Travel insights from Jenna Buege, contributing editor of The Compass

9 Restaurants to Visit for Authentic Mexican Cuisine

For many travelers food is an important part of the travel experience. Not only is trying new food fun, it’s also a great way to connect with a destination and its people. Mexico is no exception, from the coastal areas of Cancun, Riviera Maya and Cabo San Lucas to the central-based Mexico City, there’s plenty of delicious authentic Mexican cuisine to go around.

Mexico City

  • Yuban – Are you feeling brave? Famous for their wide selection of mole sauce, Yuban also offers a dish not for the faint of heart: chapulin tacos. Fried and covered in a spicy sauce, chapulin tacos are filled with small crickets originating from the Oaxaca region.
  • Café de Tacuba – This little hole-in-the-wall has been in business for over 100 years and is a favorite breakfast stop for locals and visitors alike. Wake up on the right side of the bed with a few breakfast enchiladas or enjoy the delicious beef with mole sauce paired with fresh corn tortillas.
  • Merotoro – In the mood for some seafood? Merotoro’s got you covered. This popular restaurant serves food and wine from Mexico’s Baja California region and their seafood is some of the best Mexico City has to offer. But be warned, if you’re looking to treat your taste buds to this tasty menu, you better plan ahead as Merotoro is located in the busy Condesa area.

Cabo San Lucas

  • La Panga Antigua – Situated in a 150-year-old mansion in the San Jose area, La Panga Antigua is a hidden gem with a killer outdoor patio. The restaurant features food from award-winning Chef Jacobo Turquie and is popular for its fresh seafood and fine cuts of meat. Expect beautifully presented traditional Mexican dishes with a Mediterranean twist.
  • Salsita’s – Each meal at Salsita’s comes with a complimentary margarita, need we say more? Aside from great drinks, travelers can expect top-notch traditional Mexican food at Salsita’s, think chicken enchiladas, fish tacos and bottomless bowls of queso fundido.

Riviera Maya

  • Flor de Michoacan – Hungry for dessert? No trip to the Riviera Maya would be complete without a paleta or two. Choose from a wide array of colorful paletas, aka Mexican popsicles made with fresh fruit, at Flor de Michoacan.
  • Antojitos La Chiapaneca – Located in downtown Tulum, Antojitos La Chiapaneca is famous for their legendary al pastor tacos. Made with pineapple and pork, the al pastor at Antojitos La Chiapaneca is roasted on a spit all day to ensure each bite is the equivalent of heaven in a tortilla.
  • El Fish Fritanga – Staying in Cancun? Conveniently located along the popular Boulevard Kukulcan, El Fish Fritanga is the place to be for amazing seafood. The restaurant’s specialty is Tumbada Rice, a combination of rice, shrimp, crab, fish and clams resulting in a mouth-watering culinary experience.
  • Super Carnes HC de Monterrey – Sometimes all you need is a really good steak and boy, Super Carnes HC de Monterrey delivers. A casual little spot adored by Playa del Carmen visitors and locals alike encourages visitors to channel their inner-carnivore with grilled steak, fresh-cut avocado, grilled chiles and a side of baked potatoes.

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