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Cheap Eats Tulum: Where to eat on a budget in Tulum, Mexico

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Whether Tulum is your final destination or a pitstop on a longer journey, you’ve probably landed here because you’re looking for the best cheap places to eat in Tulum, Mexico. As Tulum’s popularity has soared, so have its prices, emphasizing the need for strategic choices if you’re trying to stay on a budget. In this guide, I’ll share insights into keeping costs down and the best budget-friendly eats in Tulum.

Navigating Tulum’s Culinary Scene

Tulum, situated in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, boasts a rich culinary heritage influenced by Mayan and Mexican traditions. Tulum’s heart lies in the inland town, where the pulse of local life and many eateries line the streets. As a budget-conscious traveler, Tulum town offers the cheaper and more authentic culinary experience vs the pricier offerings along the beach. One key strategy is venturing into busy places frequented by locals, ensuring not only affordability but also a genuine taste of Tulum.

Recommended Cheap Eats in Tulum

I’ve linked each of these spots to its google map location so you can save to your lists as we go, or check out the full map below.

Street Food

I love the informal charm of street food, where a quick bite turns into an authentic experience. Many stands offer makeshift seating, creating a communal atmosphere where locals and visitors share the joy of a bite to eat. You can find me always going for a simple taco drizzled with salsa verde, elote (grilled street corn) or tamales.

Pro Tips for Street Food

Choose the Busy Stands: Opt for street food stands that are buzzing with locals. A crowded spot not only indicates popularity but also ensures a high turnover of food, guaranteeing freshness and minimizing health concerns.

Follow the Lines: If there’s a line at a street food stand, consider it a good sign. Locals ofter know the best spots, and a queue suggests that the food is worth the wait.

Watch It Cook: For the freshest and safest street food experience, select items that are cooked right in front of you.

Restaurants

  • Taqueria Honorio:
    • This beloved spot in Tulum town draws locals and visitors alike. A good ole taqueria. If you’re looking for one place to add to your list, this is it. I frequented this place many times while staying in Tulum. Despite it being extremely popular and busy, they have quick and attentive service. Go in the morning or for lunch as they close at 3pm!
  • Taqueria La Chiapaneca:
    • Another great, popular Taqueria! This local favorite delivers not only on taste but also on affordability, making it a perfect choice for a satisfying and economical meal. Went here several times during my time in Tulum. Can’t beat 15 peso tacos.
  • Sabor de Mar:
    • A hidden gem in Tulum, this smaller, hole-in-the-wall spot offers delectable seafood delights at reasonable prices, focusing on fish dishes and seafood. I had some great fish tacos here!
  • El Camello Jr.:
    • Not the cheapest on this list, but for an authentic seafood experience that won’t break your budget, El Camello Jr. is a must-visit. This local favorite is known for its fresh catches and flavorful preparations.
  • El Rincón Chiapaneco:
    • Service might be a tad slow, but they offer authentic, yummy food at a great price – a local’s favorite.

So there we have your easy straight forward list of places to eat in Tulum town. I recommend saving some of these to your google maps so you can quickly pull them up and see what is near you while exploring Tulum.

More Ways to Save Money on Food: Grocery Stores and Cooking

For shorter trips I don’t often utilize grocery stores for buying food for cooking, especially in destinations that I already find very affordable to grab a bite out. But if you’re on a longer trip it can make a lot of sense to cook your food at your accommodation or hostel to save money or indulge in a comfort food.

  • Super Aki:
    • Location: Av. Satélite Sur, Tulum
    • Super Aki is a popular local supermarket offering a range of products at competitive prices. It’s a great place to find fruits, vegetables, meats, and pantry staples. The store has a local feel, making it a unique shopping experience.
  • OXXO Convenience Stores:
    • Multiple Locations
    • OXXO stores are everywhere in Mexico, and Tulum is no exception. OXXO is a convenient spot to grab snacks, beverages, and small essentials. Perfect for quick and easy purchases.

How to Maximize Google Maps for Cheap Eats in Tulum:

Planning in advance can be a game-changer. Save those must-try eateries on Google Maps, and when you’re on the ground in Tulum, a quick glance at your map can guide you to the most affordable spots. This not only keeps your budget intact but also prevents the impulsive, potentially pricier choices made on an empty stomach.

I’ll share with you a nifty trick for finding affordable spots and checking menu prices. Many places on Google Maps feature menu photos, offering a sneak peek into what they offer and prices. While some may be outdated, users often update them every few months. Another gem is diving into the reviews section. If you’re curious about prices, a quick search using keywords like “pesos,” “cheap,” or similar terms reveals valuable insights from fellow travelers.

And the best part? You can curate your own list on Google Maps by clicking on the links provided or saving the map below.

How to save this map: When you click the star icon beside the map title, it will be saved to your Google Maps account. To access it on your phone or computer, simply open Google Maps, tap the menu button, navigate to ‘Your Places,’ select ‘Maps,’ and you’ll find this map in your list.

Google maps is just one of the many resources I use to plan a trip. Check out more of my favorite resources here.

Tulum, with its evolving charm, invites you to indulge in good times, great food, and the creation of memories that will last a lifetime – and we can still stick to a reasonable budget by keeping our food expenses in check.

I plan on adding many more blog posts about the places I’ve traveled to in Mexico. It’s one of my favorite places to travel and is easy, affordable and close if coming from the US. Leave me a comment if you have questions or topics you want me to cover in my next Mexico post!

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