CultureFood

Huachinango - That's Rock Fish to You

Eating Well along Mexico's Pacific Coast

More often than not, the best food on the Mexican coast is found in enramadas, the ubiquitous, open-air, thatch-roof restaurants that line the beaches. Even when there's no sign on the highway, if there's a dirt road leading to the playa, there are usually a couple of enramadas open for business, especially during the winter months. The basic fare is huachinango, which is ostensibly red snapper but is actually whatever rockfish was caught recently. Al mojo de ajo, sautéed in garlic and butter, is the way it's done, and like your basic hamburger, it's hard to do it wrong. Octopus (pulpo), shrimp (camarones), and lobster (langosta) are also available everywhere. Prices will vary according to how close you are to a major resort. Keep in mind that cholera has recently been a worry in Mexico, particularly for lovers of ceviche. Last year there were some bad cases in Yelapa, south of Puerto Vallarta, and rumors of cases all the way down to Oaxaca.

If you're in the neighborhood, don't miss these eateries: Restaurant Ambar, in Barra de Navidad (outstanding entrée and dessert crepes); Chez Arnoldo's, on Playa Las Gatas (wonderful fish in wine sauce); Nika's, in Troncones (Nika is the cook for La Casa de la Tortuga and has her own restaurant on the beach, with the best lobster you'll find anywhere); Casa Elvira's, in old Zihuatanejo (one of the oldest restaurants in town, with good reason-large servings, classic Pacific Mexico fish recipes); Archie's Wok, in Puerto Vallarta (pricey but clever melding of Thai flavors with fresh fish, started by the personal chef to The Night of the Iguana director John Huston).

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Bars and Restaurants
Lead Photo: Thorina Rose
More Culture