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North Banderas Beat - February 27, 2021

This week I’m sharing ethnic food options. When I put out the call asking for locals to share their favorite ethnic spots, I thought at least one person would tell me that Mexican food is ethnic food, but nope, my peeps got me!

When we live here or visit for many months every year, we sometimes want something different than the many delicious Mexican choices available. Bobbie echoed my mood. “Of course we want anything but Mexican food after a while,” she said. “I never ate American food every day while living in the United States!”

pg21a“Ethnic food originates from an ethnic group which uses its knowledge of local plants, and/or animal sources,” notes Google. “Ethnic restaurants are ethnically themed to reflect a certain culture, for example: Greek food, Italian food, Thai food, etcetera.”


Although I appreciate and embrace the local food I get here, when I get a craving it’s usually Japanese, specifically sushi.  YEO Sushi in Vallarta is our “go-to” spot, so it was great when some folks shared another option closer to home.

Aki Samurai House in La Cruz is many people’s choice for Japanese dishes.   

Nancy:“ We love the Jalapeño Bomb, great food.”

Luis: “Chef Akira Nagamizu’s special menu ... eel, sea urchin, toro ... this place is a jewel. Give it a try.”

John: “Best I’ve had in this area!”

Morgan: “I love the soft-shell crab. Best sushi in La Cruz!”

Patricia: “We started with pickup, now we are hooked.”


Kensho and N’Wok are two recommendations for Thai; both are in Bucerias.

“Everything we’ve ordered from N’Wok has been delicious. Great care is taken with their food, from ingredient selection to presentation,” Linda told me, while Dee Dee added, “You can’t go wrong. Norm’s food rivals that of Thai places in Seattle. They’re open every day except Sunday. Nice portion sizes, too. They have outdoor seating, delivery and takeout.”


There is nothing that takes me back to Greece like Sandrina’s fried Saganaki cheese. Said Nancy of the Bucerias eatery: “Sandrina’s beautiful courtyard ambience and excellent food, especially their lamb, Greek salad and the saganaki, have us going back often!”


Le Bistrot in Bucerias got top marks for best French cuisine, with its French onion soup coming in for particular praise.


Italian contenders must include Frascati’s at the Marina in La Cruz, where patrons rave about the fresh pasta and Osso Bucco.

Jonas recommended Toscana Mia in Bucerias. “The Salsiccio sausage and pasta at Toscana Mia is the best,” agreed Nancy.

James gave Casa Hule a great review: “Best pizza in the whole area.”

Johanna “loves Mezzogiorno for ambience, service and food.”

Woody has a new favorite in Bucerias: “We just had dinner at Quinta Di Francesco, an Italian restaurant on Calle Decameron. I gotta say it was fantastic! Great ambiance, great food. We’ve always hesitated because, who wants Italian in Mexico?”   

pg21cAline “loves their pizza,” while Jonas called Di Francesco “awesome.”


A visit to The Black Forest Restaurant in La Cruz reminds me of my days in Germany. Owner Andrea told me, “Most people assume that as a German restaurant we will offer only ‘so-called’ typical German cuisine or heavy, hearty, food, such as bratwurst, sauerkraut, heavy cream sauces and such. At our Oktoberfest festivals, we do serve these traditional dishes. However, our regular menu reflects the light and healthy food choices of Germany over the last 30 years that we grew up with, and that we would like to give back to our guests.”

I can attest that all their menu items are wonderful. If I haven’t tried them, my friends have! I highly recommend their margaritas, the chicken liver pate salad, and the Schnitzel Baden-Baden. Fun fact: visit them on Sunday for the 2x1 Schnitzel.

Wing & ribs?

Are wings and ribs ethnic? Truly, I’m not sure, but they prompted many comments. Ala Brasa in La Cruz seemed the place of choice, with their great delivery service earning special mention.

Eat, drink and be merry!




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