31 Best Restaurants in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Patrons sit outside of Cafe Nopal, one of the best restaurants in Puerto Escondido. A large covering shades the open rooftop above.

While searching for the best food in Puerto Escondido, I was constantly impressed by the variety of options. In addition to traditional Oaxacan food, cheap tacos, and fresh seafood, there is a ton of international and vegetarian restaurants.

And I tried only a handful of Puerto Escondido restaurants that didn’t make the cut. While this is not a definitive list of the best places to eat in Puerto Escondido, it should get you started.

I often go out to eat with a backup restaurant in mind because posted business hours in Mexico are often unreliable. But I noticed a lot of Puerto Escondido restaurants keep their map listing updated. Thus I included them for convenience, but you should double-check before you go.

I’ve organized this list of the best restaurants in Puerto Escondido by location so that you can easily find the best food no matter what part of the city you are in. Bookmark it to keep handy!

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Puerto Escondido Restaurants, Rinconada

The neighborhood of Rinconada is known for its long strip of restaurants located on Benito Juarez. It makes for a convenient central dining hub.

The area has some of the best restaurants in Puerto Escondido. However, it lacks traditional Oaxacan restaurants.

So just keep that in mind as you decide where to eat in Puerto Escondido. If you’re staying here, you should also explore other areas for food.

Taco Dog Vegan Cafe

$$ | View Location | 9 am-5 pm, closed Tuesdays

If you’re looking for vegan food in Puerto Escondido, this restaurant should top your list. The highlights of the menu include the acai and cacao smoothie bowls, sourdough toast with various toppings, and the coconut tostada

On overview shot of the coconut tostada at Taco Dog Vegan Restaurant in Puerto Escondido. On the sides are a fork and knife.

The coconut tostada was amazing. Two thin, crispy tostadas are smothered with hummus like a sandwich. The coconut flour imparts a hint of sweetness which creates an exquisite vehicle for the salad toppings. 

And the avocado, cucumber, onion, and lettuce are precisely coated in a tangy dressing. Even with the higher price point, this dish was near perfection.

Taco Dog also bills itself as a co-working cafe with a minimum spend of 150 pesos. I’ve seen people working here but I personally don’t find the seating very comfortable for working. The workspace is also rather bright since most tables are under the breezeway.

Cafe Nopal

$ | View Location | 7 am-4 pm, closed Sundays

This modern cafe for lunch and breakfast in Rinconada serves healthy dishes and baked goods. Their motto, “Good coffee, full of life,” fits perfectly as they made the best cappuccino I’ve had in recent memory.

And I really appreciate their well-appointed menu. Rather than trying to offer everything under the sun, they have something for everyone while keeping things short and sweet. 

Their sweet and healthy offerings include an acai bowl, chia pudding, and tapioca. The after-surf combos include your typical breakfast plates which include coffee and the fruit water of the day for a reasonable price.

The acai bowl at Nopal Cafe features frozen blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries with shredded coconut and a frozen fruit medley.

For lunch fare, there are salads and sandwiches, including a vegetarian one that is essentially a veggie grilled cheese with hummus on the side. 

The seating downstairs is fresh and modern. And if you’re lucky enough to snag a rooftop table under the palapa, you’ll feel as though you are dining among the trees.

Disfruta Juice Bar

$ | View Location | 8 am-2 pm, closed Mondays

This cute juice bar in Rinconada became a breakfast favorite of mine. You’d think this is simply a healthy juice and smoothie place.

But, the first time I walked by, the smell of freshly cooked bacon was enough to stop me in my tracks. And not only that, it’s crispy!

I enjoyed a burrito with egg, bacon, potatoes, and beans knowing full well that a burrito isn’t exactly Mexican food. There’s also a vegetarian burrito with spinach and french fries (I assume to balance out the healthy, jaja).

The rest of the menu includes an egg and bacon sandwich, huevos rancheros, a long list of tortas. Disfruta and its few outdoor tables should definitely be on your list.

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Chill a Kill

$$ | View Location | Hours change but updated on maps regularly

Based simply on the name, you would assume this bar and restaurant specializes in chilaquiles. And while they do serve several variations, including a vegan version with tofu, the menu is wide-ranging.

Chilaquiles, enchiladas, and a few sandwiches are served all day. The simple breakfast menu from 10 am-1 pm includes omelets, various egg plates, and waffles (including sandwich waffles with savory ingredients, yum).

Fried coconut shrimp with sticks of fried plantain on a corn tortilla. A sauce sits in a black clay vessel in the center with a shredded carrot salad in the background.

From 1 pm-10 pm, the menu expands to include a few salads, stuffed baked potatoes, a hummus plate with lamb kabob, fish tacos, and various specials of the day.

There is also a small vegan and vegetarian section. The garbanzo burger is accompanied by a cucumber carrot mix while the lentil burger comes with plantain chips.

And perhaps one of my favorite finds for vegan/vegetarian is the tinga tacos using carrots and beets. I really love when restaurants branch out from soy-based products and create vegetarian versions of traditional Mexican dishes.

Metxcalli

$$$ | View Location | 1 pm-10 pm, closed Mondays

Among the high-end restaurants in Rinconada, the creative menu at Metxcalli stood out to me as the most interesting. The chef has created a menu of dishes that use Oaxacan ingredients in unique ways

It’s the type of restaurant that beckons you to order an array of appetizers and entrees to share with the table

A refreshing cocktail in a martini glass with a partial rim of red spicy salt, a slice of pineapple, large ice cube, and greenery.

The menu is divided into sections – cold appetizers, hot appetizers, tostadas, tacos, and main dishes. Highlights include equites served with bone marrow, octopus and tuna tostadas, coconut fish, and lechon (slow-cooked baby pig) which is offered as both tacos and as a main dish.

The menu includes a few vegetarian options as well as a separate vegan section. Offerings included mushroom tacos with lentil puree and roasted cauliflower in a pumpkin seed sauce.

And now you understand why I anticipate you’ll want to order a variety to share.

Now let’s get to the other important part of the menu – the cocktails. I ordered the house mezcal cocktail with clarified pineapple juice, rosemary, and chile.

The server arrived with the cocktail in a small beaker which he then poured tableside into a pre-chilled and garnished martini glass. I started to fear the presentation was created to mask an underwhelming cocktail. But it was amazing!

Perhaps the most well-balanced cocktail I’ve ever tasted.

To dine at Metxcalli, you’ll need to ascend two flights of stairs to the modern outdoor dining space. To your right is a long wood bar with seating that curves as if to mimic the coastline. The nearby rooftop dining area includes beautiful wooden tables and chairs near the small bar. 

The only thing missing from this Puerto Escondido restaurant is an ocean view, but the food is on such another level that you won’t even realize you miss it!

Restaurant El Nene

$$ | View Location | 3 pm-10:30 pm, closed Sundays

This place feels like a staple seafood restaurant in Puerto Escondido. If it weren’t for the palapa, I’d think I was at one of the old school seafood restaurants back home where I used to serve tables during the summers between college.

Under the palapa are fishing memorabilia, a welcome breeze from the multiple fans, and comfortable wooden tables and chairs. It’s a great place to get out of the heat, enjoy a beer, and refuel.

A metal taco stand holds three fish tacos loaded with shredded cabbage and carrots. In the background is a bright green bowl of tomatillo salsa.

When I asked about the type of fish used in the sashimi, tartar, and tacos, the answer was always dorado (mahi-mahi). So I went with the grilled fish tacos. Three tacos arrived, each with a beautiful cut of fish inside, julienned cabbage, and a creamy chipotle sauce. The fish was well-seasoned and perfectly cooked.

I added the amazing tomatillo salsa which I had been devouring with the chips that were served shortly after ordering. They also have a unique peanut salsa that I imagine goes well with some of their meat dishes.

El Sultan

$$ | View Location | 8 am-10 pm, closed Sundays.

This middle eastern restaurant in Rinconada always seems busy. The menu includes classics like tabouli, hummus, falafel, shawarma, and kabobs.

Soon after I ordered, large salads were brought out to a nearby table. They looked so fabulous, it made me question if I ordered the right thing. And I’m here to say the pictures on the menu don’t do the salads justice!

But the falafel wrap I ordered was flavorful. I did think it was slightly on the small side, but the server informed me they have 2 for 1 falafel wraps every Wednesday. But since one wrap is about the same price as the salads, I know what I’ll be getting next time.

In addition, the create your own juice blend menu looks interesting. It includes a section of superfoods to kick it up a notch.

Casa de Pierogi

$$ | View Location | 11 am-11 pm, closed Mondays

A white wall is painted with the words Casa de Pierogi next to a woman rolling out dough next to several formed pierogis. On the left, several beer logos are stenciled in different colors with the words, "serving European beer."

My Ukrainian roots were shocked to see the word pierogi painted across a building while I was walking to Rinconada one afternoon. During the holidays, my family spends countless hours stuffing these pockets of dough with various fillings. So I know the work that goes into creating the perfect pierogi.

I started with a delightful chilled beet soup that was the perfect color of hot pink and filled with shaved cucumber and radish and topped with fresh yogurt. I highly recommend you order this to start if your appetite allows.

A bowl of bright pink beet soup with shaved cucumber in the center.

The mushroom, onion, and sauerkraut filled pierogies were also good. They were perhaps lacking a bit of the filling, which is easy to do when you’re trying to stuff the delicate dough without ripping it. On the other hand, the dough was soft and not dense (also not easy to accomplish).

Overall, Casa de Pierogi is a solid choice if you’re looking for a different type of food in Puerto Escondido. If you’re into making food at your accommodation, you can also buy frozen pierogies at Señor Salud (see downtown Puerto Escondido restaurants).

Oaxaca Grill

$$ | View Location | 5 pm-11 pm, Thur-Mon

Just as the name implies, the grill is the centerpiece of this Puerto Escondido restaurant. But the atmosphere feels like you’re walking into your friend’s house for a cookout.

Their specialty is hamburgers. The options include wrapped in bacon, stuffed with Gouda, and Hawaiana. And let me tell you, these hamburgers are the real deal.

On the edge of the garden, Martin tends to the meat while Ali takes care of the customers under the patio and Mitch works in the kitchen. 

The large, juicy burger is one of the best I’ve had in Mexico. Martin cooks the handmade patties to perfection and tops them with grilled onions (and whatever else you order). The sweetness of the onions balances the pickled jalapenos. By the way, you’re going to need extra napkins.

You can also order a “double-patty” which takes a twist on the classic to include one hamburger patty and a piece of arrachera.

Speaking of which, arrachera is the other specialty. A grilled arrachera plate includes chorizo, onions, grilled nopal cactus, and of course tortillas. The only other things to note – the french fries are extra and they also serve beer.

Traveling to Oaxaca City next? Discover 35 Top Restaurants in Oaxaca

ChupAlitas

$ | View Location | 5 pm-9:30 pm, closed Wednesdays

It was a Sunday afternoon when I walked into ChupAlitas, a small restaurant and bar along Rinconada’s strip. There was a decent crowd watching American football playing on the TV above the bar.

I was instantly welcomed by the owner, Joe, who was also enjoying a beer and watching the game. Fellow patrons assumed I had an interest in the TV, but in reality, I was drawn to this Puerto Escondido restaurant for the promise of great chicken wings.

I later learned that Joe’s wife makes all of the sauces from scratch using original recipes. The exception is the buffalo sauce. Instead, they chose to use the recipe from the famous Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY. Yum, yum, yum!

These wings are big. Joe sources them from a local butcher specifically for their meaty quality. A plate of six is enough for one person. And the tortilla chips they are served with are helpful to scoop up the extra (delicious) sauce.

If you want to spend the afternoon in a low-key bar, consuming wings and beer while watching football, this is the spot.

Bonus: Palma Negra Ice Cream

$$ | View Location | 10 am-10 pm, every day

Outside of Palma Negra, the best ice cream in Puerto Escondido, are several tables and chairs. On the door signs feature words and graphics of ice cream and popsicles.

This isn’t exactly a restaurant, but the hot coastal climate is the perfect place to seek an ice cream cone. So when I heard Palma Negra makes the best ice cream in Puerto Escondido, I knew I’d stop in at least once.

The variety of flavors is split into two sections. The more typical ice cream flavors are milk-based with added sugar. The others are more fruit-based, without milk or sugar.

I paired pistachio with Italian chocolate in a ice cream cone and it was delightful.

Best Restaurants in Puerto Escondido, Centro

I found the biggest variety of restaurants in Puerto Escondido’s downtown area. It’s also where you’ll find several restaurants serving traditional Oaxacan food, cheap tacos, and some of the best pizza I’ve had in Mexico.

There are a couple of restaurants I’m sad I missed. Most notably, Sal de Mar and Taquería Rocío. Keep reading to discover my favorite Puerto Escondido restaurants in Centro.

Pepe’s Fish Tacos

$ | View Location

If you only manage to visit one place on this list of the best restaurants in Puerto Escondido, make it Pepe’s Fish Tacos. Pepe’s friendly energy will warm your heart. And the large fish and shrimp tacos will warm your belly.

After growing up in Puerto Escondido, Pepe moved to the Big Island of Hawaii. He lived there for 13 years while perfecting his tacos, Hawaiian style

Two of Pepe's famous fish tacos line a blue plate. The prominent one features a large filet of fish on top of cabbage and topped with white sesame seeds. The other is topped with tropical pineapple slaw.

Pepe is still setting up his new location inside of a large fenced yard. It’s a bit of a makeshift palapa with chickens and roosters running around. So you can imagine I was wondering if I was in the right place when I arrived.

But suddenly, I heard a voice in English ask, “Are you looking for tacos?”

I nodded and he quickly suggested he would create one taco of grilled fish with cabbage and the other coconut style with pineapple. And so I agreed.

The generous portion of fish was fresh and cooked to perfection. The sweetness of the coconut peeped through as well while the pineapple rounded out the tropical, Hawaiian flavors. 

These are some of the largest, most delicious fish tacos in Puerto Escondido for a really fair price.

Cocofam – Vegetarian Restaurant in Puerto Escondido

$ | View Location | 9:30 am-6 pm, closed Sundays

The rough sawn wooden tables and benches under the breezy patio set a rustic, modern vibe. Cocofam has got to be the best place for healthy vegan and vegetarian food in Puerto Escondido

On a rustic clay plate, a homemade green tortilla is loaded with veggies and mushrooms. Behind is a side of guacamole and a side salad with apple slices.

The small menu features tortas and tacos with heavy use of mushrooms, beans, and vegetables. The menu may be small but the large plates are full of vegetables and served with a side salad.

The mushroom taco with sauteed vegetables is stuffed inside a bright green, homemade spinach tortilla. The salad had long thin strips of carrot, thinly cut lettuce and apple slices. The salad tasted as though it was marinating in the dressing before being served. This made it especially tasty.

Even if you aren’t vegetarian, this restaurant is a must for healthy food in Puerto.

Chili Garden – Eastern Experimental Cuisine

$$$ | View Location | 5 pm-10 pm, Wed-Sat

Chili Garden is hands down some of the best Asian food I’ve ever had in Mexico. A sign on the door mysteriously asks you to ring the doorbell. So I did. A moment later one of the servers appeared and asked in English if I had a reservation. 

“Oops, do I need one?” I replied. 

A reservation is recommended for groups. Luckily it was early and I was just one person.

Colorful Asian lanterns hang from the ceiling of Chili Garden, the best Asian restaurant in Puerto Escondido. Below are tables and chairs in front of the small bar.

As I walked through the doorway, the colorful lanterns hanging overhead transported me to a little bit of Asia, with an experimental atmosphere, if you will.

The menu is impressive. It manages to incorporate a variety of Asian dishes in one place.

Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Korean cuisine are all represented. The flavors marvelously continue on the back of the menu with a list of various sauces to add to your meal.

There are some classic dishes, such as butter chicken, pad thai, phó, green papaya salad, and Korean BBQ. In addition, vegetarians will be satisfied with the option to use tempeh in many of the dishes. 

Since I was trying desperately not to order my usual pad thai, I decided on one of the house specialties, Nasi Uduk. It was described as an Indonesian-spiced coconut rice dish with caramelized tempeh, egg, chicken satay, beef, and fried onions.

It’s probably not the best choice unless you’re looking for more of a sampler platter. On the other hand, I can now tell you that the chicken satay is tender, the beef is flavorful, and the tempeh is real. Like really homemade, fermented soybeans.

But I regret not ordering the BBQ pork noodles as an alternative to pad thai. The multiple variations of curry were also calling my name. However, the food is so good that before I left, I was already contemplating when I could return.

Non Solo Pizza

$$ | View Location | 2 pm-10:30 pm, Tues-Sat

The menu at Non Solo Pizza is authentically Italian with more pizza and pasta dishes than I could count. The specialty handmade pasta – tagliolini, tagliatelle, gnocchi, ravioli, and cannelloni is available in a variety of sauces. 

The best pizza in Puerto Escondido features a homemade crust, perfectly baked with toppings of pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and artichoke hearts.

And the pizza.

Well, a restauranteur told me this is the best pizza in Puerto Escondido. And I believe him! The crust was thin and perfectly baked. Keep in mind, pasta is available all day but the pizza is only available after 4 pm

They also offer a menu del día until 5 pm. It includes soup, entree, fruit water, and bread for 150 pesos. Not the least expensive menu del día, but I’d be willing to bet it’s fabulous!

Antojitos Regionales Las Juquileñas

$ | View Location | 7 am-5 pm, every day

As the name suggests, this is a traditional Oaxacan restaurant to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or a quick snack. Long wooden tables line the corridor under colorful paper cut-out decorations that flutter under the welcome breeze of the ceiling fans.

An army of cooks is deployed in the kitchen. They tend to the comal, a round flat metal cooking surface that is ubiquitous in Oaxacan cooking, as well as a grill, and various pots of stews.

If you have yet to try mole amarillo (with chicken) you should definitely order the empanada here. A quick note, Oaxacan empanadas are more like a quesadilla although they don’t always contain cheese. They aren’t fried or baked but rather heated on the comal.

The mole amarillo (which is more of an orange than yellow color by the way) is incredibly flavorful with a subtle spiciness. In Oaxaca City, they are large but I’ve noticed along the coast the empanadas are smaller.

So I recommend ordering at least two different kinds to try. I also asked for a mushroom and chorizo empanada (mixto) with cheese which was fabulous with the added salsa on the table.

La Parrilla Mixteca (Tacos)

$ | View Location | 4 pm-3 am, every day

Inside, this Puerto Escondido restaurant, ceiling fans whip the air through the open dining area like a refreshing ocean breeze. Outside, a single man tends to the rotating spit of pastor

He continuously trims the meat with a large knife, only taking a break to add another round of pineapple to the top. As a result, the pastor tacos are fresh, fast, and when I was there, beautifully marbled with fat.

This is a no-frills kind of place that features pastor tacos, tlyaudas, and several “specialties” that mix different meats with cheese and sometimes vegetables (tortillas on the side of course). 

If you’re looking for cheap tacos in Puerto Escondido, La Parrilla Mixteca is a great spot in the heart of downtown. 

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Street with Cheap Tacos

$ | View Location | Starts in the evening around 7 pm

Another option for tacos is this street in Centro. Several taco stands are set up here in the evenings

A fellow traveler at my hostel recommended we go by after venturing out to watch the sunset one evening. He prefers the last stand because he thinks the meat looks best and they have plates of five tacos for 50 pesos.

Not being one to order five of the same type of taco, I questioned if I could order individual tacos. We were both surprised to discover that you can order a mixed plate at the same price. So basically 10 pesos per taco, which is a good value in Puerto Escondido.

The choices are typical of Mexico – barbacoa, bistec, suadero, etc. And honestly, if you’re tired of eating fish or simply looking for cheap tacos, this is one of your best bets near the city center.

The JP Bunker

$ | View Location | 1 pm-9 pm, closed Sundays.

While I wasn’t overly impressed with this seafood restaurant in downtown Puerto Escondido, it is a favorite among locals. When I was there, the menu was somewhat limited to tiritas and sashimi. 

I enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere. It’s located in an area set back from the street, next to a car wash. The beer was cold though the sashimi tasted as though it was simply smothered in a soy heavy sauce.

But that seems to be common in these low-key seafood places. In fact, there are a couple of others in the city that seem pretty similar. 

But do try Restaurante El Curandero. I didn’t get the chance but it was high on my list. Sadly I missed this place when they were unexpectedly closed on a Sunday afternoon. Afterward, I saw it full of people which is always a good sign.

Bonus: Señor Salud – An Organic Tienda

View Location | 9 am-6 pm, closed Sundays

Bright yellow accents on the stairs and window frame welcome patrons to Senor Salud, a health food store in Puerto Escondido.

Owner Evelia has curated an organic tienda full of natural products and produce. With a background in the spa industry, I often step inside these little health food stores to browse.

When I entered Señor Salud, I was immediately impressed with the unique selection of products. Evelia explained that she tries to source only local products, though she will make exceptions for specific requests.

For me, the most intriguing items are the collection of oils and tinctures made by Tierra Sur, a plant-based specialist located in the mountains of Oaxaca.

In addition, the produce is fresh, the homemade kombucha is just right, and the sauerkraut was tasty. She also sells kimchi and frozen homemade pierogis. I highly recommend going out of your way to shop here.

Puerto Escondido Restaurants, Zicatela

Zicatela is full of beach bars. I tend to avoid them because they usually serve mediocre food at inflated prices. But I found a handful of great breakfast places and a sunset beach restaurant with the freshest sashimi plate. Needless to say, the others didn’t make this list of Puerto Escondido Restaurants.

Once you get a few blocks from the beach there is some really good food in Zicatela.

Tistal Cocina Traditional

$ | View Location | Mon-Sat, 8 am-10 pm + Sun, 8 am-2 pm

If you’re staying in Zicatela, I highly recommend having breakfast at this traditional Oaxacan restaurant. From the beach, follow the road towards the highway. There is a steep set of steps to climb at the end. But it’s totally worth it for the ocean views from the balcony seating.

A jar mug is filled with green juice from Tistal Restaurant in Zicatela. In the background is an ocean view and palm tree.

And for the food of course! This is one of the best places to eat in Puerto Escondido

As you walk up, you’ll see several women – some making tortillas and others tending to the comal. It’s exactly what you’d expect at a traditional restaurant in Oaxaca.

The menu includes various plates of eggs as you wish, empanadas, chilaquiles, tlayudas, and more. To drink there are fresh juices, smoothies, coffee, and hot chocolate. The food is delicious and the prices are super reasonable.

And I have to add, the service was fast and on point, which is sometimes hard to find at a restaurant in Puerto Escondido.

Jugos y Cocos Chester

$ | View Location | 6:30 am – 5 pm, closed Sundays

The open ocean view from Chester Jugos in Zicatela is framed by tall palm trees and the rooftops of several buildings.

Next door to Tistal is Jugo y Cocos Chester, a small juice and food shop with arguably a better view from the rooftop palapa. To get there, go through the room where they sell fresh fruits and vegetables. In the back, you’ll see the stairs that lead you up.

I really wanted to love the food at this place, but I think I ordered the wrong item. 

The beet juice I ordered to enjoy the view was delicious. I also chose the vegetarian sandwich to-go but it ended up being so salty I couldn’t eat it. On the other hand, the local surfer sitting on my right ordered the triple-decker club sandwich. It looked amaaazing!

For guaranteed good food, eat at Tistal first and head upstairs to Chester’s for a juice after. Or don’t be like me and order one of their specialties instead of trying to go healthy.

Mariinera

$$ | View Location | 1 pm-11 pm, every day

This is one of the best beachside restaurants in Zicatela. Come here for the fresh fish and sunset views. Choose to sit at one of the shaded wooden tables or lounge in the hammocks suspended between palm trees.

A plate of fresh sashimi fish topped with slices of red onion and avocado sits on a table at La Mariinera Restaurant in Zicatela. In the background is a sunbed in the sand surrounded by short palms with the sun streaming through the leaves.

Mariinera is known for serving fresh seafood sashimi and tostadas. And if you’re only looking for a quick snack, the tostadas are available to order individually.

The price for a large plate of sashimi depends on the type of fish you order. I opted for dorado, or mahi-mahi, which seems to be the main fish served in Puerto Escondido.

Tostadas similarly vary in price based on the type of seafood. The options include marinated fish, shrimp, octopus, mixed, and options of the same prepared in a curry. The margarita was decent and the beer was cold.

Elephant Garden

$$ | View Location | 8 am-1:30 pm, every day

If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast restaurant in Zicatela, this is the place to be. Elephant Garden Restaurant features a shaded courtyard in the back and a small tienda in the front. The menu leans heavily vegetarian with a few vegan items as well.

There are several fruit and seed bowls, omelets, and shakshuka. There is also an entire page devoted to their housemade quinoa and chia seed bagels with a variety of toppings. 

While I almost ordered the pork stew with guacamole on a bagel, I opted to go healthy with hummus, zucchini, and sauteed mushrooms. It was delicious and most importantly, the bagel was soft, not chewy as I had feared.

The beverage menu at Elephant Garden is just as exciting. It includes matcha, some fermented options such as kefir and kombucha as well as your typical coffees and fruit water. The various kinds of vegetable milk are made in-house daily.

Bonus Restaurants in Zicatela

Two restaurants I wished I had been able to try are Dan’s Café Deluxe for breakfast and Taqueria Los Molcas for cheap tacos. And for a variety of restaurants with a sea view, go to Mercado Zicatela where you’ll find a fabulous French Bistrot, Italian food, and Oaxacan classics. Hours vary widely, so check before you go.

Best Restaurants in La Punta

This is one of the most expensive areas in Puerto Escondido. And that seems to transfer to La Punta restaurants as well.

It’s also where you’ll find the most international restaurants, which inherently tend to be more expensive in Mexico. Nonetheless, my tastebuds were happy for a change of pace as I sought out Thai, Vietnamese, and Argentinian empanadas.

I highly recommend you choose where you want to go ahead of time and arrive soon after the sunset. At this time, everyone seems to exit the beach and flood the restaurants.

I was really looking forward to eating at Chicama, a highly rated Peruvian restaurant in La Punta. But you won’t find it on this list because I took my time soaking in all the colors in the sky. When I arrived around 7:30, there was a long line out the door.

Fish Shack La Punta

$$ | View Location | 1 pm-10 pm, closed Mondays

Under a wooden sign that reads, Fish Shack, La Punta, patrons dine at the tables along a corridor that leads to the beach.

This is a proper fish shack located on one of La Punta’s narrow alleys that lead toward the beach. Two long community tables and several smaller tables line the corridor just outside. Place your order at the cash register and then listen for your name as the servers bring out food and drinks.

I questioned the owner about why he has a po-boy on the menu (and more specifically what type of bread they use). He told me that he knew he wanted to open a fish shack. And well, you can’t have a fish shack without a po-boy.

By the way, he told me they use a baguette (as they should). The bread of the fish sandwich was so good (soft and slightly sweet). I can only imagine it’s a killer fried shrimp po-boy.

The southerner in me can tell you, they do know how to properly fry. The girl to my right was served perfectly crispy fish bites and french fries. I literally heard them crunch when she bit into them.

A juicy piece of grilled fish is layered between a soft bun with shredded cabbage, iceberg lettuce, and pickles. In the background is a colorful bowl of chipotle coleslaw.

However, I highly recommend ordering the grilled fish sandwich. The grilled fish filet was thick and juicy, layered on a mixture of shredded iceberg and cabbage with pickles and a serrano tartar sauce.

This restaurant is known for fish. But vegetarians will be happy to see (fried) veggie baskets as well as a cauliflower taco on the menu.

Check their Facebook page for their weekly specials Tuesdays-Thursdays as well as their different weekend offerings (hint, the Sunday brunch menu includes fried chicken and waffles).

Chilango Taco

$ | View Location | 1 pm-11 pm, closed Sundays

As soon as you walk up to this taco restaurant, you can feel the passion of the chef and owner as he mans the grill just outside the front door.

Inside, his wife takes care of the customers. She answers questions about the menu, promptly takes orders, and keeps the cold beers flowing.

I originally decided to come here for cheap tacos. But after seeing the menu, I was swayed into ordering one of their house specialties. The nopal special includes your meat of choice, cactus, avocado, and tomato.

It was definitely intriguing because, you know, vegetables. But I decided on Mixteca because I’m a sucker for pineapple. And I believe these house specials are where they shine.

The passion I saw when I arrived came through in the flavors of the meat, onion, and pineapple which seamlessly blended together (no doubt helped by the stringy quesillo). If you’re looking for delicious and cheap food in La Punta, Chilango Taco is your spot.

Nu’ó’c Sabor Vietnamita

$$ | View Location | 5 pm-10 pm, closed Fridays

The small menu at Nu’ó’c includes Vietnamese classics like spring rolls, banh mi, and of course Pho. Most dishes can be ordered vegetarian since each has the option of soy meat, tofu, or chicken.

I ordered the tofu lettuce wraps filled with carrots, cucumber, rice noodles, and mint, served with a side of peanut sauce. The marinated tofu was well-seasoned and cooked perfectly.

Reviews also rave about the Pho which looked to be a large bowl of deliciousness.

The half palapa, half tree-shaded open seating with a sand floor and modern lighting creates an inviting dining space along the main strip. 

And the happy hour (5-8 pm) features margaritas, mojitos, and glasses of wine for 50 pesos as well as 20 peso beers. A great deal among the elevated prices at most restaurants in La Punta.

La Batata, Sabor Argentino

$$ | View Location | 12 pm-11 pm, closed Mondays

This restaurant is part of Punta Origen, one of many food courts in La Punta. The atmosphere is breezy with picnic tables in the shade and a slight sea view. But I was drawn in by a desire to eat baked empanadas.

I spoke with the two Argentinian men who I assumed are the owners of La Batata. And as they enthusiastically explained the fillings, their passion for (damn) good empanadas became apparent.

The empanadas themselves were amazing. But the side of incredibly fresh and flavorful chimichurri sauce was equally as good.

An overview shot of a wooden cutting board with two baked empanadas of different shapes, a small bowl of chimichurri, and another of hot sauce. There is also a steak knife and small spoon.

The options start with two classic Argentinian empanadas. The Malbec is filled with beef cooked in red wine, egg, and scallion. The Costilla is filled with potatoes, scallions, and a pork rib stew that’s roasted in the oven for hours. 

There are also a couple of vegetarian empanadas, including an intriguing one filled with sweet potato, corn, toasted sunflower seeds, caramelized onions, and cheese.

If you like dough-filled snacks as much as I do, I recommend adding this to your list of the best restaurants in Puerto Escondido.

Xocoyo Vegan + Vegetarian

$ | View Location | 9 am-10 pm, closed Mondays

This small restaurant serves healthy vegan and vegetarian food in La Punta. The menu is divided into two sections – sweet and salty. 

Sweet includes hotcakes with fruit, egg, or tofu, toasted bread with your choice of peanut butter or an intriguing “Nutella” of garbanzos, and an apple crumble. The salty items make good use of vegetables, tofu, and beans with the occasional option to add soy meat.

A white bowl is filled with the bright colors of corn, carrots, cucumber, tomato, avocado, lettuce and beans. It's one of the healthy bowls at Xocoyo Vegan Restaurant in La Punta.

The plate of chilaquiles served with a side of beans looked amazing. And the burrito bowl I ordered was just as I expected – fresh and hearty

It consisted of a nice serving of rice and flavorful pureed beans with corn and avocado. On the side was a dense portion of lettuce with tomato, cucumber, and shredded carrots. The black and white sesame seeds rounded out the beautiful presentation.

The atmosphere at Xocoyo is family-like and the service is prompt. If you’re looking for something light yet filling, I would definitely recommend this unassuming spot.

Thai Food + More

$$ | View Location | 7 pm-12 am, every day

This restaurant is part of El Arbol, an outdoor food court with an enchanting atmosphere. Individual palapa stands line the wall, each offering a different cuisine – seafood tacos, sushi, French food, and obviously Thai food

A single window in the building along the back serves as the bar for the entire place. They have mezcal, beer, and a large selection of liquors.

My suggestion? Go early.

Impressively, they cook all of the hot dishes using a single wok. So, when I arrived an hour into dinner service (8 pm) on a Tuesday, they weren’t taking more orders at the moment. They offered to make my order in 30 minutes, for which I was willing to wait.

She also informed me they were starting to run out of some dishes. So I asked if they still had green papaya salad, a dish I was delighted to find in Mexico. Since it’s a cold dish, she informed me they could make it right away.

The papaya salad seemed to lack the spicy Thai pepper. But I can say this kitchen creates fairly authentic Thai food.

Café Nduva Punta

$ | View Location | 8 am-6:30 pm, every day

This cafe proudly features Oaxacan coffee and chocolate, even one at 95% cacao.

The chocolate offerings also extend to the intriguing list of frappes. The cacahuate frappe blends peanut butter with a hint of coffee, yum!

There is a simply Oaxacan chocolate frappe. Or you can opt to combine all three – peanut butter, chocolate, and espresso. Super yum!

The small food menu also looks intriguing. I didn’t order food here after having a very disappointing meal at a cafe the day before. But the options here look much better. 

The avocado toast, while still a bit pricey, includes sauteed mushrooms and a fried egg. There’s also an egg and bacon sandwich with chipotle dressing, a smoothie bowl, and more.

Karma Bowls and Cantina

$ | View Location | 8 am-11 pm, closed Mondays

This small juice and smoothie bar is located down one of the small alleyways that lead towards the beach in La Punta. I really wanted to try one of their amazing smoothie bowls but I didn’t have time.

A jar of green juice topped with bright pink bougainvillea flowers sits in front of several pineapples lined up along Karma's wooden bar.

So I ordered a green juice, something that has become a favorite of mine along the coast. It was refreshing and flavorful, served in a jar with fresh flowers on top.

The ladies behind the wooden bar under the palapa worked fast and in unison. But as I suspected the jugo verde took a long time.

If you have a leisurely morning (which you should by the beach!) then I would recommend stopping at Karma Smoothie Bar to fill up on fruits and vegetables for breakfast.

Café Ole Creperie

$$ | View Location | 8 am-10 pm, every day

I casually skipped over this cafe and restaurant in La Punta multiple times. But when I was looking for something quick before the sunset, there it was. And it was quick. 

I believe when a restaurant includes its specialty in the name, it’s best to order it. And after seeing the sandwiches at a table nearby, I believe that is sold advice for Café Ole. 

The savory crepe was thin and tasty, full of the ingredients listed on the menu. It actually turned out to be a more hearty meal than I expected.

While the menu includes breakfast items that are served all day, they are open into the night. The menu is organized into sections – crepes, eggs and omelets, bread, salads, paninis, and waffles. A few sections are further divided into salty vs sweet.

And interestingly, everything is the same price. Speaking of, I found the price a bit elevated for what it is.

Well, that rounds out this exhausting list of the best restaurants in Puerto Escondido. Let me know your favorite restaurants in the comments!

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