The best restaurants in Puerto Escondido for fresh seafood and classic Mexican eats.
Ahhh, Oaxaca’s Pacific coast. A world-class beach experience without the crowds and high price tags of Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun. We spent a very pleasant week in Puerto Escondido — the largest town in the region — working, beach hopping, and eating, eating, and eating some more.
Mexican cuisine is incredibly diverse, and each region has its own specialty dishes and ingredients. As you may guess, Puerto Escondido and the rest of Oaxaca’s Pacific coast beach towns specialize in freshly caught seafood at very affordable prices. From seafood soups and fresh ceviches to smoked fish tacos and grilled fare, there’s more than enough to satisfy even the most voracious seafood enthusiasts.
Puerto Escondido is where I discovered sopa de mariscos — an absolute treasure of Mexican cuisine that contains what feels like every creature in the sea cooked in a garlicky tomato soup base. At about 200 pesos a bowl (~$10 USD), you get a hearty portion of octopus, a whole crab, shrimp, shellfish galore, and, oftentimes, an entire fish.
Sopa de mariscos is said to originate from Veracruz, a city located on the Gulf of Mexico, but it can be found at every self-respecting seafood restaurant across Mexico. Each region has its own take on the dish, and the variations we found in Puerto Escondido blew me away.
Read on for all the deets on the best restaurants in Puerto Escondido for yummy sopa de mariscos and so, so much more!
The Best Restaurants in Puerto Escondido
1. Restaurant Junto Mar
Restaurant Junto Mar, located on Bahia Principal, serves the most decadent sopa de mariscos I came across in my seven weeks in Mexico.
I know there’s a lot to unpack in this photo. Yes, what you see is a full crab and the majority of an octopus. That’s a filet of fish on the right side, and more than a few large shrimp and shellfish are hiding beneath the more ostentatious ingredients.
All this for just 200 pesos, or roughly $10 USD. It was a dish that never ended — and I mean that in the best way!
If you’re in the mood for something else (but why?), the grilled octopus with garlic and butter is generously-portioned and delicious as well.
2. El Curandero
Our very first stop in Puerto Escondido, La Curandero is a bustling seafood joint specializing in ceviches, Mexican seafood cocktails, grilled and fried fish, and micheladas the size of your head. We tried the tiritas de pescado, strips of raw fish marinated in lime and a brown sauce commonly used in Mexican ceviches. (Is it Worcestershire? Does anyone know?) Delicious!
We also tried the mixed seafood coctele, which was fresh but too sweet for my taste. Lenza really enjoyed it though!
3. Taqueria Los Molcas
Note: There’s a chance I got the name of this restaurant wrong, but the location is 100% correct!
The only non-seafood restaurant on this list, Taqueria Los Molcas is a late-night taco joint and the perfect place to end a night out on Playa Zicatela.
All their meat tacos are really tasty, but the dish you have to order is chicharrón de queso, pure cheese cooked until crispy on the grill then rolled into the shape of a tortilla. Crunchy, cheesy, and delicious with guacamole, this is a lesser-known Mexican dish that is a must-try.
4. Smoked Fish Taco El Viejo
A casual joint for cheap, supersize fried shrimp tacos, fried fish tacos, and smoked fish tacos. El Viejo is a great place to kick off a beach day at nearby Playa Carrizalillo.
5. Costenito Cevicheria
Costenito Cevicheria on Playa Zicatela wowed us with the best grilled octopus of our lives — no exaggeration — in a beautiful bohemian setting right on the beach. For a little over 400 pesos (around $20), you get this beauty along with fried potatoes and salad.
We’ve also heard wonderful things about the grilled fish, but unfortunately didn’t make it back to try it.
6. La Olita
La Olita is a taco and seafood restaurant with serious new-age surfer vibes. We tried the aguachiles (it was ok) and grilled squid tacos, which came beautifully presented with colorful grilled vegetables and spinach tortillas — an unconventional twist.
To drink, the freshly made tropical fruit waters are worth a try!