El Fish Fritanga- "Secret" Cancun Restaurant

Cancun's hotel zone is chock full of restaurants, from American chains to those fancy schmancy high end places that we've never set foot in (fine dining at tourist prices is not in our budget). Hidden away between the white linen/thirty dollar appetizer establishments is a little known place called "El Fish Fritanga" (their website needs some help, but wanted to share it with you anyway). From the outside it doesn't look like much, but locals know that a few stone steps lead to a lovely little outdoor garden set on the lagoon.

Here you'll find a great selection of seafood, from the 10 peso "pescadallas" (deep fried fish tacos) to the special Mayan style "tikin xic" fish (prices vary by season), anyone who loves "mariscos" will find something to suit their tastes. I'm quite fond of their "dedos de pescado" (fish fingers), always fresh and delicious and at around 50 pesos, a bargain. Hubby usually goes for the ceviche (ok, he goes for ceviche wherever we are, he's got an addiction), though yesterday he mixed it up and ordered the "camaroncillas" (deep fried shrimp tacos). I snuck a little bite and had to restrain myself from eating his lunch too. Max was busy playing on the climbing toys (a big reason we like the place, Max can run himself silly, play on the swings and slides while we chat over a couple of cold cheladas/micheladas) so didn't eat much of his seafood soup, but it was very yummy and made on the spot, no old soup at El Fish Fritanga.

Aside from a beautiful location with great views of the lagoon, El Fish Fritanga always, ALWAYS has great service. The wait staff is attentive without being intrusive, we never have to chase them down when we need something and they keep an eye out for our wandering boy, making sure he doesn't get too close to the edge of the lagoon and find himself being eaten for lunch by the crocodiles. (Crocs usually don't come out until late afternoon, early evening, but we're careful nonetheless!) While most of the clientele are local folks, we saw a few glowing white/lobster red people that were definitely tourists and they were treated very well by the English speaking staff. They all had smiles on their faces and I heard a few "Wow, delicious!" comments while chasing Max around.

The Deceiving Street Entrance
(doesn't look like much from here!)

The Secret Garden

Mmm, Micheladas and Cheladas....

El Fish Fritanga (view from the marina dock)

View of the Lagoon from the top of the Stairs

Next time you're in Cancun, I hope you make an effort to find this little hideaway, I don't think you'll be disappointed. They're open from 11 am until 8 pm, seven days a week, located on the main street, Kukulcan, at km 12.5, next to La Europea, close to the police/fire station and Kukulcan mall. Provecho!


Gaelyn said…
I love those little places. So much better than the overpriced tourista joints.
I hope you were paid for that commercial you just did for them. I'm sure that many of us will put them on our list thanks to you. I hope things are looking up for you guys down there. You're in our prayers.
Matt Swift said…
It seems that one of the best aspects of living in a Holiday city is that you can find these hidden gems.
jillian said…
we will definitely try this place next time we're there. I love the lagoon.
Yummy. I love these kinds of places. We need to meet up one of these days!
Kelly said…
Someone should pay you to write a "Secret Cancun" book! I can see a whole series of books now...

anyway, great information! After hearing some slightly depressing news about Mexico on NPR this morning, it's refreshing to get back to dreaming about delicious food and beautiful beaches. Hope you're well!
Teresa said…
These are my favorite places! I love ittle spots like this, the view is wonderful, most "hole in the walls," don't are just that, with no views. Food sounds yummy too!
CancunCanuck said…
Gaelyn- Once in a while it would be nice to treat ourselves to one of the tourist joints, but I suspect that even if we had the extra cash, we'd probably spend it on a fancy restaurant downtown and get more bang for our buck. :)

Married to a Mexican- Nope, not even a discount on the bill, haha! Doing my best to help out the little guys here, with the economic crisis and all the negative stuff about Mexico, they need all the help they can get. I won't lie for them, if I don't like a place, I just won't write about it, but Fish Fritanga is worth a "free" plug. :)

Matt- I think it's the same as most cities, when you live there you find the special little places that don't make the guide books. I'm sure if I went back to Toronto after all these years I'd be pretty lost myself and would have to contact my own guide "Mr. Swifty". ;-)

jillian- It's a great little spot on the lagoon! After that, head to the Black Pearl for drinks, they've got their resident crocodile who comes by every night, a very pleasant place to have a few cold ones on the lagoon.

Rosas Clan- I know, we keep saying it and we haven't done it, lol! You'd think we were busy or something. ;-) Soon girl, soon!

Kelly- Ooooh, the secret Cancun book! Sadly it would have to be updated every few months, so many of the places we love come and go with frequency. I can imagine which story you heard this morning, there are a couple of bad news items right now that are making me very sad indeed.

Teresa- It's great to find a "hole in the wall" with spectacular views, they are hard to come by around the hotel zone!
KfromMichigan said…
OK now I'm hungry .. whole frito pescado. yum yum ..at Mandinga's (you know where that is?!) and I have to wait till October.
Chicagotom said…
Now that is a great restaurant review!
Thanks for telling us about this gem. We'll be sure to try it next time we are over in the zona hotelera. cancunTom
Nick and Brenda said…
Nice! This is exactly the kind of place we eat when we travel. Last time we were in Cancun, we found a nice little torta joint on the second floor of one of the mercados. I cant remember the name of the place but I know its where all the local merchants ate. I remember having to walk up some steps to get to it. Any idea what the name is? Great tortas and aguas frescas!!

Cant wait to get out of Dallas to be on the beach!
Great tip, just the kind of place I love! I'll link to this post over at Insidemex.com.
CancunCanuck said…
KfromMichigan- Mandinga's? Isla Mujeres or am I thinking of someplace else?

ChicagoTom- Thanks, definitely check it out, great place to spend an afternoon.

Nick and Brenda- No idea which place that might be, so many great little hideaways! I hope you can get to the beach soon!

Margot Lee- Thanks so much, I appreciate the link on insidemex! :)
tina said…
Kelly, I have been a fan of your blog for a long time. My husband and I are down here for our annv. unplanned to help support economy. We went there for lunch yesterday, the weather was perfect. The view unbelievable. Not to mention, the service and the food was everything you said and more. Thank you, Tina from Chicago
P.S. My husband thinks you are good writer...you should do this for a living!!!!!
Croft Randle said…
Ah......... Another reason to go back to Cancun! Love the food.
CancunCanuck said…
Tina- Hello and thanks for stopping in! Glad you enjoyed the restaurant, happy anniversary! Especially kind of you to help out people down here, we sure appreciate it.

Croft- So many good reasons, but yes, food is near the top of the list!
Tyler said…
Thanks for the tip Canuck! I'm from Toronto and am heading to Cancun for the first time on Sunday. I'll definitely be trying this place out, as I'm far more interested in small, cheap and cheerful places than the Americanized places.

Can't wait to try it out!
anoba said…
I'm afraid that advertising these "secret" dining places will change and taint them. I found out about EF and other local eateries from the locals when we visited but decided not to spread the word. I felt its best to find them yourself.
Annie said…
We stumbled upon Fish Fritanga's street-side taco stand on our first day in Cancun. I fell in love with the pulpo (octopus) tacos at first bite. As I type this, I'm craving one with a sprinkling of salsa and a healthy squeeze of lime. We went back a couple of other times for quick lunches and decided that for our last meal in Cancun, we'd eat at the actual restaurant part of Fish Fritanga. The staff were helpful and funny and the seafood is some of the best I've had anywhere.
anoba said…
This place is to be discovered... not advertised to the world... we found it after asking locals.... and they were not too enthused about sharing it....

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