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A wide range of dining options spanning Mexican, American, European, and Asian cuisines dot Cancún's Hotel Zone and downtown, with some of Mexico's top restaurants located right here. Restaurants divide into roughly three categories: expensive and international in resort hotels; independent establishments along the lagoon (with great sunset views); and inexpensive Mexican eateries in El Centro (Cancún City). One cheap, reliable Mexican chain in the Hotel Zone serving tasty meals, including breakfasts, is Vips, across from the Convention Center. The establishments listed below are typically locally owned, one-of-a-kind restaurants or exceptional selections at area hotels. Many schedule live music. Unless otherwise indicated, parking is free.

One unique way to combine dinner with sightseeing is aboard the Lobster Dinner Cruise (tel. 998/849-4748; www.thelobsterdinner.com). Cruising around the tranquil, turquoise waters of the lagoon, passengers feast on steak and lobster dinners accompanied by wine. Cost is $89 per person for the surf-and-turf menu. The two daily departures are from the Aquatours Marina (Bulevar Kukulcán 6.5). A sunset cruise leaves at 5pm during the winter and 5:30pm during the summer; a moonlight cruise leaves at 8pm winter, 8:30pm summer. Another -- albeit livelier -- lobster dinner option is the Captain Hook Lobster Dinner Cruise (tel. 998/849-4451; www.pirateshipcancun.com), which is similar, but with the added attraction of a pirate show involving two 28m (92-ft.) replicas of 18th-century Spanish galleons, making this a fun choice for families. The steak option costs $90 per person, and the lobster (or steak and lobster) option is $100 per person, including open bar. It departs at 7pm from El Embarcadero at Playa Linda, and returns at 10:30pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.