Pricing Guide (in US dollars)

expensive = $20+ per person
moderate = $10 to $20 per person
inexpensive = less than $10 per person

Please Note

All of the restaurants I mention here serve purified water, purified ice, and their salads are safe to eat. Don't embarass yourself and your fellow Americans by asking them these questions. If you get sick after 3 Marguaritas, blame the tequila and not the ice. Also, several people have commented in my email that they had to wait forever for the check to arrive. The Mexican tradition is never to bring the bill unless it is asked for. They would never want to insult you by implying that it is time for you to leave. The Spanish for "the check" is "La Cuenta" (la kwentah). Finally, almost all restaurants will take VISA or Mastercard, so don't leave home without it.
The Sheik [top]
Positively our favorite restaurant in Mazatlán. Not just because the food is good, because sometimes it isn't, but the service is outstanding and the view is spectacular. It sits on a rocky promontory at the south end of the golden zone, or Zona Dorada as it is known here. The inside of the restaurant is exquisitely furnished, not just for a restaurant in Mazatlán, but for anywhere in the world. There is usually live piano music, and an indoor pond filled with goldfish. The only area better than the inside is the outside. You sit on a balcony that juts over the rocks below. To the south is the old city of Mazatlán, with its lights flickering at night. To the north is the disco, Valentino's, and sometimes they have their outdoor waterfall turned on. And to the west is the Pacific ocean, with the waves crashing beneath you. One of the most romantic places anywhere.
The dress is elegant. The price is expensive. We rate this place as *****.
Heather's Place [top]
We've know Heather for more than ten years now (2006), long before she decided to open her restaurant. It was always a special treat when she invited us over for dinner, for we knew we were in for some good food. Well in 2004, she decided to paint on a larger canvas, and opened her own restaurant, appropriately named, Heather's Place. Since then she has made every effort to turn it into your Home away from Home. She prides herself on her good food and friendly atmosphere. Nadine and I often have breakfast there after we indulge ourselves in a relaxing massage. The pancakes are especially worthy of notice. She also has daily specials, live music every evening, most important for Henry, a wi-fi hotspot. She is located at Camarón Sábalo #300, right across the street from Oceano Place. Tel: 914-2999.
The dress is casual. The price is inexpensive. We rate this place as *****.
The Shipwreak [top]
Pictured here is our favorite waiter, Humberto Haro Valle, who always greets us with a smile, and knows in advance what we are going to order, which is almost always the chilequiles for me and the pancakes for Nadine. This place is well hidden, but has a wonderful view right on the beach. It is easier to get to if you take the stairs, as we almost always manage to press the wrong button on the elevator. Just go up one flight, and head for the beach. It is located in the back of the Balboa Hotel. Our friend, Don, eats there every morning. If you see his seeing eye dog, Kojak, don't pet him, as he is working. Be sure to say hi to Don though, who is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.
The dress is casual. The price is inexpensive. We rate this place as *****.
Emerald Bay [top]
Outstanding, and in a class by itself, are the only ways to describe this new (Winter 2001) restaurant at the new Pueblo Bonito complex up north in Nuevo Mazatlán. The setting is wonderful, just off the beach and surrounded by magnificent grounds, filled with birds, waterfalls, and lush landscaping. But that is just the beginning, as the food is simply the best in Mazatlán, and also the most expensive. Our friend, Javier, plays the piano there on weeknights, and is also a delight to listen to. You must make reservations at least 24 hours in advance, to make sure your name is given to the guard at the gate, otherwise you will be turned away. Call 989-0525 and ask for the conciege for reservations. Don't miss this one!
The dress is elegant. The price is expensive. We rate this place as *****.
Señor Frogs [top]
Okay, we admit it, we are old (40+) fuddy duddys. We are probably the only tourists who don't like Señor Frogs. Why, because the music is so loud that you have to shout at the person sitting next to you. That being said, it is not without its positive points. This is the Mecca of the young and wild. People can get very crazy here. All you have to do is enter and notice the number of people who have written their names on the ceiling. Later at night, it is not uncommon for people to be dancing on the tables and removing items of clothing. That speaks for the strength of the Margaritas here, which while semi-lethal are nevertheless tasty. If you have two of them, you will forget your name. The food here is surprisingly good too.
The dress is casual. The price is moderate. We rate this place as **.
The Guadalajara Grill [top]
This is Señor Frogs for older folks. The music is quieter, and on weekends after 8pm there is usually a live Mariachi band. The restaurant moved in 2002 and is now located on Avenida de las Garzas, right in the middle of the golden zone. The Margaritas are good, the waiters friendly, and a party atmosphere abounds, though at a more subdued level than Señor Frogs. The menu is very extensive, and has everything from fish, seafood, beef, pork, chicken, and salads. To make things simpler for gringos, these are classified as Splash, Muu muu, oink oink, etc.
The dress is casual. The price is moderate. We rate this place as ****.
Mister A's [top]
Mister A's is another elegant restaurant in the Casa Loma tradition. They are located just across the street from the Inn at Mazatlán. You can see their large sign, featuring the Ace of Hearts, on the main street. This is one of the first restaurants Nadine and I ate in when we first moved to Mazatlán. Nadine ordered the lobster, which they will only serve if it is fresh and of good quality. She received three full tails, and found herself in lobster heaven. The menu includes seafood, Mexican food, and pasta. Quite an eclectic combination. The atmosphere is elegant, with all the waiters dressed in black tuxedos. Many customers come casual however.
The dress is elegant. The price is moderate. We rate this place as *****.
Los Arcos [top]
This is not a typical tourist place, as is evidenced by the fact that at 2:00PM the place is packed with locals. There is a good reason for this, namely Los Arcos has simply the best fish in Mazatlán. The restaurant has just be remodeled, and is located just down the street from the El Cid hotel on the opposite side of the street, and not on the beach. All of these reasons contribute to keeping the tourists out but their loss is your gain. If you like fish, this is the place for you.
The dress is casual. The price is moderate. We rate this place as *****.
Pura Vida [top]
If you like natural food and delicious smoothies, this is the place for you. This is a favorite of locals and tourists who happen to stumble across it. The name means pure life in Spanish, and the food is purely delicious. They are located just up the street from the Hotel Playa, on Calle Bugambilias, across the street from Darios.
The dress is casual. The price is inexpensive. We rate this place as *****.
Chrissy's [top]
Well, another reason NOT to visit Mexico just bit the dust. Nadine and I, as required by several Marin, California ordinances, worship at the temple of Starbucks. While Chrissy's new coffee shop doesn't have the Starbucks brand label, it does have the flavor. Besides delicious hot cappicinos and lattes, her new (December 2000) coffee shop offers iced coffee, smoothies, and delicious baked goodies. She is located just in front of her hair salon, next door the Balboa Club. She also has a discount coupon available.
The dress is very casual. The price is inexpensive. We rate this place as ****.
Terraza Playa [top]
Pictured here is Miguel Angel, the head waiter, in the middle of the newly remodelled (2003) terrace. This is the restaurant that is connected with the Hotel Playa Mazatlán. It is situated right on the beach, in one of the nicest areas of Mazatlán. This was the first hotel built on the beach in the Golden Zone, and as far as we are concerned is was and still is the best. The food here is great as well, and most of the waiters have been working here for 10 to 15 years. It is one of those rare places where quality is combined with good and caring management. This is a favorite spot for the locals to come for Sunday brunch. There are fireworks displays on Sunday evenings. The only drawback, albeit a minor one, is that they have set hours for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you happen to come at the wrong time, you may find the restaurant closed.
The dress is casual. The price is moderate. We rate this place as *****.
Casa Loma [top]
Here is another place you won't find on the tourist circuit. It is off the main drag, away from the beach and outstanding. It is a family run restaurant with some of the best food in Mazatlán. The best way to find it is to flag a taxi and tell them: "Take me to Casa Loma." This is in general the best way to find anything. The interior reminds you of a aging and elegant home, and the courtyard section is delightful as well. The owner will probably come to your table and talk to you to make sure that everything was satisfactory, which it will be.
The dress is elegant. The price is moderate. We rate this place as *****.
Panama Bakery [top]
The Panama Bakery is located on the main avenue, just across from the Las Palmas hotel. All of the breads and pastries are baked there, and many are excellent. You can also order custom cakes for special events. In addition to a bakery, they also have a good and extensive lunch and dinner menu. If you are not sure what things are, there are pictures of all of their entrees on the wall, so you can just point to something that looks tasty.
The dress is casual. The price is moderate. We rate this place as ****.
Ernie Tomato's [top]
This is located right next to Sea Shell city, in the heart of the golden zone. Whenever we walk by this place there are always a lot of people in it, and we know why. The food is nothing short of great. The menu is pretty varied, and the ambiance can only be described as original. While we were there, Nadine sang along with "I Heard it on the Grapvine" and both of us remembered our junior high dances. Oops, we're dating ourselves.
The dress is casual. The price is moderate. We rate this place as ****.
The Papagayo [top]
The Papagayo is located at the Inn of Mazatlán, one of the oldest and nicest timeshare resorts in the Zona Dorada. The restaurant is both indoors and outdoors, with great views of the ocean. The food is good, as is the service.
The dress is casual. The price is moderate. We rate this place as ****.
The Saloon [top]
The Saloon is a great place to go for a good burger. If you're in the golden zone, you can find it just north of the BanaMex building, right next door to the Pacific Pearl office. Strangely enough, it is owned by Mike and Maricha Veselik, who also own the Pacific Pearl newspaper. They offer two for one drinks every day from 4 to 8, and Wednesday's is Spaghetti night. But the reason to come here is because you want to consume a large chunk of cow flesh, cooked just the way you like it.
The dress is casual. The price is inexpensive. We rate this place as *****.
Mary's Place [top]
Mary's Place is another great place for burgers. It is hard to say which is better, Mike's or Mary's, so I'll be diplomatic and say you should try each of them for yourself. You'll find Mary there herself most days, making sure everything is running smoothly. She obviously pays attention to details, and it shows. Mary is the pretty blond who greets you warmly when you sit down. Mary's Place is located just south and across the street from Pueblo Bonito, next door to the Posada La Mission Hotel.
The dress is casual. The price is inexpensive. We rate this place as *****.
Costa de Oro [top]
This is one of our favorite beach restaurants. It is located on the beach at the Costa de Oro hotel. The waiters are very friendly, and if you get a table in the first row, the sand is literally beneath your feet, though about 2 meters below you. This is the only restaurant that I have been to in Mazatlán that consistantly has good chilequiles, which is what I always order here. If you've never tried them, try them here first. They are small pieces of tortilla cooked in a red or green sauce with a cheese topping. I usually have the red sauce. This is a traditional breakfast food here, though I often have it for lunch too.
The dress is casual. The price is inexpensive. We rate this place as *****.
Torres Mazatlán [top]
This is probably our favorite Sunday Brunch spot in Mazatlán. The setting is really wonderful, north of the golden zone in the Cerritos area. The grounds are pristine, and the beach is one of the most beautiful and well kept in Mazatlán. You can either sit inside or outside. We normally sit inside because by the time we get there on Sunday, the bingo is going on outside and is a little noisy. The chef, Lani, pictured at the left next to Nadine is just great. It is never a problem to tell the waiter how you like things prepared. Also, as far as we know, this is the only brunch around that includes champagne, which as anyone who knows us is very important.
The dress is casual. The price is inexpensive. We rate this place as *****.
Sharp Hospital [top]
Okay, I can hear you thinking "they've really lost their mind now." Yet, believe it or not, the cafeteria at Sharp Hospital serves great food, and is one of the best kept secrets in Mazatlán, until now. We discovered this by accident, when Nadine was hospitalized and I visited her in her room. She had to suffer through the traditional "mystery jello" while the waiter brought me some of the best quesadillas and guacamole I've ever had. Once Nadine was released we've been back several times and always had a good meal. Now we bring our guests here whenever we really want to surprise them.
The dress is casual. The price is inexpensive. We rate this place as *****.

Quote of the day:
Somewhere on this globe, every ten seconds, there is a woman giving birth to a child. She must be found and stopped.
Sam Levenson

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