Some of Playa’s Best Brunch Happens Here
Lisa and Roberto Solombrino are the husband-wife team behind Lara y Luca, one of the best brunch spots in Playa del Carmen. Originally from Guatemala, Lisa and her husband travelled and worked in London and Switzerland before settling in Playa. With the knowledge they acquired along the way, they designed an international menu that’s almost unrivalled anywhere else in town. We talk to Lisa about making a dream a reality and the story behind the restaurant.
Tell us a little about the history of Lara y Luca.
The idea of Lara and Luca had been in our head for about ten years. We spent a lot of time planning on whiteboards, napkins, and pieces of paper, thinking about every detail: the products, the service, the uniforms. We were thinking of what it would be like even when we had nothing at all. The name came about 7 years ago. At that time we only had our daughter, Lara, but also had in mind another name that we liked and that was “Luca.” A year later, Luca was born. We were in Guatemala, the situation was quite complicated for us, and Roberto got a job offer in Playa del Carmen, advising a restaurant. We left our life in Guatemala and came to Playa for Roberto’s job. But we were clear about our goal and that was, at some point, that we were going to open Lara and Luca.
Why did you decide to start a business in Playa del Carmen?
We had already lived in Playa del Carmen, so when we decided to return we knew what we were facing. We thought it would be the perfect place to start Lara and Luca, since it´s a small city but at the same time very dynamic with people who like to travel, eat good food and who value good ingredients and service. In large cities, you do not even know where to start.
Is there a story behind the bicycle in the store sign?
When we started thinking about the name of our place, Lara and Luca, and what we wanted to do, we did not have the budget to set it up. We had the idea of starting from our house, creating an online store to sell in the area where we lived, delivering baked goods by bicycle. That’s how the idea of linking a bicycle to Lara and Luca came up. When we came to Playa del Carmen it turns out that the bicycle is an icon in the area, so our logo and Playa del Carmen were meant to be. Apart from that, Roberto was a professional cyclist in Guatemala many years. The bicycle has a special place in our hearts!
What is your favorite activity with visitors to Playa del Carmen?
When we have visitors, we like to go swim in the cenotes, walk along 5th Avenue, and go to beach clubs.
What’s the most beautiful view or sight in the region?
One of my favorite views is the very top of the biggest tower that’s located in the Xplor Park. You have a great view of all Playa del Carmen, including the beautiful beach.