17 Best Restaurants in San Pancho, Mexico (2024)

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(Last Updated On: December 8, 2023)

Looking for the best San Pancho restaurants? You’re in the right place. Join us as we choose our favorite, finger-licking, salsa-dripping hotspots in this curated guide to the best restaurants in San Pancho Mexico.

San Pancho (also known as San Fransisco) is a small, sleepy town on the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, a place to kick back for a few days or move to for a few months.

While the town itself is small, it’s San Pancho’s restaurant options are anything but lacking. From local Mexican food diners to upscale, date-night options, San Pancho’s culinary scene is delicious and varied.

I spent the good part of 2 months in San Pancho, living the slow life, each day testing out a new spot or going back to one of my favorites. There’s never a dull meal here whatever you choose to eat, whether that’s tacos to go or some of the area’s best sashimi.

Keep reading for our curated guide to the top restaurants in San Pancho. Find out where to eat and where to savour the most distinct Mexican flavors.

*This ‘best restaurants in San Pancho Mexico’ post may contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with top quality, curated content for free.

Planning a trip to San Pancho, Mexico? Here are my top recommendations for hotels in San Pancho.

Marii Hotel Boutique – the best luxury boutique hotel in San Pancho

Agua de Luna Boutique Hotel – Another top design-focused boutique hotel

PAL.MAR Hotel Tropical – The best place to stay in the center of San Pancho

San Pancho is one of Nayarit’s best spots for chilled-out vibes, beaches and living a community-filled slow life.  If you’re planning a trip, make sure to check out the San Pancho, Nayarit travel guide here. (coming soon).

With a grassroots, community feel, you won’t find any large resorts or upscale, fine dining in San Pancho. The San Pancho restaurants, Mexico are all about delivering on flavor, authenticity and diversity.

Most of the dining options in San Pancho are accessible to all and you’ll be able to find anything from mouth-watering local tacos to fresh seafood or even good Italian pasta.

Let’s dive into this guide, our ultimate list of the best San Pancho restaurants.

The Best Restaurants in San Pancho, Mexico

1. Ikan Cocina Marina

One of the newest additions to San Pancho’s gastronomy scene, I still remember when I rocked up here, on my first afternoon in Pancho. I didn’t check any reviews or recommendations, I just liked the look of the place, and boy am I glad I took a chance on it.

Ikan Cocina Marina is one of the more upscale restaurants in San Pancho. Presentation is faultless and their modern creative menu puts a spin on classic Mexican food based around seafood.

On the menu, you’ll find an array of modern tacos- the octopus and veggie-friendly cauliflower tacos were superb, tostadas and an array of grilled seafood. The tuna was perfectly cooked and the grilled octopus was also brilliant.

Ikan is easily one of the best restaurants in San Pancho, one that can’t be missed when you’re in town, just make sure to make a reservation, especially for dinner as it’s pretty small.

Read more: 17 Best Restaurants in Sayulita Mexico You Can’t Miss

2. Cafe Floresta San Pancho

We found this wonderful cafe when staying at Marii Hotel Boutique and I’m glad we did. It’s one of the best places for breakfast or brunch in San Pancho.

You’ll find a menu filled with fresh, local ingredients, and classics like omelettes, superior avocado toast, chilaquiles, salads and great coffee. For those staying in an Airbnb without breakfast, make sure to swing by here for a healthy and tasty start to the day.

From Thursday-Saturday stop by at the bar in the evening for a well-crafted cocktail pre-dinner.

3. Taqueria Los Arbolitos

Out of all the tacos we ate in San Pancho, Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta the tacos from Taqueria Los Arbolitos were some of my favorite.

Los Arbolitos is a favourite San Pancho taqueria serving some of the most flavorsome local tacos in town. You’ll be able to order your favourite fillings and top with salsa and all the toppings your heart desires.

Apart from tacos, there are also quesadillas and volcanes.

4. Taqueria El Pocas

Whilst we’re on the subject of mouth-watering, juicy tacos, El Pocas is another budget-friendly street taco joint. Located right by the park, choose from their colorful menu, painted right onto the wall.

The al pastor tacos here are a hot favorite, I can certainly vouch that they are really good, but there are other options like chorizo or mushroom for something lighter and veggie friendly.

Order your tacos, pile on the salsa, a squeeze of lime and you’re ready to devour.

5. Yasmina’s Itzalanyasayan

For those looking for a truly healthy and nourishing meal in San Pancho, don’t miss Yasmina’s. As soon as you step into the garden setting of this healthy San Pancho restaurant you can feel its peaceful and almost zen-like vibe.

The menu here is full of creative dishes, categorised by country – making it somewhat easier to navigate based on what you might feel like. The Asian-style dishes are excellent in particular, especially if you’ve had a few too many tacos recently.

The entire menu is vegan but local, fresh mahi mahi and tuna sashimi can be added on request. There are signature bowls, salads, vegan ceviches, soups and even a green curry (which I can’t vouch for unfortunately) and everything is very much based on high-vibrational foods.

Yasmina’s is the best vegan restaurant in San Pancho and perfect for anyone looking for a lighter or healthier meal.

6. Barracuda

Without a doubt, one of the best meals I had in San Pancho was at Barracuda. Barracuda is one of the top San Pancho Mexico restaurants specifically for fresh seafood. You simply cannot miss this restaurant when in San Pancho.

Make sure to order their tuna or mahi mahi sashimi, the green ceviche and the fish tacos. Other dishes also include grilled catch of the day, speciality salads, molcajete, burritos, tostadas and oysters.

Choosing what to have is the biggest problem you’ll encounter at Barracuda which I guess is just an excuse to keep coming back.

7. Loncheria

Mexico is full of loncherias, local eateries that embody the essence of local Mexican cuisine, offering an array of traditional dishes bursting with authentic flavors. Loncheria in San Pancho is no different. Not to be confused with Loncheria Uno Mas (which I’ve also heard good things about), Loncheria is a haven for local delights.

You’ll find this corner loncheria to serve just what you might expect. The menu is full of delicious tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tortas and more as well as freshly made agua fresca.

The food here is lip-smackingly good and it’s just the perfect, inexpensive spot in San Pancho for a quick lunch or dinner.

8. Maria’s

Maria’s is just one of those solid restaurants in San Pancho you can’t go wrong with. They seem to do everything right. The food is always good (we ate here a few times and the quality was always high with every dish), the service is relaxed and super friendly and the atmosphere is as casual as you might expect in sleepy San Pancho.

Maria’s is also one of the top-rated restaurants in San Pancho, and its reputation for exquisite cuisine and impeccable service has made it a beloved destination for both locals and visitors seeking an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

It’s best for breakfast and lunch where you can dine on huevos anyway you like them, pancakes, chilaquiles, waffles and more. They also have heartier lunch options too, perfect for a local, filling, meal in San Pancho.

9. El Gallo

El Gallo, San Pancho is a bit of a local institution. Not only is the food here terribly good but, visit often enough and you’ll begin to notice that this space is a social gathering spot for much of the town’s community.

With events, live music, shows and even salsa dancing it can bring people together.

You might only be here for the food however so let’s talk about that. El Gallo is easily one of the best restaurants in San Pancho Mexico for a typical Mexican breakfast.

Everything here is prepared to family recipes seeped in local tradition from the blue corn tortillas to mole.

Come for breakfast and order some enchiladas (their speciality), chilaquiles or huevos rancheros and feast on some of the most authentic Mexican food in San Pancho.

10. Arigato Bake and Brew

This spot quickly became one of my favourite spots in San Pancho for craft beer. With an easy-to-find location just off the main street on Calle Asia, stopping by for a taste of some of the locally brewed craft beer is a must on any trip to San Pancho.

For a casual night out this spot is perfect- take a seat out on the street, order one of the local beers and some Japanese-style guacamole to share or even one of their speciality sushi hand rolls.

11. La Perla

We’re not fans of restaurants located smack-dab on the beach. They tend to rely too much on business coming in from their prime location rather than the quality of food or service. La Perla however, is a little different.

It’s not the best restaurant in San Pancho as a whole but it is the best restaurant on the beach in San Pancho. If you’re looking for a prime location to have lunch or dinner, or you just don’t want to walk off the sand when spending the day at the beach, La Perla is the spot to head to.

You’ll find all the Mexican basics done well here. The tostadas were perfect, the ceviche was fresh and they also do good grilled fish options too.

For a prime location dining experience right on the beach, you can’t go wrong with La Perla, especially for some cold beers, and snacks at sunset.

12. Chido Greens

Chido Greens is another top option from San Pancho restaurants. This small cafe right on the main street is a culinary haven celebrating farm-to-table goodness. Their speciality are salads, bowls and smoothies and damn, they make good ones.

Each salad bowl at Chido Greens is crafted to perfection- vibrant, colorful and packed with flavour and nutrition. While most salads and bowls are plant-heavy you can also opt for a protein of your choice like tofu or chicken.

Grabbing a salad from Chido Greens is ideal for a fast yet healthy lunch. You can also grab one to-go for the beach. In the afternoons they also do ramen so make sure to stick around for that.

Chido Greens is open from 8 am- 10 pm, Friday through Wednesday.

13. Bistro Organico at Cielo Rojo

Duck inside the the picturesque boutique hotel Cielo Rojo and you’ll come to Bistro Organico, a superb spot for both healthy and delicious grub.

The menu here centers around plant-based ingredients and seafood and you’ll find plenty of deliciousness on the menu. From avocado toast to delicious local, grilled fish, Bistro Organico is the ideal spot for a healthy breakfast or lunch.

We came for breakfast one day and ordered the avocado toast and the organic huevos rancheros which were both, delicious and solid options. The menu is fairly small but everything here is just scrumptious.

14. Limbo

Right before you get to the beach, you’ll pass by Restaurante Limbo, a lovely little restaurant with some of the most incredible food in San Pancho.

Limbo specialises in contemporary Mexican food and their menu is full of all kinds of creative Mexican classics. The tacos with their homemade tortillas were fresh and bursting with flavor and the pozole and grilled fish was also next level.

They do some pretty great cocktails too. Highly recommended for lunch or dinner when in San Pancho.

15. Cervecería Artesanal San Pancho

Another superb stop for craft beers in San Pancho is Cerveceria Artesanal San Pancho. This brewpub or bar in San Pancho is everything you need for refreshing local craft beers and good bar snacks.

If you love a good burger and fries washed down by a citrusy IPA this is the ideal spot for it.

16. Dolce Amore

San Pancho has quite a few little spots for good Italian food but Dolce Amore is probably the best we tried. If you need a little break from Mexican food and are looking for something different, Dolce Amore makes that nice little change.

They serve typical international Italian fare like pastas, bruschetta, grilled meat and lasagna as well as pretty good pizzas cooked in a wood-fire oven. There’s also plenty of solid Mexican fare like tacos and queso fundido. Make sure to share as portions here are huge.

17. San Pan

A solid cafe in San Pancho, San Pan is a great little spot close to the beach. Come here for breakfast and feast on pancakes, omelettes and superb coffee and green juices.

For lunch and dinner, there are superb enchiladas, overflowing tostadas and wholesome salads.

They also do a mean margarita if you fancy one earlier in the day but in general San Pan draws in a crowd for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Make sure not to miss this superb San Pancho restaurant when in town.

San Pancho Restaurants: The Ultimate Verdict

For such a small town, San Pancho has so many great dining options. From classic, traditional Mexican food to good International grub, the gastronomy scene here is always changing and evolving.

You’ll need to stay in San Pancho for at least a week to try most of the restaurants on this list and I highly encourage you to because they are all winners. My best of the best go as follows:

Overall best restaurant in San Pancho Mexico: Barracuda (Ikan Cocina Marina is a close second)

Best typical Mexican food restaurant in San Pancho: Maria’s or Loncheria

Top Breakfast in San Pancho: El Gallo

Best tacos in San Pancho: Taqueria Los Arbolitos

Top Cafe in San Pancho: Cafe Floresta San Pancho

Best Beer in San Pancho: Arigato Bake and Brew

Best Veggie/Vegan Restaurant in San Pancho: Bistro Organico or Yasmina’s Itzalanyasayan

Make sure to add these to your San Pancho itinerary and as they say in Mexico, buen provecho!

So which one of these best restaurants in San Pancho Mexico will you try first? Let me know your comments and questions in the box below.

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