New Culinary Experiences in Mexico

Agua de Alfalfa, made from alfalfa, pineapple and lime, perfectly washes down any Mexican delicacy.

If you’re looking to escape the impending cold weather, now is the time to plan a trip to Mexico. Think you’ve done all there is to do with our neighbors to the south? Think again. Resorts and excursions throughout Mexico are constantly revamping what they offer to create the best experiences for first time and return visitors alike. This time, visit Mexico with a new idea in mind – and maybe with an empty stomach. It’s no secret Mexico is home to some of the best cultural food in the world, and it’s becoming easier than ever for travelers to find and enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine. We’ve compiled a list worth taking a look at of some places you might want to visit (and some dishes you might want to eat) during your next Mexican vacation.

The Resort at Pedregal’s Fifth Annual Art of Taste Food & Wine Festival is quickly approaching, happening this year from October 26 through October 30, 2016. This year’s theme celebrates Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” and includes an impressive line-up of star chefs and top sommeliers. The event starts off with a welcome champagne reception and continues through the weekend offering guests instructional seminars on crafting fresh salsa, tequila tastings and how to pair wine and cheeses. An Ocean-to-Table class will teach guests the proper preparation of ceviches, aguachiles and tiraditos. A Dia de los Muertos dinner during the festival will include inspiration from local Mexican customs, complete with musicians food booths and artisans. Janice Wald Henderson, writer for Food & Wine, Robb Report, Bon Appetite among others will be the host of this year’s event. Tickets are available online now or by calling 844-733-7342.

The staff at Travel Agent Central made connections with the local Mexican wine and street food scene recently while working on a culinary-travel story its magazine. Travel Agent’s Natalie Maneval writes that Mecardo de San Juan is where travelers looking for the real-deal can find local produce and fish from the coast of Mexico as well as local delicacies like edible insects, crocodiles and Fasian. For those who don’t want to explore the stands themselves, Eat Mexico offers a variety of tours, like the Mexico City Street Food Tour, so guests can confidently explore the area with the aid of an expert. For a good time, Maneval recommends booking the Late Night Tacos and Mezcal tour for an inside look at Mexico’s nightlife food scene. Guests of the tour are picked up at their hotel and given a ride to a microbrewery, where along the way they will try the city’s street corn specialty esquites and visit three well-known taquerías. Tours can be booked online or by calling Lydia Carey at 011-551-864-0976.

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For hands-on travelers, take a visit to Los Dos, the first cooking school in Mexico dedicated solely to the cuisine of the Yucatán. The school is in a restored colonial mansion in downtown Mérida  that is the home of Chef David Sterling and partner Keith Heitke, who manage the school. Most classes include a tour of the Mérida market and feature exotic ingredients local to Yucatecan cuisine. Classes begin with coffee and pastries and conclude with a meal that the students and chef have cooked together while discussing the importance of the Mayan people to the development of Mexican cuisine and culture.

If you’re thinking “I’m on vacation I’m not cooking for myself,” don’t worry, Luxury Travel Advisor heard that Restaurant La Tradicion, La Chaya Maya and Los Almendros all offer authentic Yucatecan cuisine. Popular, traditional dishes of these restaurants include Cochinita Pibil, a shredded barbecue pork dish that has become a delicacy in the area, where pork loin is traditionally marinated in annatto paste and sour orange juice overnight before being wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over charcoal for hours (and is always served with refried black beans and pickled red onion relish); Panuchos, an appetizer of handmade corn tortillas topped with refried black beans and shredded chicken marinated in annatto paste (made of peppery achiote seeds) dissolved in juice of sour orange, often served with avocado and chopped lettuce; and Dulce de Papaya Con Queso, a desert recipe that involves a whole green candied papaya that has been left out for three nights, soaked in lime water and then caramelized with sugar.

This year, the Auberge Resort’s Esperanza, located near Cabo San Lucas, has appointed a new culinary team and named Guillermo  Gomez executive chef and Octavio Munoz as director of food and beverage.  The resort's newest dining experience is the Pesca Ceviche Bar, which offers guests freshly caught seafood and vast views of the Sea of Cortez. Guests can dine on made-to-order citrus-cured seafood dishes inspired by Latin and Asian flavors and sit at Pesca’s new hand-sculpted, ceramic ceviche bar. The new establishment also hosts an oysteria, serving chocolata clams. In total, the resort offers guests and visitors six different restaurants and bars (now under operation of the new culinary team). Each month the resort offers new culinary experiences like cooking classes or tasting events. On November 23, the resort is hosting Esperanzarte, a celebration of wine, music and live art. More information on schedules can be found by calling 011-624-145-6400 or e-mailing [email protected].

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