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Best foodie place to fly fast from L.A., and where to eat there?

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We're planning basically just a long weekend, so aiming for a direct flight from L.A. no more than 3-ish hours to basically eat and the rest of the day hang out by the pool/ocean. Of places one could go (short list, I know) in Mexico with that criteria, where would you go that has the best food - any price range except uberexpensive - and where would you eat? (Also, any hotels that have actually good food, all-inclusives or otherwise?)

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  1. You can have foodie or you can have beach, but IMHO you'll be hard pressed to find both in one location. Maybe in Puerto Vallarta, but Vallarta is more about glitz than about real food.

    If you can give up the beach for the weekend, Guadalajara fits the rest of your needs. Search on this board for long lists of restaurant recommendations.

    Link: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: cristina

      Thanks. Have previously considered a Guadalajara trip, and this is helpful. (Not sure it will skew the DH on this trip, as he wants a beach. But it's points accumulating for another trip at the very least. Will at least look more at Puerto Vallarta.) Is Mazatlan a great wasteland for food or no?

      1. re: cristina

        I guess Veracruz is more than a three hour direct flight from LA? If not, that might be one exception to cristina's beach vs food rule? (though the beaches aren't as great as on the west coast.)

        Personally, if I were going to give up the beach, I'd go to Morelia over Guadalajara. Plenty of great food for a long weekend, and more relaxing for the between meal hours.Or, I'd go to DF: if you are going to be in a big city might as well choose the one with the most variety and wonderful food!

        I'd also agree with DiningDiva to consider Baja. Has the beach part down, and there is excellent food there if you know where to look, and if you like seafood.

      2. I agree with Cristina that your could do a lot worse than to consider Guadajalara. However, if you absolutely need a beach, you could do a lot worse than to consider the tip of Baja, specifically, La Paz, Loreto or Todo Santo. They are all small enough to still be charming and easy to get around, plus they lack the overt tourist environment of Cabo. I don't know think I'd rate the food as spectacular or creative at any of those 3 cities, but it is (generally) pretty good. The fish is fresh and simply prepared.

        If you must have a beach and Baja won't do, Google search for Yelapa. You fly into Puerto Vallarta, taxi to one of the piers and then take a 20 minute (or so) water taxi to Yelapa. Remember, humidity (and heat) is starting to become an issue at this time of year at any of the Mexican beach resorts.

        Frankly, the grandaddy destination isn't the beach or GDL, it's Mexico City. There are almost a gazillion non-stops a day from LAX. There is more to see and do than you can cram into 3 days and the food *is* spectacular.

        1. Cabo is a couple of notches below Mexico City & surrounding areas, but based on my experience there last weekend a foodie can certainly be happy there over a quick weekend... and an interesting place to study over a longer period:

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/396835

          1 Reply
          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            Well, this time it's going to be Cabo. I shall save the other recommendations for other times!