Patzcuaro Restaurants

Hotel Real Palmira
Moved to Morelia
Ivo’s Pizzeria and Bakery 
Across from the Basilica, Meraki Restaurant, Patzcuaro
Tuesday thru Sunday 1pm to 7:30pm
........Brownies, coconut macaroons, Pizzas and Breads.......
Ivo’s multigrain bread is my favorite. If you think crust is the most important ingredient of a pizza, Ivo’s is your place. Choose from 4 different sizes and different toppings. Ivo’s speciality is definitely his pizza dough. 
Connoisseurs of chocolate look no further than Ivo’s World Famous Brownies.  The top, thin, crisp layer quickly gives way to a world of creamy textures and chocolate flavors, all competing to see which can melt in your mouth the fastest. Ivo recently started baking coconut macaroons and they are the BEST! ​  
For best results, call ahead at 434-342-5655.
 Pollos Asados Al Carbón in Tzurumutaro: Change of Owners
​Just returned from Pollos Asados Al Carbón, where we found that there had been a change of ownership. Things looked and tasted pretty much the same as before, with the exception of new tables, new green plastic plates and green plastic stools (at which we will not sit, preferring the beer company chairs), but the most striking change was the salsa picante, which used to be thick and rich but now was watery and runny, although obviously made with roasted tomatoes and chiles.

Our chicken was a little dry, but that always tended to be when we ate there after 3:30.The ensalada de col (simple cabbage salad) serving was smaller than before, but we were confident we could ask for more and get it.

The handmade tortillas were as good as ever.

The employees were as friendly as ever, although there seemed to me a lack of cheerful gravitas that the previous owners, Abel and Rosa brought to the restaurant.

Pollos Asados Al Carbón is Tzurumutaro on Carretera 120, north of the junction and the railroad tracks, more or less across from the school. Open only Saturdays and Sundays.

Usually, agua de jamaica is available to drink at Pollos Asados, but you are free to go into the neighboring Tienda de Abarrotes Los Fresnos, where there is a fair selection of bottled refrescos, beer and even cheap shots of Tequila and local mezcal from kegs! It was, and apparently still is o.k. to bring in beverages purchased from the store.

Photos and text by Michael Warshauer


Perons are Patzcuaro’s Perfect Pepper for Pollos al Pastor 

The chile Peron is a Manzano pepper because it is shaped like an apple. It turns a bright yellow-orange when mature and is usually served fresh, and/or in a mild vinegar, since the thick skin is not suitable for drying. 

Perons are hot, but fall in the middle of the Scoville Heat Scale: hotter than Serrano, but not as hot as Arbol. Remember this about peppers: With the heat, comes the flavor.
Manzano pepper plants are resistant to low temperatures and thrive in high altitudes. Perons are Patzcuaro’s perfect pepper.

I was invited to a friends home for comida and noticed the three bowls of sauces on the kitchen table. There was a green avocado salsa, mild, but spicy; an extremely hot red pepper salsa, made with the local pasilla peppers; and a bowl of bright yellow, coarsely chopped chile Peron salsa, with garlic and onions with vinegar.  
I took one look, recognized the salsas and screamed: “CHILE PERON!” 
We were about to have the best Carnes al Pastor in Patzcuaro.  

My motto is: Judge a restaurant by its sauces and that criteria alone pushes restaurants over the top. 

Al pastor means “…in the style of the shepherd,” a dish developed in Central Mexico, likely as a result of the adoption of the shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Lamb was first used, but al pastor now refers to any meat grilled on a vertical spit in front of an open fire. 

On their way to the tables, starving patrons are forced to walk a gauntlet of fire-pits, with spit-grilling meats on both sides. There is a 4-ft. tall, 10’x4’ pit in front of the restaurant.  Interspersed among the coals were spits of chicken, ribs and sausage. Plus, an aroma of grilled oranges, but I didn’t see them anywhere. 

Order the combo for a variety of grilled chicken, pork ribs and chorizo. I am not a fan of chorizo, since it is usually too fatty and greasy. The chorizo is perfectly grilled, with very little fat and no grease running down my chin. I could eat the costilla ribs until I popped, but the big surprise came from the marinade on the chicken: orange juice. At that discovery, I looked at the grill in time to see the grill master slice an orange in one whack, grab one half in each hand, and douse the sizzling chicken.  

Beans are served from a boiling cucucho pot, along with generous and endless portions of fresh lettuce salad, homemade corn tortillas and their famous three sauces. 
Pollos al Pastor is located at the north side Patzcuaro, towards the muelle, on the inside corner at the end of Lazaro Cardenas where it turns into the Morelia highway, directly across from the Pemex. It opens about 1pm, but the food is usually gone by 4pm, and sometimes earlier. 
The place will not win a beauty contest, and is very basic, but remember, you are at Maurilio's to eat.  

The old adage is correct and you can judge restaurants by its sauces. One taste of the yellow salsa and you will know the perfect place in Patzcuaro for pollos al pastor, plus pickled peron peppers.

I like the Tacos Dorados and the mixed appetizer.  
Surtidora is always busy, so the food has to be good. They serve Mexican food at popular prices. My problem is I can't seem to order anything except Molletes, those sliced bolillos, slathered with refried beans and covered with cheese. The accompanying pico de gallo adds the perfect touch. TripAdvisor names Surtidora the #1 restaurant in Patcuaro. Open from 7am to 10pm.

La Compañia

Good Regina Pizza Quajillo Chile and Shrimp, Salmon Carpaccio appetizer,  and anything molcajete.

Every dish I have tasted at Lupitas has been delicious, especially their chicken fajitas, with the secret ingredient, crisp bacon. Their salads are fresh and unusual, while breakfasts are tasty and unique. The fish tacos and arracherra are also some of the favorites. 
Lupitas is reputed to serve the best margaritas in town.

Gran Hotel/Plaza Chica
Chicken Fajitas

La Guerra
I agree with you about La Guera and their shrimp: both impeccable. I especially like the shrimp with garlic, but request, "sin cascaras," without shells, since I don't want anything slowing me down. Every time I am at La Gueras, everyone was eating the seafood ceviche, but the meal was enough for me. Unfortunately, La Guera is only open from about noon to 6pm, and not for dinner.

Camino Real  One of the oldest and most famous restaurnts in Patzcuaro

El Mandil
Its new location is close to the Pemex and the El Camino Real restaurante on the old Morelia hiway. A new propane station to its right, on the west, townward side.  For breakfast, they semi-self service buffet with hot, freshly hand made tortillas.

El Verbo
El Verbo, Cafe Imaginario, around the corner of Plaza Grande, on same block as Lupita’s, but the bottom of the hill.
They have nearly two dozen fresh, meal-sized salads, many organic, a half dozen baguettes, including hamburguesas with either beef, chicken or tuna, plus a page of desserts and snacks, including guacamole and guesadillas. 
Eat by the bright windows or go below to the TV cave for free movies, videos and documentaries, first come, first served. 
Every meal is prepared by Alexis, so be prepared for exquisitely prepared treats. Not sure about the hours of operation.  

Dona Mary's Eronga

El Zuaz 
From Tzintzuntzan to Quiroga, El Zuaz is on the left, a bit off the highway but fairly visible. It's a very big construction with mostly glass walls. It's a short distance before you get to the big green sign over the highway that says Quiroga.  Friends liked arrachera, served with beans, guacamole and an salad.  All the dishes looked great! 

Campestre Aleman  24/7/365 Comida 1-5
About 8 miles around Lake Patzcuaro, between Arocotin and Eronga,  is the German restaurant Campestre Aleman.  All their German dishes are authentic, but the bratwurst and sauerkraut are a favorite. Alderhoxen (pork thigh) is a hearty meal. The fresh trout is delicious and medallions de res, with shiitake mushroom sauce and baked potato, is scrumptious.   I like the Goulash Soup, others like the Crema de Shiitake Soup, but my friend swears they make the best Sopa de Tarascan in Michoacan.  
Restaurant is open for comida,  from about 1pm to 7pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Perfect for early dinners. 
The restaurant has a beautiful, lakeside setting. 

Carnitas de la Plaza 
BEST to eat: 
Pollo Torta various

Rancho de la Mesa
#26 3, El Mirador, 61606 Pátzcuaro
Restaurante, Bar, Eventos, Catering, Jardines, Terrazas, Salon de Eventos, Hotel, Rv Park.
Great Arrachera and a view at sunset.
Every dish I have tasted at Lupitas has been delicious, especially their chicken fajitas, with the secret ingredient, crisp bacon. Their salads are fresh and unique, while breakfasts are tasty and abundant. The fish tacos and arracherra are also some of the favorites. 
Lupitas is reputed to serve the best margaritas in town. 
Located on Cuesta de Don Vasco # 5 in Patzcuaro,  down the street from the Basilica, catty-corner from the Folk Art Museum and across the street from the ex-Colegio Jesuita.  Closed Wednesdays. 
 Restaurants in Patzcuaro
El Patio on Plaza Grande is one of the oldest restaurants in Patzcuaro and always has a crowd. My friend thinks they have the best corrundas in town, and I like the soups, especially Tarascan and Tomato sopes. If you want the best porkchops in Patzcuaro, go no further than El Patio. Two, large, thin chops, grilled well done, and served with bone, ideal for picking-up and chewing. 
The cheesy, baked potato was so good, I could have eaten a plate of them. The serving of guacamole and chips was abundant. 
The porkchops are available in a handful of tastes, including a la Mexicana, with tomatoes and onions, Adobada en Mole, Ranchera in a rich Mexican tomato sauce, or Plancha, grilled, and my favorite. It was also the first restaurant in town with fishbowl margaritas. El Patio, Plaza Grande, south side, on Ponce de Leon, and 8am to 10pm daily
El Patio on Plaza Grande in Patzcuaro 
Bacon wrapped, 
stuffed chicken breast
Pork chops
El Naranjo
Fabulous steaks and salads.The chicken dish was good and the Crème Brulee was FABULOUS and the El Naranjo "crumble" was to die for.
Corner of Plaza Grande at Calle Dr. Coss
Calle Vasco de Quiroga # 29 | Colonia Centro, Patzcuaro
Pizzas Mandala

Open Thursday through Sunday at 2pm 
Thought to be the best pizzas in Patzcuaro, with delicious salads
Santo Huacal Restaurant 
Sometimes life is about taking chances. Should I do it or should I not. Friday I had one of those decisions at the top of 11 Patios. I looked to the left, towards the Basilica, where I parked my car. Then, looked to the right and saw Santo Huacal Restaurant. Reservations are both suggested and requested, since the restaurant is often full and each course is individually prepared.  
Not having had a decent, home cooked meal in awhile, my mouth started watering, my stomach was growling and I found myself turning towards Santo Huacal. My heart sank as I walked in and glanced at the full-house. I meekly asked Miguel if there was room for one. He smiled, saying they just had a cancelation for two. Sure enough, around the door, was an empty table waiting for me. 
Three cheers for taking chances. 
Meals at Santo Huacal begin with an appetizer and this weekend is Grilled Goat Cheese-Stuffed in Hoja Santa. I was served two envelops of cheese, totally wrapped in hola santa leaves and lightly grilled, with a chunky tomato sauce around the perimeter. It’s difficult to write about this since I would rather hop in the car and immediately drive to Santo Huacal for more.  

This was followed by a Mixed Green Salad with Jicama, Avocado and Apple with Mustard/Beet Dressing,  very crisp and crunchy. There were sliced veggies with lots of avocado and slivers of jicama, on a bed of watercress. Over that was drizzled a very red, pureed beets, salad dressing. The flavors were a knock-out and I could have made a meal of the salad. 
The Lentil Cream Soup with Plantain Chochoyones came next. Floating on top were two chochoyones, a dish Emeril made famous on his cooking channel. These were different and a genuine touch of Sam’s expert cooking. Instead of turning the chochoyones preparation into the typical dumplings, she drenched plantains in the mixture and them baked them. I was treated to chochoyone-coated plantains, brimming with texture and taste. I’m glad I was sitting down since the flavors were a knock-out in the third course. 

But there was more and the main course came next. At Santo Huacal, Sam offers a choice of a vegetarian entree. I chose the Seared Pork Chop with Taxco Pink Molé Sauce. The chop was perfectly seared until the instant all pink was gone, and not a nano-second more. The result was a moist, inch-thick fillet which melted in my mouth. The sauce? Well, I thought Oaxaca had the market cornered with Susana Trilling’s book, _My search for the Seventh Mole_. Nope! There’s an 8th molé from Taxco, one that is not mentioned in Trilling’s famous book on molés.  
This pink molé was spicy enough that the paper thin, sliced zucchinis cleaned the pallet between bites. This was a perfect combination.  
My neighbor had the other choice, two Walnut and Requesón- (cheese) Stuffed Giant Ravioli with Poblano Sauce. I tied not to glare at him as he ate, since they looked delicious. Each were about 4 inches in diameter and definitely an excellent choice.  
For those diners who like it hot, ask for the pickled onions with slivered, orange habanero chiles. Once considered the hottest chiles in the world, the black habaneros are the hottest. This condiment is not for every diner, but some like it hot. 

Desserts came last. FYI, I remember how to spell DESSERT, which are EXCESSIVE and both have a double SS. At Santo Huacal, thanks to the duo who create all the desserts, it should be spelled with at least 3 or 4 S’es. This week the duo made 3 dessserts, a rich flan, a moist carrot cake and a creme brulee. Total excessss. The latter is torched at the table to form a caramelized top.  
I have had all three before and it was a choice of superlatives, probably one of the most difficult decisions of my life. Yes, I exaggerate, but I’m a Texan and permitted to brag. I had the cake. 
At your next visit to Santo Huacal, try any desssert and you will be delirious with joy.  
All of this is served with slices of french bread and a carafe of sun tea at a price of $300 pesos, a bargain when one considers the cost of that meal in the states.  
I took a chance to arrive without reservations, but give Miguel a call and he can usually squeeze you in on the busiest days. A meal at Santo Huacal is something you do not want to take a chance on missing. 
Santo Huacal is at Calle Lerin #23 (between 11 Patios and Navarrete) and open Friday-Sunday, 2-9pm. Don’t take chances, but call for reservations at 434-109-6942.  
And, save room for dessssert.  
Buen provecho, David 
Patzcuaro finest interactive dining experience. Sit back and enjoy a relaxing meal or take part in the creation and enjoyment of a gourmet meal designed our talented Chef's. 
3 course menu or five course 
Make yourself comfortable in the open area in front of the kitchen and be part of the action.
Our innovative plates are constantly changing. We continually strives to come up with exciting new approaches to beloved classics, Quality and absolute freshness of our ingredients is the key here ! 
Be as involved as you want. Or, opt to sit back and soak in the good things that come to you in the cheery torch-lit terrace under the stars.
Every cocktail imaginable comes out of the fully stocked bar just the way you like it and wine pairings are suggested, with several vintages available by the glass. All in all, an evening with us is an unforgettable and yes, somewhat theatrical experience, ideal for sharing with family, a group of friends or that special someone. 

Lazaro Cardenas 157 
Patzcuaro 61600 MICH

434 117 6541
Tuesday- Sunday: 2pm - 11pm