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A few dishes served at Tacos Tumbras
Photograph: Courtesy Tacos Tumbras

The 10 best restaurants in Acapulco

Inching toward its revival thanks to refreshed resorts and hotels, this former party town is back on the menu—here are the best restaurants in Acapulco

Written by
Lori A May
&
Benoît Loiseau
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Of all the incredible cities in Mexico, Acapulco takes perhaps the strongest beating—for years, highly publicized crime rates were bad news for the former party town, and the reputation stuck. And yet, a lasting charm remains thanks to its golden era, when bold-faced names like Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, and the Kennedys flocked to the beach town, leaving behind a sense of romance that keeps this resort city on our radar.

There's good reason for its staying power: Acapulco has swoon-worthy beaches, spellbinding cliffs, stunning architecture, and some of the best restaurants along the Pacific coastline. Paired with the city's dynamic mix of old-world and contemporary cuisine—plus international influences aplenty—you'll find a lot to love about this place. As tourism slowly rebounds, be sure to visit these top eateries before the crowds return. 

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Best Acapulco restaurants

What is it? A modest seafood and teppanyaki restaurant loved by locals since 1984.

Why go? Best known for its fish and shrimp tacos, Ika Tako also serves a range of tasty veggie dishes. Whatever you order, it will arrive with a bewildering choice of eight—that’s right, eight–salsas of all colors and flavors like mango, peanut, coco, and avocado.

What is it? Housed within the luxurious Encanto Acapulco hotel, this restaurant overlooks the ocean and is known as one of the city's most extravagant bookings.

Why go? Because it’s just too damn gorgeous. Seriously. And as if the ocean vistas weren't enough, the restaurant's menu—a blend of South American flavors with international trends—makes it worth the splurge.

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What is it? More tacos, you say? Yes, but these are different. Tacos Tumbras has been considered by locals as the best taquería in Acapulco for decades. You’ll find all the Mexican street-food classics here: al pastor, bistec, chorizo, you name it. And it’s only a stone’s throw from the beach.

Why go? For the true local experience, try the chicharrón (fried pork rinds) and the queso fundido (a Mexican iteration of fondue). Oh, and make sure you block out the following two hours for a solid siesta.

What is it? Fancy a break from the all-too-available tacos al pastor and shrimp cocktails? This stylish, Italian-inspired restaurant serves farm-to-table delights like grilled rib-eye with rosemary, sea bass with orange and lime sauce, and homemade lobster tagliolini.

Why go? Soak in the incredible views of Acapulco Bay from the al fresco terrace while enjoying a bottle from the most extensive wine cellar in town. In addition to amazing fine dining selections, artisanal chocolate desserts aren’t to be missed.

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What is it? In the sixteenth century, Acapulco became a strategic point in the Manila Galleon Trade Route, thus linking Asia to the Americas. Zibu, which celebrates the culinary legacy that resulted from the trade route, is a trendy restaurant that serves a Thai-Mexican fusion envisioned by chef Eduardo Palazuelos.

Why go? Housed in a palapa-like pavilion and perched atop a cliff, Zibu offers dramatic views over the bay of Puerto Marqués. If you're on the lookout for a romantic evening, look no further. 

What is it? If you have a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish, you probably already guessed that El Pesca’O is a prime spot for seafood lovers (yep, pescado means fish). Here, you'll find ceviche and shrimp cocktails galore—but only for lunch, as the restaurant’s two locations close in the evening.

Why go? This quirky hole-in-the-wall joint is decorated with vintage posters, surfer kitsch, and other sea-themed memorabilia. But fear not: there’s no fishy business when it comes to the fine, comprehensive menu of seafood delights.

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What is it? A Japanese restaurant known for its expansive sushi menu.

Why go? From classic sushi rolls to octopus sashimi, Umami puts an inventive spin on every plate. For something truly amazing, try the Panchito Roll—using poblano chili and sweet pomegranate, the result is a flavorful two-nation sushi roll (a.k.a. the best of both worlds).

8. Cafe Wadi

What is it? A coffee roaster and cafe with freshly baked goods.

Why go? When you want a quick bite that’s easy on the wallet, make Cafe Wadi your go-to spot for freshly baked pastries. But the real reason this cafe is so popular is the freshly roasted coffee. Take home a bag of beans while sipping on hot and cold espresso bevvies at this super casual hotspot. 

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What is it? Chef Erik Nguyen invites you on a culinary journey to the Orient, with a French touch. After a stint in Paris, this master of Asian cuisine made Acapulco his home, and you can enjoy his delicacies in this 350-seat restaurant with views across the ocean.

Why go? Relish the sophistication without all the fuss. It’s called a ‘bistro’ for a reason—this place is pricey, but still down-to-earth.

Mariscos Pipos

What is it? Mariscos Pipos may look rather well-weathered, but that's just what you get when you're situated right on the waters of Acapulco Bay. Luckily, the restaurant's warm and welcoming atmosphere more than makes up for the aging décor. Expect to eat some of the finest seafood in Mexico here.

Why go? To taste the OG of Acapulco ceviche. Better yet, order up a traditional whole fish, charred octopus, or even tasty cantina fajitas without breaking your budget.

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