Posted February 17, 2012 by Kay Walten in Food & Drink,Riviera Maya Services
La Fonda de las Piñatas
After a late night at Coco Bongo, this cocina’s menudo may be just the cure you need. This is where the Cancun locals eat. From heads of state to simple folk, they all know this is a kitchen like mama’s. You will be greeted by a dozen steaming pots of Mexican home cooked goodness, just point to what tickles your taste buds and smile real big. Your selection will be brought to you in a giant tortilla with Oaxaca cheese. No English spoken here, but don’t let that deter you! Some say love is the universal language… at La Fonda de las Piñatas it is food. Owner Claudia Torres is often in the house, personally greeting her guests and stirring the pots.
Tu Parador Restaurant in Puerto Aventuras
This unassuming, roadside restaurant in Puerto Aventuras makes some of the best gourmet meals on the coast. When we walked through the entrance of the lovely palapa we were immediately transported to a tranquil world of fountains and soft music. We hardly noticed we were on the busy highway. Chef Guillermo personally greets each table to describe the menu and answer any questions. We began our meal with the creative and beautifully presented hearts of palm salad and Oysters Rockefeller. These were the biggest, freshest most delicious oysters of any we had anywhere else. Next, we shared the pork chop stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon and marinaded in a sweet apricot BBQ sauce – amazing marriage of flavors! We closed this outstanding meal with a chocolate cake drowned in a ganache sauce that was pure heaven. Our bill came to a very reasonable $650 pesos.
Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery
Turtle Bay’s special occasion cake
When you just cannot eat one more taco or panucho, go to Turtle Bay Cafe in Akumal. You will have a hard time choosing just one menu item. Try the Steak Oscar (petite beef fillets topped with tender crab and rich Béarnaise sauce) or the black & blue salad made with juicy arrachera and crumbled blue cheese. Turtle Bay breakfasts are legendary! Indulge in the rich Eggs Benedict built on crab cakes or the breakfast sandwich that is a local favorite, or dare to tackle the giant ranchero omelette with its sweet, smokey sauce. This charming little palapa cafe also bakes its own cookies, cakes, pies and numerous other sinful sweets. My current favorite is a scoop of the sea salt caramel ice cream on top of a chocolate toffee cake!
Classic Mexican dishes done to perfection. The chiles en nogada here is the best I have ever had. Poblano chili stuffed with minced beef, pineapple and raisins, covered with white nut and cheese sauce, sprinkled with granada (pomegranate) and coriander. Yes, it is expensive… at $290 pesos I suffered a bit of sticker shock, but I did say it was the best I ever had. Chef Claudia Perez is in love with what she does. She personally greeted our table with a smile and opened our bottle of wine herself. My dinner guest ordered the shrimp huitlacoche which was very tasty, but we both agreed the chiles en nogada stole the show! Two gourmet entrés, a bottle of wine and a bread & cheese board with extra little surprises for about $80 USD.
Photo courtesy of Cetli
Located on a beautiful stretch of Tulum Beach, this Riviera Maya institution is still one of my favorites. Do not give it a second thought, order the lobster spaghetti. Homemade pasta, plump, tender shrimp, chunks of rich, buttery lobster and seasonal veggies tossed in a light marinara and served in the shell. A meal ample for two at $395 pesos. It also includes a hearty appetizer board of Italian breads, cheese, Mexican salsas, nuts and pickled veggies. This paired with numerous glasses of Montepulciano (about $70 pesos per glass) is almost all you need before you die…but wait! Don’t pass over into the afterlife before indulging in the house tiramisu made with real marscapone cheese. Add espresso and our bill came to about $1300 pesos with tip – not cheap, but worth every centavo.
Photo courtesy of Giada Paoloni
Riviera Maya Activities (205)
Mexican Art (61)
Community Organizations (24)
Mexican Culture (171)
Mexico Destinations (120)
Family vacations (91)
Food & Drink (213)
Guest Bloggers (20)
Riviera Maya Photos (300)
Riviera Maya events (78)
Riviera Maya Services (58)
Sustainable Tourism (111)
Vacation tips (53)
Destination Weddings (29)
Costa Maya (8)
Loco Adventures (41)
Mayan Ruins (35)
Riviera Maya Destinations (227)
Community Announcements (19)
Mexican Recipes (27)
Riviera Maya Restaurants (65)
Mindful Traveler (47)
Yucatan Activities (42)
Riviera Maya Vacation Tips (128)
Mexico Vacation Tips (163)
Restaurant Reviews (8)
Interview with a Local (15)
"I have booked most of my Mayan Riviera trips through Loco Gringo and can only say I wouldn't even consider using anyone else to handle my bookings for stays in that area.
Their booking process is simple, fast and friendly, and they will answer your questions and queries until you are completely satisfied that every single detail has been taken care of.
Who else would know the area better than folks who live and work right there? Try to get that level of expertise and knowledge with a booking agent who lives and works several hundred, or even thousands of miles away.
Not only that, but they are genuinely nice people as well, who really care for their customers and the community and area that they call home
Keep up the great work Loco Gringo!!"
"You always recommend amazing accommodations and we are always comfortable and feel safe. Your staff does a fantastic job at making our vacation each year a ” hassle free ” experience ! All we have to do is ” show up ” and the rest is already taken care of. We will continue in future to use LocoGringo and also continue as we have done already, to highly recommend your company to anyone we know that is planning a vacation."
--Nancy & Bill, Toronto, Canada
"Thanks for everything you have done with Locogringo… the site is great and your staff has been nothing short of incredible when it comes to helping us plan our trips. Maybe we’ll run into you on one of your walks some day."
"She & her new Husband had a fantastic hassle free trip. This was their very first time to Mexico and her comment upon return was " Dad, 7 days is NOT enough time ! " Super job, LG."
--Bernie in Denver,
"When we use LG to book a trip we get immediate help with all of our questions in a very timely way by people who know what they are talking about and are extremely helpful, patient, knowledgeable, and congenial. They really get how to do customer service.
Once we book through LG we never have to worry about any of it again. We are always amazed at how smooth and trouble free our bookings through LG have been."
--K.B., Fort Worth, TX
"We spent a lot of our time sitting on the second floor porch with our feet propped on the railing just staring at the water. Coming home was hard this year..Staying for two weeks still wasn't long enough."
"We have been Booking our Riviera Maya vacations from Loco Gringo since 2005. Always Great communication, helpful tips and quick responses to our questions. They were especially helpful when Hurricane Wilma hit and put a stop to our Vacation plans. They made sure we knew about the weather situation and did all the work with re-booking our vacation in Paradise!"
"I had contacted you before I left for my first trip to Mexico and all of your recommendations were spot on. I started in Playa Del Carmen and worked my way to Tulum. I had only expected to stay 2 nights there and instead wound up staying for a week-and that still was not nearly enough time. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks! I will be checking in with you guys as I am tring to plan a trip to Holbox next. That place looks amazing!"
--Louis Skip Gonzalez, Unidos Magazine
"Not sure if we will be returning next summer, but will definitely let you know if we are, as Loco Gringo is the ONLY way to go for us!"
--Lesley P., Texas
""I was soooo delighted with the Loco Gringo services. Everything was trouble free and all my questions were always answered promptly. Thanks for a GREAT trouble free vacation!""
"So here is a GREAT BIG TEXAS THANK YOU TO LOCO GRINGO for all the awesome, fantastic vacations in Paradise."
"LocoGringo.com books total trip packages and I recommend LG to all my friends and even to strangers I hear talking about going to Mexico!!"
"And their amazing website is one of the main reasons we started going regularly to the Riviera Maya and especially Akumal. No other place around the Caribbean has nearly as good a web presence as LG has given this area."
--Dan, St. Louis MO,
"Both in 2011 and this year we have booked our room through Locogringo.com. We searched and found a great rate at the resort we wanted, and then Locogringo met that price, and with their booking came their amazing customer service and the peace of mind that if we need anything while we are there we simply need to call. I always get a fast turnaround on any email I send them, and they work so hard to find us the best rates and the rooms we want. We hope to have a long relationship with them, and recommend their site to everyone we know."
--Tim A and Teri A, Salem, UT
"It's a great comfort to visit the Riviera Maya and know that Loco Gringo is there to help, if needed. "
--Bryan in IN,
"quick and informative replies from Bart ( thanks Bart) , easy booking procedure plus online management of your booking . I am highly impressed."
--Theressa - Middlesex U.K.,
"We usually need reservations for 2 to 4 people but for 2 years we needed reservations for 7 to 9 people, adults and kids and they have always done a flawless job in getting the resort we wanted and at the best price too!!"
"Now is a great time to tell you how wonderful you and your staff are at making it so easy to find and book the best vacations, THANK YOU !"
--Joyce & Hugh,
"I just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU! The trip we booked through Loco Gringo was perfect! The price was exceptionally good and the service was second to none! If you’ve never booked with Loco Gringo before, we *highly* recommend them!"
"Loco Gringo has an AWESOME website with great info, it is lots of fun to visit, be sure to join their forums. The forums hold more information and trip reports than you can 'shake a stick at'!"
"All our Riviera Maya trips have been booked using LocoGringo. We love their service."
"A company made up mostly of American Expats living in the Riviera Maya with a booking list of many hundreds of properties. Big enough to know each property intimately and small enough to know each customer personally. A level of service simply impossible for the giant companies to provide.
--Jim T., Colorado
"...for your patience with me and making this process go soooo much smoother! I truly appreciate you and the staff at LocoGringo. Thanks again! I can't wait to be sitting on the beach!
Maggie in Colorado"
"Loco Gringos is the VERY BEST booking site I have ever worked with. They respond to emails promptly, work hard to honor special requests, answer questions etc. They ALWAYS take great care of their customers and are conscientious and professional at all times. We have booked 8 trips with this company and NEVER hesitate to use them or recommend them when traveling to the Riviera Maya."
"It is like having a friend make your reservations for you .... we always feel comfortable knowing LG will be in charge of our arrangements because they know the area first hand, they live there ..... you ask a question and they answer it with good humor and great knowledge of what they speak. I will always recommend Loco Gringo in a heart beat!"
"and for the past five years we have used Loco Gringo for every reservation, I'm sorry that we did not find them sooner.
I have been searching Loco Gringo for all these years and one thing I have not yet found ........... someone who is not fabulous to work with. Great people, great owners and a great way to run a business."
--K & DB, Outer Banks, NC,
"What an amazing company Locogringo is. Every silly question I have.... they answer , If something comes up like a travel day change, adding more people, or whatever it might be... you get a response from a real person ... who seems to love what they do . That is hard to find these days and I really appreciate that."
"I will be bragging about your site to any and all who will listen. Our experience was phenomenal!!!"
"People who “live the area” will want to make sure you enjoy your vacation and come back again!"
"Go to the home page or check the forum."
"I would recommend Locogringo to everyone I know. It is such a great service that they provide from researching and booking the perfect place to stay to finding all the needs you could possibly want during your stay. Thanks Locogringo."
* Denotes A Required Field
How much are you thinking about spending?