If you were to ask the average individual who never visited Mexico what food they would expect to eat there, they would probably guess tacos, refried beans, Mexican rice, guacamole, carne asada, carnitas, molé etc. Although this answer would not be incorrect, there is so much more to the cuisine in Mexico than just your stereotyped Mexican food, especially with food in Cancun.
In fact, making the assumption that Mexicans only eat these foods is tantamount to someone in Europe assuming that Americans eat Burgers, hot dogs, fries, and country fried steak every day. In the USA, we eat all types of food. Yes, we do eat the foods mentioned above, but we also eat Mexican inspired food (Tex Mex), Italian food, Asian food, sushi and a lot of everything.
I have news for you if you haven’t traveled much, most other countries eat the same way. They have their own food, but they also eat popular foods from outside of their country. Mexico is no different, especially in Cancun.
Restaurants in Our Hotel
We stayed in the GR Caribe by Solaris All Inclusive Resort. What this means is that food is included in nightly hotel rate. You can see the types of restaurants our hotel had here. In this post I am going to talk about the food we ate.
Each of the restaurants in our hotel do a certain theme each night. When we were visiting Cancun, our Hotel restaurants rotated between Mexican Night, Italian Night, Fusion Night(a mix of national foods), Seafood night, Mediterranean Night, Asian Night, and I am sure I may be missing some others, but you get the drift. We were at our Hotel during off-peak season, so from what I heard from a member of the staff, during peak season they have more themes including Brazilian and French.
The best Cancun restaurants are typically right in your all-inclusive resort. We dined at “Veneto”, one of the upscale restaurants in our hotel and they had Italian Night. It was interesting to see a Mexican Chef’s take on how Italian food should be cooked. My wife Irina got Italian Salmon, I got a steak, both of them cooked with Italian spices and flair. I not only ate my steak, I also sampled Irina’s Salmon as well. What’s the verdict?
The steak was very tender, it was extremely juicy, tasty, and there was absolutely no dryness whatsoever in it. Some would describe it as “it melts in your mouth”, and it did. The flavoring was Italian flavors and spices. The mashed potato on top only added to its uniqueness and gave it more variety of texture and flavor.
The Salmon was just as good. It was also melt-in-your-mouth delicious and there was absolutely no dryness at all. Talk about cooked to perfection. It was also spiced with Italian spices.
The kids? They ate pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese………talk about exotic!
Because we were in Mexico, some may ask if they made the steak and salmon spicy, the answer is “no”. It tasted just as Italian as anything I have eaten in the states. I have never been to Italy, so I can’t say how authentic it was.
Caribbean Surf and Turf
One of the days we ate lunch at Bogavante, the restaurant that is right over the beach. The atmosphere at this place is amazing enough, but the food is so good, it helped earn this restaurant as the top choice restaurant for us at the Persistent Traveler at the GR Caribe Hotel.
The lunch theme they had was surf and turf. I got salmon and chicken kebabs, Irina got Cajun fried fish topped with a creamy dressing and red cabbage.
The salmon and chicken kebabs were perfectly cooked. The problem many people run into when they cook chicken breast or salmon is that they either under-cook it or they over-cook it. They were both cooked perfectly and were juicy. The kebabs were a little bit spicy, but with a Cajun flavor.
The Cajun fried fish was really tasty, cooked well done, but at the same time is was very moist and with a delicious Cajun flavor.
My younger daughter ordered a ham sandwich. My older daughter got ribs, she let me try them, and they were very similar to ribs in the USA, but with a cajun twist. They were delicious! Good choice Ariana!
At another upscale restaurant at our neighboring hotel, we dined one evening at Marco Polo. They had a Mediterranean Theme that evening and they served food from countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.
I ordered the Mussels, shrimp, and scallops. They pretty much made my dish into an artistic master-piece, and it looked as good as it tasted. My older daughter ordered the same dish too. She liked most of it, but she struggled with the mussels. I can’t blame her because of the strong seafood flavor they contain when eaten straight from the shell. I loved it, but it can be much for the kids.
We went to Las Fuentes Buffet for Mexican night. They had all sorts of different Mexican food from different regions in Mexico, they even had a molé bar that was amazing. In all honesty, I would prefer Mexican night every night while visiting Mexico, but since Cancun has visitors from all over North and South America and Europe, they have to cater to everyone’s taste. Apparently not all people like Mexican food. If you ask me, I think they are crazy!
Below is a video of the plate I made for myself, I also took video of the molé bar.
When it comes to Cancun Dining, breakfast should never be ruled out! Our hotel had two breakfast buffets, one in our hotel and one in the neighboring Hotel the Royal Solaris. The breakfast buffets served a mix of Mexican and American breakfasts. So, my typical breakfast looked something like this. Scrambled eggs with a side of re fried beans, chilaquiles, bacon, and different items on different days. I always liked to eat a side of peach yogurt and some fruit.
Poolside Lunch Bar
The poolside lunch bar had all sorts of food, but the family favorite was sushi. I really enjoyed the jalapeño soy sauce, and jalapeños in Mexico are a lot spicier than jalapeños in the USA. This also made the soy sauce crazy spicy and crazy delicious! No need for wasabi, but they had that there too if anyone wanted it.
My wife and kids enjoyed having mild sushi, everyone has their own preferences.
The food in the Mayan village is good. We had some small tacos with all ingredients grown on this farm. The tacos had pumpkin salsa, green habanero salsa, and egg. The tortillas were made from corn grown on this farm, milled, and then hand-crafted!