(updated Dec 11/18)
Everyone loves to eat out and in Lake Chapala we are fortunate enough to have an abundance of great restaurants with terrific prices. So where should you go for a great meal? In no particular order here are some of my personal favorites.
Cocinart – Located one block up from the Malacon on 16th of September and open for lunch and dinner, this is my all time favorite place to eat! Cocinart seems to have hit the magic button for great food at really down to earth prices. Daily specials, burgers, sandwiches, chicken and meat dishes, seafoods and salads, they seem to have a little bit of everything to please every palate. I especially love the Lamb Burger for lunch and the Lemon Chicken for dinner. Special note: Be sure to have their homemade soup of the day. They are to die for!
Pranzo's – Located in La Floresta on the Carretera right at the Sculpture, this restaurant features sandwiches on bagels and ciabatta buns. I recommend the chicken burger and pizzas. Great fries too!
Johanna's – Located just east of Revolution Street (where the Wednesday market is held) on the mountain side. This is the only German restaurant in Ajijic so you have a great opportunity to practice another language. Their Wiener Schnitzel special on Tuesdays is a winner winner!
Machi Ma – Located on the Carretera just 2 blocks west of Colon on the mountain side, this vegan restaurant features healthy food make with fresh local organic ingredients.
Ninnete's - French cuisine for dinner located across from Guadalajara Farmacy in Ajijic.
Purple Garlic Pizza Brothers - Hands down the best pizza in town and Awesome salads. Located in the heart of Ajijic on the Carretera just east of Colon Street this restaurant often features live music too. Dine in or take out, don't miss out!
Teocintle – Located on Constitution just 4 blocks from Colon (read my in-depth blog on this restaurant) features homemade authentic Mexican cuisine at budget prices. The menu is always changing according to the seasons so it is impossible to recommend something in particular but Gloria the chef is a master at moles so be sure to try one of her mole dishes.
Pasta Trenta – Also located on Constitution very close to Teocintle has homemade pasta and sauces for the Italian lover in you.
Tabarka's Seafood Restaurant – Now in their new location on Ramon Corona, just a half block north from the doors of the Lake Chapala Society, Tabarka's is probably the premier place for awesome seafood. If you are a seafood lover, this is the place to be. Try the paella or octopus!
Ajijic Tango - Located on Colon just 2 blocks up from the malacon, features great steaks and seafood, including my favorite, the tuna steak.
Chile Verde - Located across from the taxi stand in Ajijic plaza, features awesome and authentic Mexican food. Try the Albondigas (meatball soup) on Tuesdays (only) or their Pozoles soup on Saturdays (only). The Mexican plate or burrito is awesome any day of the week.
Paninos - Always spectacular Paninos is located on the Carretera just on the eastern edge of San Antonio. Open only from 11-4, Mon-Fri, this is strictly a lunch spot serving sandwiches and specials of the day. Favorites? Gotta be the taco salad, deep fried scallops or spaghetti and meatballs when featured. There's lots to choose from and I certainly have not tried them all so see what your favorite is. Daily music by a keyboard player adds to the the great outdoor ambiance.
Mel's – Located on Zaragoza two blocks west of Colon Street. Mel's has been long established in Ajijic and for good reason. Excellent food, free beer with lunch during the week and a fantastic buffet on Sundays. The desert table on Sundays is truly mind boggling and can't be missed. Be sure to leave some room!
Two Thai Restaurants in Ajijic are worth a try when you want something different. Simply Thai is located on Zaragboza ehind Hotel Calandrias, west of Colon, and Pian Thai is located on Calle Hidalgo17 just a few blocks from the plaza.
If you get tired of eating out and just want a quiet dinner at home yet still don't want to cook, then try some of the prepared food options.
Wednesday Market has a limited amount of prepared foods but is THE place to go for cheap eats including pizza's, fish tacos, regular tacos, gorditas, empanada's and other Mexican fare at Mexican prices. From 9:30 to 2:30 roughly only on Wednesdays on Calle Revolution in between the Wal-Mart lights and Ajijic
This is by no means an all inclusive list. There are many, many other great restaurants here and so many still that I have not tried. And as is often the case in the restaurant business, they come and go and the quality can change with changes in management or chefs so take these suggestions as a starting point and enjoy the adventure.
As I was writing this blog, I kept adding and adding more favorites. There simply is no end to the great dining available here in the Lakeside area. I realized too that there are many super 'hole in the wall' restaurants as well as a recent influx of really good food trucks from Guadalajara. So stay tuned for future blog posts on these two types of eateries.
What are your favorite restaurants? Help me and the readers of this blog find the best restaurants Lakeside by posting your favorites. As always, feel free to contact me if you need further directions or information. Until then...'Buen Provecho'