Guacamole, grilled octopus and even grasshoppers are on the menu in this Gulf of Mexico city, where dining spots line lively Calle 59 and the malecón esplanade.
Often overshadowed by the resort towns of the neighboring Yucatán peninsula, the port city of Campeche is one of Mexico’s less-visited stops. However, a storied and prosperous history has left it with a wonderfully preserved, pastel-toned center, impressive ancient defenses and big-city buzz, making it worth the trip. Its mix of Mexican gastronomy and Mayan roots – plus boatloads of fresh seafood – pave the way for excellent dining spots.
With its kaleidoscopic floor tiles, light-box artworks and distinctively Mexican vibe, La Recova is a feast for the eyes. Your stomach won’t be far behind, with a moreish menu of sizzling fajitas, flame-grilled steaks and market-fresh seafood – the grilled octopus and juicy lobster taco are two strong favorites. You can also enjoy your meal al fresco, either on the pretty terrace or at a table right on pedestrianized Calle 59.
This restaurant-cum-gallery is a riot of colorful folkloric art, vintage photography and decorative hanging lights. The food is mostly classic Mexican, with steaming tamales, a great choice of tacos and reputedly some of the best mole in town. There’s pasta, burgers and salads, too, if you fancy something international, and if it’s breakfast you’re after, they do an excellent huevos a la Mexicana, complete with edible cactus.
Right at the top of Calle 59, this colorful restaurant offers an extensive menu of Mexican cuisine from early breakfast to late-night tacos. Their traditional cochinita pibil (slow-cooked suckling pig) is an outstanding example of the popular dish, while fresh guacamole comes with the bonus of dried chapulines (grasshoppers). For dessert, most diners agree the apple cheesecake is the top pick.
Positioned on Campeche’s waterfront malecón, this thatched-roof restaurant offers an impressive seafood menu with fab views over the Gulf of Mexico. They do shrimp every which way you can imagine – including shrimp cocktail – plus top-notch grilled octopus and fried whole fish. There are land-based options, too, but vegetarians should probably look elsewhere.