R e s t a u r a n t s . . . what to expect.
Dining in Mexico is a cultural event in itself. The meal is more than the food on the table. Mexican food is prepared with time, and love and care. The Mexican dining experience is a time for people to come together, enjoy one anothers company, and reflect on the days.
The quality and expense of dining in Mexico, even in the upscale restaurants, when compared to resort prices in most places, is usually very reasonable. Great food is one of the biggest draws of travel to Mexico. If your one of those people that thoroughly enjoy a great meal, then you should enjoy your visit to Mexico.
Dining is about much more than just the food in Mexico. It's a social event! However, the food alone is reason enough to go!
The rich cuisine of Mexico is incredibly varied. Chefs from around the world come here to learn firsthand how Mexican Chefs handle the freshest ingredients and Mexican spices to produce flavors unlike any place else. Start in Northern Mexico, with "cabrito", a traditional dish of roast baby goat slow-cooked over mesquite coals with a variety of Mexican herbs and spices. While it is well known, and rich in flavor, what is remarkable is the recipes for this dish vary from town to town. You could spend months and never eat the same "cabrito" twice!
In Oaxaca Mexico, discover the home of the world-famous Mexican Mole Sauce, which draws chefs and foodies from across the globe! If you dare, be sure and sample the "chapulines", too. A delicacy, they will have you hopping because they are grasshoppers!
In Mazatlan, Mexico (known for enormous and flavorful gulf coast shrimp) and along the Mexico Baja Peninsula (known for fresh catches such as Marlin and Dorado), seafood is the order of the day, with the ocean's bounty served up incredibly fresh in a mouth watering and dizzying variety of dishes. From grilled shrimp on the beachfront to soups and stews that bring the humblest bits of the catch to sparkling life, your palate will thank you!
In the heart of Mexico in Mexico City you will find that much like New York and Paris Mexico City is one of the culinary centers of the world. This is the "big show" for any Mexican Chef, and many world-famous chefs have been known to "strut their stuff" on this spacious culinary stage!
For a truly great experience, get out of your hotel and hit the streets. In open-air markets, from street stalls to roving vendors you will find a veritable banquet of true Mexican food, the kind eaten by real people every day.
The main meal in Mexico is traditionally taken mid-afternoon and is a leisurely and often a social affair, with large families meeting to dine together. The actual evening dinner hour usually starts well after 8 PM and can easily last until 11 PM. Make your dinner plans and reservations accordingly, especially in the major cities. In fact, the same holds true in any Mexican city, not just in Mexico City. Many of Mexico's restaurants feature live entertainment in the evenings, as an added pleasure for diners. Even those restaurants that have no scheduled entertainment are often likely to be visited by either a local Mariachi band or local singers, Spanish guitarists and musicians that will gladly serenade your table for a small price.
As for the "no shoes, no shirt, no service", keep in mind,s ome upscale restaurants, especially in the major business centers, have dress codes and may require a coat and tie.
Get out among the people who live there and you'll find true Mexican Culinary Culture!