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La Mission Restaurant-Serving up seafood and Mexican for over half a decade

La Mission Restaurant Playa Del Carmen The famous coconut shrimp

La Mission Restaurant has been in Playa Del Carmen longer then most restaurants. They opened in Playa in 2009 bringing their restaurant style from Cozumel to the mainland. For over half a decade they have been at the south end of town serving up Mexican food and seafood. What are they doing right that makes people keep coming back? Well we stopped by to see. Here is our review.

The La Mission Restaurant Story

The owners know seafood and the local area. They actually have three restaurants in Cozumel and one here in Playa. We sat down with Damian Miranda who is an owner and he told us about the restaurant. Their concept is to focus on the food and service for the customer (see the list below of things they do for their customers).

La Mission works with local fisherman to get seafood for the restaurant. This ensures the freshest quality. The business has about 30 years of local experience in Cozumel and Playa and knows the seafood market. They want to focus on the food, particularly the seafood main course. In fact they have a slogan “If you don’t like it , you don’t pay for it.” They have not followed food trends or have lavish side dishes, rather they keep it simple and just focus on the main course. It is a traditional restaurant that does not change what works and people tend not to mind because they keep coming back.

La Mission Restaurant Playa Del Carmen

The lobster dinner


The lobster story

The lobster for the restaurant comes from Cozumel. This is where they are caught and supplied for local restaurants. We learned that lobster is offseason April and March since this is their breeding season. To keep lobster sustainable it is not caught then. There are two ways restaurants can still serve it though during these months and still be sustainable. One option is to buy in the month before and freeze it. This does not necessarily damage the meat or quality. This only happens with lengthy times in a freezer. If frozen for a long time the lobster falls apart when cooking it. Larger chain restaurants can have this problem since they buy from large warehouses where it is frozen for long periods.

The second method is catching them ahead of the offseason and having them in cages that are registered with the government. Some places with use tanks and some use cages that are in the water. That way you can still get very fresh lobster and you are not harvesting during the offseason.

Did you know that Mexico has powerful laws and a governmental agency that helps protect the environment and eco systems all while allowing sustainable lobster harvest for you to enjoy? The agency is called Semarnat. It is the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources. They make sure that no one is harvesting lobsters in the offseason, counting the lobsters held in cages for use during the offseason, and will visit restaurants to make sure they do not serve small lobsters that might have not reproduced yet. It is nice to know that so much goes into fishing and food production here so we have sustainable food sources and protection of the environment. It is also nice to know that local restaurants like La Mission work with these laws to bring customers the freshest products and a sustainable product.

The restaurant and atmosphere

The La Mission Restaurant in Playa Del Carmen is on the south end of town just next to the quasi famous building with the life size horses statues jumping out of it on 10th Avenue near Juarez Avenue. Usually they have a food display out front to show people what they have. There is an open air palapa building and a outdoor garden for eating in the back. Most people prefer the garden but you do have the option of inside or outside dinning. For groups this restaurant can hold up to 100 people and the largest table can be for up to 25 people.

La Mission Restaurant Playa Del Carmen

Interior of La Mission Restaurant in Playa Del Carmen

Things you probably did not know about La Mission Restaurant

  • If you want to bring a bottle of wine that is not on their menu, they do not charge you to open and serve it to you.
  • Dessert comes with your meal for free, automatically included. Usually it is flan.
  • Free chips, Pico de Gallo salsa and guacamole come to your table when you order.
  • Lime soup comes with your order for free as well. This is a Mexican specialty soup which is a chicken broth base with cut tortilla strips and lime (very popular here in the Yucatan Peninsula).
  • If you have a fish that you caught you can bring it and they will prepare it for you. There is a minimal fee ($8USD). You can bring it ahead of time or bring it and wait for the preparation.
  • They have a menu del dia for people that work in the area or cannot afford the regular menu. Instead of just one option per day they actually have many options to choose from. This is served from 2:00pm-6:00pm daily.
  • Locals get a 30% discount with proper id.  This is a bigger percentage then most places offer. This is something they do to give back to the community. This does not mean everyone else is overpaying. Many places in the world do this, like Walt Disney World giving discounts to locals.

Our video review of La Mission Restaurant

Don’t Forget the Sexy Coffee after your meal

Many people ask about Mayan coffee or Mexican coffee, a drink service that they light on fire. They have their own version here called “sexy coffee“. It is a production and something fun to get at the end of your meal. They will bring a cart to your table and start heating everything up. Three liquors are used and then the magic happens! They light it on fire and pour it back and forth. In the end you end up with a strong and delicious drink. It cost about $11USD.

La Mission RestaurantThe lunch special at La Mission Restaurant

Did you know you can also eat here for just a few dollars for lunch? Here is what they offer.

La Misson Restaurant Playa Del Carmen




Open everyday from 12:00 noon until 11:00pm or until the last customer leaves.

Where is La Mission Restaurant?

La Mission Restaurant is on 10th Avenue between Juarez Avenue and 2nd Street.

Have you been to La Mission Restaurant in Playa Del Carmen? What do you think of this restaurant? Tell us about it in the comment box below. We would love to hear from you.

7 Comments on La Mission Restaurant-Serving up seafood and Mexican for over half a decade

  1. Michel La Rue // July 3, 2016 at 1:56 PM // Reply

    My wife and I enjoy this restaurant because it has an old school Playa Del Carmen feeling and the seafood is good. The style of plating the food is dated but they are a good ol fishing bunch and locals that run it.

  2. Tracy Garnet // July 3, 2016 at 9:51 PM // Reply

    We wanted to try here since we say this restaurant on your website. It was nice in the garden in the back. The food was nice and the quality of the seafood is good but we see your point of it being a bit old fashioned. The food was presented like it was about 30 years ago. I guess that is part of the charm. We still enjoyed this charming restaurant.

  3. We used to go to this restaurant but there are so many new seafood restaurants in Playa Del Carmen we find we don’t have time to go there again. Part of the problem is it is n the south end of town and we stay up near 34th Street.

  4. Barbara Houser // July 4, 2016 at 11:18 PM // Reply

    We ate here last week and had a nice time. The quality of the seafood is good. La Mission is an old restaurant in Playa and fo good reson, they have consistency. One tip, sit in the back, it is much nicer in the garden.

  5. Lynda Ronn // July 5, 2016 at 5:49 AM // Reply

    I like the fact that La Mission has a lunch special. We say this on your site and went. It is very affordable and good Mexican/local food. A good cheap place to grab lunch and secret in Playa Del Carmen.

  6. Giovannie Dorfaner // July 5, 2016 at 12:58 PM // Reply

    As it proved, this seafood restaurant did not disappoint. We had a good meal here the other day. Super fresh fish and superb staff. Nice night out in Playa. We would recommend this restaurant to other people.

  7. La Mission used to be nice but Playa Del Carmen has changed. This place seems old now and stuck in 1987. Too bad, they had good seafood. There is just too much competition in Playa now to survive like this.

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