Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Nibbles & Bites: Banditos Lobster Shack, Costa Maya

While on our cruise in January we didn’t eat in port very often–why when, after all, the meals on the ship are already covered and many of the ports featured less than authentic cuisine or bar atmospheres that we weren’t very interested in. Still, while wandering the port in Costa Maya we got a bit peckish and decided to grab a bite in port instead of waiting until we walked back to and up that loooooong pier.

The port’s not that big, mind you, but there were two restaurants right next to each other: Mamasitas and Banditos, the latter looking busier even though they seemed like they shared quite a bit of menu items from the ones we glanced at on a table. Well, no wonder: now I find they are all part of the Coast Maya Food Service, which seems to have locations stretching from Costa Maya to Roatan to Belize. Good to know, as it means the food will be reliable if our experience is any indication.

We started with chips and salsa and a Pai Ai each: a very pink frozen drink of pineapple, orange, strawberry and tangerine with peach schnapps and rum. It was a nice thing to sip as we took in the view from the open-air restaurant. Todd ordered the Shrimp Burrito and it was good, but not quite as good as my Lobster Taquitos Banditos: they were light and flaky, well seasoned, freshly and evenly fried and just down-right tasty. Definitely worth the tourist prices you’re bound to pay in port but something I’d go back for if I ever find my way down that way again.

You know, for those who’ve been thinking about getting away, cruising in the Fall, when school’s in and before the holidays, is actually a prime time for good rates and calm cruises. Too late this season? We had a fabulous time cruising while it was chilly elsewhere (it gets cold, even in Florida) though the sunburn was not the best idea of a souvenir 😉

Jennifer Walker
Jennifer Walker

  1. Sounds like you had a fun time. I’m not a big cruise fan. I don’t like all the food tempatation. I’m glad you got some sightseeing in. That’s what I like to do.

  2. It’s odd, but having food available 24/7 actually made it less tempting, especially on this cruise (it was my second one). I’m not a big buffet (trough) fan so we ate in the dining room for most meals and they do (Carnival, can’t speak for the other lines) keep their portions fairly small and have plenty of light options available.

    The best thing, to me, about cruising is that you’re constantly moving without planes or cars and having to pack and unpack. The idea that shows and lounges are just a leisurely stroll away, and each day you wake up in a new place to explore makes it my preferred vacation.

  3. I’ve been in this place called Banditos ( Costa Maya Port), the Lobster Burrito with chipotle sauce was AMAZING!!! Also, I had a big “Huachinango” Fried Fish that came with flour tortilla and a great hot habanera salsa… Highly recommended.

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