There are mixed reviews on this restaurant. Other people have posted negative reviews about this restaurant on other sites. I can believe other posters - their biggest complaint has been slow service. However, I have just returned from Ixtapa/Zihua after two weeks (1/8/05 to 1/22/05). I had two meals there, I had good service, I waited no longer than I do in any restaurant, and the food was just fine. I went there to watch the NFL playoffs two weekends in a row and had snacks (hamburgers and fries) and received prompt service and the snacks were just fine. I went there another evening for drinks and received prompt and attentive service. I talked to Don Francisco, the owner, and learned La Perla pays all its taxes and complies with all environmental standards. It is ideally located on what many regular travelers claim is the best beach in the area. The owner, Francisco Ibarra, maintains one of the best humidors for cigars I have ever seen! I have read some recent criticism on other boards about the cigars there. Unfortunately, he carries Cuban cigars, and it became illegal for US citizens to use any Cuban products, even if the citizen is overseas. President Bush signed a directive just prior to the presidential election last year making it so. So I talked with other people who would use Cuban cigars, Canadians, I am sure. Everyone said they were satisfied with the cigars. Meal prices were slightly higher than restaurants with similar food, but you pay for the location, right on the beach.
Favorite Dish: I like the seafood - this year I stuck with shrimp dishes for meals and hamburgers for snacks (had to have my "cheeseburger in paradise").
There are so many different icecream shops in Ixtapa and they always were doing a brisk trade and no wonder - the icecream was so good. I highly recommend the "Cajeta" flavoured icecream. Cajeta is Mexican caramel and it is so good. I wish I brought some cajeta back with me to make cajeta icecream at home but I'll have to try and make it myself.
Senor Frogs has a fun atmosphere an extensive menu and huge drinks. Menu was a mix of both Mexican and American. We had ribs and steak which were very good. Because it is a chain restaurant it has a reliable level of service and food. Lots of partying later on in the evening.
Small, off the beaten track restaurant in Ixtapa. Looks more like a little sidewalk restaurant/taco stand and one you might walk right by.
Favorite Dish: Whole grilled red snapper with garlic and guajillo peppers (not hot) was incredible and a very good price. I have had this dish in many restaurants in Zihua and Ixtapa and this was the best prepared, the biggest and cheapest for its size that I have had anywhere. It is 130 pesos and comes with soup or salad. Chicken soup was also excellent.
This place is amazing…the food, location, music, service, ambiance, etc. It’s about a 5 minute taxi ride from Ixtapa. It’s located on a cliff overlooking the ocean and shore of Ixtpa. Someone told me it used to be a home before being converted to a restaurant. The tables are outside on a huge wooden patio with an incredible view. Very very romantic and a lovely place for families. My mom and I had our Christmas dinner there. I seriously walked in and stopped in my tracks when I saw the view and how perfect the place was set up (linens, table settings, soft soothing music). I snapped pictures immediately. With a setting like this, it didn’t seem possible that the food could be good too. It was. The moment that sealed the deal was when the sun set and the hostess came to each table offering shawls when it got a little chilly. Too much! Love it !
Favorite Dish: I had this really good hickima-guacamole-cream cheese salad wraps as a first course and pistachio crusted mahi mahi as a second course. I'm not sure how to explain why it was so good...the presentation, the rich yet soft flavor. It tasted yummy...what can I say??!
Find the municipal pier in Zihuatanejo. On the left there is a small building selling tickets for $30 pesos for the water taxi to Playa las Gatas. Buy a ticket, keep the stub for the return trip. Walk down the pier and climb down to a water taxi and ride to las Gatas. Get off the boat and walk all the way down the beach to the restaurant that is the second from the end. That is Otelia's. Franco, the proprietor with a sense of humor, will take good care of you. He'll make you a breakfast to order and keep you stocked with beverages all day as you enjoy the beach.
Favorite Dish: My wife and I had the seafood special for two. That, combined with breakfast and beverages, cost $400 pesos. The seafood is as fresh as it gets. The captains who take people fishing bring their catch to these restaurants, most of the captains have relatives who own the restaurants. That is why the prices are so low - and the fish so fresh!
Another very nice restaurant located on Playa la Ropa. You can sit with your feet in the sand and watch the sunset.
Favorite Dish: The tuna steak here was $60 pesos. It was a very large steak, cooked medium. It came with baked potato and vegetable. It was prepared perfectly and tasted wonderful. I love shrimp, but the tuna steaks down here are keeping me plenty busy!
Sit at a table with your barefeet in the sand and watch the sunset. There are little lanterns surrounding the restaurant and a candle on each table. They have attentive service (remember, Mexico is more laid back and it's best to reset your time to Mexican time. If you're in a rush, you're not relaxed). Their "happy hour" is from 5-7 pm and they offer very potent 2 for 1 drinks. So if you order a jumbo marguarita, be prepared to spend a lot of time working on them both! A favorite place for the Playa La Ropa crowd.
Favorite Dish: I love the tuna steak, cooked medium and wrapped in bacon. $90 pesos (about $8.10 US). It is the full meal deal, complete with all the trimmings.
This fine restaurant offers a spectacular view of Zihuatanejo Bay. Sunsets are awesome from this restaurant perched on a cliff overlooking the bay. The owner/chef prepares flambe dishes at your table. The show is second to none. This is a first class restaurant, and the prices are 1/3 to 1/5 that of similar nearby restaurants of the same caliber. If you go, have your desk clerk call for reservations, and ask for a table on the balcony. Get there before sunset. It is located on the road to Playa Las Gatas, just southwest of Zihuatanejo. ***Update - I heard from a reliable fellow traveler prices have gone up this season, and service has gone down. Since I enjoy this restaurant so much, I am going to revisit in January '05 and see for myself.***Update 1/05--the prices have gone up a little (about 10-15%) but the service and food remains the same. I still recommend this restaurant.
Favorite Dish: I ask for the catch of the day and am never disappointed. I also like their beef flambe dishes. The presentation is very competent and attractive, the ambience is comfortable. The owner/chef is jovial and puts on quite a performance.
Top shelf Jazz/Blues musicians come and perform at this newly remodeled place. Some locals join in the blend. The bar and restaurant open at about 7:00 pm, the music starts around 9:30. There is a dance floor and people ought to bring their dancing shoes!
Favorite Dish: They just got their smoker going when I visited 1/19/05. They charge $35 pesos (about $3 US) for a plate of cole slaw, two generous chunks of ribs and two chicken wings. I am told they will be expanding their menu as time goes on, but for $35 pesos, they can't be beat!!
A restaurant open 24 hours a day, run by an American from the Southwest who knows his barbeque! I talked at length with Steve. He told me he spend years developing the right method of smoking his ribs with mango wood! The restaurant is a popular place for taxi drivers who stop in for a late, late night snack. The restaurant also has satellite television so sports addicts can watch the Superbowl or other sports.
Favorite Dish: The All-You-Can-Eat special is on Monday night for $135 pesos (about $12 US). It comes with Mexican potato salad, Mexican cole slaw and baked beans. The ribs are NOT drenched in sauce - there is a delicate sauce glazed on. The mango smoked ribs are meaty and totally awesome! There are probably enough ribs for the average person on the first plate, but seconds and thirds, though they take more time and only have a half-plate of ribs, are just as good as the first.
I visited this restaurant twice in the two weeks I was in Zihuatanejo this year (1/8/05 through 1/22/05). It features wonderful Mediterranean food. The service is good, the view is outstanding. This restaurant is near the Puesta Del Sol, another of my favorites. The prices at Il Mare are significantly higher than PDS, but it is worth it. My wife and I had cocktails, appetizers, a bottle of very nice Chilean wine, a wonderful entree for aourn $900 pesos (aboujt $82 US). Call for reservations and ask for a table on the balcony. Get there about 45 minutes before sunset. One drawback - this restaurant is NOT handicap accessible. There are about 20 steps leading down a steep set of stairs to get to the restaurant. The rest rooms are located outside the building, down another steep flight of stairs.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish was jumbo shrimp on a bed of cooked spinach. The spinach had been sauteed in a sauce made from Ouzo.
This restaurant serves extraordinary Mexican food. The service is very good and the food is second to none. Every Thursday night local dancers come and perform dances native to the various states throughout Mexico. The only drawback is its location. It is situated on the corner of two busy streets, and the traffic can be somewhat of a minor distraction. I take away one star from my rating because of this factor, but I recommend making a point of visiting this restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Pozole. This is an Aztec soup made from pork or chicken. I ordered some there last January, and I was concerned about just having a bowl of soup for dinner being sufficient. The waitress laughed and advised me to just order the soup. She was correct. The soup was an entire meal. The waitress gave instructions on how to add the various condiments to the soup, all of which made the meal very enjoyable. The entertainment was very professional and pleasing.
This restaurant has an oven that burns wood for its heat source. The owner is an Italian who knows his stuff. The location is upstairs with a fair view of the nearby fields and vegetation, the nearby mountains are attractive. The service is friendly and very accommodating.
Favorite Dish: I prefer the skewered shrimp with spaghetti. The shrimp is cooked to perfection with Italian seasoning, and the spaghetti is better than the spaghetti I make at home myself.
From the marina at the north side of Ixtapa you can take a ferry over to Ixtapa Island. There are no real developments over there, but there are a number of makeshift beach bars and cafes right on the beach which cater to snorkellers and other tourists. It was so much fun, very casual and a bit expensive (where else are you going to go?). We asked for a menu and a guy showed up with a sample platter showing the various food they could grill for you - that was the menu. There was one table set on a rock outcrop overlooking the bay, apart from the beach tables, seemed very romantic.
Favorite Dish: We had the shrimp ceviche for lunch, which was very good, and some tropical drinks made in pineapples and decorated with hibiscus flowers (which are everywhere in Ixtapa).