Tuxtla ’s best-known restaurant is Las Pichanchas (Av. Central Ote. at 7a Calle Ote., tel. 961/612-5351, noon–midnight daily, US$6–15), with a large lively dining area decorated with an eclectic array of folk art, paper streamers, and random doodads. The menu includes a long list of local and regional dishes; try an assortment of tamales and an appetizer plate with local cheeses and sausages. The restaurant’s signature drink is el pumpo, made with fresh pineapple juice and vodka, served in a bulbous dried gourd. For the complete experience, come during a dinner performance: live marimba music and a series of skits and traditional dances, starting at 9 p.m. nightly. If possible, call ahead to reserve a good table.
Closer to the central plaza , La Casona (1 Av. Sur Pte. 134 at Calle Central Sur, tel. 961/612-7534, 7 a.m.–11 p.m. Mon.–Sat., until 10 p.m. Sun., US$4–8) has a similar concept, with colorful Mexican tablecloths and wrought-iron chairs. The menu is predominantly Mexican, but a few international options mean you can order chicken mole one day, and chicken cordon bleu the next. Enjoy live marimba music 2–6 p.m. Monday–Saturday and 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Sunday.
Cochitos (1 Ave Sur Ote. btwn. 2 and 3 Calle Ote. Sur, no phone, 9:30 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.) serves just two things—tacos and gorditas—with just one filling—pork. It comes in two forms, however: maciza (prime leg meat) and surtido (ear, cheek, tongue, etc.). Portions are as hefty as they are tasty, and there’s no better place to fill up cheap. The small sweaty dining area is packed at mealtimes, and just as many order their grub to go.