We recently returned from the PDC area, below is a brief food report:
Generally we ate well. We focused almost exclusively on Mexican food and more local spots. We had a rental car and used it every night to head out to dinner. Among the better/best meals we had,
Los Aguachiles - seafood. We went twice. Excellent shrimp and fish tacos. Outstanding tuna tostadas, prepared a couple of ways. Nearly as good as the tuna tostada at Contramar in DF, and those are the best we have ever had. We ordered a side dish of beans, I thought they would be like charros, but the dish that came had some shredded meat in it. Served with chips and small pieces of chicharron. Very, very good. We had Anna as a waitress and she was excellent. Inexpensive.
El Fogon - tacos. Fogon is well known, essentially an institution. Across the street from La Mega, located "on the street." Always crowded. Open till about 4 in the morning. Great tacos al pastor, grilled local scallions, queso fundido with mushrooms or other add ins. Good, quick service. A truly magnificent slow cooked bean soup, with small pieces of ham. Very good flan. Inexpensive.
Axiote - updated traditional Mexican. The chef focuses on using traditional ingredients and using those in traditional recipes. The food is very good. Excellent guacamole and "artisanal" chips served with an assortment of 3-4 home made salsas. The salsas were excellent. A great pork dish slow cooked in a sauce similar to a mole. Very good cochinita pibil tacos. Good grilled chicken with a pipian salsa. Service was good but on the slow/confused side.
El Diez - Argentine. Knowing the popularity of Argentine steakhouses in Mexico we chose El Diez for dinner. There are a number of parillas in PDC. El Diez was good. Good empanadas and chimichurri, the steak was good, the entrana was the best option probably. The provoleta too was good. Its not a parilla you would find in BAires - but for PDC likely a good option.
There is also a good and fast evolving food scene in Tulum but we only had lunch in the area, at a couple of beach clubs.
We had wanted to try El Faisan y El Venado, for traditional food of the Yucatan, especially their cochinita pibil, but the restaurant closes somewhat early (about 9 pm) in the evening, so will have to visit another time.
We found, again, an inverse relationship between "luxury dining" and what we were looking for. Indeed, the one "luxury/upscale" spot we tried we walked out of after tasting a couple of appetizers and the margaritas. In PDC, as we have found in most every Mexican resort area, we have always done much better and are happier going local, particularly if you like and appreciate Mexican food.