop that sells locally made crafts as well as typical, cheesy beach souvenirs.
Across the street from Toby’s is a sandy soccer / volleyball field, a small car parking area, and even shaded dog parking (Toby’s doesn’t want your dog sweltering in the sun while you enjoy the restaurant any more than you do).
Hours are not posted, but Toby’s is usually open for both lunch and dinner. The staff speak some English and the restaurant menu is in English and Spanish. The local expats recommend trying the ceviche or the coconut shrimp.
What we like about it: Relaxing by Toby’s open front and taking in the beach view feels just like a beach town restaurant should
See what the place is like in our Toby’s Restaurant photo review.
Silvia’s Restaurant is a mix between a local diner and a tourist restaurant. Located on Xcalak’s main street just down from Toby’s, Silvia’s has a large parking area out front which puts it back from the street.
This is a good restaurant choice for budget minded travelers – the prices are fair and the food isn’t fancy, but it’s good. Another laid back place, the walls inside Silvia’s are decorated with local shells and coral.
Silvia’s is open for both lunch and dinner. The staff don’t speak much English, but the English and Spanish menu makes ordering easy enough. The expats who live here recommend trying the fish tacos or ordering fish of the day.
What we like about it: Silvia’s many coral and shell decorations make it feel like we’re in a beach aquarium
Check out the food and decor in our Silvia’s Restaurant photo review.
Coral Bar & Grill (XTC Dive Center)
XTC Dive Center is just outside of Xcalak on the north beach road, and has a small restaurant. Having hot food on-site is a nice touch for customers returning hungry after a day on (and under) the water.
The XTC restaurant has inside and outside seating, and the menu is limited to a few Western and Mexican favorites. The expats in Xcalak recommend XTC’s cold beer and burgers while you hang out with other divers and snorkelers.
What we like about it: Getting a hot burger after the sometimes-chilly diving with XTC makes us happy
The Reel Inn Restaurant (at Costa de Cocos)
The Reel Inn Restaurant at Costa de Cocos is the tourist restaurant in Xcalak. Coco’s was the first tourist accommodation in Xcalak, built in the late 80’s, just after the road to town was finished. The resort and restaurant are on the beach road, about 1.5 km / 0.9 mi north of Xcalak. Most people simply refer to the Reel Inn Restaurant as “Coco’s”.
Coco’s has a selection of Western and Mexican foods – something to meet everyone’s taste. The restaurant has a charming outside patio with a covered palapa roof, located right next to the beach. The indoor dining area has an extensive bar, and Coco’s even brews their own craft beer and whisky moonshine.
This restaurant is geared for tourists – there’s complimentary Wi-Fi, the prices are in US Dollars, and most of the staff speak decent English. Fish tacos are Coco’s daily specialty, but if it’s a pizza night (typically only on busy weekends) be sure to try the lobster seafood pizza.
Coco’s restaurant is reliably open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; it’s also a popular spot for drinks in the evening. Coco’s has been known to deliver to nearby hotels.
What we like about it: Coco’s is an amazing setting for enjoying our meal – shaded by the palapa, right next to the beach; the whisky moonshine’s not bad either
See what’s tasty in our Costa de Cocos Restaurant photo review
The Mayan Grill Restaurant (at Hotel Tierra Maya)
One of Xcalak’s two upscale dining options, the restaurant at Hotel Tierra Maya is open to the public by reservation only. Hotel Tierra Maya is on the beach road 2.1 km / 1.3 mi north of town.
For dinner the Mayan Grill serves set meals with a first course, main course, and dessert. The restaurant is a round palapa-covered building with large glass windows looking over the beach.
The Mayan Grill offers complementary Wi-Fi and the staff speak decent English. The restaurant is only open to the public for dinner, and by reservation only. Fresh seafood dishes are the specialty.
What we like about it: It’s fun to wear nice clothes and go out for a fancy meal occasionally. Especially when on vacation.
Leaky Palapa Restaurant
The Leaky Palapa Restaurant is the gourmet-star of Xcalak. For visitors that love food, the French-Canadian chefs / owners create gourmet cuisines not to be missed.
Located in town, regular business hours for the Leaky Palapa are Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings during high season. Make a reservation to ensure your spot (and to guarantee the restaurant is open at your time of visit).
What we like about it: As find-dining goes, the Leaky Palapa is a standard above anything else in Xcalak.
Food Stalls & Sellers in Xcalak
Entrepreneurial locals prepare and sell delicious Mexican food, often from temporary food stalls or directly out of a cooler. It’s not uncommon to see a breakfast or lunch seller appear one day, and not be there the next. You can’t get more authentic Mexican food than this.
Gringo Dave’s Restaurant (CLOSED)
Gringo Dave’s was a Japanese restaurant in Xcalak, but closed it’s doors in 2016.
See what other food is available: Grocery Trucks and Buying Food in Xcalak.