One of the oldest resort locations in Mexico, Acapulco has dropped in favor lately with tourists instead flocking to the Caribbean coast in Cancún and Playa del Carmen. That’s not to say that Acapulco has nothing to offer, boasting as it does a stunning coastline, its very own Jersey Shore-style spin-off reality show, and great restaurants. Read on for our guide to the 10 best places to dine in style in Acapulco.
Zibu is a fantastic restaurant offering Thai seafood dishes with a Mexican twist. The restaurant itself is a masterpiece, with a focus on natural elements like wood, bamboo, and stone, which only complement the outstanding view you get when you dine at Zibu. Planned with open spaces in mind, the majority of the seating is on the outdoor patio, but try to get there for sunset to take full advantage of the glorious cliff- side location.
Modern, elegant, and casual, Becco al Mare is a beautifully designed restaurant, worth a visit for its architectural merits alone. However, if you’re more interested in the food, the contemporary Italian menu won’t disappoint either, as it boasts only the highest quality ingredients and a range of 15 Italian oils. You must take advantage of the extensive and predominantly Italian wine list too, but if you’re unsure of what to go for, the in-house sommelier is on hand to help. Again, this is another one to visit if you want to dine with a spectacular view of Acapulco.
La Cabaña de Caleta is a well-located little restaurant, centered in the heart of the Old Town and just on the edge of Playa Caleta, meaning that you can enjoy your food overlooking the surf and sand. The portions are generous and the seafood is fresh, with the tender shark tacos and the ginormous prawns coming highly recommended. This is definitely the perfect place for a spot of lunch to break up all that strenuous sunbathing you’ll be doing.
Don’t expect anything fancy at El Zorrito, with its plastic chairs and tables, but do prepare for some authentic and delicious Mexican cuisine. With a friendly and attentive atmosphere, this is a great place to people-watch as you undoubtedly stuff yourself with the complimentary tortilla chips and dips that adorn the table. It’s a favorite for locals too, and do make the most of the Mexican dishes served here, like the chicken tostadas or the stuffed peppers, but if you’re traveling with a fussy relative, French fries are also on the menu.
Bento Japanese Cuisine is a great spot for some freshly prepared sushi in the heart of sunny Acapulco, with outstanding presentation being the selling point of every dish on the menu. The restaurant itself is tastefully decorated and spacious, allowing for a greater sense of intimacy than is often afforded to diners in Mexico, with a relaxed atmosphere. The prices are steep but they are well worth it if quality, fresh, and beautifully presented sushi is what you’re after. Not to mention the array of flavorful cocktails.
Never judge a restaurant by its location. That should sum up Cira La Morena for you, an Acapulco favorite in the Old Town. Located down a small dirt road, this is a popular place for families and locals but is growing in popularity among foreigners. The stand out dish is undoubtedly the pescado a la talla, which is beautifully seasoned and accompanied by handmade tortillas. Another perfect time to visit would be Thursday evening, when locals descend for the Acapulco tradition of eating pozole and drinking mezcal.
The quality of hotels in Acapulco often means some of the best food can be found in their affiliated restaurants, and Saffron is an excellent example of this. Part of the Banyan Tree Hotel, this is highly recommended even for non-guests, as its Indian and Thai cuisine is to die for. Make sure to stop by for sunset and enjoy the spectacular view, alongside the divine curry dishes bursting with flavor or the outstanding pad Thai. The perfect spot for a romantic dinner for two, but watch out for the smart-casual dress code.
Famed Mexican chef Mónica Patiño is the brains behind Origen, a restaurant located in the Encanto Acapulco hotel. Customer satisfaction is the driving force behind her gastronomic vision, as she reinvents traditional tastes of Acapulco in a simplified manner, and serves them in the sophisticated and ambient interior that is Origen. A treat visually as well as gastronomically, Origen should be up there for places to visit on your next trip to Acapulco. Don’t miss the refreshing watermelon and feta salad.
Alejo is a quaint and familial restaurant located in the Old Town of Acapulco, making it an excellent choice for a late lunch during your day of exploring the area. Serving classic Mexican dishes, including the previously mentioned pescado a la talla, the seafood is superb and the prices reasonable. Besides the food, they also have a pool and hammocks for you to enjoy pre- or post-lunch. A relaxed spot, Alejo is one to check out if you’re in the vicinity.
Further removed from central Acapulco than the majority of our recommendations, Elcano Diamante still offers the excellent views that characterize many of the places that make up our list. A fusion of traditional Mexican cuisine with a contemporary twist, including many recipes typical of Guerrero, Elcano Diamante is a casual, ambient restaurant with great service. There is a minimum order amount of 350 pesos (about $20 US), but your meal includes the use of the pool. Stop by in the daytime, have a leisurely lunch, and then take a dip in the pool to really get the most for your money.