If you have dinner at the restaurant of the Hotel Santa Fe (Av. del Morro, Zicatela side of the bay, tel. 954/582-0170, 7:30 a.m.–11 p.m. daily), you may never go anywhere else. Savory food, impeccably served beneath a luxurious palapa and accompanied by softly strumming guitars, brings travelers from all over the world. Although everything on the menu is delicious, the restaurant is proudest of its Mexican favorites, such as rich tortilla soup ($4), bountiful plates of chiles rellenos ($9), and succulent snapper, Veracruz style ($11).
Restaurant Mangos (farther south, on Zicatela beach, next to Hotel Acuario, tel. 954/582-3805, 8 a.m.–midnight daily) packs in a steady stream of youthful customers, with a long menu of innovative breakfasts (crepes, three-egg omelets, $4), salads (plenty of alfalfa sprouts, $3–5), sandwiches (cuerno, large horn croissant, $5), and Mexican specialties (fish-stuffed chiles rellenos, $6).
Farther south a few block, past Hotel Rockaway, Restaurant Cafecito (tel. 954/582-0516, 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m. daily) is headquarters for a loyal platoon of local surfers and Canadian and American residents who crowd in for bountiful breakfasts ($3–5), hamburgers ($3–4), and fresh seafood plates ($6–8). (Unfortunately, Cafecito’s popularity is both a boon and burden, when the customer crowd is sometimes simply too large and noisy for both comfort and good service.)
Customers at Sakura sushi bar and Japanese restaurant (on Zicatela, south end, past Cafecito, cell tel. 044-954/559-0239, 8 a.m.–11 p.m. daily) enjoy a menu so correct that it seems straight out of the owner’s Yokohama hometown. He offers a trove of delectable options, such as miso soup ($2), wakame (seafood salad, $4), chicken teriyaki ($6), vegetable tempura ($5), and teppanyaki ($5–10). Daijobu des neh! (Wonderful!)