Generally when we write our reviews, we recommend beautiful locations for a romantic evening out with fantastic atmosphere, service, and most importantly good food! Or at the very least we like to point you somewhere you should try out even if ever so briefly.
This time we are letting you know about a restaurant that is a bit more controversial, one that you may want to bypass during your stay in Playa del Carmen.
Los Rancheros has two very convenient locations, both in downtown Playa. One is one the south side of the street as you walk from 5th down to the ferry terminal to Cozumel. The other is located right on 5th Ave, between calle 4 & 6. If you visit Playa del Carmen or take the ferry to Cozumel, chances are that you’ll stroll by one of these restaurants.
Los Rancheros has the location and the look to have kept them going for nearly 2 decades. They have bright colors and an inviting, authentic Mexican style.
However, if you are a bang-for-your-buck type of traveler, this word of caution is for you!
For most of us, if we pay a premium, we want to feel we are getting something for our money, whether it be excellent service, out of this world food, or delicious cocktails. That is where Los Rancheros seems to fall flat. You will pay, but will you receive?
With a traditional Mexican menu featuring seafood, this restaurant is mediocre and overpriced. The modest portions are served with next to no flair. Sure, their tacos or enchiladas are tasty, but they could be found at any street vendor or taqueria in town for a fraction of the cost.
Also, remember you’re in Mexico, where beer and tequila are as cheap as you could find anywhere! So paying $20 for a margarita or $5 for a bottle of beer is a bit excessive, in this country anyhow. All of this adds up to a pretty pricey bill!
When it comes to the service, that seems to vary a lot from visit to visit, with the location on 5th Ave being somewhat better.
If you do decide to dine here, we suggest you keep an eye on the menu prices and make sure that is the same amount you are being charged on your bill. Also ensure that the “propina” (which is the Spanish word for tip), is not already included, or you will be tipping twice.
Sadly, there are places that devise ways to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers. Hopefully you won’t have this experience!
By Brad & Kelly Storhaug