Isla Mujeres is one of my favorite places in Mexico. That said, it does not benefit from the low prices that most of Mexico does because it is a prime tourist destination. You can easily spend $20 on a meal here and it won’t even be authentic Mexican.
Don’t let this stop you from coming, however. There are places you can eat that are authentic and/or budget friendly.
Here are my top three.
For some of the best Tacos al pastor I’ve ever had, this is your place.
At this small, family owned restaurant just outside of the main hub, 65 pesos ($3 USD) will get you 4 tacos.
They have lots of other options on the menu, too, but I’ve never tried them. With tacos this good, why would I??
Word has clearly gotten out about how good this place it because when I went to get some tacos tonight, there was a huge crowd of people waiting.
Neither your budget nor your stomach can go wrong with tacos from Al Natural.
Street Food Carts
On the street closest to North Beach, just past the restaurants, you will usually find several food carts. Here you can get yourself tacos, churros, fresh mango (when in season), coconuts and even hot dogs.
On this particular day I got 3 tacos for 75 pesos ($3.65 USD). Don’t let the cheap prices fool you, these are some of the best tacos you’ll have in Mexico. They are, in my opinion, infinitely better than the ones you’ll find for $15 USD a plate in the more expensive restaurants in Isla Mujeres.
North Garden Bakery
One thing Mexico does surprisingly well is baked goods and this place is no exception.
Here 50 pesos will get you a cinnamon roll or a massive, freshly baked croissant with chocolate cream.
Order a latte to complete your snack. Or if you're looking for a meal, they also have pizza by the slice.
Isla is, largely, a very affordable vacation destination but the food is near American prices and, while it’s good, it’s not “authentic Mexican” good.
So for some budget friendly yet no less tasty options try any of the above three.
And if you find some other places that fit the bill, be sure to let me know in the comments.