San Pancho, the perfect little village, situated just north of Sayulita, about 45 minutes from PVR. Here, you will find a beautiful, swimmable beach, a small surf break, artisanal shops selling handmade goods, and most importantly, delicious food. We spent a week here, and I collected the names of our favourite places; the places with the best deals, the best food, and the best people. Here is what to eat in San Pancho:
I ❤️ Al Pastor
Ok, I don’t actually know if this is the name of this place, but that’s what their shirts say. Here you will find the Mexican City classic, pork meat slow roasted on a spit. There is a pineapple on the top of the spit that drips down as the meat cooks. The meat is expertly shaved with a giant machete, and piled onto a fresh corn tortilla. Make sure to order “con piña” for a couple slices of pineapple on top. You decorate your own tacos with a variety of sauces ranging from creamy avocado sauce to ‘sweat through your cheeks’ habanero sauce. This street spot is always busy, so be patient and be sure to snag a seat at the picnic table if one becomes available.
Want a good deal? Look no further. Con Amor has a nice, little menu with delicious tacos, beautiful quesadillas, and great prices! They are next door to a grocery store where you can buy beer and drink it at your table. And who doesn’t like dinner and a show? The local minstrel always comes by Con Amor to serenade the patio with his renditions of Queen, David Bowie, and Pink Floyd.
This family owned restaurant is closer to the beach, and has a lovely little outdoor seating area. The food is a little more expensive than the al pastor place, but this is where we satisfied our craving for aguachiles. Big, fresh prawns are drowned in a bowl full of lime and chile. The citrus cooks the prawns, and the chile adds just enough bite. At Limbo, the aquachiles is served with tostadas, and salsas on the side. I’m salivating just thinking about it.
The Best Sandwich Ever.
Actually though. This restaurant didn’t appear to have a sign out front, so I’m actually not sure what it’s called. BUT, it is kiddy-corner to the ATM, Cajero Banorte. They are only open during the day, but they don’t serve breakfast. The Mexicana torta will change your life. A sandwich on fresh bread, with cooked sausage, ham, bacon, beef, and onions, drizzled with homemade sauces, diced tomatoes, and jalapeño. We ordered one each, then looked around and noticed that every local sitting at this place was eating a Mexican torta. Seriously, best. Sandwich. Ever.
People will tell you for the best tacos in town, go to Los Arbolitos. They aren’t entirely wrong (I mean the al pastor tacos around the corner are the best tacos in town), if you are looking for chicken, beef, or mushrooms. The frijoles at Los Arbolitos are next level, and the best part is that they are sitting out on the table with all the sauces, so you can take as many as you want! I had half a mind to bring a Tupperware and just fill it up to take home… I refrained. The beer is a good price at Los Arbolitos too, so you won’t break the bank.
Looking for a fancy AF cocktail? Look no further than TuTu. This is a nightclub, I think the only one in San Pancho, but we never saw it busy because our bedtime was too early for such activities. We sat outside at one of the two tables, and ordered fancy mezcal and passionfruit cocktails. The glass was rimmed with tamarind and the paper straw was wrapped in a tamarind candy – Mexico, where even the candy is spicy. Here, you won’t find much food, but if you’re feeling a bit boujee, and want a very photogenic drink, this is the place for you.
Cerveceria Artesenal San Pancho
What would a cool, small, hippy surf town be without an artisanal craft brewery?! Cerveceria Artesenal drew our attention one evening when a band was set up outside, and sitting at the tables were the coolest people I’ve ever seen. The beer selection is great! IPAs, blondes, and ambers. Good ol’ craft breweries. You can order snacks food bites too, if a liquid dinner isn’t your thing.