Mazatlan, the colonial city by the ocean, has long been a getaway for both spring break students and winter snowbirds. It is now booming and bringing in sun lovers from all over the world. With tourism booming, so is the culinary scene of Mazatlan.
The city is rich in natural resources offering a variety of fresh food that influences the local flavors. From seafood to fresh fruits, vegetables, and livestock, Mazatlan has it all. Whether you chose to visit a small family owned cafe or a big upscale resort, each will please your palate in many ways.
To taste all that this bustling city has to offer, check out this list of amazing food finds that are bringing the very best of Mazatlan to the table.
Learn more about how Mazatlan is influencing International Cusine on Daily Dish Magazine.
This quaint, not so little restaurant, is located in the historic colonial center of Machedo Square. Chef Diego Bracerra shows off his culinary talents bringing tasty twists on traditional Mexican recipes such as duck tacos, octopus sashimi, and braised pork. From the rustic decor designed by the chefs brother, homemade house wine to food presentation, and fresh flavors, El Presidio is a must visit while in Mazatlan for an evening to remember.
Adding to the atmosphere at La Presidio is the story of Casa Garcia, Chef Diego’s childhood home in which the restaurant is built. Photos of his family and pre-restoration are displayed throughout the place giving it a warm inviting feel. Located in the middle is an open air bar with large fig trees surrounded by two terraces which can be reserved for parties.
]Located on the main drive of Mazatlan, a local hangout on the beachfront offers up dishes that even the locals can’t get enough of. Be prepared to wait for a table at this popular restaurant. Breakfast is one of the most popular meals of the day at this family-friendly joint so get there early. Try one of the many variations of chiliequelies and fresh juices for an authentic taste of Mazatlan.
The decor at Los Panchos is comfortable and casual. Big wooden tables will accommodate even the largest of groups. The picture windows lend a great view of the Pacific Ocean while keeping you cool inside as well. This restaurant exceeds everything you would expect from a small family owned business.
Restaurante El Meson de Los Laureanes – El Quelite
El Quelite is a small colonial town located a short 35 miles outside Mazatlan but well worth a day trip. Colorful rustic homes line cobblestone streets, horses share the road with cars, and street vendors share their wares. At the center, is a small family run Mexican restaurant that specializes in showcasing its roots with traditional family recipes and local cultural entertainment. Sit back and relax, enjoy grandma’s secret recipes.
The owner of this home style restaurant is a city native who first went to medical school before deciding to transform his families home into a full-service restaurant. His idea was to preserve tradition. He accomplishes this through serving his family recipes as well as featuring artists every Friday and Saturday. Sit back and enjoy the band, dancers, singers and even a historic reenactment of a game played years ago.
La Mazetleca Seafood Restaurant
If seafood is your style, then La Mazetleca might be the right choice for you. They offer a variety of fresh local catches such as shrimp, octopus, tuna, and more. Try the Pacifico marinaded tuna for a local twist on a classic recipe!
If you don’t feel like eating seafood, no worries, they also have pasta and beef dishes to choose from. Even if you are vegetarian, they will accommodate your dietary needs.
A large well-stocked central bar makes finding a refreshing cocktail or local Cerveza easy. Try a fresh mango margarita, a Pacifico, or the very popular Michelada to cool off on a hot day.
You can sit inside and enjoy the views of the beach or opt to sit outside and take in the salty ocean air. Either way, the views are spectacular.
La Concha El Cid
Just one of many restaurants on the large resort property of El Cid, La Concha El Cid offers exquisite beachside dining views. Eat inside in the large cool air-conditioned restaurant with picture windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean or opt to hang out on the outdoor terrace with direct beach access. The terrace is ideal for parties in the evening with cool evening breezes blowing in off the water.
You are sure to find something you love with the wide variety of menu selections. Seafood is once again a specialty here and very fresh. Pair it with a cocktail or a fine wine for a perfect evening out. This modern upscale restaurant provides a luxury dining experience while in Mazatlan. Perfect for couples or large groups, El Cid can accommodate everyone.
The newest restaurant in town, Casa 46, in Machado Square, is likely to be a huge success. Chef Mario worked as a resort chef for twelve years at Pueblo Bonita before opening up his own restaurant. He is using his skills an an experienced chef and utilizing outside international influences to create new and unique dishes in an upscale, luxury setting.
This high-end restaurant has a modern flair with intimate dining areas. Upon entering you are brought up a stairwell to the main dining room where you can find a large wine cellar and open balcony seating as well overlooking the Plaza Machedo.
The setup is conducive for small groups or large private parties. It is very well done and sure to be a huge success.
La Casa Country
For a more American steakhouse experience done Mexican style, La Casa Country is your place. Not only do you get Angus beef in a ranch style decor like you find in the states, you get all the things that make Mexico special like table-side salsa and guacamole, line-dancing cowboys (yes, you heard right) and flaming Mexican Coffees.
Locals and tourists love La Casa Country for the delicious food and warm friendly service. You will often find the same servers at each visit who take pride in their work. Drop in for a truly unique experience by a staff of servers who clearly love what they do.
Because this is a steakhouse, despite the casual atmosphere, it is a higher end restaurant and the food proves it is worth the extra cost. You best come hungry because the portions are big as well!