|Except during semana santa (easter week), most of the cavernous restaurants at the edge of the Laguna seem empty. Tell
that to the waiters. But hold on! Mexican vacationers travel in packs. An empty place fills quickly when some families of 12
or a bus load of 40 show up.
For the low budget crowd or even gourmets, Catemaco has its share of cocinas economicas or loncherias, many located
around the central market. Try whatever the comida del dia is (lunch special). It´s usually several courses, cheap, and
composed of items usually not on main menus.
All Around - Inexpensive
El Sazon - One block up on the street behind the basilica. Basic Mexican, but cheap, good and comfortable.
Best Mexican Standard
La Casita - Most popular place for locals to eat - dependable quality. Within city, 3 blocks above plaza to the right,
on Matamoros between Ocampo and Bravo.
Best Dining with a glass of wine and some air conditioning
Hotel Playa Cristal (Malecon) or Restaurant La Rioja (upper side of Basilica) - Both have a little more advanced menus,
and real chairs without beer company logos.
Best Seafood in Catemaco
Almost any place "usually" serves decent seafood. But watch where the tour buses eat, and you don´t!, because they
specialize in pre-fried fish. Be adventurous, buy a fresh fish in the market, and ask one of the many small kitchens around
the market, to prepare it.
La Casa de los Tesoros - lower side of basilica, upstairs
Bagels, omelettes, great brownies and very friendly English speaking owner.
Best Breakfast with a view
Nanciyaga - the cinnamon rolls are excellent. PS - if you only eat there, they deduct the 50 peso
(2009) admission from the check.
Best after dark munchies
El Cafe de Nadie - front of the basilica, upstairs
Nice selection of crepes, fruit drinks and strange coffees. Opens late!
Best 24 hour restaurant (only one)
Mingo´s - (2 blocks from the plaza, on Cuauthemoc). Nothing to brag about unless you are not sober and eating at 5 am.
Fair, cheap comida corrida during the day.
|These are some Catemaco fish specialties that are worth trying.
(minnows) - oven roasted and eaten whole, sort of like fishy french fries, or boiled in a soup with chile and lemon.
(freshwater snails) - native to Laguna Catemaco, often served with the same sauce as Mexican shrimp cocktails. Alleged
to be an aphrodisiac.
welllll! - that used to be.
Now they are usually introduced farm raised African tilapia, a perch like fish, fried whole.
Expensive giant shrimps from the mountain streams.
Caught or farmed in some of the outback communities of Catemaco.
(Minilla de Anguila) swamp eels shredded and dried into a stringy red hash, served on tortillas.
And of course the famous monkey meat dish (carne de chango). Since the monkeys are almost extinct, that meat
nowadays is actually smoked roasted pork, but don´t tell anyone!
Fresh local fruit is available everywhere, and it is delicious. Try one of the street vendor´s version of a fruity delight with
In the beach areas, ask them to SHOW you what fish is on hand. It varies by the hour, is usually pan fried and never
enough. Order 2 fish!
|There is possibly one food stall or restaurant for every tourist who finds Catemaco.
|What to eat
|Where to eat