Eating-out in Mazatlan is one of life's great pleasures! Fresh seafood, fine cuisine, and everyday street tacos are all on my list of top eats in this great port city.
Unlike many other resort cities in Mexico, Mazatlan continues to offer fabulous meals at accessible prices. I know couples who winter in Mazatlan, and eat-out 6 days a week...as opposed to the 1 day a week they eat out in Canada.
You can stick to the tourist areas, or you can explore off the beaten path...either way, Mazatlan chefs, cooks, and little old women who have been cooking for years, will not disappoint.
The list below is in no particular order...except that I was trying to give a variety of food options (breakfast, dessert, seafood, fine dining, etc.) Obviously, there are many...MANY more restaurants that are great, that are not on this list...but I had to narrow it down to the places I ate the most, and have always enjoyed.
La Mona: This restaurant came-to-fame a few years ago because of it's fantastic and creative pizzas. Think proscuitto, fresh shrimp, pineapple and coconut...or green apple, toasted walnuts and bue-cheese...all on a thin, fire-baked crust, with home-made sauce and lots of cheese! I am getting hungry just writing about this!!! La Mona also has great salads with home-made dressings, and a few pasta and meat options. Personally, I would stick with the salads and pizzas :)
La Mona has 2 locations in Mazatlan, one in the Marina, and the other in Centro.
Molika Bakery: Molika is also a relatively new addition to the Mazatlan food scene. Chef Hector Peniche offers diners fresh, natural food, all prepared in-house. Molika is great for lunch or dinner, and is a casual place where you can eat really great quality food, at very reasonable prices. Some of my favourite dishes are the AAA Angus Burger with home-made ketchup, sharp cheese, and roasted vegetables, or the Mushroom Tagliatelle with home-made pasta and a rich gravy-like mushroom sauce.
Molika Bakery also has desserts to die for (molten chocolate cake anyone??), many of which you can also get at Mazatlans Cullinary Market, along with artisan breads, organic produce, Henderson's meats, and artisinal gelatos.
Fat Fish: This is by-far the best place for ribs in Mazatlan! I have tried the ribs at countless other establishments...but Fat Fish takes the cake. These ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, and painted with a thick serving of BBQ sauce. They also come with a garden salad to start, a baked potato and coleslaw. The salad I have to say was pretty mediocre...but who really cares about salad when what you came for are the ribs :)
Fat Fish is not open very late, so go for a late lunch or an early dinner. It is super casual and has either indoor or outdoor seating.
El Presidio: El Presidio is by-far THE place to go for fine dining in Mazatlan. Located in a newly restored historic home, El Presidio takes you to another world...another time. Much of the rustic charm of the home has been maintained...trees grow throughout and roots creep down the plastered walls, exposed brick contrasts with modern glass roof-tops, and old vigas remain as structural staples of construction.
The food here is very Mexican, with appetizers such as Duck Burritos with a Chile Ancho sauce, or gourmet tacos. You can choose from a variety of seating options, whether indoors, by the bar, or outside on the terrace. On the terrace or at the bar you will have the bonus of listening to a live pianist and enjoying the subtleness of the breeze and hanging lights...whereas indoors you will dine by candle-light in a small and intimate dining room.
Allegro Cafe: Allegro is my favourite place in the city to go for breakfast. I have a severe sweet tooth, so I typically crave things like pancakes or waffles for breakfast...which Allegro does offer...but they also make a mean Eggs Benedict or Eggs Norwegian (with salmon instead of back bacon)...which makes it a tough decision for me. I also like going to Allegro for my coffee and dessert (although being lactose intolerant sometimes means they don't have many dessert options for me), I can always get a great lactose-free Chai Latte or Caramel Cappuccino.
Oasis: While this place is not so much of a restaurant as a small fruit stand on Rafael Buelna, it is one of the best places I know to go for a fresh fruit smoothie or fresh-squeezed fruit/vegetable juice. You can choose from something on their menu, or make your own concoction of fruity goodness. To the smoothies, you can add milk (regular or lactose-free) or juice, as well as walnuts, granola, coconut, raisins and/or honey. A litre will only cost you about $35 pesos ($3.00 USD) and will keep you full until lunch. They also sell packaged oatmeal cookies, banana bread and gorditas.
Dolce Mami: I first discovered Dolce Mami while I was pregnant, and in search of a moist, flavorful chocolate cake...and this is where I found it! Aside from chocolate cakes, Dolce Mami also has brownies, pies, cheescakes, cookies, and oh so much sweet goodness! This is a great place to come for coffee and dessert with your family or friends. They also have really nice take-out boxes if you want to bring one of their cakes or pies to an event.
Barracrudas: This is a new place that opened up just this year, and it serves some of the best ceviche I have ever had! Barracrudas is on this list to represent some of the best in local seafood. Aside from their ceviche, they also serve delicious seared tuna, shrimp burgers and fresh salads with salmon. Barracrudas has a really relaxed atmosphere, and is a great place to go afternoon or evening.
The Looney Bean: Aside from being one of the best places to hang-out in Olas Altas, The Looney Bean offers fabulous specialty coffees, fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, and home-made sweet treats! The prices here are generally lower than some of the other coffee shops in town...but the quality is never compromised. The Looney Bean also rents roller-blades to use on the malecon, and donates a portion of their profits every year to a charitable cause. This is a business that deserves your support!
Taco Time: Yes, I know this taco joint is in the Golden Zone. It is not some obscure little stand in the middle of nowhere...but it is where I most enjoy the tacos! Taco Time is relatively clean, has bathrooms, and is convenient...they also have great Arrachera tacos and Carne Asada tacos. The salsas that they serve are not all burn-your-mouth-off hot, and they have a nice bar of cucumber, pickled purple onions and grilled onions to add to your plate. We typically go here for late dinners or when we really just want something quick.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!