Mazatlán: Gastronomic capital of Sinaloa

Bathed by the waters of the Pacific, Mazatlán is a city that takes advantage of the best of the sea and the land to create a rich culinary offer.

The shrimp capital

The state of Sinaloa, northwest Mexico, is a long tongue of land, wide in the north and narrow in the south. It has just over 370 miles of coastline; between the mountains and the sea, there is a huge plain where a million hectares are cultivated. There, there are large expanses of lagoons and estuaries where shrimp are produced, both in wildlife and with aquaculture techniques.

Shrimp (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

To the south of Mazatlán, three gastronomic zones of great natural and cultural biodiversity are the basis of their gastronomy. It is recognized for the quality and accentuated flavors of its cuisine based on fish and seafood, and shrimp, the star product.

Shrimp boat (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

Mazatlán takes advantage of the seas as its maximum resource. The technique of shrimp capture in open sea in trawling vessels was introduced by the Japanese in the 1930s.

Cooked mojarra (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

Mexican gastronomy, world gastronomy

Mazatlán's strength attracted colonies of North American and European migrants (German, Italian, English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese) whose customs were embodied in the culinary culture of the local population.

Shrimp at a MarketConservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

Much more recent aquaculture produces shrimp using extensive and intensive techniques, including laboratory larvae production.

Regional cuisine (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

For example, engineers and technicians came from Germany to set up the first brewing industry in 1900, now an icon of the port: the Cerveza Pacífico (Pacific Beer). Beer is the favorite drink of the people from Mazatlán for those for who it is unforgivable to eat shrimp if it is not accompanied by that fresh drink.

Table at Plaza Machado (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

The Historical Center and the gastronomic corridor

Completely preserved and rehabilitated with farms, buildings, neoclassical architecture, with tropical adjective, is gastronomically the area for those seeking gourmet innovative cuisine.

Casa 46 (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

That's where to choose. For example, there is Café Pacifico, with its new bar style, or Casa 43 and chef Marino Maganda, located in Los Portales de Cannobbio, a beautiful historic farm of Plaza Machado. And of course, also the seafood restaurants on the edge of the beach and carts. Let's get to know some of the most famous locals from the region.<br>

Cooked fish (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

Mariscos (Seafood) Los Polines

Close to the Pino Suárez market, walking between street vendor stands and stores of all kinds of goods, you reach a typical seafood cart known as Los Polines, of recognized prestige and tradition. Founded in 1950, on this cart you can taste exquisite cocktails, aguachiles (shrimp with chilis), ceviches and hot bar dishes prepared with their original family recipes.

Seafood at the beach (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

Mariscos Chon and El Changuirongo

They are two of the oldest shellfish sellers in Mazatlán. Don Chon, started in 1946 with a small table on calle Carnaval where he prepared oysters, blood clam and scallops. El Chino, owner of El Changuirongo, began in 1958 outside a bar that was named in this way, and given the popularity of the place, the cart adopted that name. His father, a fisherman, took shrimp out of the estuaries, so that he could start selling on the public road.

El Presidio (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

Restaurante El Presidio

Built on the ruins of Casa García, owned by the family of chef Diego Becerra, who today serves him. It's one of the oldest farms in the historical center (1876). With more than 30 years of abandonment, its architectural beauty was returned with everything and the fig trees, whose roots wind through the brick walls, incorporated into the magic of the decoration of the now famous restaurant. The menu it's a mixture of innovation and creativity based in the traditional cousine.

Hector's Bistro (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

Hector's Bistro

A restaurant founded by Hector Peniche, a globe-trotting Mazatlán who learned on his pilgrimage the most emblematic international cuisine; he contacted French and Italian chefs from whom he learned new cooking techniques that he applied in his eagerness to achieve the authenticity that his creative character demands. 

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On returning to Mazatlán he opened restaurant Molika, with a gastronomic offering based on bread, dessert and dishes with a European flavor. Hector's Bistro, its current restaurant in the historic center offers a non-extensive menu, with relatively simple dishes, prepared quickly and within a flexible and relaxed atmosphere, while being comfortable and pleasant.

Dining in Mazatlan (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

Restaurante Pedro y Lola 

In front of the emblematic Plaza Machado, Don Alfredo Gómez Rubio founded Pedro y Lola with a vision of the future, because the restoration of the historic center began in 1987 would provide a spectacular environment for its nineteenth century architecture. His idea proliferated to the degree that today gastronomy has made it a first rate tourist attraction. Its name honors two figures of Mexican film art and traditional music, originally from Mazatlán and El Rosario, respec

Pastelerías PanamáConservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

Pastelerías (Bakery) Panamá

Panama is a chain of pastry stores and restaurants run by chef Luis Osuna Vidaurri, founded by his parents in the 1960s. Its prestige is based on the Mazatlán culinary tradition and the professionalization of the services and products it offers. Its wide and varied menu relates to the Sinaloan cuisine; identity, traditional seasoning and good service, are the emblems of Pastelería Panamá.

Dining at Casa 46 (2019)Conservatory of the Mexican Gastronomic Culture

While these restaurants exemplify Mazatlán's rich culinary offerings, what makes this city the gastronomic capital of Sinaloa is the wide variety of dishes that combine local ingredients and the creativity of its population.

Credits: Story

Story by Jaime Félix Pico

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