Bienvenidos to the second post in the series where I compare our pre-move expectations to what actually happened. Today’s topic is one of my favorites: food.
Prior to moving to Mexico, we had vacationed in Mexico over 20 times but we usually stayed at all-inclusive resorts and rarely ate off of the property.
The resorts always had either a Mexican themed restaurant or a Mexican night where they feature local dishes. I tried several things but I found very few things that I liked. I started steering clear of Mexican food altogether during subsequent trips.
Linda and I talked about the fact that we would have to eat at smaller local restaurants once we moved to Mexico in order to save money. For me that meant that I would have to get used to eating food that I didn’t really care for.
The bright side is that I figured that I would lose some weight. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you spend most of your time in your bathing suit.
All of those expectations were destroyed shortly after arriving in Mexico. Our new neighbors started introducing us to a wide range of restaurants — including Mexican ones — that were absolutely amazing! We quickly realized that the food at the resorts was not an accurate representation of what Mexico had to offer.
If I wrote about all of the wonderful places we have eaten in Mexico, this blog post would quickly become a novel. So I’m just going to hit some of the highlights and share a few pictures we took.
Steak and Hamburgers
One of the biggest surprises was that we found the most delicious, mouth-watering, tender, cooked to perfection steaks that we have ever had in our lives. I actually didn’t know that beef could taste that good until we found this place.
The restaurant was called El Pequeño Buenos Aires and was located along the main road through Tulum. It didn’t look fancy, but this little restaurant consistently made food that could rival anything that came out of the kitchen at the Four Seasons in New York City (and yes, I have eaten there too).
We actually started eating there 2-3 times a week because the prices were so reasonable for such an amazing meal. I loved taking tourists there just to see their reactions when they tasted this masterpiece for the first time. Many of them proclaimed it to be the best steak they ever had in their lives.
Before you start making travel plans to Tulum to try this amazing place, I have bad news for you – it closed a few months ago.
The restaurant was located in a prime location and the owners sold it to someone else who promptly closed it without warning. It is currently being renovated and word on the street is that it will reopen as a Mexican restaurant. I guess technically they are all “Mexican” restaurants since they are in Mexico, but you know what I mean.
The picture below was taken the day that we went there to eat and found it out it was gone for good.
The best hamburger that either of us have had so far in Mexico has been at La Lunita in Akumal.
If you are a seafood fan, then you will never be unhappy in this area. The seafood is fresh, well-prepared and very affordable.
The best breaded fish fillet I have ever tasted in my life is found right here in Akumal. Don’t worry, this place is still open. I routinely eat there and I have probably had the fish more than 60 times. It is consistently delicious, perfectly cooked, and never “fishy”.
The restaurant is called Gilly’s Tequilaville and I dedicated an entire post to it in June. You can read it by clicking HERE.
Although Tequilaville has the best breaded fish fillet (pescado empanizado) anywhere around, there are quite a few restaurants that serve great seafood along the coast.
Pizza and Pasta
You can get fresh made pasta and pizzas at very affordable prices throughout the area.
If you like the Chicago style deep dish pizza, you can find that too.
As I mentioned under the expectations section, neither of us were really crazy about the authentic Mexican food that we had tried in the past during our many trips to Mexico. Well, that is because we just weren’t going to the right places. Nowadays, we both love authentic Mexican food and we eat it several times a week.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Once again our reality has far exceeded our expectations. The only bad part is that keeping the weight off can be a challenge when surrounded by so many tempting culinary delights. People always warned us that living in Mexico could be dangerous, perhaps this is what they meant.