Playa Del Carmen in Mexico: Dining Posted June 16, 2004 I was just there in May. I had pretty nice Italian at Osteria La Rucola up in the "north beach" section--north of Av Constituyentes--around C 24, maybe? Good arugula and octopus salad.On Av 5 one block north of Constituyentes, there's a stylish little Argie cafe called Carmencita--that looked tasty, but I didn't have a chance to eat there. Hipster outside, but a really friendly down-to-earth woman in the kitchen.Also ate at Yaxche following recommendations on this board--I did really like it, though the whole tableside flambe theater always puts me off (in fact, I saw one poor waiter totally flub it at a neighboring table--turned his back for a few seconds too long, and had to toss the scorched mess and start over). BUT what I had was good (though just now I'm blanking on what it actually was...not a good sign), and if you're interested to see high-end Yucatecan, it's a good place to start because the waiters are happy to explain everything.There's a great breakfast/lunch place a ways north called La Cueva del Chango--by about C 36? Where the Shangri-La Caribe resort is... Groovy garden, and they roast their own coffee.Also, if you're mobile at all (actually, there's a super-frequent bus up the highway, and then you can grab a cab into town proper), you should head up to Puerto Morelos, which has a ridiculously huge number of good restaurants for being such a tiny town. John Gray's Kitchen is quite posh (friendly American chef who helped open the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun), and he changes the menu daily--all kinds of tasty things...I remember something about duck and chipotle. Or head down to Tulum--on the main drag in town is a sophisticated (but tiny) Mexican place called Cetli, in L'Hotelito. The chef here trained at the big culinary academy in Mexico City, and she's great.And shrimp tacos must be eaten, every chance you get. Oasis is good, and so is Floresta, out on the highway about a block north of Av Juarez (there's another Oasis out there too). Just deep-fried shrimp, mayo and some pico de gallo. Goes great with Coke. I had to drive through Playa about five times on my trip--I think I was able to work it out so it was lunchtime at Floresta four of those times.