Guy Fieri’s Restaurant -Everything wrong with Playa Del Carmen

Guy Fieri's kitchen and bar Playa Del Carmen

Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar Playa Del Carmen

The Guy Fieri’s Restaurant has opened in Playa Del Carmen. As we have watched this project progress we have only rolled our eyes because it is the epitome of what Playa Del Carmen does not need. This is another example of investors who do not know Playa Del Carmen and blindly bring Americanism in the tackiest form. This is the reason Americans get a bad reputation in the world, yet many Americans always ask why? So we will spell it out for those who ask.

Bold, brash, unapologetic and overbearing with the pushiness of throwing shiny restaurants, corporate logos and huge, artery clogging food at consumers for a profit. It is the culturally insensitivity that makes this such a glaring example of what Playa Del Carmen should not be about.

This is not Cancun and this is not Any Town USA

What is so glaring with this new restaurant is the contrast between what was here and what is here now. The previous tenant was Yaxche Restaurant, which was a Mayan cuisine restaurant.

We were surprised when the Yaxche Mayan cuisine restaurant closed on Playa Del Carmen’s 5th Avenue. It had been around for years and was one of the only Yucatecan restaurants easily accessible to tourist. Although Yaxche Restaurant was not the best representation of Mayan cuisine, at least it tried and offered guest to Mexico a more regional taste. The storyline here could not be more in your face of what is wrong in Playa Del Carmen.

People come to Playa Del Carmen because it is quaint feeling, slightly chic, international city by the sea with great access to many nearby attractions. While some investors and developers only see $$$$ signs for cashing in on the rapidly developing city, They turn a blind eye to what Playa Del Carmen is and what most people want to see it become. Commercialization usually looks like one thing here, and that is the Hotel Zone of Cancun or a corner of an American shopping mall.

Everyone knows Cancun is not Playa Del Carmen and everyone in Playa usualy says they don’t really like Cancun. The reason in part is because Cancun is tacky, touristy and filled with malls, traffic, and has a different feel. No one really in Playa Del Carmen wants to see Playa become like a Cancun nor like a strip mall in Any Town, USA.

What is the new restaurant like

Guy Fieri’s Restaurant has indoor seating in air conditioning and outside seating. The style is a little like an American Diner and a little like a BBQ restaurant with tattoo art on the walls.

Guy Fieri's Restaurant Playa Del Carmen
Interior of Guy Fieri’s Restaurant.


Guy Fieri's Restaurant Playa Del Carmen
Interior of Guy Fieri’s Restaurant.

This is what they will be serving on the menu at Guy Fieri’s Restaurant

This is a very American style menu no matter how hard they try to sell it as a fusion or homage to Mexican food. Here they have big, fat, high caloric foods. With menu headings like “Flavortown Big Eats” and “Big Bite Burgers“, you know you are in for a full plate of food.

In the photo below you can see the Mac-N-Cheese Bacon Burger. Next to it is a basket of fries. We have to ask “What is going to be next? They bring a deep fryer to your table so you can plop the whole basket of fried food on your plate?”

Guy Fieri's Restaurant Playa Del Carmen
Hamburger with a basket of fries.


Guy Fieri's Restaurant Playa Del Carmen
Sandwich with fries.

Again, the portions let alone caloric content, is out of control here. This is the “Guy’s Cheesecake Challenge” dessert (It is actually larger in person). This is literally half a cheesecake with pretzels, potato chips and hot fudge. If this appeals to you, you will be happy to know that there is a place where they serve a double portion of this dessert, the grocery store. It is called a whole cheesecake.

Guy Fieri's Restaurant Playa Del Carmen
The cheesecake at Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar. Seriously, that is the portion size!

Prices at Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar

  • Appetizers 129-189 pesos.
  • Soups and Salads 79-169 pesos.
  • Wings 179-189 pesos.
  • Tacos 119-139 pesos.
  • Main plates 179-399 pesos.
  • Sandwiches 189-259 pesos.
  • Burgers 219-229 pesos.
  • Desserts 89-149 pesos.
  • Cocktails 229 pesos.  This might seem a bit high since most cocktails range from about 110-180 on 5th Avenue. At Guy Fieri’s you do get to keep the glass though.

Who will eat here at this restaurant

Since this restaurant is smack dab in the middle of 5th Avenue, this will mainly target tourist.  This will mainly be a restaurant where people that have heard of Guy Fieri’s Restaurants before will stop in. They will be comforted to see something familiar and this is a place for people who have no creativity or aptitude to try local restaurants. There will always be tourist who visit different countries only to end up eating at Burger King and McDonalds. Although Guy Fieri’s Restaurant is a step above the afore mentioned fast food joints, it will attract the same mentality of people.

Since there is a portion of locals that do like trying new places and also splurging on comfort foods, there will be some Mexicans that go here, even though a meal will cost more than what most people make in a day.

Our recommendations

We have to say that the BBQ sandwich is very good here and you can taste the smokehouse flavor. The sweetness of the sauce and tender meat are a good combination. The BBQ sandwich was one thing that really stood out and there are other dishes that are good here but the other factors of the Guy Fieri’s Restaurant overshadow them. The fact this is a commercialized restaurant that has in your face American style and food, really takes away from what Playa Del Carmen is. Yes there are many other tacky restaurants and shops that are open in Playa Del Carmen but this one practically is the breaking point.

Time will tell how this restaurant does in Playa Del Carmen. We do think back to American Joes Restaurant which was on 5th Avenue between 38th Street and 40th Street. We cringed every time we passed that restaurant as well. It did not fit into the landscape of Playa Del Carmen. The restaurant was over the top, American, diner style with American food. It was not the location that failed that restaurant, it was the concept. This is evident because Los Hijos restaurant opened in the same spot and is doing very well.

We are not happy to see businesses fail here in Playa Del Carmen. When some concepts fail though, we are pleased. We will give ideas and consultations to any business who asks us. Even if the owners of Guy Fieri’s Restaurant read this and want to know how they can fit in better to the fabric of what makes Playa Del Carmen special, we will be glad to offer suggestions.


Open daily from 11:00am-12:00 midnight.

Where is Guy Fieri’s Restaurant?

Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar is on 5th Avenue and 22nd Street.

For more restaurant reviews, see our Playa Del Carmen Restaurant Guide here. There are hundreds of choices for you.

Have you been to Guy Fieri’s Restaurant in Playa Del Carmen? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

About The Author


  1. I’ll be there tomorrow and coming from the USA I can say this is NOT why I have been coming to Playa! My heart will be broken if I ever see my favorite places on the beaches, 5th Ave and side streets disappear! It’s heartbreaking to see Playa losing some of its charm. I’ll be bringing my sons for the first time and have always imagined showing them a place that I have enjoyed so much!

    • Thanks for your comments Lisa. We will be hard to cover things here and let you know what is going on. Playa is going to grow, there is no doubt about that but we all have a chance to support the things we like. We try to give people options. There really is everything here, from deep cultural tours, to less so cultural activities. We are not a website supported by businesses, so we are able to talk about everything and are not just mentioning the places that can pay for advertisement. There are both small businesses and large that are doing good things and attributing to the community and tourism.

    • Never have I read such a spiteful “review” of a restaurant whose purpose is to bring tasty food in American sized portions to anyone intent in splurging whule vacationing.

      Shameful hit job.

      • Hello Jean

        You will be pleased to know that Guy Fieris Restaurant closed a while back. Evidently it was not what people wanted and we were right about it.

  2. I agree 100% with your general comments, though we haven’t eaten at this restaurant (and likely won’t). I’d like to add a “but” to the assessment however. We’ve found that while 5th Avenue is becoming more and more over bearing, there seems to be a significant number of restaurants opening up off 5th that are owner operated, cheap and excellent: the strip of 34th between 20th & 30th is one example, 10th Avenue is another. So there is hope for those looking for excellent local spots if you are willing to leave 5th Avenue.

  3. Thanks for the straightforward assessment. It is a shame to see Playa losing its charm. The food at such places may be
    plentiful, even palatable, but the concept of more is better is unhealthy and unnecessary.

  4. very well said, I agree with you 100%. I own a local business in Canada, and it is very hard to compete with chains. I have a very strict shop local policy, and I absolutely will continue this frame of mind while in playa. I remember when 5th avenue was a dirt road, and also feeling a little crushed when I saw a Walmart and burger king go up! Progress is good, but at what cost?

  5. Walked buy it several times last week at different hours of the night no more than 3 or 4 tables!
    Tried several places on your restaurant site and enjoyed them all (off of 5th Ave)

  6. Couldn’t agree more! If I wanted this I would of moved to
    Vegas!! Shame! I won’t go! I’ll wait til I’m in Vegas!

  7. We were in Playa last year and have been for the past 6 years. The vibe is dying. Becoming a commercial concrete jungle. Bad Boys gone, mega malls being built. I just wish the government would get their heads out of their asses and realize they are killing Playa.

  8. Well written article and I totally agree. I for one most definitely will NOT be visiting this restaurant when I’m there this winter. Just another example of Americanism taking over Playa. It ranks right up there with that ridiculous mall on 5th with all the American chain stores that took over the charming Calle Corazon, Tommy Hilfiger, tearing down Bad Boys to build some new building, the list keeps going on! So sad

    • Thank you for your comments. We also made comments in our article about the Plaza Calle corazón Building. We think some of our comments have been heard. We will continue to see how Playa developes and write about it.

  9. Our family is from California and has been visiting PDC for upwards of 15 years. The growth over the years as we all know has been amazing to watch. In Sept of this year we noticed the signage for this new restaurant on 5th Ave. I’m sure our reaction was the same as most, “Why?”. This article is correct, we don’t come to PDC for places like this, we come to explore and enjoy what PDC naturally has to offer. Please don’t lump all Americans into the same pot. That’s the only comment in this article that I think isn’t accurate “tacky Americanism”. Like any country, there are people of all types. Guy Fieri has a bold approach to food and I agree it doesn’t belong on 5th Ave in PDC. However, if you met Guy Fieri, you’d be surprised at what a down to Earth nice guy he is. I would imagine this restaurant is more to do with investors not understanding PDC.

    • Hello Chad

      Thanks for your comments. We really like to hear back from our readers. We certainly don’t want to lump all Americans or even the culture into one pot. We meant to refer just to the tacky part of culture that gets exported. We know that the United States is a very diverse country and some of the kindest and most generous people live there. The United States has some amazing culture as well. The food culture, travel shows and more are to be truly respected. We love highlighting the culture of the world and exposing people to what makes this part of the world different. The cultures of the world have so much wisdom and diversity that it is great to learn from all of them. Some cultures can be a bit overbearing or dominate and in our society today, money can talk and promote or push out others that do not have a voice of the know how to get out the message. It is great that Guy Fieri loves food. So do we! We love exploring and tasting new things. We would love to meet him and show him our area of the world. Maybe if he knew it better he would have a better appreciation for it. We are sure that investors have some say in things with this restaurant. We have seem similar restaurants open and close here. We also hope in some way the voice of many will be heard about the way they want to see Playa develop.

  10. Are you f**king kidding me. Every large city has started small. If you don’t like it get the hell out. This is world growth. Cancun was once a small village. Go to Tulum then. The locals here survive on tourism to grow their country. I agree it is sad to see our little towns grow but suck it up. Nothing stays the same. So pull your own stakes and get the f**k out. It is what it is!!@!!

    • The world is growing and there are always more people. Playa Del Carmen and the Riviera Maya are also popular places to live and visit. We are not referring to growth but rather to how things go and how it effect local culture and sustainability. There are many ways cities can grow. Everyone has an opinion as to the direction of growth and to what point is it sustainable and how things effect the quality of life. To some, it might be a good idea to bulldoze the jungle and build factories. Does this mean it is just simply growth and we should accept it?

  11. Still cannot get over losing the only Mayan restaurant in town over that fancy fast food Amercican restaurant!!! Such a shame! 🙁

  12. I personally would not eat here but our two kids may enjoy the food and eat at this new restaurant. Not sure why this restaurant is singled out as over-the-top and does not fit in PDC. If you look around PDC, the over the top brand new Grand Hyatt Hotel and the Thompson Hotel just went up and do they look like they fit in the fishing village of PDC? I am not defending this new restaurant but it’s a restaurant. If it does not attract tourists and locals to dine then it will be short-lived but ease up on the negativity just because it is riding the wave of change in PDC.

    • Hello Claire

      We are always working here at EverythingPlayaDelCarmen but you must be speaking about the Guy Fieri’s Restaurant. You have left a message on our website which is not the site for the Guy Fieri’s Restaurant. You will need to contact them to see if they are open.

  13. Funny…
    I have just (dec. 23rd) returned from Playa del Carmen, but to my opinion Guy Fieri’s is the only reason to ever come back in this hell-hole of a tourist trap….
    I seriously do not understand cities which are proud of collecting an abundance of overpriced souvenirshops with fixed prices and exactly the same cheap sh*t on sale. Fifth Av. is nothing more than this.
    The most annyoying thing are the sad salesmen trying to get you into their shops…one advice: stop it and your “funny” remarks! it’s just a reason to NOT go into your shop and go elsewhere. Second issue: if I want to buy sigars, I’ll certainly DO NOT buy these on the street but in a decent shop with a humidor…

    I thought P.d.C. would have more to offer, I have looked for other interesting things but as it does not even have a decent tourist information point, but only these damned shops, I was glad to get back to my hotel.

  14. Excellent write up. I cannot wait until this restaurant closes. Each time I pass it looks like they are not doing well. Just a few tables out there.

  15. I have been twice. It has the best Caeser salad in Playa. Having said that, I would be happy to patronize this place but it isn’t managed well and will not be around long if they don’t remedy the situation. I like well run restaurants, I don’t care where they originated. I want consistently great food and service. I find both lacking in the majority of Playa restaurants. When it comes to eating, I don’t care about the small fishing village vibe.
    I find the reviews on this site amateurish. This review is a political statement and has little to do with dining. You should add an editorial section to your site; that’s where this “review”, belongs.

  16. I cannot believe how much this restaurant puts into advertising and billboards and yet the restaurant is not that full. This cannot be a money making enterprise.

  17. I could not agree more with your article. I hope that Playa does not get more commercialized and that what makes Playa special shines through.

  18. After watching the TV programme for so long and being an Irish fan my husband and I were so disappointed to see unprofessional staff, bless them they ate in front of customers as if they never got fed or had a break time to enjoy their staff lunch, we were so disappointed we decided not to book our New Years eve event here. Sadly your, Catherinea

  19. I found your website helpful to find some areas to visit away from town while we were in Playa, There was some very helpful advice. I would say that Guy Fieri’s restaurant is only a small example of everything that is wrong with Playa. The last time we visited was 20 years ago and I can only say I’m extremely shocked at the horrible place it has become. All I could hear from people were comments about it seeming like Miami, I haven’t been to Miami but I will now avoid going there. I will also be afraid to talk of the nice Mexican places I have been for fear they could wind up like Playa. After a couple trips down Avenida 5 we were repulsed to spend another minute there. We were displeased with the beaches the crowds and everything about it. I am pretty sure we will never return to this once Idylic town. Sorry that it has become an extension of Florida and a pathetic tourist trap.

    • Hello Tony

      Many share your feelings. If you have not been to Miami, it is much larger and grown so much in the past decade that even if Playa grows a lot more it will never catch up, not that there is a race or anything. Yes the idyllic town is now larger and more commercial. There are other towns that were like Playa was 20 years ago. Not many visit though, and that can be good and bad. Many from small towns commute to work in places like Tulum and Playa for the week and return home on the weekend. These people wind up striving after the same things as they see others have and the charm of the small towns gets littered with used plastic items and the attitudes change. If more people spread out the tourism it could provide jobs in places that are nice to visit and much more money would go to local families and businesses instead of large corporations. We do try to write about many places around Playa that people can visit in an effort for people to discover them and also support them.

  20. I cannot believe this place is still open. They must be loosing a fortune. There are never that many people there and they have spent a fortune on advertising and the building.

  21. The market will sort it out. It’s just another burger place that sells over priced items but with better marketing.
    Love to listen to the Canadians talk about him, they call him Gee.

  22. I have to say that this restaurant advertises everywhere and I wonder how they make any money. I never see it packed in the restaurant. It seems like they have people sitting out front just to fill seats.

  23. One restaurand does not make a 1000+ restaurant community a disaster.
    Face it, Playa del Carmine has become a tourist trap for cruise ships. Thats the problem. I first came to Playa in 1985 to ferry to Cosumel to scuba dive. The population was about 1000. We all know Playa will never be that town again. Forget it. The area has grown too large for you to be singling out one restaurant as not Playa acceptable. We like the international quisine. There is plenty of really good Mexican restaurants. Some are pretty tacky. Are they Playa acceptable? If you are a purist and stop everyone who wants to open a money making restaurant, buy the town. See how that goes. I would like to know more about how the cartels are running their protection business. That’s the real Mexico of today.

  24. I am so glad this place closed! They had pumped so much money in advertising and even expanding the patio out to 5th Avenue. The food was horrible and for fat tourist to get even fatter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.