Authentic Mexican Dishes & Riviera Nayarit Restaurants

Living on the Riviera Nayarit all year allows me the experience of getting to know the many authentic flavors of Mexico, and there are many delicious restaurants in the smaller pueblos that line the Riviera Nayarit.

From Chacala, La Penita, Guayabitos and Lo de Marcos,down to San Pancho, Sayulita and Bucerias and Nuevo Vallarta, you will find different and amazing authentic creations varying in style and price.

Come and visit the Riviera Nayarit; Authentic Mexico where you can discover small towns, cobblestone roads, and great authentic Mexican food!

Cheap Tacos are great, however…..

All over the Riviera Nayarit and all of Mexico, you will find taco carts and stands, selling tacos for about 10 pesos a taco. These taco stands are commonly referred to as “cheap tacos”  because they only cost about 10 pesos per each delicious taco!  You can get adobada, pastor, tongue tacos, some with cow head and seos, (the brain of the cow) and asada beef.  I usually go for the adobada…very tasty, staying away from the brains and head of the cow.  These yummy tacos  are served with all different kinds of sauces, red and green, avocado sauce, limes and radishes. They use Styrofoam plates, covered in plastic so no washing is necessary, since they are out on the street. These tacos are delicious, and every week I venture out at least once for “cheap tacos.
However, sometimes one gets “burned out’ on the “cheap taco’ and needs a little more.

Favorite Authentic Mexico Cuisine Dishes

Many traditional Mexican dishes have indigenous and Spanish influences, making each bite flavorful, healthy and unique. From gourmet Mexican dining to street food, Mexico has a wide variety of dishes that will make your mouth water. Most dishes are served with beans and rice, a small side of salad, and they usually bring chips and salsa to your table. This is a different Mexican dish, a little less traditional, yet super tasty. Fried Avocado in a light panco batter. Very Unique and really delicious creations from Sayulita Restaurant Fuego Grill.

So grab a cold cerveza (beer) or a margarita with a shot of tequila, Mexico’s favorite drink,  and try some of these Authentic Mexican Dishes for yourself! In fact, if you visit the Bucerias restaurant  Miguel Angel Restaurant and Bar in Bucerias, tell Miguel RivieraNayaritFun sent you and receive a free margarita!

Carnitas (kahr-NEE-tahs) – Carnitas, meaning “little meats”, and for that way of cooking the pork. This dish is  made from heavily marbled pork that has been fried and then roasted. The meat is seasoned, shredded, and served in the middle of corn tortillas. In Mexico, all of the food is served with all kinds of toppings set out in front of you to choose from. You can top your carnitas with a combination of cilantro, guacamole, diced onion, salsa, refried beans, radishes and of course, a squeeze of lime.

2. Ceviche (seh-VEE-cheh) – A Pacific Coast dish, ceviche is one of the favorites among national and international diners. Marinated in lime or lemon juice, fresh seafood (fish, octopus, scallops and shrimp) is mixed with cilantro, avocado, garlic, chiles, and red onions tomatoes for a salad or entrée. There is nothing better when it come to Ceviche that is made with the fresh catch of the day in the small fishing villages along the Riviera Nayarit, including at the La Cruz marina which is right next to Bucerias Mexico.
Ceviche dates back to Pre-Colombian civilizations when the Incas marinated their fish in chichi, a fermented beer. The solution cooked the fish, and the dish caught on, so much so that other Latin American countries have their own versions. Peruvian ceviche is served spicy and is supposed to cure hangovers while Ecuadorian ceviche is soupy and is served with popcorn.

3. Chilaquiles (chee-lah-KEE-lehs) – Chilaquiles comes from the Nahuatl word chil-a-quilitl, meaning “herbs or greens in chili broth”. Mexicans really love this dish, and you probably will too! Toasted tortilla chips are baked with chicken, cheese, or scrambled eggs. Chilaquiles are then drizzled with crema (sour cream) and sprinkled with white cheese, chopped onions or cilantro. Like most Mexican dishes, the version you sample is dependent upon the region in which you are dining. Mexico City likes their chilaquiles with a spicy tomato sauce and a topping of epazote. Guadalajara likes their chilaquiles thick and hearty with a lot of tortillas, cream and onion. In Bucerias Mexico they serve their Chilaquiles more like Guadalajara, sometimes served with shrimp or chicken. They say its great for a hangover!

4. Enchiladas Verdes (ehn-chee-LAH-dahs VEHR-dehs) – Enchiladas are loved by Mexican food fans all over the world. Enchilada means “in chile”, and true to its meaning, enchiladas verdes (green) swim in a bold sauce made of boiled tomatillos, Serrano chile peppers and sour cream. Commonly thought of as street food, this hearty comfort food is made up of a shredded chicken stuffed inside a corn tortilla that is either folded in half or rolled. It is then smothered with salsa and topped with crema and white Mexican cheese, which is a little salty.
At home some Mexicans cook their enchiladas by frying the tortillas on a grill with the sauce, and roll very little into the tortilla, served with some cheese sprinkled on top, with avocado and other sides.

5. Ensalada de Caesar (ehn-sah-LAH-dah deh SEH-sar) – Most foodies credit restaurateur Caesar Cardini (1896-1956) for the invention of the salad that bears his name. It was a busy July 4th weekend in 1924 when Caesar ran short of food at his Tijuana restaurant in northwestern Mexico. He whipped together a dressing of garlic, Italian olive oil, imported Parmesan cheese, boiled eggs and Worcestershire sauce. He then poured it over Romaine lettuce leaves and topped the salad with croutons. A few years later, Caesar’s brother and Italian Air Force pilot, Alex Cardini, added anchovies. Today, Caesar Salad is one of the most popular salads in North America. You can find Caesar salads everywhere. Sometimes they cut the Romaine lettuce in small strips instead of the larger pieces found in American restaurants.

6. Mole Poblano (MOH-leh poh-BLAH-noh) – Mole is derived from the Nahuatl word milli meaning sauce or “concoction”. It’s a dark, thick sauce made of unsweetened chocolate, spices, a wide variety of chiles and up to 100 other ingredients such as nuts, bread, cinnamon, sugar, lard, plantains and cloves. This uniquely Mexican sauce is time consuming to make and almost every Mexican home has their own recipe. While we know mole comes from the mountainous city of Puebla, Mexico, there are many legends regarding its creation. Some say it dates back to the 16th century when an Archbishop was visiting the nuns of Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla de los Angeles. With fervent prayers and much chopping, the sisters made up a concoction of what few ingredients they had in their cupboards and presented their honored guest with this delightfully flavored sauce.
Other food historians believe mole poblano dates back to Moctezuma, the Aztec king. When Moctezuma greeted the conquistadors, who were thought of as gods, he served mole to Cortez. Of course, other theories exist but one thing is for certain, mole is a favorite across the country and internationally, and one of the Riviera Nayarit’s favorite sauces.

7. Pozole (poh-ZO-leh) – The word pozole is taken from the indigenous language Nahuatl meaning “froth”. Passed down from generation to generation, this culinary favorite enjoys a Pre-Columbian history. It is said to have been created in Tonalá as meal for religious purposes. Ingredients included human flesh, but today, pozole is a broth-like soup that is made from hominy and shredded
pork or chicken. Depending upon the region of Mexico, pozole is made to reflect the tastes of the people. For example, in Guerrero, green tomatoes are added. In Michoacán, pork rinds are added. In the State of Nayarit, pozole is made with pork and dried poblano peppers. Once dished, pozole is often topped with lettuce, onion, oregano, radish, lime and of course, chile, making this dish very popular all over the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico.

8. Tamales (tah-MAH-lehs) – Tamales are tasty meals steamed and wrapped inside a banana leaf or corn husk. Ingredients can include beans, meats, tomato, mole, cheese, chiles, potatoes, pineapple, corn and red or green salsa. Tamales date back to the pre-Columbian era when the process of nix-tamalization (the process of field corn with wood ashes) softened the corn for digestion. Tamales are said to have been served by the Aztecs to the Spaniards in the 1550′s. Throughout the centuries, tamales have remained a favorite meal.
You will find the best homemade tamales on the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico. Traditionally, the Mexican wives along with their daughters and sisters will make the tamales and the husbands will go out and sell them. Tamales are a lot of work, and it takes at least 3 people to make a lot of them. I buy mine weekly from a guy that drives his small motorbike (with a hot cooler on the back to keep them warm) by my casa yelling out Tamles..pollo..camarone (chicken, shrimp). I pay 10 pesos for each delicious one! YUM! (less than one dollar each.)

9. Torta (TORT-teh) – If you are a sandwich fan, then look no further. The Mexican sandwich, or torta, was first introduced in Puebla, but when you travel the country, you will be treated to all sorts of torta combinations. These sandwiches are made with special Mexican bread called bolillo or telera. Either is cut in half horizontally and spread with bean, avocado, or mayo. Then the fun begins. Other ingredients such as pork, steak, chicken, chorizo, fish or ham. To top off the torta, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, chiles
and salsa can be added. With a quick pass over a grill, and the toasted torta is ready to eat.

Once you’ve discovered your favorite Mexican dish, don’t forget to try a piece of flan  ( Mexican custard),  and other amazing dessert dishes their amazing sweet breads of all kinds, or a cup of traditional Mexican hot chocolate. With such delicious goodness, it’s hard not to become a Mexican food lover.

During the summer season, many restaurants are closed. However, some do say open all year around. Click on these links and discover local and open Riviera Nayarit Restaurnats and  how great food in Mexico can taste! Eating and enjoying delicious food is one of the best things about life!

Visit the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico and discover the amazing variety of restaurants, from the Bucerias beach restaurants, fine American cuisine like Marks Bar and Grill, and the wonderful authentic Mexican restaurants delicious cuisine like Miguel Angel Restaurant and Bar on the Main Plaza in Bucerias, or the most romantic Sayulita Restaruant, O Restaurant

Discover the Riviera Nayarit for a wonderful and delicious vacation, Move to Mexico for Life!


Summer Fun in La Cruz Mexico

Taste of La Cruz
La Cruz is located on the Riviera Nayarit fifteen minutes North of Bucerias Mexico. On Saturday, July 21, 2012, the second “Taste of La Cruz” event will be held with wine tasting, food and crafts. This event will take place in the newly renovated Plaza Benito Juarez (the main town square plaza). The first event was held January 2011, and was a great success!
The event starts at 7:00 pm, ending at 10:00 pm. There is no cost for admission. The Taste of La Cruz will also feature the artists and craftsmen of the Cooperativo Huanacaxtle from the locals of the Riviera Nayarit, along with wine tasting and food paring offered by local restaurants.  There will also be live music with  La Cruz  Jazz band Tatewari and other bands as  well filling up the warm summer evening with some great tunes.  Its a great way for the community to get together to meet and socialize, and have an all around good time, all for a good cause.

Two television crews will also be there filming, so come and get your 15 minutes of fame! The net proceeds of this event will go to the operating fund of the WORK FOR FOOD program in La Cruz. Come and help support this good cause that feeds hungry people.
If you are interested in participating in this event, or would like to find out more on how to contribute to the WORK FOR FOOD program, please call Landon at 322-116-4731.

Come on over to La Cruz for some summer fun, wine tasting, delicious food and live music to get your groove on! See you at the party!


La Cruz Restaurant Eva’s Brickhouse Has Sushi
There is something fun and new happening at Eva’s Brickhouse, a wonderful La Cruz restaurant on the Riviera Nayarit, owned and operated by Eva and Ken right on the La Cruz Marina, which makes for a lovey dining atmosphere looking out over the beautiful marina.

Eva and Ken have decided to add Sushi to the menu.  And what better place for fresh fish than the La Cruz Marina, where the fish market is open every morning for the fresh catch of the day! So, why not serve the freshest Sushi and Sashimi in the Bay!

They are starting out with a simple menu:
California Rolls                                                                                    65 pesos
Yellow Fin Tuna, Red Snapper and Shrimp
Pargo, Smoked Oysters Crab and Fresh Catch of the day   90 pesos

There is 10 pieces per roll. All of the fish is fresh daily. I really like that!
You can find Eva’s Brickhouse right on the La Cruz Marina next to the fish market, or call Eva and Ken at 329-298-2238.

Summer is a great time to visit the Riviera Nayarit. Although it is much warmer in the summer months, there is always a lovely cool breeze off of the ocean, less crowds to contend with, and you can’t beat the summer rental and restaurant specials.

Discover La Cruz for your amazing Riviera Nayarit Vacation, move to Mexico for Life!







The Art of  Surfing in Sayulita, La Caleta, Chacala and on the Riviera Nayarit in beautiful Mexico

Ahhhhhhhh. Perfect condtions!! Early morning, clear skies, surf cracking on the beach, creating the desired barrel shape – this is what we wait for!  Time to grab the board and wax ! A couple of great places to learn how to surf are Chacala and Sayulita Mexico.  Why not get away to the Riviera Nayarit for some surfing on your Easter Holiday? Here is a great view of the Chacala town and beach.


How is a Wave Created?

To understand what causes surf, we look at the swell direction, tide and wind. These factors combined in the right combo creates the desired shape for a  good surf . When a wave rolling along encounters a sand bar or rocky bottom, the lower part of the wave’s energy drags against this resistance and slows down. The top part of the wave’s energy continues moving at the same speed and that is why it starts tipping forward, eventually breaking.  The more dramatic the bottom profile of the reef or sandbar, the hollower the wave becomes. The direction of the surf break is also dependent on whether the area has a hard bottom or a sand bottom. Sand bottom peaks move around the beach and transfers the sand so the peak doesn’t stay the in the same location. These, however, are preferable for beginners to learn this popular sport. Lessons are usually provided for basically all ages. Surfers have progressed into the more “mature” age bracket in recent years, unlike the syndrome of years gone by, where the perception of surfers were associated with youth, hippies, budget travelers, etc. We now see surfers of all age brackets, many with very high tech and expensive boards and accessories.

Lessons in Chacala

We have chosen to focus on the very professional surf  lessons offered by a 40 year surfing veteran in Chacala Mexico.
The instructions are very easy to follow, with an initial briefing, and practical moves and tips out of the water, you will then proceed into the ocean on the sandy bottom conditions of the main beach in Chacala, with the instructor at your side at all times. Check out their website here.  You will slowly be taken through the maneuvers, talked through the formation of the wave that you need to look for and before you know it, your up taking the ride of your life. Riding down the face of the wave just on the sheer power of the natural ocean. The feeling is so exhilarating, and it’s no wonder this sport is becoming so ever increasingly popular and was/is the * sport of kings! *sport of kings – *(exerts from surfing handbook)

Next step -LAS CALETAS!!

Las Caletas is very unique, due to it’s natural and isolated location, with jungle surrounding a slightly rocky point and bay that is most easily accessed by panga. This pleasant short ride will take about 10 minutes for a slight fee, depending on how large your group is. (price is per boat, not per person)
This is only a left break because the rocky point faces south. The waves hit the point and wrap around into the cove.

These conditions make for a larger surf break, hence attracting more experienced surfers from Mexico and around the globe. At the Chacala Hostel and Surf Shop,  include surfing lessons and  boards, along with a beautiful Hostel for rental accommodations. Check out the picture of this surfer at Caleta. Here are some other pics from the 2012 Mexico Surfing Tournament as well, as well as the article with the winners!


                                              The Origins of Surfing

Tracing the origins of surfing, we know that the sport migrated from Western Polynesia to the Hawaiian Islands somewhere around 1000 A.D. But, back then, it was much more than just a sport, it was a way of life, bordering on religion. All classes surfed, but the Hawaiian kapu system of laws was in place. Chiefs were tops, and they used the sport to prove their strength, agility and royalty over the commoners. They even held contests with land as the stakes.

Even the making of surfboards was a ritual. Kahuna would search in earnest for just the right tree. Once found, they would sacrifice a fish as an offering to the gods and stand guard over the specimen overnight, praying for successful completion.

What Kind of Surfboard Do I Need?

Surfboards themselves, even further defined the social classes of kapu. There were four types, three of which were surfed upon only by the commoner: The Paipo, a short board, 2’ to 6’ in length and mostly ridden by women and children; the Alaia, 6’ to 12’, for the more agile surfer; and the Kiko’o, 12’ to 18’, for the advanced wave rider. The fourth board was the Olo. It was 15’ to 18’ and reserved for the ali’i, or ruling class.

And the ali’i did surf.

In 1810, when Kamehameha became the Hawaiian Islands’ first king, he united the islands into one royal kingdom. Not only was Kamehameha a great warrior and diplomat, the dude was a surfer, man!
And the sport of kings was the sport of queens, as well. One of Kamehameha’s wives, Ka‘ahumanu, was a surfer, too. The couple surfed Kooka, a break located at Pua`a, in north Kona, often riding lele wa`a, or canoe leaping

In, lele wa’a, surfers jump from an outrigger canoe, with their surfboard, and then ride the wave to shore. Not an easy maneuver, lele wa’a further illustrated the ali’i’s strength and prowess over the commoners.
A half-century later, missionaries came in and not only killed off the better part of the Hawaiian population with STDs, but they also considered surfing hedonistic and banned it altogether. But another king endeared to surfing, would come along to the rescue. In 1872, upon the death of King Kamehameha V, King Kalakaua came to power and immediately reinstated the sport of surfing.

These are the roots of the sport we all love. Surfers are not bums. On the contrary, surfing is, indeed, the sport of kings. And Mexico surfing is alive and well!


 Come to the Riviera Nayarit for a great surfing experience on your next Mexico vacation!




Sayulita Surfing

Surf Boards Galore in Sayulita

Surfing is a skill that requires a certain set of conditions: wind and waves!  If you don’t have ‘em, you don’t surf – or at least, you can’t show off your talent or catch much of a ride.  It just so happens that some of the best conditions are in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, on the Sayulita surf, giving the town its much-deserved reputation as one of the best surfing spots in the world.

Sayulita Weather

Even in the summer months when waves on the Nayarit coastline are smaller, surfers can still catch a 3-foot wave for a good 20-second ride.  The consistently warm weather and water make for decent surfing conditions year-round.  With good winds from the west and northwest, resulting in rising and falling tides, the ocean here can yield waves up to 9-feet high and between 500 – 1,650 feet long, making it ideal for longboard surfing.

Cool Sayulita Surf Board

Surf Skills

If you love to surf, it doesn’t matter if you’re a surf star or a newbie.  Sayulita culture is easygoing and casual: anything goes!  But one thing’s for certain.  The surfers here take their sport quite seriously, so if you’re a beginner, paddle softly around the local experts as they maneuver deliberately through the water to catch that perfect wave and ride it in.

Tip: Beginner surfers are encouraged to practice early in the morning before the experts jump in to avoid getting in their way.

Surf Lessons & Surfboard Rentals

There are several places along the main beach that provide surf lessons and plenty of surf shops that offer board rentals and purchases both along the beach and in town.  Since most Sayulita residents speak English, be sure to ask around for the best prices on quality lessons that teach not only skill but also safety and etiquette. Then you’ll be ready for the thrill of riding the waves in Sayulita. Cowabunga!

Catch the waves of Sayulita Surfing on the Riviera Nayarit in Sayulita, Mexico.

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