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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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Fonda El Refugio, Mexico City

For a memorable meal in the Zona Rosa, think small. Bypass all the tourist traps along streets like Londrés and Genova in favor of this tiny restaurant...more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
French Riviera, San José del Cabo

Chef/owner Jacques Chretien has opened (and closed) other locations around Los Cabos, including a much-loved candlelight, crystal, and linen restaurant in the...more

see the Baja California guide
Editors' Pick
Guido's, San Miguel, Cozumel

Cruise-ship captains and officers hide out at the tree-shaded courtyard tables at this unassuming pizza parlor. Cozumeleños often run into friends at...more

see the Cozumel guide
Editors' Pick
Harry's

Carnivores seeking hunky steaks and courtly service feel right at home amid Harry's expense-account ambience, dry-aged USDA prime beef, and...more

see the Cancún guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Hechizo Tulum, Tulum, Mexico

This secluded spot is well worth the eerie drive down rutted dirt roads and secret paths. Hechizo, which means bewitchment, is run by chef Stefan Schober and...more

see the Riviera Maya guide
Editors' Pick
Izote, Mexico City

In Mexico, it's the women who cook, and it's women who consequently get famous for food. Patricia Quintana, after countless cookbooks and TV appearances, is...more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
John Gray's Downtown

Brilliant underground promoter John Gray has lent his name to yet another buzz-worthy restaurant, this time in downtown Cancún. Hotel concierges barely...more

see the Cancún guide
Editors' Pick
Labná, Cancún

The Pezzotti family has long wooed diners off the strip of the Zona Hotelera and into Cancún's earthier downtown area. Their romantic, stylish La...more

see the Cancún guide
Editors' Pick
La Cabaña de Caleta, Acapulco

Sandy feet and wet swimsuits are de rigueur at the Alvarez family's restaurant on jam-packed Playa Caleta. This is old, old Acapulco, where Mexican families...more

see the Acapulco + Zihuatanejo guide
Editors' Pick
La Casa del Agua, Playa del Carmen

This tasteful aerie overlooking Playa's Fifth Avenue is a welcome escape from the youthful cacophony at street level. In the evening, pierced tin stars glitter...more

see the Riviera Maya 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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