I have been fortunate enough to travel to Mexico on several occasions. My Mom vacations there every winter, so when we were younger I was brought along for the ride. It wasn’t until a trip in 2014 that I finally was visiting this country as someone who wasn’t a picky eater. All the years I traveled there when I was young, I hardly would eat anything put in front of me except maybe quesadillas and plain nachos. Finally I had the chance to taste some of the amazing Mexican food Mexico is known for and boy was I glad I did. Here are some of my belly’s highlights from my visit to Puerto Vallarta and Bucerias, Mexico.
Ceviche from Joe Jacks Fish Shack
You’re by the ocean—so naturally being someone who comes from a Canadian province surrounded by lakes, I needed to take advantage of the awesome seafood while in Mexico. Joe Jacks Fish Shack is located downtown Puerto Vallarta and serves up a mean ceviche (they also have good mojitos too)!
Tuna from Karen’s Place in Bucerias
This was probably one of my favourite meals of the entire trip. My Mom has had hit or miss experiences at this restaurant in Bucerias, but I would for sure go back and visit to have this meal again. Arugula, tuna, and pasta… yum!
Tacos & more tacos
People are always hesitant to get food from street vendors, but if you’re with a local that knows what’s good or if you’re willing to take the risk, I promise it will be worth it. Look for vendors that are serving them up hot and fresh, and haven’t had them sitting there for a while. Either way, tacos in restaurants and from street vendors are going to be amazing—so eat lots while you can!
Chiles en nogada
A Mexican specialty and one that many people don’t necessarily think about when they think of Mexican food—Chiles en nogada is a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with either beef, shrimp or veggies and mixed fruit with a creamy sauce drizzled on top. We tried this dish at No Way José in Puerto Vallarta. Yum!
Tamales are basically everywhere—you can get them in restaurants, from street vendors, or even fresh from the grocery store. A tamale is made from masa and steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. You unwrap the tamale and eat the insides when they are ready! Yummy, cheap and quick.
This may not be everyone’s favourite—in fact, I think I was the only one out of my Mom, sister and I that liked this but I found it a very comforting beverage. Atole is a traditional hot corn and masa based beverage found in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. You can get this thick, creamy and comforting beverage in chocolate too!
Tostadas is a Spanish word for “toasted,” and basically that is what this is—often a toasted tortilla as the base is used with similar toppings to tacos on top. This dish is definitely messy but worth getting the mess all over you. Try it in a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant!
Fresh salsa, guacamole & nachos
This is a given isn’t it? Do I even need to say more?
Anything with mole on it is going to be delicious and is a must try in Mexico. Mole comes in several different varieties but key ingredients are ground chilies, chocolate, and sesame seeds. This doesn’t sound appealing but the Mexicans sure know how to make it compliment their dishes, and you’ll have fun trying the different variations at restaurants because to me, no mole tastes the same!
These look a lot like just popsicles but don’t get them confused with the boring old popsicles you buy in the freezer aisle at your grocery store. These popsicles are made with fresh fruit, and you’ll find several homemade variations across Mexico. Don’t be surprised if you go into a local convenience store and they’re selling these homemade creations. Refreshing and delicious.