Lil Bucks-Approved Eats in Tulum

I just took a quick vacay from Chicago winter and went down to Tulum with a group of girls for a long weekend. Beach relaxin’, warmth, cenotes (deep water-filled sinkholes, like caves!!), Mayan ruins, tacos and smoothies. And gawking at the prices of some of the eco-chic hotels and boutiques along the beach. It’s definitely a resort town more than an authentic Mexican town but nevertheless worth the visit! And you can explore the town to get more of the Mexico feel. I had the best time!!

The FOOD is the first thing I think of with this trip. Given our big group (5 girls) we tried tons of different places where we could share plates and get a taste for everything!! I am not a huge eater so sometimes this was a struggle hah, but I must say every thing we ate was AMAZING.

I wanted to share some of the top healthy cafes/restaurants in Tulum that we visited. This is not a top tacos list, but please note most places had amazing tacos and there are plenty of lists on that! Basically everywhere you eat will be delish, but if you’re looking for a nice juice, smoothie, veggies, or breaky, here’s what I’d say:

Acai bowl from Matcha Mama

1. Smoothies, Reishi Latte & Swings at Matcha Mama

Okay, this place is so gringo (owned by someone in LA), but whatever. IT’S SO GOOD. The Mamacita smoothie was the group fave, and I loved their reishi cacao latte – got it almost every day! Also smoothie bowls, superfood bites (in matcha and cacao, the Lil Bucks flavors!!). I went nuts here.

2. Breaky & Juice at The Real Coconut

Aaaaand another American-owned (LA again) cafe inside the gorgeous Sanara resort. This is a great place to come have breaky and spend the day. Saw a bunch of people catching up here, posting up with a journal, and coming for a feed after a yoga class. This was def the best cold-pressed juice I had in Tulum, and we had a lotttt of juices. They also had a reishi type of latte, I enjoyed it but TBH the Matcha Mama one was a bit better. Great savory breakfast items here too.


3. Veggies, Dinner & Vibes at Gitano

A dinner spot! This place has the MOST VIBES of anywhere in the universe. Incense, the building built around trees (indoor/outdoor), a disco ball, candlelit everywhere, art, plants, cool mirrors… it’s also huge. And the food + drinks are juuuuust amazing. There were good fish/veggie options here. We had spiced asparagus under a cauliflower mash and that ended up being one of my fave bites of the whole trip. Who would’ve thought.


4. Juice & Italian at Posada Margarita

You’ll randomly see a lot of Italian in Tulum – this is regarded as the best place, and it’s on the beach so you could buy some food to get a bed at the beach for a bit! I ordered a beet ginger juice and it came in the largest jug ever… and it was so smoooooth. Highly recommend for the juice. I didn’t have room to eat much of the Italian but it was all handmade pastas and looked amazing. The best part, though, might be the LUSH walk through a beautiful garden to get to the restaurant!


5. Coffee at Nest

This place is ‘grammed by celebs left and right, but worth strolling off the beach to hang out at the restaurant on the beach and have a drink or coffee. We didn’t stay for food but I must say the coffee I got there was the best I had in Tulum. It was PERFECT!!


6. Breakfast at Tunich

This is one of the first breaky spots you see when you hit the beach area. We biked here for breakfast after seeing the Mayan Ruins, about a 15 min bike ride. They had an insane french toast for a little indulgence, good juice + smoothies, kombucha, and apparently the breakfast burrito was incredible. It’s nice because this place isn’t as expensive as the others hah. We met a super cute Canadian couple who had breakfast here literally every day. The staff was super sweet too! Good vibes all around.


7. Raw Desserts & Smoothie Bowls at Raw Love

This place is located in a beautiful garden right by the beach. I loved the chocolate raw cake! I’m pretty picky when it comes to my smoothie bowls (and helloooo I want Lil Bucks in it) and I preferred the Matcha Mama smoothies, but this place was nevertheless a wonderful spot 🙂


8. Massage at Shantala Boutique Spa

Lastly, not food, but I must say – the massage at this spa in town was one of the best of my life, and half the price of the ones on the beach. The spa is def hole-in-the-wall vibes, but the staff were so sweet. An hour deep tissue massage cost about $60 with tip!

If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, two of my friends did 90-min clay massages at the Mayan Clay Spa by the beach and I believe it was about $150 – better value than a lot of other places they found and it seemed magical! You get massaged in your own little hut.


Anyways, hope that inspires some healthy vibes in your travels or life at home! Let me know if you hit any of these up when you go, would love to hear what you think!! Xx

Greetings From Oaxaca + Lil Bucks Update

Hi friends!

Emily here – the founder of Lil Bucks. I decided to start posting more on the website to give you insight into the Lil Bucks journey, more information about Lil Bucks and the ingredients, and recipes of course!!

Writing from Oaxaca City, Mexico today. Things have been busy, launching on Amazon and working on some exciting new things coming up (updated packaging…  more products on Amazon… limited edition flavors…!! ). I also still freelance full-time to fuel the Lil Bucks hustle (…and my need for RXBAR peanut butter packs and acai bowls and paying rent and workout classes etc ?).

Yeah, technically Lil Bucks is still a “side hustle”, but the hours spent on this biz every week are really creeping up. ? Lil Bucks is #1 in my heart (after bf and family), and I have so many ideas to spread the Lil Bucks love and make your experience better, get into more stores, add more flavors… These ideas dominate my mind and I intend to make it all happen.

Amidst the craziness, my weeklong trip to Mexico with my Aussie friends really snuck up on me. I was so stoked to see them again (it’s been 1.5 years since I moved from Sydney!) but thinking about everything I wanted to do for Lil Bucks, using my free time to travel almost seemed like a waste of time (GASP I’ve never said that – but I did say “almost”).

Any pre-trip anxiety ended the moment I landed. It’s so good to take a step back and peek into another world, just chill out. As a cultural mecca, the “food capital” of Mexico, and its epic location surrounded by mountains, Oaxaca is the perfect place for that (and it’s warm – missed the first Chicago snow ?).

On the flight over I also made a gameplan for when I get back. Just before leaving, I helped FroyoToFitness design and launch this EPIC 6-week challenge guide (it’s seriously so awesome), and her planning, passion and action really inspired me to do the same. So, when I get back later this week, expect some exciting things to come before the end of the year. Bear with me as Lil Bucks evolves as I’m sure I’ll test + fail on some things.

In the meantime, comment below or DM @lovelilbucks and let me know any ideas of things you’d like to see Lil Bucks do, an event we should attend, or stores/cafes we should reach out to. In the first half of 2019, I’d also like to start a Brand Ambassador program – if you’re interested, fill out this quick form so you’ll be the first to know.


– Em, founder, Lil Bucks