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Concierge.com

Cozumel Restaurants

Guido's
23 Avenida Melgar
San Miguel , Cozumel
Mexico 77600
Tel: 52 987 872 0946
www.guidoscozumel.com

Cruise-ship captains and officers hide out at the tree-shaded courtyard tables at this unassuming pizza parlor. Cozumeleños often run into friends at Guido's (old-timers still call it Rolandi's, although the restaurant changed names all the way back in 2000); conversations get lively over orders of puffy garlic bread, wood-fired pizzas, and seafood pasta. Lingering over the homemade coconut ice cream with Kahlúa can make you feel you're part of the local cognoscenti—so it's no wonder island visitors tend to drop in again and again.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to 11 pm.

La Choza
200 Calle Adolfo Rosado Salas
San Miguel , Cozumel
Mexico 77600
Tel: 52 987 872 0958
www.lachozarestaurant.com

Dependably interesting regional Mexican cuisine keeps La Choza filled with first-timers seeking safe experimentation. The open-air building with its towering palapa-style roof feels like an oversized shack (choza is Spanish for "hut"), albeit one where tables are covered with bright cloths and Talavera dishes. Traditional standouts include shrimp-stuffed poblano chiles, chicken in roasted pepper sauce, tortilla soup (their Sunday specialty), and the only-occasionally-available cochinita pibil (spicy marinated pork baked in banana leaves). The margaritas are also excellent, and the weird-sounding chilled avocado pie is actually delicious.

Open daily 7 am to 10:30 pm.

La Cocay
208 Calle 8, between avenidas 10 and 15
San Miguel , Cozumel
Mexico 77600
Tel: 52 987 872 5533

You don't find a lot of seared ahi on Cozumel menus—or chicken livers, duck pâté, and olive tapenade, for that matter. But such exotic ingredients lure diners with refined palates to this restaurant's new downtown location (the original branch operated for ten years in another nearby building). Chef Margarito Estrella uses his talents much the way the restaurant's namesake firefly flits: a little here, a little there. He serves up good pasta dishes, salads, steaks, seafood—something to suit every craving. The wine list is reasonably priced, and the black-and-white photos from New Orleans, Manhattan, and Cuba on the walls add a sophisticated touch that's rare on the island.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 1 to 11 pm.

Pancho's Backyard
Avenida Melgar, between calles 8 and 10
San Miguel , Cozumel
Mexico 77600
Tel: 52 987 872 2141
www.panchosbackyard.com

Cheery marimba musicians play trilling tunes during lunch at this downtown courtyard spot, when cruise-ship day-trippers arrive to tuck into fishbowl-sized margaritas and deep-fried chimichangas. Why, oh, why don't they just stay at the restaurant's other location in the Puerto Maya cruise terminal? No matter; the whole climate changes when the white sea monsters chug away at sunset. Then you can order a jar of sangria and a bowl of silky cream-of-cilantro soup to cool the palate, then fire it back up with chipotle-spiced beef dishes (beware the blistering habañero salsa if you don't like your heat index too high). Dining here can be so seductive you might end up buying all-new dishes and glassware at Los Cinco Soles, the tasteful yet massive souvenir shop in Panchos' front yard.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 11:30 pm; Sundays 5 to 11:30 pm.

The Wynston
Avenida Melgar between Avenidas 13 and 15
San Miguel , Cozumel
Mexico 77600
Tel: 52 987 869 1517
www.thewynston.com

Penthouse dining and bow-tie-wearing waiters aren't usually Cozumel's style (you certainly won't see diners in jackets and gowns), but this ballroomlike restaurant on the ninth floor of a waterfront condo "tower" is angling for honors as the best "special night out" venue. It's all about the view at sunset—come after dark, and you'll miss the main event. An impressive wine list and Mediterranean-gringo menu (imported U.S. steaks, crab mac 'n' cheese, grilled scampi) please those accustomed to $20 entrées; others stop by the bar for martinis and calamari frito at the magic hour. Tables are generally easy to come by, but it's worth making a reservation to ensure prime seating.

Open daily 5:30 to 10 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.