Nicknamed the “Sultan of the North”, Monterrey is Mexico’s 3 rd largest city. As a business and industrial powerhouse, it attracts thousands of business travellers every year. Unlike many other cities in Mexico, Monterrey is aggressively modern. Whether you intend on visiting Monterrey for business or leisure, you need to get out and explore Mexico’s most prominent cultural center. Monterrey is jam-packed with cutting edge contemporary architecture, rock ‘n’ roll nightlife and perhaps most famously, a plethora of international cuisine.
Monterrey is an absolute paradise for anyone who loves spicy food or deliciously smoky fresh meats grilled over smouldering wood embers. If you’re looking to sample authentic Northern Mexican cuisine, you are simply spoiled for choice. If you want to branch out from the traditional cuisine, Monterrey also offers plenty of delightful international options, including Argentinian, Brazilian, Japanese, Chinese and Italian. It’s tough to narrow down the list of restaurants in Monterrey to a top five but we’ve managed to do just that.
Including Pangea on our list of the five best restaurants in Monterrey was really a no-brainer. Not only is it one of the best restaurants in Monterrey but it has frequently been named in the Latin America Top 50 Restaurants lists. Chef Guillermo González Beristáin takes a unique approach to Mexican cuisine, giving locally sourced traditional Mexican ingredients a modern French treatment. The menu includes incredible combinations such as foie gras with tuna, watermelon and truffle oil and loin of dourado with pork stew, purée of smoky corn and tomato marmalade. Pangea also has an impressive wine cellar stocked full of Mexican wines from a number of grape varieties.
The El Gaucho steakhouse is undoubtedly one of the most popular restaurants in Monterrey and it’s easy to decipher why. The cosy atmosphere makes El Gaucho a top choice for business lunches as well as dinner with family and friends. Complementing the great atmosphere is a large menu, sizeable portions and very high quality food. The steaks, sauce and array of sides and salads are some of the best you’ll sample anywhere in Mexico. There’s an array of traditional dishes too - they even offer classic argentine empanadas. El Gaucho is a must-visit restaurant for your next trip to Monterrey.
If you’re looking for a high quality, traditional Mexican casual dining experience, there’s really only one place to go – Gallo 71. The menu has so many delicious traditional Mexican dishes each with their own little twist. The Alcachofas Asada, Tartar de Atun and Volcán de Filete are particular crowd favourites. If you’re unfamiliar with Mexican food, don’t worry. The excellent staff at Gallo 71 will discuss your preferences in terms of flavours and help you to choose a dish based on that information. The team is incredibly helpful and will help ease you into a true traditional Mexican cuisine experience.
Customers have labelled La Nacional a “diamond in the desert”. This restaurant really is an amazing find, leveraging small town North Mexican recipes to create simple yet amazing dishes that are bursting with flavour. They’re renowned for their rib eye steak options including the Rib Eye "Chicharron" served with guacamole in a traditional stone-made "molcajete" and the 'Rib Eye a la Sal'. There are some international cuisine offerings on the menu to satisfy the tastes of the thousands of visitors travelling to Monterrey each year, but for the most part it’s good old traditional North Mexican cuisine.
If it’s fine dining and fine wines you’re after, you’ll adore the Fornera Wine House. The perfect low key environment for business meetings and one-to-one dinners, Fornera Wine House offers an array of delicious gourmet dining options, with an infusion of Italian, Mediterranean and European cuisine. The food is simply exquisite, rich in flavour and large in portion size, however it’s their wine collection and suggestions which really are the tip of the iceberg.
Fornera Wine House have an extensive range of wines ready and waiting for you to sample as they are direct importers of Swiss and European award-winning wines. With excellent food and wine in a quiet, relaxing, intimate setting, it’s hard not to love Fornera.
There are hundreds of restaurants in Monterrey to meet any preference of taste or budget but if you’re visiting the city on a short trip, you simply need to make the five aforementioned restaurants a priority to visit. Monterrey is famous for its exquisite dining and restaurants in the city which frequently feature on the lists of best restaurants on an international scale. If you’re looking to indulge in high quality Mexican cuisine during your trip to Monterrey, you won’t be disappointed.
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