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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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Hotel Photo
Casianos Restaurant, San José del Cabo

Like the clientele, dishes come in pairs at Casianos, a hot date spot in San José del Cabo. Chef Casiano Reyes's one-night-only, multicourse menus could...more

see the Baja California guide
Editors' Pick
Cetli, Tulum, Mexico

Chef Claudia Pérez Rívas could easily challenge the competition in Mexico City or L.A., but she'd rather grind cinnamon in her metate in a serene...more

see the Riviera Maya guide
Editors' Pick
Chamonix, San Miguel de Allende

Chef Ana Lilia Galindo serves up a globe-spanning menu in Chamonix's hearth-warmed dining room and on the candlelit patio. There's a cozy, homey dining room...more

see the San Miguel de Allende guide
Editors' Pick
Club Grill, Cancún

The swank, sophisticated Club Grill at the Ritz-Carlton seems utterly out of place in Cancún. A charming manager leads you to your seats, where crystal...more

see the Cancún guide
Editors' Pick
Cocina 38, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Chef Juan Diego Solombrino's infectious grin and playfulness shine through his creations: Risotto with fennel, chorizo, and calamari; tuna tartare with mescal...more

see the Riviera Maya guide
Editors' Pick
Coconuts, Zihuatanejo

Ask around: Everyone in Zihua will tell you to come to this restaurant. It's housed in the city's oldest building, the Inguaran family's 1865 hacienda, which...more

see the Acapulco + Zihuatanejo guide
Editors' Pick
Contramar, Mexico City

Star restaurateur Gabriela Cámara's "beach food" shack in Colonia Roma is casually decorated to remind you of a palm-thatched palapa. The menu, though,...more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
D.O., Mexico City

The name brings to mind all sorts of things, but it's really an abbreviation for denominación de origen, or the official region from which a particular...more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Daiquiri Dick's, Puerto Vallarta

The name is tacky, but the lobster tacos are transcendent at Daiquiri Dick's, a palapa restaurant right on Los Muertos beach in Puerto Vallarta. Tissue-thin...more

see the Puerto Vallarta guide
Editors' Pick
Damiana, San José del Cabo

Damiana is named after a Baja desert herb that is used as an aphrodisiac, and dinner on its romantic outdoor patio might indeed put you in the mood. The...more

see the Baja California 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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