All across Mexico you will find variations on the iced-dessert theme, from paletas (ice cream bars) to nieves (shaved ice) to helado (ice cream). In Zacatecas, El Raspanieve has been around for 60+ years, dishing up their signature dish: sugary syrup topped with shaved ice, topped with more sugary syrup, topped with ice cream, topped with a burnt sugar coating. It's served with a spoon and a straw, so you can slurp it up however you please! Heaven! I had the pina-coco (pineapple coconut aka pina colada) flavour and it was delicious! While pina-coco is the only "blended" flavour they offer, you can choose from a huge selection of single-flavor choices as varied as strawberry, coffee and guava. Expect to pay about 20 pesos ($2 CAD/US) per dessert.
Surprisingly, La Cantera Musical was not recommended in my guidebook. Located just below the Mercado Gonzales Ortega, it is a beautiful restaurant full of dark wood and warm lighting, with musicians regularly strolling through the restaurant serenading you with songs (for a good tip, of course). The service is fast and friendly, and the food happens to be good as well. I ordered a plate of Enchiladas Zacatecanas (stuffed with cheese and baked in a light coating of non-spicy but deep, dark red tomato sauce) and a side of guacamole. Compared to the same enchiladas that I ordered at El Pueblito, I may as well have been eating a different dish. The flavours were rich and the textures were just right. It really was a meal of Mexican classics done "just right"- in a way that retains the authenticity while using very high quality ingredients and flavours. The restaurant is appropriate for families, couples and people dining alone- really, it's one of the best choices in Zacatecas! Don't miss it!
Mi Viejo is a little coffee shop and cafe located just a few blocks from the Cathedral. The vibe is kind of like a mix of a shack in the middle of a forest and Starbucks- lots of dark, rustic wood, weird trinkets, grunge music and people plugging away on their laptops. I popped by one evening for a light snack, and went with one of their sweet crepes. I can't remember exactly what it was made from, but I can't forget that it came totally doused in Kahlua! I think it had some nuts and cream as well... however, the Kahlua was truly center stage. If you're looking for a filling, hearty crepe in Zacatecas, head to La Creperie. If you're looking for a sweet dessert crepe at an affordable price, Mi Viejo is the better option. If you're looking to practice your Spanish, chances are good the friendly young patrons at Mi Viejo will be open to chatting for a few minutes. It's little, it's cute, it's cheap... definitely a good stop if you're doing the backpacking thing!
You can't turn around in Zacatecas without seeing at least one vendor of gorditas. Gorditas are sort of like slightly-thick tortillas (usually made from corn) that are stuffed with any number of different ingredients. Gorditas Dona Julia is THE place to go for gorditas in Zacatecas, with three different locations right in the city center. I went to their branch at Tacuba 110. Take a seat in the restaurant and the waiter will bring you an order form and a pen. Check off the number and type of gorditas that you want, along with what you'd like to drink, and give the paper back to the waiter. Sit still and a minute or two later you'll have a plate of steaming hot stuffed tortillas in front of you! As a vegetarian, I chose to try one with rajas (mild green peppers) and cheese, and a second with mole and rice (the mole sauce turned out to be non-vegetarian... that's a first!). The rajas were incredibly spicy, but the mole sauce was absolutely delicious and I just picked the pieces of meat out. If you're a carnivore you'll have a wide selection of gorditas to choose from. For me, two was enough for a light lunch, but I noticed most of the other people in the restaurant were eating about five or six as a meal. None of the gorditas cost more than 10 pesos ($1 CAD/USD), so it's a great place for diners on a budget!
La Unica Cabana is a popular taco restaurant, but we stopped by just for their famous aguas frescas (pureed fruit run through a strainer and mixed with water). I'd heard they had agua di chia (yes, like Chia Pets), but mysteriously they weren't carrying that flavour when we visited! Instead, I had a glass of their horchata (yum!) and my friend had a glass of their guava water (which she said was just right- pink, the way it should be). They had other flavours as well, such as pineapple and lime. We noticed some interesting salsas on the table to eat with tacos, including some we'd never seen elsewhere, so taco-lovers may want to to check La Unica Cabana out. Otherwise, just pop by as you wander around town and get a sweet, yummy drink to go.
This brightly-painted restaurant just reeks of tourists. I went there because it was recommended in a German guidebook, but was disappointed to find a bland, uninspired menu of "traditional" Mexican dishes that had been dulled down to appeal to the type of visitors who are afraid of trying new things. The Enchiladas Zacatecanas were so bland and dry they almost turned me off the dish (good thing I tried them again at El Cantera Musical). My margarita was extremely watery and lacked the punch of fresh lime juice. There are some really good restaurants in Zacatecas, and there is no need to waste your time here.
Le Creperie is a cute, Paris-inspired restaurant in the heart of Zacatecas. Located on the second floor of an old building, it has two tiny tables on the patio (with GREAT views!) and about six or eight more tables inside, in a room decorated with classic French posters and postcards. Service is a bit slow and unfriendly, and the food is a bit pricey (I think I paid 85 pesos- or $8.50 US/CAD- for my vegetarian crepe), but it's a refreshing change from standard Mexican fare, and it's actually pretty good. My vegetarian crepe was stuffed with a great blend of veggies (such as celery, zucchini and carrots) and a light sprinkle of tomato sauce and cheese, then folded over and served alongside a small salad. I crave crepes in the morning, but Le Creperia doesn't open until around 2:00 pm and then stays open late. It's a great stop when you're planning on having a big lunch or dinner elsewhere, and want a light, fresh meal to tide you over.
I have tried El Recoveco in both of their locations, near Alameda in downtown Zacatecas and in front of the main placita in Guadalupe. Both are good locations. One is good if you are walking in downtown and you are done with gorditas and tamales. The second place is a good stop for those visiting the Museo of Guadalupe and want to take a break and refresh.
The place is clean, service is good and the food is fine. I little bit greasy to my taste, but it tasted decent and since it's a buffet style fonda, so it's fitting in those lines perfectly.
I have never had a complain. It's very simple in a good way and has a nice variety of normal food. A small salad bar, main dishes from pasta, mild and spiced stews. There's usually a cooker ready to take a side order as more gorditas, quesadillas or enchiladas.
Price is fine, since you can eat all that you want.
If there is something you want off the buffet service, you can ask for a postre/dessert or an additional beverage. The buffet includes a typical agua de jamaica or similar.
Favorite Dish: Asados and typical my favorite dish here, however I found out that they have been making a very good mole.
When I suggest for places to eat this is my option:
Dorados de Villa.
Good, the drinks are good, the food can be okay if you focus into the sopa Azteca or Caldo tlalpeño, the enchiladas are okay if you ask for the poblano salsa and some specialities.. That's the only thing in the menu. I like the Sopa Azteca, and the enchiladas Zacatecanas..
I tried the Peanut enchiladas for Aaron but he didn't really liked them.. I like their enchiladas when they are creamy and spicy.. the buñuelos are a good option for dessert and their aguas de horchata y jamaica are good, the naranjada tastes good, it comes with carbonated water.
They will bring you a big bunch of vinegar veggies, they taste pretty much as pepinillos in your hambuger, they are sour and spicy.. the salsa is very good, i always ask for lemon and had some salt when i am red because my tongue is burning.
They only bad thing is they work under reservations.. and sometimes their service can be very veeeeeeeeeeeeeery slooooww!!!
But it was fun since the place it's a 100% mexican collage..
The menu comes in spanish!!
Favorite Dish: Other places i like to eat when in Zacatecas is:
La Cantera Musical, under Mercado Gonzalez Ortega, right in the corner of the Plazuela Goitia.
Ask for the Asado de Boda.. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Gorditas Doña Julia,
Nowadays they are a bit more commercial than they used to be, but still good!
I loved the frijoles con queso, or the rajas poblanas, or the huevito, also the deshebrada are good! I told Aaron to avoid the Nopalitos.. that is the most spicy!!!
For drink they have coca or pepsi, cannot remember, coffe, orange juice i think and chocomilk...
The price is okay, and they are zacatecas most famous fast food..
The last suggestion has more restrictions but here it goes:
If it's in the morning, specially weekends.. there is a guy who has a tiny place on Calle Guerrero, almost in the corner or Tacuba Fountain, the place says TAMALES on the door, if he is there, he will have a door open and you will notice a very good smell, the tamales are to go, the price is fair and they are super good with coffe.. We always always buy this tamales in sunday or saturday morning on this corner.. his brother works on the other side of the street, facing the fountain.. in case one is busy..
Remember, there is a market also around there, arroyo de la plata or mercado garcia de la cadena, you can shop for fruit or cheese, buy bread from the oxxo or local stores, their bread is just great, i sometimes only bought bread and cheese and some avocado.. it was a great mix..
Try the tunas as well, they are the prickley pear fruit, you can buy a big bunch or get them from the nopales, but careful with the thorns, they are very fine and hurt. a bit..
They contain lots of seeds that will give you a hard time in the bathroom, but the freshness is fair! it's worth eating them if you like trying different fruits.
Although Acropolis serves food all day, it is best known is a timeless choice for a hearty (okay, greasy) Mexican breakfast. In contrast to the beautiful gold mirrors, shiny cappucino maker and mirrored walls, your food will come slapped on a plastic plate that is placed on top of a paper placemat featuring a heartfelt testimonial from a customer who's been dining there for more than fifty years. Your table will come with a basket of sweet pastries (or not, if the staff doesn't think you can handle the 80-cents per pastry charge... it's not free!) to munch on if you please (and, I reiterate, if you pay).
For breakfast I supposedly had huevos rancheros, although it looked more like huevos mexicanos to me. Either way, lots of eggs, tomatoes and refried beans were to be had. The person I was with had a bowl of fruit, yogurt and granola. As I ordered from the "set menu" mine came with coffee and juice, but I noticed the cappucinos and lattes looked excellent. Overall it's a solid breakfast place, and the fact that it's packed all morning indicates that people consider it a good choice for the city. While you may have to wait a while, there are lots of newspapers to be borrowed at the cashier, so you can lounge around and find out what's happening in the city as you wait.
Very fine and enjoyable restaurant / bar in the centre of Zacatecas.
This is one of the best places I have eaten since I am in Mexico. You can order a la carte (45 pesos) or choose a buffet for 58 pesos.
We all went for the buffet and all were agree that food was gorgeous.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday they offer you life music.
This is really a great place for lunch / dinner when you are visiting Zacatecas...
I found out that this is really the only authentic Zacatecan cuisine with fare prizes and original recipes from the 1600 & 1700 grate service and a really nice location in downtown Zacatecas.
Favorite Dish: The tortilla soup is to die for as well as a main dish call (asado de bodas) wedding stew just grate
I only ate at the restaurant of the hotel, but they have an italian food festival with great food and good wines. (a nice change after all that delicious mexican food).
Great international ambiance , wonderful view , great service and English Spoken! At last I ate not spicy!
Wonderful food and music.
Favorite Dish: Lasagna a la Bechamel
Crepes Texane and Nordique