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Make This Thanksgiving As Memorable As You Are

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to honor sacred, family traditions or start new ones wherever you are in the world.
Maybe you’re a traditionalist who likes to go out for a classic, American-style meal of turkey, stuffing, and pecan pie just like mom used to make. Or maybe you like to stay at home for a catered meal or make dinner you for family and friends. Perhaps you’re a foodie who loves to try gourmet spins on the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Or maybe you want a turkey leg, a little bit of stuffing, and a whole lot of football.

The Riviera Maya has lots of options to suit your celebratory style, needs, and budget. Costs will vary depending on the number of people in your group and where you choose to eat. Some restaurants have a pre-selected menu they make every year at a certain price. Other restaurants determine their Thanksgiving menu and price by available ingredients and associated costs to deliver great quality.

Paulina, our world-class concierge, can help you sort through the options, make reservations, or plan a lovely meal at your rental. We have compiled a list for you of ideas to create lasting holiday memories based on the most popular ways to celebrate Turkey Day.

A Slice of Home Cooking in Paradise

Yearning for a slice of home cooking in paradise? Turtle Bay Bakery and Café, located in the heart of Akumal, is the place for you.
Known for its American-style, comfort food, this local institution has served traditional Thanksgiving Dinner since it opened 20 years ago.

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Dishes are made from scratch with fresh, local ingredients. It’s classic American fare – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pecan pie. Some dishes are made with a Mayan twist. Turkeys, for example, are smoked and/or cooked in banana leaves until tender and juicy. Pozole, a celebratory hominy stew served in Mexican homes during holidays, is a featured soup alongside butternut squash.

Vegetarian plates are also offered. Meals include a couple of glasses of wine to help get you in the holiday spirit.
Turtle Bay has two seatings on Thanksgiving Day – one each at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Take-out and catering versions of the full Thanksgiving menu are also available.
Reserve your spot at [email protected] or call + 52 (984) 151-9522.

Delivering Delight

A catered Thanksgiving dinner might be an option if you like the idea of a four-course meal but just don’t want to deal with people…well at least people outside of your crazy tribe.

UNO: Catering and Events in Playa del Carmen will come to your place, cook on site, and clean up. All you have to do is put the food in your belly. And you get to keep the leftovers to munch on. UNO’s Thanksgiving menu includes turkey; bread stuffing with sage, celery, and onions, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, fresh cranberry sauce, green beans, and other veggies. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and apple pie are the dessert options. A full Mexican menu is available if you prefer.

UNO caters in Playa del Carmen and beyond.

Costs are generally $35 USD per person. Expect to pay more if you are staying outside of Playa del Carmen or have a large group. You can also get a cooked, stuffed turkey for $10 USD per person.
Cater your holiday meal at [email protected] or call +52 (984) 128-7099.

Thanksgiving is For Foodies

For a Foodie, Thanksgiving Dinner is not just a meal, but a chance to explore familiar and new flavors in unexpected ways.
If this is your jam, Plank Gourmet Grill and Patio Bar and Imprevist Resto & Wine, both in Playa del Carmen, offer dining experiences for your taste buds and budget.

Just off 5th Ave. on 16th St., Plank is serving a traditional holiday buffet, complete with Gourmet Roast Turkey and all the festive trimmings. Dishes include creamy pumpkin soup, autumn vegetables, potato soufflé, cranberry sauce, sweet apple cake, and traditional pumpkin pie. Cost is $700 MXN (about $45 USD) per person.

Imprevist Resto & Wine, Plank’s sister restaurant located at 1st Ave. North between 14 and 16 Streets at the Maya Villa Hotel in Playa del Carmen. The closest parking lot is the underground parking at Quinta Alegria Mall on Constituyentes, between 10th. and 5th. Avenue.

The restaurant takes its name and culinary philosophy from Catalan and “imprevist” means “unexpected”. Imprevist features an International and Asian Fusion gourmet menu with an “unexpected” twist. Its Thanksgiving menu includes turkey puree, seasonal vegetables, cranberries, and gravy.Cost is $260 MXN (about $17 USD) per person.

Thanksgiving is a very busy time at both Plank and Imprevist. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Reserve your table at Plank by email [email protected] or call +52 (984) 803-0108 or +52 (984) 168-7025.
Secure your spot at Imprevist by email [email protected] or call +52 (984) 168-7025.

A Truly Home Cooked Meal

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The best Thanksgiving dinner might be the one you make.
Even if you haven’t rented a car, you can still add a grocery store stop on the way out of the Cancun Airport. Most Riviera Maya transport services will add a one-hour stop from the airport for a reasonable fee.
Years ago, it was hard to get ingredients like cranberries and canned pumpkin in the Riviera Maya. But now we are a growing destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. Local stores like Walmart, Soriana, Chedraui and Sam’s Club stock imported goods from the United States.

Unlock your imagination and allow your creativity to play if you’re going to make a Thanksgiving meal in the Riviera Maya from scratch. Doing so might save you some frustration because while stuffing may now be available, it may not be your brand of stuffing.

Play with the possibilities by adding a dash of Mexican flavor to your Thanksgiving meal. You can incorporate local, tropical fresh fruits and vegetables like papaya, tomatoes, pitahaya (dragon fruit), guanabana (soursop) and avocados and let new combinations surprise you.

But Wait There’s More

Several restaurants throughout the Riviera Maya are serving a traditional, American Thanksgiving dinner. We scouted the local options for you, so you can spend less time on the phone and more time having fun.

Carboncitos is part of El Cielo Hotel in Playa del Carmen. This casual-dining, authentic Mexican restaurant is on 4th St. between 5th and 10th Avenues. Carboncitos usually serves a three-course dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Reservations are recommended as they often run out of food within a couple of hours. You can contact them via email at [email protected] or call +52 (984) 873-1382

Chacabar Aldea Zama in Tulum serves Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, Caesar salad, cranberry sauce, wood-fired bread and tiramisu for dessert are among the dishes offered. The cost is usually about $350 MXN (about $22) per person. The football games will be on. Reserve your seat by calling +44 (984) 212-8083 or send an email to [email protected]

Chef Daveed Placencia of Daveed Personal Chef Service in Akumal also has a traditional Thanksgiving menu available. Dishes include Green Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing, Pumpkin Cream Soup, Turkey Breast Roll, Yellow Sweet Potato Puree, Glazed Carrots, and Pumpkin Pie. A la carte costs for Chef Daveed’s services are $45 USD per person, a $15 USD delivery fee, $5 USD per person for extra dishes, and $50 USD to have the staff stay, serve, and clean up during the evening. Contact Chef Daveed at +52 (984) 157-7908 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.

La Cocina at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Playa del Carmen is an oceanfront restaurant and bar on the corner of 26th Street and Fifth Avenue. It is located in the hotel’s main pool area. Expect traditional favorites like turkey and stuffing with all the trimmings. Dinner is served from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Cost per person is generally $790 MXN (about $60 USD) Contact the hotel at +52 (984) 875-1234.

Lol-Ha Restaurant is a fun restaurant perched on the Akumal Bay. The Thanksgiving Buffet menu features turkey, cranberry sauce, tamale soufflé and lots of other fixings. Call +52 (984) 875-9012 for reservations and serving times.
Zenzi is a restaurant, bar and beach club located on 10th Avenue on the beach in Playa del Carmen. A Thanksgiving buffet will be served from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Typical dishes include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie. You can eat as much as you want while watching a football game on television. Contact: +52 (984) 803-5738 or +52 (984) 876-2191 or email at [email protected]

Want to work off all the yummy goodness after Thanksgiving? Explore cenotes, caverns, museums, and eco-theme parks as part of the many ways to play in the Riviera Maya.

Kay moved to the Riviera Maya in 1992 to explore underwater caves. As an expat, Kay has been working in the vacation and tourism profession in Mexico ever since. She is the co-founder of the travel & vacation rental website LocoGringo.com

Read her amazing story because she thought she’d only stay 6 months.

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