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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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Pancho's Backyard, San Miguel, Cozumel

Cheery marimba musicians play trilling tunes during lunch at this downtown courtyard spot, when cruise-ship day-trippers arrive to tuck into fishbowl-sized...more

see the Cozumel guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Paxia Santa Fe

The business district of Santa Fe, with its shopping malls and office buildings, can be disappointingly generic, a Mexico City version of London's Canary Wharf....more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
Pitahayas, Los Cabos

Precious few Cabo restaurants have tables close enough to the sea to feel a salty spray. This Pacific Rim winner is right on the sand, tucked in the Cabo Real...more

see the Baja California guide
Editors' Pick
Pitiona

Rick Bayless calls José Manuel Baños Mexico's "most promising rising star," and the 31-year-old chef delivers, combining traditional flavors with...more

Editors' Pick
Puerto Madero, Cancún

The beautiful people fuel their engines at this Argentine-style beef palace before club-hopping till dawn. It's hard to imagine where those leggy tanned...more

see the Cancún guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Pujol

Chef Enrique Olvera has often been described as being at the vanguard of cocina mexicana, and his restaurant Pujol makes almost every local's short list of the...more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
The Restaurant, San Miguel de Allende

A Moorish-style archway marks the entry into a fabulous dining experience where chef Donnie Masterton uses local ingredients to create elegant, familiar dishes...more

see the San Miguel de Allende guide
Editors' Pick
San Agustín, San Miguel de Allende

Famous for its crisp, sugary churros and hand-whipped chocolate, this popular colonial-era restaurant also serves some mean enchiladas suizas, tortilla soup,...more

see the San Miguel de Allende guide
Editors' Pick
San Ángel Inn, Mexico City

Always packed with regulars, this 17th-century former monastery is where locals take their out-of-town guests. There's nothing trendy here, just black-jacketed...more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Señor Tacombi, Playa del Carmen

Tempted to try the street food but afraid of ghastly gastro repercussions? Head to Señor Tacombi. The once-roving taco operation has put down roots on...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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