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  • Snow Colbeck

How to Experience Hartwood Restaurant in Tulum, Mexico

If you’ve been to Tulum, Mexico or are planning a visit, chances are you’ve heard of Hartwood Restaurant. Only a quick 5-minute walk from our Mahayana Tulum homes, Hartwood was established in 2010 by two expatriates from New York City. It has quickly become the premier restaurant in the area-- and for good reason. It has been created in the vein of restaurants like Noma; taking on many of its well-known food philosophies but presenting it in a more pastoral way. Food is bought locally, grown organically or foraged. This makes for a difficult challenge serving a plethora of diners every night. The place is open Wednesday through Sunday starting at 6pm and claiming your spot at this famed eatery can be difficult, at best.

What is it that makes Hartwood such a unique place? Their menu marks the expansion of an ever-growing trend in culinary creativity: focus on local and fresh ingredients at all costs. For the team at Hartwood, this means getting inventive with flavors and creating dishes that utilize ingredients which are readily available during any given season.

To further expand on the challenges of the menu, Hartwood's location presents a set of obstacles in and of itself. Situated deep along the main hotel zone of Tulum, the restaurant sits on the jungle side of the road with limited power sources and no space for sophisticated kitchen equipment. Food is cooked only in an enormous wood oven or open grill. While the style of preparation is ancient the flavors are not. Of course, the roasted meats and grilled fish are done to perfection, but there are many surprises to discover on the menu using uncommon ingredients (by North American standards). Salads made from local jicama and flowers, roasted plantains drizzled with Mexican Canela and whimsical agave glazes are just a small taste of the atypical menu served at Hartwood.

Make no mistake, you will not find traditional Mexican food at Harwood. The dishes are locally sourced but categorized as "international" in theme, gaining complexity through the use of new flavor combinations. The atmosphere at Hartwood is very rustic yet charming and with a bustling vibe. Lamps and twinkle lights provide a soft ambiance while tasty cocktails help make up for anything the restaurant lacks in the ways of modern convenience.

Due to the popularity of the restaurant they only accept reservations through their website the month before you want to visit. So if you want to make a reservation for dates in February, you can send them an email at in January to book a time. We assure you it is worth planning ahead to experience this amazing local culinary legend.

If you would like assistance with a reservation we are happy to make a reservation for our Mahayana guests.

Mahayana Tulum Beach Homes is a collection of exclusive beachfront villas in Tulum, Mexico.

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