Updated: Jan 8, 2021
Let's be honest: the most important part of any vacation is the food. Am I right, or am I right? Luckily, the food at Royalton Riviera Cancun's 9 restaurants is out of this world good. If you go hungry, you're definitely doing it wrong. With so many options, it can be hard to know what to order, but here are a few to get you drooling!
Hunter Steakhouse is perhaps the most inconsistently reviewed of Royalton Riviera Cancun's restaurants. Named for the owner of the Blue Diamond Resort brand, you'll find people who love it and people who hate it. We (ok, I) enjoyed the giant plastic bull outside the restaurant, and we were excited because the menu looked incredible. Unfortunately, we didn't have a great experience either time we ate here; the decor in the restaurant means that the atmosphere is incredibly loud. Our recommended dishes here are the French Onion Soup and the Beet and Feta Salad.
Zen has both Hibachi tables and an a la carte menu. Hibachi is a great show, and you'll have your choice of chicken, steak, or salmon (or all three). If you opt for the a la carte, the menu includes both sushi and Asian favorites. Top tip: Ask for a sushi sampler if you're a sushi fan. Our waiter asked the chef to make us this absolutely stunning display of every single sushi item on the menu. It was incredible, and we ate way too much. #noregrets. LOOK AT THAT SUSHI SMORGASBORD.
We also stuffed ourselves with the Butaniku Spring Rolls, Miso Soup, Hibachi Grilled Salmon, Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai, Bussels Sprouts, and Lobster Mashed Potatoes. We don't play around. You shouldn't either. Order it all, friends. Especially the Pad Thai, because I dream about that meal to this day.
Armadillo and Agave might be hard to choose between. Armadillo is Tex Mex, Agave is Mexican. If you want ribs, enchiladas, macaroni and cheese, queso, and corn chowder, go with Armadillo. Favorites here were the corn chowder and the chicken enchiladas.
If you want more traditional Mexican, pick Agave, and ask for a mixed taco trio (fish, beef, and chicken). They'll also bring you a salsa sampler if you can't decide which one you want. Delicious.
Alternatively, if you're Diamond Club - which really, you should be - Armadillo is open for lunch. Or, ask your butler if they'll bring you an order of Agave's tacos. (If you ask nicely and tip well, you'll probably be in luck!)
Grazie is Italian, and open for both lunch and dinner. In multiple trips to multiple Royaltons, I have yet to experience Grazie for anything but lunch. Which they do well. We always order the Calamari, and have also really enjoyed the four-cheese pizza (it's probably got a year’s worth of cheese) and the Pomodoro Pasta with chicken.
Caribbean Grill is also open for both lunch and dinner (and breakfast too, actually). You honestly can't go wrong here, but we liked the lobster and shrimp tacos, jerk chicken wings, fried coconut shrimp, rock lobster tails, Caribbean salmon, ceviche, guacamole, chicken fajitas....basically, everything.
For a quick, easy, delicious breakfast and lunch (and dinner), you want Gourmet Marche, the buffet. It’s HUGE. Seriously, search YouTube for the videos (sorry I don't have any!). We had breakfast here every day, and every day had something different. Choices at both lunch and dinner were everything you could possibly want, and I especially liked the authentic Mexican dishes. They even have a gluten-free section.
Those in the adults-only Hideaway section have access to Dorado for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can even order lunch from your pool chair, or your swim-up if you've got one. Your best lunch bets are ceviche, fish and chips, or the fish sandwich. For dinner, you'll want to request a table by the windows so you can enjoy the view and the breeze. Try the Conch Fritters, Crab Legs, Sea Bass, Fried Calamari and the Ribeye. (Our steak here was much better than in Hunter, FYI.)
If you're anything like me, you live for chicken fingers and french fries, and Royalton DELIVERS. Literally. Room service chicken fingers and fries, ordered through your TV. But be warned - they're a little stingy on the ketchup, so ask for tons. (The burgers and hot dogs are great too, as is the hummus.) For those of you who party all night, the Score Sports Bar is open until 6am. You've got to try the poutine. French fries with gravy and cheese? Ah-mazing. (Also the only place to get beer in more than a pint glass.)
And for those moments when you absolutely must have something sweet, definitely stop in Scoops, the coffee/gelato shop. Every flavor we tried was delicious, but if they have the pistachio absolutely do not miss it.
Now, I tend to make eating as much as possible one of my goals on vacation, but I recognize there's only so much food one person can consume. If you're pressed for time, definitely make sure you get the Jerk Chicken Wings from the Caribbean Grill, the Beet and Feta Salad from Hunter, and, of course, the Pad Thai from Zen.
Have you been to Royalton Riviera Cancun? What are your favorite meals?