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Mexico restaurants

Cast aside your preconceptions when approaching Mexico's restaurant scene: It's far more exciting than your average taqueria. Chefs in Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and Acapulco blend international, regional, and pre-Hispanic ingredients and techniques, creating an ever-evolving nouvelle Mexican cuisine. Check out Izote and Aguila y Sol in Mexico City and chef Thierry Blouet's Café des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta for innovative fare, and look for cafés around any city's main plaza or historic center for authentic Mexican regional dishes.

Indeed, there is no such thing as "Mexican food," given the variety of regional differences: In the Yucatán, seafood is baked in banana leaves; in Zihuatanejo, it's wrapped in corn tortillas to make fish tacos. In Acapulco, chefs use a sweetish cocktail sauce in their ceviches instead of the simple lime and cilantro marinade used elsewhere. Look for posole (a hominy stew) on the Pacific Coast and cochinita pibil (marinated pork) on the Caribbean. Be sure to sample at least one dish prepared with traditional mole, a concoction containing Mexican chocolate, cinnamon bark, nuts, seeds, several types of chiles, and often raisins. Most restaurants in tourist areas use purified water for food preparation. If you're wary, stick with fully cooked dishes.

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¡Que Fresco!, Tulum

Worship the sunset with a frosty margarita while nibbling on feather-light chips with lime-infused salsa. Segue to shrimp rubbed with achiote (a pungent...more

see the Riviera Maya guide
Editors' Pick
Aioli, Cancún

Chef José Mejia has given the Méridien's formal Mediterranean restaurant some nouvelle Mexican flair, adding dishes like sea bass ceviche marinated in...more

see the Cancún guide
Editors' Pick
Alaia, Mexico City

Fish is an afterthought at many restaurants in Mexico City—not a surprise, as the capital city is hundreds of miles from either ocean. Chef José...more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
Baikal, Acapulco

Though it's been around a few years, the cliff-top Baikal has a continually hip vibe as well as a consistently excellent menu. Just getting to the dining...more

see the Acapulco + Zihuatanejo guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Bar La Esquina, Baja California

A hot spot for surfers, supermodels, and the generally hip, Bar La Esquina, a Mexican–Mediterranean restaurant inside the Bahia Hotel, is more than just a...more

see the Baja California guide
Editors' Pick
Biko, Mexico City

This place is above the competition—literally. To reach it, you take a private elevator from the row of high-end restaurants that cuts through the mostly...more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
Breakfast Cafés, San Miguel de Allende

In-the-know expats congregate for morning meals at Café de la Parroquia (11 Jesús; 52-415-152-3161) and El Correo (23 Correo; 52-415-152-4951). The...more

see the San Miguel de Allende guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Café des Artistes, Puerto Vallarta

Chef Thierry Blouet's multiroom fantasia, Café des Artistes, is the fanciest restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, with some fancy prices to match. From the...more

see the Puerto Vallarta guide
Editors' Pick
Casa Allende, San Miguel de Allende

The jury's still out on star chef Eduardo Osuna's elegant San Miguel restaurant. It's certainly well dressed, with several dining rooms filled with linen-draped...more

see the San Miguel de Allende guide
Editors' Pick
Casa Rolandi, Isla Mujeres

If you can't take the time for a complete escape on Isla Mujeres, sail to serene Casa Rolandi aboard the Cocoon I for a leisurely Italian lunch or sunset...more

see the Cancún guide
Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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