Whether you are new to this area of Mexico or you are a returning expat, below I have listed some wonderful spots to check out around the area. I think you will be amazed at what all is available and how wonderful these places are. Enjoy!
*** In Barra De Navidad ***
Banana’s Great place to go for breakfast! Besides it having an amazing view of the ocean, the food is D-E-L-I-S-H! I personally recommend getting the breakfast burrito –which includes eggs, bacon, beans, cheese, avocado, and salsa. To get there, go to Hotel Barra and go up the stairs. Price range -$$ moderate.
Barra Galeria de Arte & Restaurant More or less one of the newer additions to Barra, and a GREAT one! Not only is this where Robert showcases his FABULOUS photography, but also where Rosy creates delicious plates! And… to boot, this year they have added a nice little Tequilaria located in the back of the joint. –Where Robert has a nice little stash of high-quality tequila :). If you treat him well, he’ll treat you well with some really smooth stuff. Located down the block some from Hector’s Bar towards the Sand’s Hotel, just on the right. Price range -$$ moderate.
Cabo Blanco –A hotel located at the entrance of the first and second canal streets. And… recently, open to the public –YEAH! …Because, it is a wonderful spot to go mid-day to later-afternoon. Grab some friends, take a little dip in the pool -maybe even take up on some water-volleyball, and grab a delicious beverage and a bite to eat. I personally love the jalepeno poppers 😉 Price range: -$$ moderate.
Casa De Abuela Nothing is much more relaxing than hanging out at one of the tables on a Saturday morning drinking an ok cup of jo. Lorena, the lady who runs the place is quite the host to what seems to be the popular spot to hang. If you don’t feel at home, you’ll definitely feel like you are on the set of Cheers –cause everyone knows your name. –Just located on the main strip headed towards the malecon, on the left. The building is orange and green. Price range -$$ moderate.
Cundi’s OK, hands-down the BEST tacos around. The only thing is is that it’s a morning joint. Yep, that’s right! So… if you like your taco in the morning, you definitely need to go. Well actually, even if you are not, you should go anyway, and you might find yourself to be a morning-taco-person. Manuel is the guys name -Cundi, and he serves up a variety of tacos, which include; frijoles, rajas, championes w/ or w/out pollo, pollo, carne de res, adobada, pastor, chichurron, fish, and shrimp. He also offers coffee, agua fresca, and pop. To find him, head down the main road, take a left where the buses take a left, and he is on the right –at a cart. He is awesome! Price range -$ low.
Cocina Economica Paola This place is my go-to for lunch. Besides being right around the corner from me, it is by far the easiest, cheapest, and tastiest places to grab a full meal. Paulina offers an array of dishes, anywhere from: huevos con machaca, pollo con mole, albondigas soup, carne de res, etc. Price range -$ low.
Dos Soles In addition to the traditional taco and quesadilla, Dos Soles offers Chile Rellenos, Carne en Su Jugo, and… they even have a salad on the menu. Located on the main road into town, on the right, right before you get to the Hotel Alondra. Price-range -$$ moderate.
El Manglito Owned by Manuel and Norma, two fabulous people –whom I’ve come to know pretty well over the years. Anywho… they offer the BEST seafood dishes in our little pueblo. Just located near the water taxis. *Also, their restaurant is the place to be -during any fishing tournaments. …Because, it is where they weigh the fish and serve it, too. Price range -$$ moderate.
Friend’s Sushi OK, so maybe it’s not quite what it is like in the States or Canada, but… it definitely hits the spot for your sushi craving. Usually open pretty early, like around noon or so, and goes pretty late. –Not sure what day it is that they are closed, but I will find out. If you haven’t already tried it and you want to, it is located right before the Kiosko as you enter town, just on the left side. Price range -$$ moderate.
La Azotea Once used to be —The Bar To Go To, back in the day -you might remember. Ok, so it’s not quite the busiest place anymore …but it is still one of my favorite bars to go to now. It’s got a mellow atmosphere, nice drinks, great waitstaff, a pool table, and well… it is quite enough so you can hang with your friends and chat. Price range -$$ moderate.
La Palapita Ok, this one… My favorite place for salads and steak!!! ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! If you haven’t gone, you must go. It is located just down the street perpendicular to Casa De Abuela. Price range -$$ moderate.
Loco Loco For FABULOUS pizza and lovely ambiance in Barra, you’ll definitely want to try out Loco Loco; owned and operated by my friend’s Mara and Alesandro. It was previously located upstairs near the BIG Perota tree, but now….. resides in the old Los Arcos building, another fabulous location! Price range -$$ moderate.
Marlena’s Ok, once located ocean-front, is not anymore, but don’t let that get you down, the NEW location is great and has wonderful ambiance! Located as you enter the town of Barra, just on your left, besides the beer store and Friend’s Sushi. Marlena’s menu is big –just like the new space, and offers a variety of wonderful dishes. One that my husband and I love to get is the Arrachera –a delicious steak! Price range -$$ moderate.
Miriams Another bad-ass place for some quick, easy, and cheap tacos. There they serve both tacos and quesadillas with your choice of carne de res, pollo, chorizo, frijoles, championes, and/or rajas. Located on the left side of the street right before the BIG Perota tree by the Fish Co-Op. Price range -$ low.
Pizzeria Ivette One of the long-standing favorites around town! Not the traditional pizza most of us know, but definitely good! Thinner crust meets mexican-style = Fun and Fantastic!!! Also, they deliver….. To call an order in, the phone number is 355.5918 Price range -$ low.
Rinconcito One of the best taco joints around town in the evening. Along with serving tacos, quesadillas, and carne asada, they serve a mean stuffed potato with a variety of fixings. I personally love this spot just for its amazing variety of salsas. To go to this spot, just head to the square and it is located on the NE corner of it. For those of you not to familiar with direction, it is across the street from La Bruja and 3-4 stores down towards the ATM machine. Price range -$ low.
Señor Froy’s Hands-down…… one of the best and most consistent restaurants in town. Open pretty much daily from late afternoon to late evening, Froy and his staff serve the BEST fajitas around, and at a great price! Not to boot, his place is charming and his customer service is impeccable! Definitely want to give this place a try. Located after the Oxxo coming into town, take the first left, midway down the street, on the right-side. Price range -$$ moderate.
Simon’s Restaurant & Bar In history’s past, Simona had a great restaurant in the Hotel Alondra (you may remember), now years later, she has re-opened. With an AMAZING NEW menu and ideal location –Located in the old …Marlena’s Restaurant, under Casa Chips, Simona is at it again. So if you can, check out a beautiful sunset, and enjoy a nice meal 😉 Price range -$$ moderate.
Tacos Ramos A bomber spot for pastor tacos. However, if pastor is not your thang, Efren and his family make other wonderful items. Located on the main road going into the barrio, on the left (before you get to Pelayos). Price range -$ low.
Tacos El Pastorcito You might also know of this place as the pastor place on the corner near the bus stop. Or… you might just be familiar with Jorge, the big jovial kid who really runs the place -GREAT! Here, they serve a variety of dishes. But… my favorite and a favorite to a lot of other peeps, is the Chop Suey (and… NO it is not asian) …but, it is DELICIOUS! It is a plate that comes with a pile of chopped beef, pastor, bacon, veggies, and cheese. –Served with your choice of corn or flour tortillas hand-made and quite the spicy salsa on the side. Price range -$ low.
*** In Melaque ***
La Oficina A great place to go to unwind in the evening. Not only does Aaron serve wonderful food, including a mean hamburger, he has a full bar. It’s great to go with a few friends and shoot the shit or a little pool. And… some nights he offers LIVE music. Price range -$$ moderate.
Mariscos Hermanos Rubi All I got to say is -nothing is better than a few surimi or marlin tostadas after an afternoon surf session… and add a cool and refreshing beverage to wash it down –pure bliss! If you haven’t already, at some point you must try out this place. It has a LOT of items on the menu and at great prices. In fact, you can get completely full and totally satisfied for just $50 pesos. Not totally located in the heart of Melaque, but rather in-between Melaque and Barra on 200 across from the V.I.P. Price range -$ low.
Patio’s Just recently, this restaurant was introduced to me from a friend of mine. I have to say, …it is right up there as one of my favorite places for breaky. Located just across the street from the bank is where you will find it. And… don’t be afraid to enter, because… right inside is a wonderful little patio to hang out in. It’s so damn cozy –you could stay for hours. Also, they have a tremendous menu! Plus, there coffee is pretty good for these parts. And… the quantity of food that you get is incredible! Price range -$$ moderate.
Vainilla y Pimienta Previously located in Barra, now has been re-located to Melaque in the old Restaurant Maya location, across the street from La Paloma Hotel. Different location, but same great food! And… be sure to save room for dessert, because Gaby makes fabulous sweets! Price range -$$$ expensive.
*** In La Manzanilla ***
Figaro Located on the beach, this Italian Restaurant is remarkable for its sunsets and their food. Serving the BEST pizza in town, tasty pasta dishes, and delicious salads. Also, they serve beer on tap, and supply an array of wine. And… if you are lucky, Pino will treat you to one of his speciality home-brewed liquors. Also, I kid you not, they have the perfect Tiramisu… and to make it sexier, order a shot of espresso. To get there, take the main road into La Manzanilla, hang a left going towards the square, and it will be on your right. Price range -$$ moderate.
Magnolia’s –Run by a fantastic woman and friend of mine, Alex Mayberry (previous Chef of Cafe de Flores). Here at this AMAZINGLY designed restaurant, filled with great ambiance, your senses will be awakened by all the flava-flave on the the menu ;). On it …you’ll find sexy beverages, lovely little appetizers, savory dishes, and decadent desserts. –If you haven’t already gone over there to try one of these superbly done dishes, you’ll have to, the restaurant is a FAVORITE of mine! Their open Thursday – Saturday from noon to 10:00pm. And… don’t hesitate to call for a reservation, because you might need to during high season. The phone number is 315.351.5114 Price range -$$ moderate.
Martin’s If you are down for a beautiful evening, go to Martin’s come sunset. It’s absolutely gorgeous! Martin, offer’s great food, and sometimes he even cooks it for you at your table. Just ask him what is fresh on the menu and he will tell you. He serves traditional mexican dishes, seafood dishes, and pretty high-end plates of steak. As you are driving into La Manz., just follow the main road into the square, pass the square, and it is on the right -upstairs. Price range -$$$ expensive.
Palapa Joe’s Great spot for a casual lunch or dinner. And… it’s a terrific place to watch the latest sports game. Also, if you fancy a game of bocchi balls, Willy offers a tight little spot to play a round. As far as food, they have yummy fried artichokes, tasty hamburgers, nice thin crust pizza, and much more.Price range -$$ moderate.
Pedro’s Fish Tacos By far, THE BEST FISH TACOS in the area! He has both fried and grilled Mahi Mahi tacos, and shrimp tacos –which both come with his amazing chipotle mayo salsa and tamarindo salsa –YUMMY! Also, you must know that he is also located directly on the beach. Once you enter La Manz., drive directly in, and where the crocodiles are to the right, so is Pedro. His place is located right there on the left side. Open from Thursday-Tuesday 11ish am – 6:00 pm.Price range -$$ moderate.