Where to eat in Zihuatenejo, Mexico
Spent a week in Zihua fishing last June, and here's the little I know:
Elvira's on the main beach sidewalk has fabulous octopus with garlic, and the other seafood is really fine, too. We ate there a few times.
La Sirena Gorda (same locale) was marginal in my book.
El Mango (downtown) was a great hit for posole, tamales, etc., and it was dirt cheap.
Kau Kan, which sits on the road heading toward the beach and hotel district east of downtown, is supposed to be the finest restaurant in Z., serving French food. It was OK but pricey, everything was a little oversalted, and finally, why go to a French restaurant in Mexico? That having been said, it's kinda fun, and the room is beautiful, as are the folks eating there.
We never stepped foot in Ixtapa, having an aversion to discos and Westins and all the trappings of a Mexican mega-resort planned by the gov't, so I don't have any information on food there.
For one of the best seafood experiences you'll ever have, rent a panga and go fishing (I heartily recommend Stan Lushinsky's Ixtapa Sportfishing charters; local contact is Jose-Luis; you can find them at www.fintastic.com/ixtapasportfishing/). Catch but do not release a mahi-mahi, maybe a bonito, maybe a small roosterfish. Then have your captain take you to Isla Ixtapa around noon or one, and give your fish to a guy named Marc Anthony at one of the beachside restaurants (I forget the name but there are only a few, and this one is toward the northerly end of the beach facing Ixtapa). Savor a couple iced-down Tecates while some of your glistening fish is transformed into ceviche (slivered because of the time constraint). You'll move on to fish fried with garlic, then maybe grilled fish rubbed with chilis, all served with grace and humor by M.A.. (You will of course be eating with your captain and the mate if you are any sort of human at all.) Then, tip everyone heavily, cruise back to Z. harbor in the panga, hop in a cab to your hotel, and discover why the siesta is such a brilliant concept. When you come to, it'll be time for a margarita. We did this about four times and never tired of it. As one of our captains, the inestimable Adolpho said, "Even the President of Mexico does not eat fish as fresh as this!"
For more on Zihua, my traveling companion Jim Harrison wrote a short piece about our trip for next month's Men's Journal -- check it out if you can.
My wife & I have been to Zihua a number of times. We always enjoy the cold beer and fish/shrimp tacos at La Sierna Gorda (on the Plaza near the pier) great place for lunch. Be sure to try the daquaries (sp) at JJ's the foods good too (up a side st from cinco de mayo).
LaPerla on Playa LaRopa is a great place to kick back on the beach with great food and service. For a nice evening dinner try La Casa Que Canta, the view, service and cuisine are exceptional. There are so many great restaurants in Zihua its almost hard to find one thats not good. If you are in Ixtapa there a couple of good places at the marina. For a good sunset ride the gondola at the south end of the beach to El Faro skip the food watch the sunset. Hope you have a great time. We are headed back in February, wish it was today, we live in Minneapolis and its -4 right now with a -40 wind chill. Take a trip out to Ixtapa Island if you get a chance, its more R&R, just in a different location, if you go try the far side away from the pier. Buenos Dias & Feliz Navidad!