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Confession — one of my favorite things about Mancora was the endless array of restaurant options boasting cuisine from all corners of the globe. While my food budget skyrocketed during our ten days here, so did my tummy’s approval rating. I get plenty of thumbs up from readers on my Where to Eat in Koh Tao and Where to eat in Reykjavik posts, so I figure ya’ll appreciate some decent food porn every now and then.

Tao

The restaurant I sought out in Cusco that claimed to serve “Thai-inspired cuisine” was a massive disappointment, meaning I had gone without in months and was practically ravenous for some curry by the time I arrived in Mancora. Tao saved the day.

Cocktails such as mango-inspired concoctions range from 15-20 soles (around $5-7), while the yellow curry rice dish that’s pictured will set you back 23 soles (around $8). I’ve often lamented the lack of healthy options in South America but this meal was heavy on both vegetables and protein. We ate here three times in our ten days in Mancora.

Tao, Mancora, Peru

Tao, Mancora, Peru

Tao, Mancora, Peru

Papa Mo’s / Green Eggs and Ham / Surf n Turf

This candy-colored collection of wooden beachfront cottages was Mancora’s version of a strip mall — it housed a beach shop, a soon-to-open massage joint and a small collection of restaurants. The breakfast option of the group was Green Eggs and Ham, where everything on the menu was 15 soles (around $5). Menu items include omelets and pancakes and all come with fresh juice, a fruit salad, and killer ocean views.

Papa Mo's Milk Bar, Mancora, Peru

Green Eggs and Ham, Mancora, Peru

Green Eggs and Ham, Mancora, Peru

In the afternoon, Papa Mo’s Milk Bar was my go-to for fresh juices and smoothies with a sense of humor. My favorite was the Anchor, a mango and coconut milk concoction for 5 soles (around $1.75).

Papa Mo's Milk Bar, Mancora, Peru

Surf & Turf quickly became our default lunch destination, where twelve soles (around $4) will buy you an appetizer, a main meal and a drink. Taquenos with guacamole followed by a chicken burrito washed down with passion-fruit juice? Yes please!

Surf n Turf, Mancora, Peru

Beefhouse

The blatantly-named Beefhouse serves up expertly-seasoned steaks with sides like perfectly sauteed vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes that were so good I almost cried. Portions here were enormous, so though it was pricey we were able to split an appetizer, an entrée, and an extra side of vegetables and both walk away stuffed. I paid 35 soles (around $12.50) for my half of the meal plus a mojito.

Beef House, Mancora, Peru

La Sirena

By far Mancora’s most popular and swank option, La Sirena brings high-end dining to a laid-back beach town. I was head over heels for the place as soon as I spotted the bohemian and playful interiors, and even more so after we splurged on dinner here. While the menu is heavily seafood-focused, Anders found a ravioli dish he raved about for 3o soles (around $10.50) and when my first order wasn’t available I was happy with my chicken skewers for 25 soles (around $9). Original cocktails like fresh mango sours — highly recommended  — run 20 soles (around $7).

La Sirena, Mancora, Peru

La Sirena, Mancora, Peru

La Sirena, Mancora, Peru

La Sirena, Mancora, Peru

Angela’s

I was lured to Angela’s by the promise of homemade banana yogurt. While I didn’t love the thin and sticky consistency of the dish I’d been craving, I do give this place points for being a healthy, vegetarian and vegan-friendly option. Anders and I split a 9 sole (around $3) fruit salad which was fantastic and a 6 sole (around $2) homemade-bread-and-yogurt combo, of which I was not a fan.

Angela's Restaurant, Mancora, Peru

Angela's Restaurant, Mancora, Peru

Antica Pizzeria

Antica Pizzeria is a small Peruvian chain we already knew we loved after eating in Lima’s Barranco outpost. Their Mancora version features a second floor balcony overlooking the main drag, perfect for people watching while munching your thin-crust pizza. Sadly, my enthusiasm did not extend to the nutella-covered dessert pizza.

Antica Pizzeria, Mancora, Peru

Antica Pizzeria, Mancora, Peru

El Aji

El Aji would have won me over with their tasty and creative Tex Mex alone. But then they threw in the most personal, friendly service we received in Mancora, which ensured we came back a second time. The “special” quesadillas were stuffed with all kinds of bacon, veggie and cheese goodness and set me back 32 soles (around $11). Good thing I split with Anders — portions were generous. The appetizer we also shared, the “special” beef nachos for 23 soles (around $8), could have also easily been a full meal.

El Aji, Mancora, Peru

Happy dining!

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30 Comments...
  • Shaun
    January 27 2014

    How can you mess up nutella-covered dessert pizza? oh well…

    So much of it sounds good. With a decent beach and restaurants-o’plenty, it’s a pretty good place to slow down.
    Shaun recently posted..How I saved $22K & spent it in an hour

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      They baked the nutella too, so it was kind of burnt 🙁 Sad times.

  • Rachel of Hippie in Heels
    January 27 2014

    I cold go for a burrito riiiiiiiight now! I just love posts about food , thanks!
    Rachel of Hippie in Heels recently posted..The Facts: Staying on Koh Samui for Full Moon Party

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      I don’t do them often, but I try to make them count when I do 🙂

  • Andi
    January 27 2014

    OMG this all looks sooooo good!!!!!!! I’m totally craving pancakes now!
    Andi recently posted..Germany With AirBerlin: Day 2 (Part 2)

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      Then that makes two of us… because I am literally always, perpetually craving pancakes 🙂

  • Kathryn
    January 27 2014

    Oh, shouldn’t have read this right before lunch!!!!! Now I’m ready to eat every thing in my house!

    Fortunately for me, there is nothing as delicious as the food described and pictured here…..

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      You mean fortunately for your waistline, not for your tastebuds!

  • Janice Stringer
    January 27 2014

    Yum – Dr Seuss heaven. I wanna try some!!

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      You know a restaurant like that wouldn’t last a week with copyright lawyers in the US… glad it has lasted in Peru! 🙂

  • Kiara Gallop
    January 27 2014

    The photos alone are selling those places to me! I should be passing through Mancora this April so I’ll be sure to check out Tao (I miss Thai food so much!), grab a mango and coconut smoothie at Papa Mo’s and sample some Seafood at La Sirena. Thanks for the recommendations 🙂
    Kiara Gallop recently posted..The Summer Palace in Beijing: A tranquil spot amidst the chaos

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      Yay! I’m glad to hear someone will get to put these recommendations to use. Enjoy, Kiara!

  • Hogga
    January 27 2014

    I always thought green eggs were rotten eggs.
    Hogga recently posted..Why Everyone Should Go Eat a Pecker

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      Hm… now that I think about it, I’m not sure I would want to eat one 🙂

  • Emily
    January 27 2014

    Mmm – Tao looks delish! Can’t wait to make it to Mancora!
    Emily recently posted..Islas Marietas: Sometimes Things Don’t Go as Planned

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      You will love it! Hope this post helps, and let me know if you have any questions!

  • Corinne
    January 28 2014

    I love breakfast, and it looks like you had some great b’fast options…actually, it all looks yummy!
    Corinne recently posted..Is Visiting Sepilok the Best Way to See Orangutans?

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      Considering breakfast was included where we stayed, these places were REALLY good to get us to pay for them!

  • Personally I love these posts. Though I love websites like Tripadvisor, it’s so much more informative to hear about a fellow traveler’s experience with the food and the restaurants. I will be referring back to this in the hopefully not too distant future when I make it to South America.
    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel recently posted..Camping in Western Australia and Playing with Sea Lions

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      Thanks Michelle! I’m really glad to hear that. Sometimes I’m hesitant to post something like this because it is so specific, I’m not sure if anyone will care! Ha.

  • TammyOnTheMove
    January 31 2014

    I would be interested to hear if the breakfast cereals in these restaurants were all served with sweet yoghurt instead of milk as well. So far every hostel I have been to in Peru and Bolivia did that. It puzzles me. 🙂
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Berghaus Capacitor 35 Backpack Give Away

    • Alex
      January 31 2014

      I never ordered the cereal, unfortunately! I always wanted nice thick yogurt but could only find that thin drinkable stuff in Peru. So sad!

  • Cat
    February 2 2014

    Yum! I’m a fan of food porn, especially when accompanied by delicious sounding descriptions. As in, I may or may not be now searching the internets on how to make a mango sour. 🙂
    Cat recently posted..Frozen – #FriFotos Theme

    • Alex
      February 3 2014

      Oh, let me know if you find out! ….or on the other hand, don’t. That could be dangerous 🙂

  • Lisa
    September 3 2014

    Thanks for this great advice! I will definitely put this to use when I am in Mancora for a week in October. My question is–did you have any issues with food poisoning/hear any stories from other travelers while there? I have heard it can be common in Mancora. I know I will be tempted to eat the delicious fresh things like salsa and juices, but also don’t want to be stuck inside sick. What’s your best advice? Any places to avoid? Thanks!!

    • Alex
      September 3 2014

      Hmmm, nope, I didn’t hear anything like that! We ate everything and anything and felt totally fine 🙂 I wouldn’t let that rumor stop you!

  • Angela
    July 13 2015

    Enjoyed your write up on Green Eggs & Ham and I completely agreed!
    Angela recently posted..Mancora & Beach Time

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Mmmmm, I miss Mancora… and all the delicious treats there too!

  • scott
    November 6 2015

    I’m tempted to eat the delicious fresh things like salsa and juices! totally craving pancakes now.

    • Alex
      November 8 2015

      So much good food in Mancora. I wouldn’t mind going back for a meal!

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