Cocada is a sticky sweet made with coconut shavings and shaped like a pyramid. You can find it in other parts of Mexico and Central America as well, but my first experience with cocada was in Patzcuaro. If you like coconut, don't miss it!
A weekend restaurant located on Lake Zirahuen about a 30 minute drive from Patzcuaro. There is a place to park your car in the village of Zirahuen near where the boat takes you to the restaurant. The car park is hard to find so you have to keep asking for the boat dock once you reach the village of Zirahuen. The boat stops at several places so be sure you ask for the restaurant. It is relatively expensive (for a Mexican village) but the cuisine is excellent. The manager, Victor, speaks English and is very helpful. There is a good international wine selection and the view of the lake is excellent. The place seems to be quite popular on Sunday afternoons.
Favorite Dish: Tarascan Soup. In fact all the dishes our party of 6 tried were excellent. Pescado blanco is the local specialty which is now hard to find in Patzcuaro but should be tried.
The food is comforting and satisfying - not couture or cutting edge - just really soothing - like dishes your mother would make. The restaurant has views of the main square also.
Favorite Dish: Pasilla chile stuffed with beans and epazote with a tarragon cream sauce. Pasilla chile stuffed with adobodera cheese and tomato sauce. Corundas. Tarascan soup. Taquitos. Pescadillas. Chocolate.
The 1603 unfinished church, La Colegiata, or La Basilica, as it is locally known, sits on a hill on the eastern edge of the inner town. Vasco de Quiroaga had hoped to make this church a New World glory. It was to have been large enough to hold 30000 worshippers, but only one of the five planned naves was completed and that not until 1833. Quiroga's tomb is here and at the opposite end is the figure of the Virgin Nuestra Senora de la Salud (Our Lady of Health), a source of miracles that brings pilgrims from all over Mexico - walking the final stretch on their knees in supplication and hope.
Right across from the church is the Posada La Basilica, a hotel with a restaurnat open for lunch and breakfast. We did not stay here, but did take advantage of the grand view from the top of the rooftop restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Huevos Michoacan con tortillas with some coffee tasted pretty good - coffee is a big crop in the lower regions of Michoacan, near Uruapan.
Didn't have a chance to eat here but did have afternoon cocktails. The view overlooking the rooftops of Patzcuaro out to the lake is as magical as one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's books.