Located just north of Plaza Kulkucan next to La Distrileria at km 12.5 is La Habichuela Sunset. The food is every bit as good as downtown and the setting and service is magnificent. It is a do not miss restaurant for those looking for fine dining in the hotel zone. And the prices were competitive with the other better hotel zone restaurants. Not only did we have a great dinner there, we spoke to others who related similar experiences. We will return next year.
Dec 21, 10, 8:00 pm
I think that 'sunset' is not part of the restaurant name, is this the place you went? www.lahabichuela.com/english/index_content.html
By the way, what did you have? (helps with a review of a restaurant :) )
Dec 21, 10, 8:53 pm
The original La Habichela is downtown Cancun and quite lovely. La Habichuela Sunset is the same family but located in the Hotel Zone. While I haven't been to Sunset, I imagine the food would be just as good.
La Habichuela downtown has a lovely garden and atmosphere, but if you are not familiar with the bus to get downtown and then walk to the restaurant which goes past a church and park, you would have to take a taxi.
You can get to Sunset easily on a Hotel Zone bus.
I have had a number of dishes there over the years and a particular favorite is the Dover Sole. We have never had a bad meal there.
Another great restaurant in the Hotel Zone is La Dolce Vita. Going on 30 years, we visit every trip. The food is amazing - Italian!
Dec 22, 10, 5:55 am
Sunset is part of the name and is used to distinguish between it and the downtown restaurant. The food there is every bit as good as downtown. Located in the hotel zone on the Lagoon, the setting is particularly striking at sunset.
Dec 22, 10, 11:58 am
thanks for the explanation gdeluca & mshaikun , I think we'll go to the downtown location, I usually try to get out of the hotel zone of anyplace I'm traveling, even though I stay in the hotel zone.
Dover Sole in Mexican cooking? A good fish no doubt, I would have thought snapper.
Dec 22, 10, 12:33 pm
I know, right? Strange indeed but delicious. They do have specialties. The only thing I didn't care for was the lobster.
For a true Mayan dinner, the folks that own La Habichuela bought the restaurant literally right next to the downtown location. I forgot the name. We tried it last year and the Tik a chic (spelling?) is fish wrapped in banana leaf with Mayan spcies (not hot spice). Absolutley amazing! Prices there were more reasonable.
Dec 22, 10, 3:11 pm
The only thing I didn't care for was the lobster..if spiney lobster (southern/Caribbean waters), I agree, it is never as sweet or tender as Maine (NE coast) lobsters. For a true Mayan dinner, the folks that own La Habichuela bought the restaurant literally right next to the downtown location. I forgot the name..Labna? www.labna.com
Dec 22, 10, 3:49 pm
That's it! Labna :D
Jan 2, 12, 10:26 am
well despite our good intentions for our trip in Dec 2010, we never went to either restaurant, but on our recent trip in Dec 2011, we did go downtown twice to dine at both La Habichuela and Labná.
While I have few doubts that La Habichuela is one of the most beautiful & romantic restaurants in all of the Cancun area (hotel zone included), the food is far from memorable.
Our meal at La Habichuela: www.lahabichuela.com
Normally we would have tried at least one ceviche dish but seeing as we had enjoyed fresh made ceviche each day of our trip to this date (sometimes more than once per day) we steered clear of the ceviche offerings at La Habichuela.
We started with the Soft shell Crabs (Deep fried served with avocado and tortilla for a fine taco) and the Cuitlacoche Crepes (An authentic Mexican delicacy in Hollandaise sauce). The soft shell crab tacos were ok, nothing special. I adore Cuitlacoche or Huitlacoche (a fungus that grows on corn) and have had numerous delicious dishes with it, but I knew the Hollandaise sauce would be too rich/much for the crepes so asked for it on the side, of course my crepes came drenched in the sauce.:( After scraping the sauce off as much as possible, the crepes were tasty. I believe the cuitlachoche could have been used in a better menu item.
For our mains we had the GROUPER SUPREME (Fish Fillet Stuffed with Lobster in Guava Sauce) and the Giant Shrimp in a Tamrind sauce. Grouper was overcooked and the sauce was overwhelming, good fresh fish does not need heavy sauces, the fish should be able to shine through. The 'Giant' shrimp (not really, perhaps large shrimp, were meh, nothing special & were overcooked.
After our meal I'd recommend if one is set on going to La Habichuela, I'd stick with fresh grilled/simple preparations, you'll pay through the nose for items you can get just as well prepared/high quality at local eateries elsewhere (for a fraction of the price) but I can certanly understand the bonus/romantic points awarded for taking one's sig other to this location.
Our meal at Labná: www.labna.com
Started with Beef Tostadas (Marinated shreded beef, on crisp corn tortillas, with guacamole sauce) and Lime Soup (Chicken broth with aromatic local limes), both were delicious !! The beef tostadas were a surprise as they were served cool, we had expected a warm preparation. The lime soup was wonderful, very aromatic with lots of citrus.
For our mains we had the Turkey in Escabeche (Turkey, roasted and then grilled , seasoned with traditional condiments, and covered with onions pickled in vinegar with laurel, oregano and mild chili x’catic) and a 'tour of mayan cuisine' dish (sorry I forget the name). The turkey was very good/excellent, perhaps slightly overcooked (at least the shredded breast pieces were) but because they were served in a delicious broth, all was ok.
Again sorry I forget the exact name of my dish but my "tour of Mayan cusine" included one large piece of Poc Chuc (Grilled marinated strip of pork with local condiments and served with sour Yucatecan orange, chili/tomato sauce), two Papadzules (Corn tortillas stuffed with boiled eggs bathed in pumpking seed sauce) and a single Longaniza de Valladolid (Yucatecan smoked pork sausage, seasoned with mayan spices). The Poc Chuc was delicious, the Papadzules were savory good and the Longaniza de Valladolid was meh (would probably have been much better if they had not overgrilled/burnt it).
Labná was far more the style/cuisine of restaurant we prefer. I wish we had tried Labná two nights and skipped La Habichuela.
Jan 7, 12, 9:23 pm
Sweet Willie tells it as it is. We did dinner there New Year's eve and the setting and service were excellent, the food so so.It no longer is on our must do lists.
But a new Cancun restaurant is --Fred's. It is a seafood restaurant across from the Marriott and it was fabulous. They tried to seat us indoors and when we said outdoors they said that it was very cold outside. Guess it was for the natives. For us it was delightful.
They had every type of seafood imaginable, cooked to perfection. Place has been open less than a year. It also had beef but we stayed with the seafood.
Nearby was Katsu-Yu. Japanese and also excellent. It too is just a year or so old. Best Japanese Restaurant we've been to in a while. The service was excellent except that they brought our main courses out before the appetizers. Seems hot and cold were served from different sides of the restaurant! A quick recovery though was made and the rest of the meal service was perfect.
Jan 9, 12, 12:01 pm
They had every type of seafood imaginable,
My imagination is more robust than yours.
Jan 9, 12, 12:11 pm
My imagination is more robust than yours.
I bet it is. they had a nice selection of locally caught fish and a smattering of other fish. Their catch of the day included snapper, grouper and one or two other species.
The presentations were excellent and the fish were there on ice as you walked in. They looked clear eyed and very fresh although my wife would not let me get close enough to sniff!!!
It is well worth a try next time you are in Cancun.
Jan 19, 12, 4:47 pm
For Mayan food ask for "cochinita pibil" (port), sopa de lima (lime soup, mmm!), fish (sometimes chicken) "tikin xic" (teekeen sheek, meaning "dry fish" in Mayan) with achiote paste and bitter orange, poc chuc ("poke chuke" like barbecued pork, solbutes, panuchos , papadzules (pop-uhd-ZOOL-ess, like tacos with hardboiled egg with pumpkin seed and tomato), etc.
As we say very colloquially, ˇa todo mecate!
Feb 11, 12, 11:40 am
Going to Cancun next week and was wondering if reservations are recommended at any of these restaurants. I generally don't like being pinned down to a eating time while on vacation but I'd rather not wait an hour to be seated.
Feb 12, 12, 10:47 pm
Jeeves, I was in Cancun earlier this month. I merely asked my concierge to make a reservation for us as we walked out of the hotel, and had no problem at La Habichuela Sunset, which was a 20 minute bus ride. We tended to eat late, though, after 8 PM. But if you're going to try Peter's Restaurant, which is my favorite, you definitely want reservations because the dining room is intimate and fills up. Fortunately we had no problem getting a 9 PM booking there, although earlier slots were busy. It was worth the wait. :) Enjoy your trip!
Feb 13, 12, 11:21 pm
Thanks for the recommendation of Peter's Restaurant. Kind of seems funny that some of the favorites in Cancun are named Fred's and Peter's.
Feb 16, 12, 10:04 am
You're welcome, Jeeves. I hope you make it to Peter's because it may soon become more difficult to obtain a reservation.
The following comment was posted today on TripAdvisor for Peter's Restaurant: "While we were there there was a professional camera crew from American Travel doing s segment on the restaurant. If you are in Cancun and you miss this restaurant you should castigate yourself repeatedly and then return to Cancun to visit it."