Mexico vacation spots: Explore the food of Huatulco with your kids

By Alyson Sheppard, Feb 2020

Traveling with little ones to Mexico? Your dining options aren't limited to the hotel buffet. Huatulco, a lesser-known tourist destination in the culturally rich state of Oaxaca, is packed with kid-friendly activities and restaurants.

Huatulco is located on the Pacific, but it doesn't attract the spring break party crowd that Mexico vacation spots like Cancún and Riviera Maya do. Here, nine peaceful bays stretch for miles along the coast, offering adventurous and educational family activities like snorkeling among coral reefs, horseback riding at the 27,000-plus acre Huatulco National Park and touring coffee plantations. In nearby Mazunte, visit the Living Museum of the Sea Turtle, where you can see multiple turtle and tortoise species and learn all about the adorable reptiles that call the area home.

Along the way, sample the town's unique local fare. From familiar favorites (with a twist) to traditional Oaxacan dishes, here are the can't-miss eats in Huatulco:

chocolate mexicano, mug of mexican hot chocolate from Oaxaca Mexico

Try Mexico's take on hot chocolate, including cinnamon and ground chiles or cayenne pepper, in Huatulco.

Mexican foods and drinks that your little ones will love

The young (and the young at heart) can enjoy Mexican hot chocolate, a thick, rich beverage that contains the typical milk, chocolate and sugar, plus warming spices like cinnamon and ground chiles or cayenne pepper. It's a recognizable treat with an unusual kick that is sure to delight the tiniest of taste buds.

At specialty grocery store La Probidita, be sure to try the quesillo, Oaxacan string cheese. This white, semihard cheese is wrapped like a ball of yarn and is fun to pull apart and eat in shreds, like mozzarella (although this variety tastes more like Monterey Jack).

More adventurous Oaxacan eats

The restaurant El Sabor de Oaxaca, located downtown, offers a delicious and varied taste of Oaxacan cuisine. For breakfast, order a round of eggs with black mole sauce, which is made with chocolate, chiles, onions, garlic, nuts and spices. This decadent sauce might sound intimidating, but it's approachable when spread over huevos. Plus, who doesn't want to eat chocolate for breakfast? Finish your meal with corn ice cream, which is playfully served in a husk.

Lartilleria is also a great, casual spot to try Mexican ingredients in more recognizable dishes. Street tacos are the standout here: Try them topped with nopales, or supple, sliced cactus pads, and on fresh-ground blue corn tortillas, which are as fun to look at as they are to eat.

And for a view as spectacular as the cuisine, visit Café Juanita, located at a marina. The owner, who also teaches cooking classes, adds jicama (also called the Mexican turnip) to salads; chorizo, a local pork sausage, to shrimp and grits; and panela, a molasses-like raw sugar to otherwise savory baguette sandwiches.

With a family-friendly appeal and unique food to boot, Huatulco is an ideal stop for exploring Mexican cuisine and culture with your little ones.

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