An excellent way to start your Barra day is at the intimate palapa-shaded patio of the Hotel Delfín (Av. Morelos 23, tel. 315/357-0068, 8:30–10:30 a.m. daily, $4–6). While you dish yourself fruit and pour your coffee from its little countertop buffet, the cook fixes your choice of breakfast options, from savory eggs and omelettes to French toast and luscious, tender banana pancakes. Alternatively, in Barra, for an equally satisfying breakfast ($3–6), go to the oceanview restaurant Bananas, upstairs at the Hotel Barra de Navidad (tel. 315/355-5122).
In Melaque, for breakfast with a bit of class, go to the Restaurant El Dorado ($4–7) at the Hotel Club Náutico. For good, plain eating, and what some say are the best breakfasts in town, go to Pastarama (on Abel Salgado, tel. 315/355-6123, open early, $3–5) on the Melaque south side, near the Hotel Saul de Tarso.
Also, plenty of good daytime eating in Melaque goes on at the lineup of small permanent fondas ($2–4) in the alley that runs south from Avenida Hidalgo, half a block toward the beach from the southwest plaza corner. You can’t go wrong with fonda food, as long as it’s made right in front of you and served piping hot.
For evening light meals and snacks, Barra has plenty of options. Here, families seem to fall into two categories: Those who sell food to sidewalk passersby, and those who enjoy their offerings. The three blocks of Avenida Veracruz from Morelos to the city jardín (park) are dotted with tables that residents nightly load with hearty, economical food offerings, from tacos de lengua (tongue) and pork tamales to pozole Guadalajara and chiles rellenos ($1–3). The wholesomeness of their menus is evidenced by their devoted followings of longtime neighbor and tourist customers.