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You’ll find some impressive restaurants in Cancun. Head south to Puerto Morelos for Le Chique in Azul Sensatori by Karisma. Inventive chef Jonatán Gómez Luna tinkers with molecular gastronomy and comes up with unusual dishes like the Scotch Brite, a mint and pineapple dessert that resembles its namesake green and yellow sponge. The sweet “sponge” is plated to look like it’s wiping up a knocked-over champagne glass overflowing with bubbles.
For meaty fare, visit the waterfront Harry’s Prime Steakhouse and Raw Bar for top-notch cuts of USDA beef and a wine collection that spans more than 250 bottles. It also specializes in Kobe, with the beef hailing from Japan, the U.S. and Austrailia. The steakhouse even makes its own Kobe hotdog.
To try local cuisine, visit fine-dining restaurant Ramona at Nizuc Resort & Spa, where chef Bladimir Garcia deliciously updates classic Yucatán recipes, such as local shrimp on a bed of stewed bananas, and cochinita pibil, a slow-cooked pork dish reinterpreted as a Mexican-style stuffed dumpling. Set in Cancun’s touristy Hotel Zone, Labná sticks to authentic Yucatán cuisine, including sopa de lima, tortilla soup with lime and turkey, and its own version of cochinita pibil, pork wrapped in banana leaves and baked with garlic. La Habichuela, which has been a fixture in Cancun for more than 30 years, is known for its beautiful open-air garden with sculptures, trees and twinkling lights. Try the cocobichuela, a mixture of shrimp, rice, curry sauce and tropical fruits, served in a coconut shell.
The Ritz Carlton, Cancun gives you two choices for fantastic dining: The Club Grill, which hearkens back to an old English jazz club with a dance floor and live music, does continental cuisine with local ingredients, and the romantic Fantino focuses on contemporary Mediterranean food. Highly regarded chef Martín Berasategui’s Tempo at Paradisus Cancun Resort gives you a sophisticated taste of Basque flavors with its seafood- and meat-centric dishes.