The MazInfo List Annual "Best and Worst Awards" for 2006

Thanks for your participation in what will hopefully become an annual event to vote for your choices as the best and worst of events and services in Mazatlan for the previous year. We will post the results in a page that will be available for view by readers for their enlightenment and hopefully a tool that will assist residents and visitors alike. Responses were submitted by readers of and from The comments are from forum readers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of or of All responses are retained on file, although email addresses will be kept private. This compilation is a copyrighted document of and can't be used on other forums without permission. A link to this survey may freely be posted on other forums. Suggestions for how to improve next year's survey: Thanks to those who participated.

Based on YOUR experiences in 2006...

What was your favorite place for breakfast in Mazatlan?
a)  based on price for quality:

Panama 5,  Juanita's 3,  Purple Onion 2, Hotel Playa 2, Te Amo Lucy's 2, Valentino's (?sheik?) 2, Gary's 2, When Pigs Fly 2, Shipwreck at Balboa, Fonda Santa Clara, Marina El Cid, Panchos, Las Flores, Don Felix, Cafe Allegro, Cafe Altazor, Jungle Juice, El Marismeno, Anthony's, La Puntilla, The Melville, Loco Loco's, Chayito's behind Pollo Loco

b)  based on ambience and setting:

The Sheik 6, Playa Mazatlan 4, Adobe's in Costa de Oro 3, Torres Mazatlan 2, Pueblo Bonito 2, The Melville 2, Our balcony 2, Emporio, La Tramoya, Sanborn's, Shipwreck at Balboa, Fonda Santa Clara, Valentino's (?does this person mean Sheik?), El Cid Marina, Jungle Juice, Panama, La Puntilla, Te Amo Lucy's

What was your favorite place for lunch in Mazatlan?
a)  based on price for quality:

Te Amo Lucy's 3, La Puntilla 2, Juanita's 2, Dunias 2, Cocina de Ana 2, Almost any corner restaurant away from the GZ, La Brocheta, Cafe Memorial, Ambrosia, Mi Cocina , Pueblo Bonito Pool Side Restaurant, Margaritas, The Minnesota, Chanos, Fish Taco, Lety's (Stone Island), Anthony's, Playa Bruja, Tacos AWA at the Juarez Market, Montaloya Taqueria, Panama, Gringo Lingo, El Guamuchilito, Chalva II, Tony's on the Beach

b)  based on ambience and setting: 

Guamuchalito 3, Pancho's 3, La Puntilla 3, Victor's-Stone Island 2, Costa de Oro 2, Mr. Lionses/Playa Bruja 2, Restaurant at Cerritos, Pueblo Bonito Pool Side Restaurant, Shrimp Bucket, Papagayo at the Inn, Memorial, Playa Bruja, Lety's (Stone Island), El Capitano, Balboa Club, Gringo Lingo, Papagayo at Inn at Mazatlan, Tony's on the Beach, Te Amo Lucy's, La Marina (?)

What was your favorite place for dinner in Mazatlan? (Price, high end.)
a)  based on price for quality:

Domitilia's 4, Il Mosto 3, Brasil 3, Angelo's 2, Casa Loma 2, Topolo 2, Guamuchalito 2, La Rioja, Mister Ace's, Casa Country, Sr. Pepper's, Inn at Mazatlan, Pedro y Lola, Pueblo Bonito, Vittore's, Poncho's, La Hacienda de la Flor Restaurant, Sheik

b)  based on ambience and setting: 

The Sheik 4, Panchos 3, Casa Loma 3, Domatillo's (3) on Fri or Sat., Sr. Pepper's 3, Topolo 3, Anything in Plazuela Muchado 2, Angelo's 2, Vittore's, Pedro y Lola's, Valentino's (?the Sheik?), La Hacienda de la Flor Restaurant, El Rancho, Il Mosto, Cafe Pacifico

What was your favorite place for dinner in Mazatlan? (Price, mid or low end.)
a)  based on price for quality:

The Village 3, Te Amo Lucy 3, La Brochetta 3, Torres Mazatlan 2, Cuchupeta's 2, Tacos Luna 2, La Copita, Beach Burger, Casa Country, Canuck's, Playa Bruja, Chayito's, Cafe Pacifico, Purple Onion, Gringo Lingo, Pancho's, When Pigs Fly, Panama, El Tunel, La Costa Marinera, Topolo, Taco Jorge on Carnaval in Playa Sur

b)  based on ambience and setting: 

Pancho's 3, El Tunel 3, Mr. Lionsa's/Playa Bruja 2, Il Mosto 2, Te Amo Lucy 2, Topolo 2, La Paloma, our balcony, La Domitila, La Tramoya, La Palapa at Torres Mazatlan, Casa Country, Angelo's, Fonda Santa Clara, Chili's Pepper, Beach Burger, Valentino's (?Sheik?), Playa Mazatlan, When Pigs Fly, Panama

What was your favorite NEW place recently opened for dinner in Mazatlan? (Any price range.)
a)  based on price for quality:

Te Amo Lucy 8, Brasil 4, La Tromoya, Domotillo's, Chez Lu, Twisted Mama's, When Pigs Fly, Gary's Restaurant

b)  based on ambience and setting: 

Topolo's 2, El Patio, La Tramoya, Twisted Mama's, Chez Lou, Carlos and Lucia's, Brazil, Gary's Restaurant, Te Amo Lucy's, Citrus

What was your favorite overall place to take visitors for dinner and drinks?

Panchos 4, Plazuela Machado (any place) 3, Pedro y Lola 3 (w/side comment, one said drinks first at Cafe Pacifico then Pedro y Lola for dinner), Il Mosto 2, Gringo Lingo 2, Casa Country, Hotel Freeman for drinks only, Sr. Pepper's, Cafe Pacifico, Playa Mazatlan, Chayitos, Purple Onion, Shrimp Bucket, Ostianera de Puerto, Sheiks, Guadalajara Grill, Domatila's, La Bajia

Who had the best margaritas in Mazatlan?

"I do" 4, Las Flores 2, Sr. Frog's 2, La Paloma, Pancho's 2, "anywhere using fresh limes and not a mix," Shrimp Bucket, "no one," Playa Bruja,  anywhere they make them with Don Julio," Anthony's, Topolo's, Inn at Mazatlan, Guadalajara Grill, Fish Taco, The Saloon

Who had the worst margaritas in Mazatlan?

Canucks 4, Costa Marinara 2, Shrimp Bucket, anywhere using a sweet bottled mix, The Place, "everyone," Playa Mazatlan, Puerto Viejo, Marismeno, El Paraje, "the place that used to be Las Canoas," Shrimp Factory, Hotel de Cima, Gus Gus

What are the five top things you recommend to visitors to Mazatlan to see and do?

Stone Island 16, Plazuela Machado 16, Light House 11, Central Market 7, Teatro Angela Peralta 7, the Malecon 6, Playa Bruja 5, sport fishing 4, view from the Freeman Hotel 4, Playa Bruja 3, El Centro 3, the beaches 3, Copala 3, golf Estrella del Mar 2, relax on the beach 2, the market 2, Bay Cruise 2, Concordia 2, cliff divers 2, aquarium 2, Las Flores on Fridays, Day trip to the three islands from El Cid, Walk Cerrito's Beach, City Tour with a good pulmonia driver, cultural events downtown, City Tour, Osuna Tequila Factory, La Vina Church Tour, Conrehabit, Visit LizArt for jewelry, boat tour, Torres Mazatlan, Juarez Flea Market, "take a bus and explore," El Quelite, Sunday brunch at Sheiks, Para-sailing, trip to Copper Canyon, visit some nearby towns, low-priced fishing trip in a panga, people watching, drinking, snorkeling, "campo siete," Venados baseball game, "visit the GZ for the best shopping," open mike night at Canucks, eat at a palapa on the malecon

Where was the best pizza?

Villa Italia 5, Dominos 3, "haven't found any yet" 2;  Purple Onion, "There's good pizza in Maz???", Vittores, "who wants to eat pizza in Maz?", nowhere

What was your least favorite pizza in town?

Rin Rin 4, Dominos 2, "any pizza with salchichas (hot dogs) on them," Ernie Tomato, "too many to name," Fabula Pizza, Chicos

Where was the best taco stand?

Martin's 4, in front of Tony's Bar, Tacos Huicho (El Toreo), "still looking," fish tacos at the stand beside Karoda on Flaminco; La esquina de Calle Veracruz y Calle Campeche, Col. Sanchez Celis; Tacos AWA at Juarez Market, Chalvas II, a morning cart on Santa Monica behind Rico's from 6-9am, Las Comadres rest. on 5 de Mayo, Taco Jorge on Carnaval Playa Sur, Arnoldo's

Where was the best place for a baked potato served on the street?

Serdan & Zaragosa 6, Desert Storm 3, Tacos Huicho (El Toreo)  2, Jorge's 2, "want to know," Las Brochetas

What was your favorite all-around grocery store?

Gigante 12, Mega 6, Soriana 4 (better variety) , Ley (closest) 2

What was your least favorite grocery store,?

Ley (all locations) 13, Gigante 3, Soriana 3, Wal-Mart - long lines 2, Leys Del Mar (parking is bad), Aurera Bodega, fruit stands at Juan Carrasco Market

Where was the best place to go for a cheap beer?

Puerto Viejo 3, Dunia's 2, The Saloon during two for one 2, Canuck's at happy hour 2, Canuck's, Santa Clara (Olas Altas), Centro, Fonda Santa Clara, "haven't found one," "any deposito," Fish Taco, Minnesota Cafe, "my place," "your neighbors," Ostianera del Puerto, Pemex stations

Where was the worst place to go for drinks?

Any hotel 2, Pedro y Lola's 2, the Golden Zone, El Cid and any place north, Sr. Frogs, any hotel bar where you can't see the ocean and they charge US prices, Shrimp Bucket, Rafael's, El Paraje, the airport, El Camichin, Gus Gus

What's your best source of local information for expats  (mazinfo excluded itself since we sponsored the survey).

Pacific Pearl 7, WUM 5, Sunday gatherings at Las Flores 3, Mexican friends 2, Canucks' happy hour Fridays 2, word of mouth, Mr. Roger Culbertson, Henry and Nadine, Pacific Wave Weekly online, ladies lunch, Noroeste, TripAdvisor, internet

What's the best source of overall news for you, living here in Mexico?

Internet 6, Noroeste 5, NY Times online 2,, El Debate, TV,, CNN, "still looking," Pacific Pearl,, friends, The Herald from Mexico City online; StarChoice TV, BBC@CNN, word of mouth, local TV

Where were the best salads?

Torres Mazatlan 2, Panama 2, Ambrosia 2, The Village 2, El Tunel, El Olivio, Cafe Memorial, Il Mosto, Beach Burger, Tony's on the Beach, Costa Marinara (best shrimp salad), Vittore, Chez Lou, Casa Loma

Who had the best meal service (for customer service, not price or quality of food)?

Panchos 3, Panama 2, Domatilo's 2, Te Amo Lucy 2, El Parador, Topolo, Casa Country, La Puntilla, Cafe Pacifico, Purple Onion, Chayito's, Valentino's (?sheik?), AguaMarina Hotel Restaurant, Il Mosto, Gringo Lingo, Restaurant at El Cid, Brazil, Chalvo II, The Restaurant at Estrella del Mar

Who had the worse meal service?

Purple Onion 2, Heathers 2, Pedro y Lola's 2, When Pigs Fly, Mister Ace, Mangos, Cafe Pacifico, El Cid Marina, El Olivo, The Village, "lots of places in the GZ but for really bad service try the Fondue restaurant," Pancho's (one old waiter in particular); Topolos; Valentino's, "never had bad service," Altazor Cafe

Where was the best live music?

Canucks 9, Playa Mazatlan 2, Gus Gus 2, Plazuela Machado 2, Purple Onion, Pedro y Lola's tribute to John Lennon, in the Plazas during cultural events, Il Mosto, Mambo Cafe, some of the roving musicians, Intimo Bar

Who had the worst live music?

"Anyplace too loud to carry on a conversation 2," Mister Ace, Tony's Corner, "any place with hip hop," Jungle Juice, "anywhere Santana plays," "there is no such thing in Maz"; some of the roving musicians, Pedro y Lola, Il Mosto

What and where was your favorite non-Mexican ethnic food in Maz?

Vittore 4, Villia Italia 2, Eqyptian Cafe 2, Aki Sushi, Il Mosto, Ambrosia, La Trattoria GZ, Tony and Lucia's Cuban Restaurant, Muralla Chinese, "New-Mexican (state) at my house (not Mexican); ChinaThai on R. Buelna, Mary's Philly Cheese Steak; Sports Bar spaghetti, Hotel El Cid, Gary's Restaurant, Kattana Sushi (Mariano Escobedo/B. Juarez, Centro, next to Banamex)

Who had the best hamburger?

Beach Burger 6, Mary's 5, Saloon 2, Gary's Kitchen 2, Burger King, "you are kidding, right?", Chanos, Torres Mazatlan (the onions are to die for), Memorial Cafe, Pancho's, airport

Where was the best Italian food?

Villa Italia 4, Angelo's 4, Vittore 4, Il Mosto 2, Ambrosia, La Trattoria GZ

Who served your favorite sushi?

Aki Sushi 3, Kattana Sushi (Mariano Escobedo/B. Juarez, centro, next to Banamex) 2, "no one," El Cid, "the place on the malecon +/- near Sr. Frog's

Best overall cheap date?

Day Trip to Stone Island 5, Movies 4, Gus Gus, Stone Island (walk the beach, eat at Lety's), driving around the countryside around Maz, watching the sunset on the beach with a nice glass of wine; watching sunset from my condo; sunset from the malecon, "Wed night movie and dinner at Panama"; Carnaval, Canucks open mike night, Plazuela Machado, the beach, people watching at Plazuela Machado

Best place to buy wine?

Sam's Club 13, Casa Arias 3, grocery stores 3, Gigante

Best place for clothes shopping?

Fabricas de Francia 4, Designers' Bazaar 3, Boutiques on Ave. A. Serdan, the little shop behind the Am. Consulate, "nowhere," "almost any good seamstress"; Wal-Mart and Soriana, downtown Mazatlan, mercado in centro, "in the US"

What is your favorite Mexican beer?

Pacifico 15, Negro Modelo 3, Bohemia 2, Corona 2, Dos X's 2, Victoria, Tecate

Best place from which to view Carnaval fireworks?

Olas Altas/Malecon 5, Sam/Bertha's house 4, From friends house on Ice Box Hill 2, Puerto Viejo Bar 2, Boat, Pedregoso St., La Siesta balcony, Hacienda Hotel, Cerro del Vigia, Freeman Hotel, El Lido, Cerro de la Neveria, Shrimp Bucket, near Colegio del Pacifico

Best secret you'd like to share with others about Mazatlan?

La Copita, "wouldn't be a secret if shared" 5, Empanadas de calabaza delivered at my house, queso fresco, "Maz will hopefully be my retirement city,"  "the people," "value for money," "there are the most wonderful and kind people we have every met here"; "I'll share my butcher, Carnecerˇa Amadita in Col. Sanchez Celis"; "genuine happiness of the people"; Memin's Restaurant, "the original Copala cocount banana cream pie at Chalvas II"; "Cocina de Ana has very good food, esp. the bbq ribs," "getting to know the people...[didn't understand the rest of the comment]"; the locals, "take time to pick and choose your friends--there are some strange people here."  "It's paradise." "Del Rochin for comida corrida lunch

Greatest pet peeve about living in Mazatlan in 2006?

"The fact that so many ex-pats try to skirt the local economy and laws and find ways to bring things in cheap from the U.S.";  parking 2 ;  "not having sidewalks," "noise (people play music soooo loud, and dogs bark all the time)," "garbage on the beach," "ex-pats with bad attitudes"; "nasty, arrogant, 'big fish in little pond' people running and ruining other people's day"; "the drivers who make left hand turns from the middle lane of traffic"; "some of the tourists are very inconsiderate"; "time share sales"; "not being able to get workmen to show up, on time or at all!"; "The expat cliques AND drivers who turn left from the far right hand lane"; "lack of trash containers"; "customer service"; "the dog that barks in the next street"; "diesel dust from all the buses and the dust that blows into your home"; "the drivers"; "no old country buffet type restaurants"; "people whose behavior shows little or no consideration for others, i.e. cut in line, or traffic, run red lights, cut across 2 lines of traffic, etc."; lack of clothes stores for big men"; "vehicle traffic"; "Trash thrown around by locals"; "Work ethic"; "Pedestrians have no rights"; "gas trucks that race down residential streets honking their horns...why can't we just phone for service?"

If you could change one thing about life in Maz, what would it be?

"Lower humidity in the summer," 2; "A better ability to schedule things"; "more live music"; "to institute mufflers on the big buses"; "traffic along GZ"; "fewer buses with exhaust problems"; "getting rid of the 'big fish' and let live":  "wouldn't change a thing"; "a cleaner, more eco-friendly power source"; "no private vehicles on Camaron Sabalo in GZ"; "more public parks"; "not allow dogs to bark after 10 pm;" "eliminate grafiti"; "bike week"; "I'm a guest here, why change anything?"; "no restrictions on bringing your own car in"; "improve the quality of education in primary schools, for all children"; "the government burocracy";  "know more Spanish"; "wider streets and more parking"; "dirt and grit in the air";  "work ethic"; "less traffic"; "less dog droppings on the sidewalks"

Add your own category...fill in the blank, the best  ________________  in Maz is:

"Best sunset watching: top of Hotel Freeman"; "bank service"; "the best charity in Maz was:amigos de los animales before the owners came back and undid all the good work accomplished under Alison's care"; "Best place to have drinks at sunset is the Freeman"; "best hotel grounds in Maz is Emerald Bay"; "characteristic.....the very friendly people once you get to know them. Not just the superficial interaction, but when you've known them for a while. They love to share what they have and show you their home, family, and community." "Recommend the pastry bocadillos at can trust every meal there."

 Add your own category...fill in the blank, the worst ________________  in Maz is:

"Worst restaurant: Sheik"; "worst experience in MZT is flooding along Sabalo after relatively minor rainstorms";  "bank service"; "the worst charity is Amigos de los Animales now...a privately owned "charity" etc."  [didn't include the full comment]; "The worst place to go for shipping things out of Mazatlán is Post@Ship (used to be Mailboxes,etc.)." "worst thing is a summer afternoon without a pool"; "things in Maz are...the class structure, and a close second is hopelessness of making a big change in the quality of life for so many people, largely due to the education system, third is the time share pimps, and gotta throw in cops on the take, and finally, lack of libraries." "Worst: El Camachin."


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