Do you really want to get all ready, shuffle off the boat and up the crowded pier, and pay for a cab to some touristy restaurant for lunch, only to be worried about getting back in time?
Well, not to worry.
The three cruise terminals in Cozumel have several great places to grab lunch nearby, within walking distance.
Depending on which Cozumel cruise pier your ship docks, you can simply walk right over to these cool local Cozumel lunch spots for some traditional Mexican dishes – including excellent tacos – instead!
These are just some of the best lunch restaurants within walking distance of your Cozumel cruise ship port, whether you’re docking at the Punta Langosta pier in downtown San Miguel, or the Puerta Maya Terminal or the International Pier just south of town.
Worth the walk, and the quality of the food will make it well worth the price…all with a fun atmosphere and a great local experience.
Check out these cafes and restaurants in Cozumel to go and grab something to eat near the cruise port.
If you need more info on the three Cozumel cruise ship piers and a full introduction to what amenities you’ll find within walking distance, check out this post next!
Grab Lunch Near to Cozumel’s Three Cruise Terminals
First off, if you’ve never cruised to Cozumel before, you may not know that there are three cruise ship terminals, where your cruise ship might dock.
If you’re primarily looking to do some port shopping when you arrive – whether it’s souvenir shopping or picking up something you forgot or ran out of – read this related article about shopping within walking distance of the three Cozumel cruise piers for more information.
But if you’d like to find a nice place for lunch without worrying about finding a taxi cab in Cozumel, or venturing too far from your ship, this post is for you. Read on.
The Three Cozumel Cruise Ports and Cruise Lines Each Serves:
- Punta Langosta – located right in downtown San Miguel de Cozumel, and typically serving the cruise lines of Disney, MSC, and Norwegian
- International Pier – located about 2 miles south of downtown Cozumel, and typically serving the cruise lines of Celebrity and Royal Caribbean
- Puerta Maya Cruise Terminal – located about 2.2 miles south of downtown Cozumel, serving the Carnival cruise lines
No matter which pier your ship docks at, you’ll find some excellent food options, namely for authentic Mexican food – think fresh tacos, sizzling fajitas, creamy guacamole, refreshing ceviche, Caribbean lobster, coconut shrimp, and much more.
And all within a nice short walk of your Cozumel cruise ship.
Don’t forget to quench at one of our favorite local cervecerías (beer bar in Mexico), or with a crisp real cane sugar Coca-Cola that Mexico is famous for, or a fresh lime juice margarita at your choice of Cozumel’s best bars.
And then save some room, and try one of the great local Cozumel ice cream shops to beat the heat.
Great Lunch Restaurants in Walking Distance to Cozumel’s Punta Langosta Cruise Ship Terminal
If your Cozumel cruise ports at Punta Langosta, you’re in luck.
Located in the heart of downtown San Miguel de Cozumel, Punta Langosta cruisers have the most and best restaurants near the cruise pier, and countless choices for food and drinks within walking distance.
But we have to narrow it down, somehow!
Top picks for lunch near Punta Langosta Pier, try these:
Punta Sur Cerveceria – Pizza and Beer in a Cool Local Joint
Punta Sur is a relative newcomer, but it was instantly popular due to its home-brewed beers and delicious wood-oven pizzas.
In fact, Punta Sur is the only on-site microbrewery on the island, and they serve up great flights of their different brews, as well as pints and growlers.
And their pizza? Crispy, tasty, and delicious. One of the absolute best pizzas in Cozumel.
They have pies like the Mexican (avocado, chorizo and jalapeño), the Spanish (Iberico ham), and a new special with chapaulines (grasshopper. try it. it’s good!).
But their most famous pizza is the one that comes with lionfish.
If you’re a scuba diver in this part of the world, you’ll know that lionfish are a beautiful species of fish…that belongs in the Pacific Ocean.
Here? It’s a harmful invasive species with no local predators and is doing great damage to local marine life from Florida on down through the Caribbean.
If you want to do something eco-friendly for the island environment, and/or you want to try a unique and still delicious pizza combo, order the pizza with “Pez Leon“, and enjoy.
Location (on Google Maps – link): Av. 10 between Calles 3 and Salas
Le Chef and the Famous Lobster Sandwich
Le Chef is among the most popular Cozumel restaurants with excellent food, that got island-famous back around 2015 for its amazingly delicious lobster club sandwich.
I’m from New England, and a big Atlantic lobster lover, so I was a skeptic…until I tried it.
Delicious Caribbean lobster meat blends with bacon and cheese, all on a marbled-rye-toast triple-decker. It’s kind of amazing.
Le Chef also has nice fresh salads, pasta, and pizza, as well as beer, wine, drinks, and an incredible waterfront location with an ocean view.
Location on Google Maps: Av. Melgar at Calle 4 North
Pancho’s Backyard for Classic Cozumel
For old-school Cozumel charm, try the lunch dining experience at the original location of Pancho’s Backyard, about a 10 minute walk along the waterfront, from Punta Langosta.
Situated within one of our most recommended silver jewelry shopping experiences in Cozumel, the flagship Cinco Soles store, Pancho’s Backyard has long been considered one of the best restaurants serving up both traditional Yucatan cuisine and some local history and charm.
It’s one of the local Mexican cuisine restaurants that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time – but just enough.
Try the special of the day, or any one of their authentic regional dishes.
Save room for dessert, and hit up one of our favorite local ice cream shops to round out the day in port.
Location on Google Maps: Av. Melgar (main drag along the waterfront) between Calles 8 and 10 North
Coctelito’s on Cozumel’s Waterfront
Another local hot-spot, especially on Sundays for family brunches and a great place to catch the futbol world cup, Coctelito’s is also right on the waterfront, so the location is a delight.
A huge menu of Mexican favorites like tacos, coconut shrimp, ceviches, and Micheladas is just the start here.
Plenty of room, and even a small play area for restless kids, Coctelito’s is a nice dining experience, but also a fun place where you can really take a load off and relax for a good long while, over a few nice cold drinks.
Location on Google Maps: Av. Melgar at Calle 10 North
Aqui y Ahora is a new Must-Try Spot in Coz
Aqui y Ahora is among our short list of best coffee shops in town, but this place goes far beyond coffee.
Housed in a huge three-story space, Aqui y Ahora is more of a day-to-night hangout, full of creative food choices, local art on the wall, and an upstairs bar and lounge space complete with lounge areas, foozball, and pool.
Not to mention its amazing waterfront view from the top floor. Perfect for a sunset happy hour.
Great Tacos in Cozumel Near Punta Langosta Pier
Colores y Sabores
Colores y Sabores is my reigning champ for Baja-style fish tacos in Cozumel, but this charming little home-cooking cafe also has delicious chiles rellenos, seafood and steak dishes, traditional tacos and burritos, and a good selection of regional specialties made with fresh ingredients.
In my opinion, Colores y Sabores is one of the best restaurants in Cozumel near Punta Langosta, and one of my favorite places to eat great homemade local food.
Only about 3 short blocks from Punta Langosta, this place is a no-brainer, and WAY more authentic and satisfying than anything you’ll see right at the cruise terminal mall as you’re disembarking.
Location on Google Maps: Calle 5, between Melgar and Av. 5 Sur (just west of the International Hospital, one of Cozumel’s best hospitals)
Cuatro Taco – Try all the Salsas
A few more blocks northward, and you’ll find Cuatro Taco on a friendly side street.
Reopened after a long rest during the pandemic, Cuatro Taco is a fun sidewalk stand/cafe with a few unique choices including my favorite: the chile relleno taco. Yum.
Cuatro Taco also has a few homemade hot sauces and salsas to try, and they really elevate whatever you’re eating.
Location: Calle 3, just off of Av. Rafael Melgar (the waterfront main drag)
El Foco for Traditional Tacos and Coz History
El Foco is a Cozumel institution and the first “real” taco place I myself went to on the island, way back when…
After moving a few times, El Foco now seems perfectly situated in a nice large restaurant space just a couple blocks from the waterfront, and just 3-4 blocks away from Punta Langosta.
If you’re docking at Punta Langosta on your Cozumel Cruise, this would be a great choice for some awesome tacos, in a comfortable sit-down environment.
Location on Google Maps: Av. 5 Sur between Calles 5 y 7
Great Lunch Restaurants in Walking Distance to Cozumel’s Southern Cruise Terminals
As noted above, the two cruise pier terminals in Cozumel’s southern hotel zone are the International Pier and the Puerta Maya Pier.
When you arrive and disembark at either of these cruise ports in Cozumel, you’ll be within walking distance to the same things, so I’m combining them, below.
Top picks for lunch near the Southern cruise piers in Cozumel, try these:
Lunch Near Cozumel’s International Pier and Puerta Maya Pier
Ernesto’s Famous for Cozumel Fajitas with an Ocean View
Walk a few blocks north from either the International Pier or the Puerta Maya Cruise Pier and you’ll find Ernesto’s, right on the water.
Ernesto’s is a long-time Cozumel favorite for their famous fajitas.
Add in the terrific waterfront location and balcony dining area, and this casual lunch spot becomes a whole experience – without the stress.
Location on Google Maps: Just barely north of the Park Royal resort entrance, on the waterfront side.
Del Mar Latino Beach Club in Cozumel
Coconut shrimp is just one of the dishes people rave about from the kitchen at the Del Mar Latino beach club.
Associated with the Casa del Mar Dive Resort & Hotel right across the street (one of our picks for great dive hotels on the island), the Del Mar Latino Beach Club is along the waterfront, and has a nice pool, a hot tub, loungers in the sun and the shade, and a huge bar that sometimes serves as a performance stage for a range of live music artists.
Get your salsa on, take a dip, go in the ocean for some easy and safe snorkeling, and eat a great lunch – all just about a quarter of a mile up from the two southern cruise terminals in Cozumel.
Casa del Mar Dive Hotel and Resort
If the Del Mar Latino is crowded, head directly across the street for some lunch at fully shaded Casa del Mar hotel restaurant.
Situated under a huge palapa, the bar and dining room at Casa del Mar is a welcoming space with a full bar and menu with selections like taquitos, fresh shrimp cocktail, whole fried fish, and several options of salads, sandwiches, and more.
Hard Rock Cafe in Cozumel
Cozumel does have a Hard Rock Cafe, so if you want that classic 80s t-shirt vibe, head out of the International Pier and look right across the street – you can’t miss Hard Rock Cozumel.
Location on Google Maps: Melgar Ave. 3.5 km, in the Plaza Royal Village Shopping Center, just across the street from the International Cruise Pier terminal.
Tikila Beach Bar – Shore Diving and Good Grub
Tikila Beach Bar is a fun and funky place a few hundred feet up the road beyond the Del Mar Latino Beach Club, and is another great waterfront spot for lunch in Cozumel near the southern cruise piers.
Tikila has a patio where you can eat and drink in the warm sun, with a great view of the ocean and great people-watching of the many activities going on right in front of this area of the waterfront – shore diving, snorkeling, and a variety of boat traffic.
Try their fresh fish tacos and an ice-cold beer, and you’ll forget about the cruise ship schedule for a while.
Location on Google Maps: Melgar Ave., about 1/2 mile north of the International and Puerta Maya cruise terminals
Cool Tacos in Cozumel Near the International Cruise Pier
Tikila Also has Tacos
Tikila Beach Bar (above) has full entrees but is also a great place to have a plate of tacos and a few drinks.
And maybe a dip in the ocean or even a Discover Scuba class, while you’re at it.
Paprika Restaurant in Cozumel
Right across the street from Tikila is their sister spot, Paprika Restaurant.
This cafe has great coffee, delicious drinks, and does a good breakfast and lunch business for tourists and local business owners, alike.
If you’d rather avoid the hot sun for a while, and pay more attention to your friends – or maybe get lost in your book for a while – Paprika might be a little more quiet and peaceful than Tikila, but just as delicious.
Location on Google Maps: Melgar Ave. about 1/2 mile north of International Pier, and 1.5 miles south of Punta Langosta
Sunset Bar is a Great Cozumel Lunch Pick
Walk up beyond these spots for another few hundred yards and you’ll find the Sunset Bar and Grill, right on the water near the Cozumel Coast Guard station.
Sunset bar makes our list of great remote working places due to its good WiFi and its lovely waterfront location.
Who says because you’re sending emails and putting together a content schedule you have to do it indoors?
But mostly it’s just a favorite watering hole for many divers looking for a late lunch after diving, and/or a great waterfront bar for the daily Cozumel sunset.
Sunset Bar and Grill is fun and would be my personal overall pick within walking distance to Puerta Maya or International Cruise Terminal.
Location on Google Maps: Melgar Ave. near the Coast Guard station
A Great Taco Truck Right Near the Southern Cruise Ports in Cozumel
Cozumel’s Own: The Blue Taco Truck
If you’re really truly into finding some authentic tacos in Cozumel, an even closer hot spot is a well-known taco truck very close to the International Pier and the Puerta Maya Pier in Cozumel: The Blue Taco Truck
As you leave either of those cruise terminals, look for a large intersection with a full stoplight (the only one in that stretch).
This will be just north of the 7-11 Convenience Store and a Pemex gas station, and just south of the Plaza Royal Village Shopping Center.
That road that heads east toward the Cozumel Planetarium (check that out too, especially if you’re looking for fun Cozumel activities with kids) is called Avenida Claudio Canto.
Walk up that side street for just a few hundred feet and you’ll see a Blue Taco Truck.
And you’ll also see a bunch of local people ordering up small plates of tacos and tortas (sandwiches), and dousing them with homemade salsas and toppings.
Don’t think to hard, just order whatever looks good or whatever meat choice (pollo = chicken, res = beef, poc chuc = pork chop, frijoles = beans, muy picante = very spicy) and enjoy!
There’s no website for the Blue Taco Truck in Cozumel, but it does have its own Google Maps location – including loads of glowing reviews!)
Location on Google Maps (yes, it’s so well-liked, it has its own Google location. It must be worth the steps!)
Mi Pueblito Mexican Restaurant – Convenient for Cruisers in Cozumel
If you just want to experience a change of scenery without walking too far, but still have yummy local Mexican food in Cozumel, Mi Pueblito Mexican Restaurant is the closest and most convenient of the restaurants near cruise terminals in the southern end of Cozumel: Puerta Maya and International Pier.
Mi Pueblito cafe has a full menu of regional Mexican favorites, great reviews, and can even take to-go orders (just order them “para llevar“) if you want to pack a lunch for your Cozumel excursion.
It’s also a great spot to meet up with your party before returning to your ship, too – and if your timing is right, you’ll hear the familiar strains of the haunting flute associated with the Voladores “high flyers” show right there in the Mayan Plaza.
This is a traditional pre-Colombian Mexican performance you’ll want to see, especially if you have any children in your group.
Location on Google Maps: At the only big intersection with a traffic light, just a block or two North of Puerta Maya, and a few hundred feet south of International Cruise Terminal – corner of Melgar and Av. Claudio Canto
Cozumel Taco Ordering Cheat Sheet:
- pollo = chicken
- res = beef
- poc chuc = pork chop
- frijoles = beans
- muy picante = very spicy
- “gringo” = with cheese and/or on a wheat tortilla
For more info on the overall hotspots and amenities within walking distance of your Cozumel Cruise Ship, bookmark this post for the full roundup!
And if you have any concerns about walking around or your general safety here on the island, please consult this post on our overall safety conditions and extremely low crime rate, right here.
Explore. Say hello. Have fun!
CozInfo’s Cozumel Packing Essentials: