Audrey is my sister’s best friend. They met years ago at a summer camp in L.A. She has never been in Mexico before she arrived last week to Playa del Carmen for her vacation. She called me to ask for some recommendations for the best beaches and activities at Playa del Carmen but mostly, she wanted to talk about Mexican food. Since this was her first time in Mexico, and she had no clue about our gastronomy, I gave her a Playa del Carmen tour and showed her my favorite places for breakfast.
Normally, her breakfast is cereal with milk or juice, and a toast with peanut butter and jelly, and on weekends she normally eats scrambled eggs with bacon and pancakes. If that’s your normal breakfast as well, and you want to try something different, you have to visit Playa del Carmen and join us on the Mexican food tour!
If I’m thinking about a natural setting among vegetation and trees plus Mexican natural food, my first thought is La Cueva del Chango (The Monkey’s Cave), located on 5th Avenue and 38th Street a few blocks from Condo Hotels. Don’t forget to bring your swimming suit, because Shangri-La beach is just a few steps away from this restaurant.
La Cueva del Chango is a very special place, because almost everything is homemade, even tortillas are “hechas en casa.” The typical Mexican breakfast is chilaquiles (tortilla with tomato sauce, chicken or egg, served with cream, onion and fresh coriander). We ordered chilaquiles with chicken and achiote (seasoning mixture from Yucatán) sauce served with onion and habanero chilli. We asked for a natural kiwi juice, and were given several options of fresh seasonal fruit juice, such as orange, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, pineapple, melon, banana, chaya, lemon, and carrot.
I have to admit, the chilaquiles breakfast was very Mexican, but also quite spicy, so not for everyone. If you’re looking for something less spicy, you have to try the molletes, a homemade wheat bread with refried beans and cheese gratin with pico de gallo salsa on top (chopped tomatoes, onion and jalapeno chilli) – this sauce is not so spicy, because the chilli flavor is very subtle when mixed in the sauce.
After all that food we still wanted a dessert, and the waiter offered us a natural vanilla flan (a baked dish consisting of an open-top pastry with a sweet filling), served with an orange sauce. If you are a dessert lover, please don’t miss this flan!
On another note, bring cash to La Cueva del Chango, because they do not accept credit cards.
After this delicious breakfast Audrey and I went to Shangri-La beach, a really beautiful and peaceful white sand paradise with crystal turquoise water. We lay down in the shade of a palm tree, relaxed and listened to the ocean. Audrey was amazed with the view and I reminded her that the Mexican Caribbean looks like that that everyday… She couldn’t wait to plunge into the magnificent ocean.
After the day of swimming and sun, I took Audrey to my favorite coffee shop – Ah Cacao that also sells premium quality real chocolate from the Mayan lands of Mexico. It’s located on 5th Avenue and 30th Street (the other location is on Constituyentes Avenue and 5Th Avenue). They have a wide variety of hot and cold drinks, cookies, cakes and homemade bread – the perfect combination for your drinks.
I ordered an Iced Coffee Americano, and Audrey took a Chocolate Frappe with real homemade chocolate – you must try this one if you are a chocolate lover!..
These are two of my favorite places in Playa del Carmen for authentic Mexican breakfast and coffee– so enjoy the morning at the beach and Bon Appétit!