These are my favourite cafes in Playa del Carmen and some of my preferred spots for a sweet fix!
Three locations, all on Fifth Avenue: Avenida Constituyentes, Calle 30 and Calle 38
If I were writing a love letter to Playa del Carmen, it would be addressed to this place. It’s probably the biggest thing I’ll miss about living here (sorry friends!).
Our ‘local’ was the one on Calle 30, just around the corner from our house, and I’m pretty sure they do the best coffees, though we often went to the other two branches too.
The staff are friendly and take pride in their jobs, which signals to me that Ah Cacao is a company which looks after their staff. As if they couldn’t get any better, I recently learned they generate 100% of their electricity from solar energy.
Renee, our favourite barista and coffee artist
The coffees and chocolate drinks are delicious (and addictive) and the croissants, brownies and cakes are too good. The cheesecake, well, you just need to taste it to understand. They also sell a range of chocolate-inspired gifts, chocolate bars, body products and coffee beans.
A Renee masterpiece
The newest branch recently opened near Calle 38 and has a huge, beautifully designed interior, which is a great place to work from. Wi-fi is available at all three branches, and the one on Av. Constituyentes also has a small air-conditioned inside area.
Ah Cacao Constituyentes
Our local branch has outside seating only, but it is mostly covered to protect against the sun and rain.
They have a loyalty program which earns you points with every purchase, and needless to say, we got a lot of free coffees throughout the year.
Chez Celine, Fifth Avenue, near calle 34
This French patisserie and cafe was just around the corner from our apartment which was rather dangerous as my love for their almond croissants grew into a full-blown obsession.
This place gets really busy for breakfast, and often lines go out the door with people waiting for a table. Their pastries, tarts and breads are delicious and really popular.
We call these parcels of delicious sugary almond goodness ‘bricks’ because they are so heavy and rich, but so, so good.
La Bendecida Cafe, Fifth Avenue and Calle 40
It seems coffee lovers in Playa are split between this independent cafe and Ah Cacao. Personally, I’m in the Ah Cacao club, based on quality, value and taste, but I include it here for you to decide for yourself. We sometimes buy freshly ground coffee from here as they roast their own beans in an impressive machine. It is 120 Pesos ($10) for 500g and is really good.
Tepoznieves Mexican ice-creamery, Consituyentes, between 5th and 10th Avenue
This is another place I frequented during my time in Playa, perhaps a little too much. Tepoznieves makes fresh Mexican style ice-cream in a range of delicious and sometimes weird flavours (avocado, cheese or tequila ice-cream anyone?) at a great price.
There are many ice creameries along Fifth Avenue which charge and arm and a leg for a scoop, but Tepoznieves charges 30 Pesos ($2.50) for a ‘chico’ cup or cone which has two scoops. It’s all natural (so, it’s healthy, right?!) and very delicious.
I love the coconut, cookies and cream, chocolate and passion fruit.
It’s open late and has a lovely terrace with small colourful tables to sit at.
La Michoacana, below the Mega Supermarket on 30th Avenue
This ice-creamery does a good range of ice creams and other desserts, located underneath the Mega supermarket.
It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it…