19 February, 2020

I’m taking a break from Facebook, so my next posts will only appear here until I return. I’m giving it a week, maybe more if I find living without the nastiness of people who hide behind online anonymity allows me to stop my blood pressure medications!

Today I’m going to cover some of the restaurants in Mazatlán that I go to. Some of them are the typical tourist spots, some are not. Some speak English, some don’t! But they have one thing in common – good food!

Nao Kitchen Bar – Belisario Domínguez 1502c, Centro Histórico. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Open either at 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm (they told me 6:30 pm when they first opened, but I see references to 6:00 pm on the internet). English spoken. They have a very limited number of tables, so make a reservation if you want a guaranteed spot. Google says their phone number is +52 669 176 5854. The food here is what I call “Asian Style”. It’s a mish-mash of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. I haven’t had a bad meal here, and can recommend the ribs with gochujang sauce as a star of the menu. Prices a little higher than others, but not out of line.

Hector’s Bistro – Mariano Escobedo 409, Centro Histórico. Closed on Sundays. Online says they’re open from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm. I visit their sister restaurant, Via Condotti for lunch, right next door. English spoken. Hector’s is a European bistro and a darned good one. The lamb is a favorite of everyone, but it’s usually available sporadically on the special board. Always available are the French and Italian appetizer platters. These are my favorite items and are enough food for dinner for one person (you may have room for dessert if you’re hungry). During the snow-bird season they’re busy – so call ( +52 669 981 1577 ) for reservations, or relegate yourself to being sat around the bar. Prices here are also on the high end, but not unreasonable.

Marisqueria El Changuirongo – 21 de Marzo 1326, Centro. Internet says they’re open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, but I’ve walked past a little past 5:00 pm before and they were shutting down. Only Spanish spoken. This is Mazatlán’s penultimate marisqueria. When you think about having seafood in Centro, this is where you should be heading. They are just up the street from the big CFE office building, so are easy to find. If you’re in a cab, don’t worry. Every cab driver will know where they are. Just a caveat – if you order ceviche let it marinate before you start eating. My habit of chowing down early got me in trouble once (only once!). My favorite item is the shrimp ceviche which I get by the liter to go, but the other items on the menu are good too. Tacos capeados de camarón are probably my second favorite item – they’re battered and fried shrimp put into a taco. And they have cold beer, always a plus!

Tacos Raymundo – Calle Ignacio Zaragoza # 427, Centro. Internet says they’re open from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am, and closed on Mondays. Sounds about right. Some English spoken. One of the best locations for street food in Centro. They’re almost to the end of Zaragoza by the new Parque Ciudades Hermanas, and just down from the Glorieta Rodolfo Sánchez Taboada (where the cliff divers jump). Not too many items on their menu, but what they offer they do right. Go hungry, or plan to take half home! My favorite item is the quesadilla criminal. Second would be the papa loca. They have both inside table seating and outside bench seats, so best of both worlds! And if you’re still hungry, or have planned right and have saved a little room, you can walk to the Glorieta Rodolfo Sánchez Taboada and get yourself an order of tosticamaron or tostinachos as dessert!

Lonchería Zambrano – Aquiles Serdán 1408, Centro. Internet says open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm every day. No English Spoken. Just a couple of blocks down from the Mercado Pino Suarez at Ángel Flores and Aquiles Sérdan. They have several items made with thinly shaved pork. Both a sit down dining area and a busy take-away counter for your pleasure! Their tortas are 50 pesos and are huge. Enough for lunch and a snack. Be sure to order from the cashier, then grab a table – or tell him, “para llevar” (to-go). You can also usually pick up some peanuts on the corner from the guy and gal that sell them. 10 pesos for a little bag, or just give them a smile and a wave if you’re not in a peanut mood!

Tacos Y Tortas Ahogadas El Mono – Av. Zaragoza 1805, Centro (corner of German Evers). Hours 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, closed on Monday’s. No English spoken. If you want a Guadalajara style torta ahogada, or if you like birria de res, this is the place for you! Very inexpensive and they have birria! Not birria de chivo, which is my favorite, but their birria de res is tasty indeed. Be VERY careful with their salsas! The orange one tries to kill me! When you’re finished here, you can walk a few short blocks to the factory where they make the coconut malvaviscos (marshmallows). They sell them for the same 22 pesos a bag, but they’re very fresh!

Via Condotti – Calle Heriberto Frías 1435-1509, Centro. Hours 08:00 am – 11:00 pm. Closed on Sundays. English spoken. This is Hector’s little café, next door to the bistro. They serve pizza, lasagna, salads, a meatball sandwich and a calzone. Prices are reasonable and the café americano is the best in all of Mazatlán. They have entertainment sporadically – I think when it happens it’s on Friday or Saturday night. Free wi-fi too! Pizzas are good, but the lasagna is frequently cold in the middle. They also have a breakfast menu – prices are on the higher end, but the food is worth it if you’re looking for something more than a typical Méxican desayuno. Delivery available from Uber Eats.

AraMex Restaurante – Benito Juarez #1313, Centro. Near Mariano Escobedo, 1 block from the Plazuela Republica. Hours 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Breakfast until 12:30, then lunch until 4:00 pm. They also deliver – 669.981.30.38 or 669.194.40.40 or their cell phone: 669.116.64.01. No English spoken. Lunch menu changes daily, and they print the weekly offerings on Monday. This is a nice little comida corrida type lunch joint. Breakfasts start at $50 pesos, and lunches are mostly $60. Beans and tortillas may not be hot, so ask them to be sure they are if that would bother you.

Taqueria El Paisa – Paseo Claussen, Olas Altas. I believe they told me they’re open from 10:00 am to 2:00 am! I’m fairly sure they speak at least some English. Hours for their other location (Gold Zone) say 12:00 pm – 2:00 am. I’ve only ordered the shrimp tacos here, but they’re amazingly good! Shrimp have been cooked properly, and they have a nice condiment bar for you to build your taco they way you want it. At 30 pesos per shrimp taco, and an great sunset view, you can’t go wrong! If you’re walking the malecón at Olas Altas and are a little hungry, give them a try.

Claussen 101 – Paseo Claussen 259, Olas Altas. Internet says they’re open from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm closed on Mondays – but I’ve NEVER seen them open for lunch. I think that if the gate at the street is open, so are they! I think they speak a little English. Yes, it’s a climb from the street to get to their dining area, but it’s well worth it for the sunset views. I always have the shrimp burger, and am always surprised when I don’t remember their version is a handful of shrimp and some cheese on a bun. It’s good – don’t get me wrong, but it’s not what you’d get at F.I.S.H. Comes with fries too. Beer is extra! This is that funky looking restaurant at the North end of Olas Altas. Check them out if you want a nice sunset view and some good food.

F.I.S.H. Fresh Intl. Seafood House – Av. Gabriel Ruiz Local 3, Gold Zone. Just past Rico’s in the Gold Zone, and across from the Costa de Oro and Inn at Mazatlán. Internet says closed Tuesdays, open from Noon to 10:00 pm on Sunday and Monday, and midnight the other days. Consistently the best shrimp burger in town. Consistently. The best shrimp burger. Really! Indoor and patio dining available. My favorite thing is their shrimp burger. It’s really good.

Casita Maria by cheff Ja Llano – Av Camarón Sábalo, Gold Zone. Slightly behind and to the right of Mary’s hamburger place. Internet says they’re open 7 days a week from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm Sunday through Thursday, and until 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. Excellent food. I had the best pulpo here that I’ve ever had (Nao Kitchen Bar comes a close second!). A lot of their dishes have milk/cream, so if you’re lactose intolerant bring your lactaid tablets. They have limited seating, so I’m going to say reservations, at least during snow-bird season, would be recommended. Their phone number seems to be +52 669 176 2684. This is one of those hidden places that not a lot of people know about, but it’s becoming more popular.

Taquería Playa Sur – Corner of Carnaval and Calle Playa Chametla, Playa Sur. Open from 6:00 pm to 12:30 am daily. Get there early or prepare to wait! They’re extremely busy – because their food is really, really good! No English. Be prepared with Google Translate! There’s sometimes a seat in front of the grill cook in case you don’t want to wait for a table. They also deliver (+52 669 910 3651). Vampiros, tacos, quesadillas, papa loca’s – they have most all things! I’m always fond of a good quesadilla, or a papa loca and you can get really tasty ones here.

La Fonda de Chalio – Paseo Olas Altas 66, Centro. Open from 7:00 am until 11:00 pm Monday through Thursday, 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday, and 12:00 am on Sunday. English spoken. Good basic Méxican food right off the malecón in Olas Altas. What can I say other than that. I like their liver and onions, but the machaca is good too. Great place to have a bite to eat and sit with friends. Prices are very reasonable for the location.

Carne Asada Abraham – corner of Ángel Flores and Antonio Rosales, Centro. No English. Open around 10:00 am, but food isn’t ready until after 12:00 pm/12:30 pm. Both beef and chicken asada, alone or in packages with tortillas and condiments. Free delivery (phone numbers appear to be 669.981.14.19 or 669.981.20.53). The carne asada paqueta #1 is a kilo of carne asada; rice, macaroni, or refried beans; tortillas; a grilled onion; and salsas. I think it’s $210 pesos and it’s enough for several meals.

Cocina de Ana – Calzada Camarón Sábalo 49 Interior 19, Gold Zone. They’re just off of Calle Laguna (a less traveled side street), or you can get to them easily by going down the breezeway in Plaza Valencia which is on Av. Camarón Sábalo – where the Re/Max Sunset Eagle office is. They serve their food cafeteria style, and you pay by how much it weighs. Ask for tortillas and beverages when you’re paying. It gets BUSY here! They say they open at 12:00 pm, but often the doors are unlocked before. They stop serving when they run out of food! Seating is limited so be prepared to share a table with a stranger, or take your selections to-go. Daily menu with each day of the week having it’s own items. I believe they’re closed on Sundays, but don’t hold me to it! VERY economical and the food is consistently good. Ok, I will say I’m not fond of their Wednesday Chinese food offerings, but those are good, just not what I think of as Chinese!

Ok. I’m sure I go other places, but these are my go-to joints. I would have recommended La Marea, which is on the hill overlooking El Faro – but their food and service are just so inconsistent that it’s difficult to trek up there just to be disappointed. The view is the most amazing in the whole city though, so your decision might be different.

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