Reliably perfect weather, easy flights and proximity to Acapulco and Mexico City have made Zihuatanejo (and nearby Ixtapa) Mexico’s third most visited area after Cancun and Puerto Vallarta.
Once a sleepy fishing village in the long arms of the South Pacific Coast, “Zi” has blossomed into a happening spot, thanks in large part to its vibrant food scene. Follow this foodie itinerary for a zesty taste of place—and a glimpse of daily life in one of Mexico’s most charming towns.
Early each morning, local fishermen haul their fishing boats ashore near Zi’s main dock. Sample the freshest of catches with a taste of huachinango (whole silver snapper), served in a Veracruzana savoury tomato sauce—a must-try breakfast specialty.
Browse Mercados Municipale and Centrale, the town’s two markets, which are awash in a riot of colour with green tomatillos, bright-red tomatoes and orange Scotch bonnets. Afterward, head to a nearby taqueria for fresh tacos or a bun filled with slow-cooked pork—a bolillo relleno.
Join an open-air cooking class with local chef Mario Miranda at Acopio restaurant, where your lunchtime creation may be Tiritas de Pescado—fine strips of fish and red onion seasoned with Creole pepper, salt and a dash of lime to tease out the ocean’s flavour.
Eateries roll out like towels along the beaches on hot afternoons, and cervezas and ceviche, the lime-soaked seafood, act as cool antidotes. Head to Bar Rossy to grab a light bite and sip a margarita.
Evenings find locals filling the beachside boardwalks and gathering at the central festival plaza. For family-friendly dining, try Banditos, where you can sample hot lava rock fondues called molcajetes and dance to live music every Saturday night.
Black-velvet night drapes softly over clifftop restaurants like Casa que Canta, Tentaciones and tiny Casa Cuitalateca. Molten cakes of cajeta (condensed goat’s milk) leave sweet dreams for another day in Zihuatanejo’s paradiso.