Exploring Playa del Carmen’s 38th Street: Where Tulum Vibes, Old Playa Feel, and Culinary Delights Converge

Playa del Carmen’s 38th Street

Nestled amidst the vibrant tapestry of Playa del Carmen, 38th Street stands as a living testament to the town’s unique blend of Tulum-inspired boho vibes and the nostalgic charm of old Playa. This enchanting thoroughfare, shaded by a canopy of trees that create a cool, inviting ambiance, beckons travelers and locals alike to explore its secrets. Lined with a tantalizing array of restaurants, cafes, and boutiques, 38th Street encapsulates the essence of a tropical urban oasis. In this article, we invite you to take a leisurely stroll down this captivating street, where the spirit of old Playa lives on, all beneath the dappled shade of its lush trees.

We will be exploring the section from 5th Avenue to the beach. This stretch of 38th Street has many good restaurants as well as some authentic shopping. It is also a nice gateway to the beach for the north end of Playa Del Carmen. 

Here is a video tour we made for you about 38th Street


What you can see on 38th Street in Playa Del Carmen

Let’s start from 5th Avenue and work our way down towards the beach. 

38th Street Playa Del Carmen
This is 38th Street looking from 5th Avenue to the beach.

Restaurants on 38th Street

38th Street in Playa del Carmen is a culinary treasure trove where flavors from around the world come together to create a vibrant tapestry of dining experiences. Here, within the leafy embrace of this charming avenue, a delectable journey awaits. From authentic Mexican cuisine that tantalizes the taste buds with traditional flavors to upscale restaurants that transport you to the Mediterranean with exquisite Thai and Greek offerings, 38th Street is a gastronomic haven that caters to many palates. Here are some of the best restaurants to visit to taste the fusion that makes dining on 38th Street an unforgettable experience.

  • Mae Thai Restaurant. One of the few Thai restaurants in Playa Del Carmen, Mae Thai has been around for a while and its quality and menu stand up to time. This restaurant has a patio in from with nice outdoor seating. We won’t link to their Facebook page because it is not that active, and you might think they are closed. 

  • LaBrioche. This is a French style bakery bistro. We like this place for breakfast. Here is a link to their Facebook page

  • Piola. Known for its pizzas, pasta and basil martinis, has been a local favorite for years. Piola Restaurant has a nice open feel with lively atmosphere and affordable prices.  Here is a link to their Facebook page
  • Amante 38. This is nice Mexican restaurant with seating among the trees. Here is a link to their Facebook page
  • La Perla Pixan Cuisine. Another longtime favorite in Playa, originally on 34th Street, is not on 38th Street. Here you can find many authentic Mexican dishes from all over Mexico. Here is a link to their Facebook page
  • Trujillos Cantina De Selva. Another Mexican restaurant that has good grilled specialties. Tucked in the trees, you can enjoy this menu as found on their Facebook page.

    Trujillos on 38th Street in Playa Del Carmen
    Trujillos Cantina on 38th Street nestled amongst the trees. 
  • Luna Taverna del Mar. This is one of those small romantic restaurants where you get good food and won’t feel like a tourist leaving. Here is a link to their Facebook page
  • Mykonos Greek kitchen. A nice higher end Greek Restaurant in Playa Del Carmen. We would say the best Greek food in Playa is found here. This is another small restaurant, so intimate setting and make reservations in high season. Here is their Facebook page link.

    38th Street Playa Del Carmen
    Toward the beach you find Luma and Mykonos restaurants.
  • Fuego Cantina. This is a hidden restaurant because it is on the property of Mahekal Hotel. It is available to the public. The best thing about this restaurant is the setting. It sits among the palm trees overlooking the ocean. Fuego Restaurant feels like you are in a magical place far from everything. It is one of the most expensive restaurants in Playa Del Carmen. Here is a link to their Facebook Page. 
  • La Cueva del Chango. Another longtime favorite in Playa because the atmosphere is so chill.  This is a great place for a weekend breakfast or brunch. Here is a link to their website

Shopping on 38th Street

Beyond its culinary delights and vibrant street life, 38th Street in Playa del Carmen unveils a shopping haven that beckons with the allure of authentic Mexican craftsmanship. Two standout stores take center stage in this retail adventure, offering a window into the region’s rich artisanal heritage. One store proudly showcases an array of henequen products, a natural fiber native to the Yucatan Peninsula, while the other is a treasure trove of finely crafted hammocks and locally made goods. These shops offer exquisite, handcrafted treasures that make for cherished souvenirs of your time in Playa Del Carmen.

  • Kih. This small boutique has a lot of local products made out of henequen. We have an article here about Kih. Here is a link to their Facebook page as well. For more about the use of this fiber and why it is good to use in our area, see our article here about the use of henequen
  • Hamacamarte. Pretty much as the name sounds, it is a good place to buy quality hammocks and local made products. It is always nice to see what they have in this small boutique store. Here is a link to the website for Hamacamarte

Hamacamarte on 38th Street.
The Hamacamarte Store on 38th Street.

Things to see on 38th Street

Besides being a charming treelined street, it is also a major gateway to the beach. St the end of 38th Street, there is a public beach access. This access is one of the best options for people just wanting to see or visit the beach. There are no public beach clubs by the entrance, these are further south at Mamitas Beach and north with a several options for beach clubs. 

There is a small cenote hidden on 38th Street. It is on the south side of the street about halfway. It is tucked into the wooden deck that fronts a few restaurants. When they built the condo building Terrazas they cleaned up and preserved this little slice of paradise. the cenote is about 10 feet across and about 20 feet deep and is surrounded by cascading plants. 

On the north side of 38th Street by you can find a manmade stream and pools of water between LaBrioche and Piola. 

Places to stay along 38th Street

When it comes to choosing the perfect place to rest your head in Playa del Carmen, 38th Street offers a delightful array of accommodations. Usually, the accommodations found here suit traveler’s preferring a place with a little more quiet but still close to the center. This enchanting avenue is home to a quartet of distinctive lodging options, each presenting a unique slice of paradise. From luxurious beachfront resort that c you in comfort to boutique hotel, and vacation rentals that provide the freedom of a home away from home, 38th Street presents an array of enticing choices. Here are some recommended places to explore for your next trip to enhance your Playa del Carmen experience.

Mahekal Beach Resort

Mahekal is one of the original spaces that were used by people to come and relax in Playa Del Carmen. This resort has retained a lot of the old Playa feel with a smaller scale laid back resort right in the middle of Playa Del Carmen. To see what a stay is like here, see our article and video about Mahekal Beach Resort

Hotel Semilla

One of the first Tulum style chic hotels in Playa that was way ahead of its time. Now the hotel has been surrounded with new, but retains that small, charming feel. Now this hotel is part of the Desigh Hotels

Terrazas Luxury Condos

This is a condo hotel that has good condos, great views and of course good location being on 38th Street. Here is a link to their website. 

Miranda Condos

This is another condo building on 38th that has a unique look and are popular with readers. 

Miranda Condos
Here you can see La Vagabunda Restaurant in front of the Miranda Condos on 38th Street.

Other exploring in Playa Del Carmen

If you like getting out to explore the colorful and vibrant Playa Del Carmen, be sure to check out our guide to 5th Avenue. We also have a detailed video guide to what the best things are to see. 


LaBrioche Playa Del Carmen
LaBrioche on 38th Street in Playa Del Carmen. On the left you can see the Mae Thai Restaurant. 

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