Our Favorite Food in Mexico – Restaurants in Valle de Bravo

Our Favorite Food in Mexico – Restaurants in Valle de Bravo

Valle de Bravo, Mexico isn’t exactly know for its food scene. Even the locals and Mexican tourists will tell you the same thing. Still, there are some hidden gems around town we like to frequent again and again.

These restaurants are mostly small, out of the way, family run establishments that consistently put out good food. In this edition of our favorite food in Mexico, we’ll look at some food and restaurants in Valle de Bravo that we’d recommend.

If you plan on visiting Valle de Bravo, or are curious about the town, check out our blog on some of the fun things to do in Valle de Bravo.

Food in Mexico – Valle de Bravo – Fabale

Food in Valle de bravo mexico - Fabale - exterior

Fabale is one of our favorite little family run restaurants in Valle de Bravo. It’s a short walk from our apartment, and we spend a lot of mornings here sipping tea, eating some really good food in Mexico, and watching the tourists roll into town.

Let’s check out the menu in general, and then some of the typical Mexican food that they serve.

Fabale – The Menu

As you can see, Fabale has a pretty traditional menu for a Mexican restaurant. Where their food differs, though, is in the quality and the preparation. If you order a club sandwich here, which we do often, they’re not just slapping a bunch of ingredients between some bread.

Ever ingredient is treated with respect, and the whole sandwich comes together perfectly.

  • The bread it perfectly toasted,
  • the chicken breast is lightly seared,
  • the bacon is crisped to order,
  • the ham is sauteed on the grill so it’s not cold, and
  • the queso Oaxaca is perfectly seared on the grill so it’s partially crispy on one side and perfectly melted on the other.

They put this kind of care into every dish they make. And it shows. Even during the week, when there are no tourists in town, this place is packed with locals enjoying some of the best food in Mexico.

Fabale – The Food

While we mainly treat Fabale as our breakfast spot, all of the food, from the egg dishes to salads to seafood has always been spot on. Let’s take a quick look at some of our favorite foods.

Fabale – Chilaquiles

Food in Valle de bravo mexico - Fabale - chilaquiles

If you’ve spent any time south of the border, you know that chilaquiles are a very popular breakfast food in Mexico. They’re certainly one of my favorites, and I order them nearly everywhere I go. The chilaquiles at Fabale are some of the best around.

If you’ve ordered this popular Mexican food before, you’ll see this looks a little different. Normally chilaquiles is basically just a big plate of nachos, covered in salsa verde or rojo, and topped with a protein, usually chicken eggs, or chorizo.

At Fabale, I order mine a little different. I get a half order of chilaquiles with eggs, chorizo, and beans. The combination is amazing, and if you find yourself in Valle de Bravo, I highly recommend it.

Fabale – Club Sandwich

Food in Valle de bravo mexico - Fabale - Club sandwich

I mentioned the club sandwich earlier. It’s definitely one of our favorites. Everything is perfectly constructed and seasoned. If you’re in the area, and craving something a little more “gringo-esque”, this would be your best bet. You know if a place is using freshly cooked and pulled chicken breast, instead of lunch-meat, they’re doing something right.

Fabale – Quesadillas

Another favorite breakfast food in Mexico, quesadillas, is just an another level at Fabale. They use fresh-made blue corn tortillas, and the chorizo they use reminds me of the kind in Oaxaca. It’s finely ground, and seasoned beautifully, with just the slightest bit of sourness (trust me, that’s a good thing).

With their chorizo, Fabale goes the extra step of searing it off really hard on the flattop so there are little crunchy bits all throughout the quesadilla. They also use queso Oaxaca in their quesadillas, which is the best choice, and way better than some of the queso gouda quesadillas I’ve had elsewhere.

The two eggs you see pictured above are add-ons. Normally the dish is just three quesadillas, but adding eggs to the dish makes this the perfect breakfast.

Fabale – Pechuga Empanizada

Food in Valle de bravo mexico - Fabale - milanesa

This is a dish Natasha and I get quite a bit. Pechuga empanizada (also called pollo empanizado or milenesa de pollo, depending on where you order this food in Mexico), is simply a chicken breast fillet, pounded thin, dredged in breadcrumbs, and fried until golden brown. It’s so damn good.

At Fabale, they usually serve it with rice, beans, and a small salad. Since Natasha and I eat a ridiculous amount of rice and beans, we sub out a double salad (ensalada doble) for the other sides. Just to be a little bit more healthy.

If you’re looking for just as much flavor, but even healthier, you can opt for the pechuga asado, instead. It’s the same cut of chicken, pounded thin, then the asado is heavily seasoned and pan seared on the flattop. 

Fabale – Enfrijoladas de Pollo

Food in Valle de bravo mexico - Fabale - chorizo chilaquiles

That plate looks like a giant disaster, I know. I promise you though, enfrijoladas are an awesome breakfast choice, especially if you love beans as much as we do. And, like always, Fabale goes above and beyond with their enfrijoladas de pollo.

They start with really good corn tortillas, the wrap them around some homemade pulled chicken breast, smother it all in a delicious black bean sauce, then top it with some salty dried cheese and crema.

While this is a very normal breakfast dish at most Mexican restaurants, Fabale gilds the lily by adding some seared chorizo to the top. It is a gut-buster, but so, so good.

Fabale – Taco Dorados

Food in Valle de bravo mexico - Fabale - tacos dorados

This is another very popular breakfast food in Mexico. Tacos dorados (also called taquitos or flautas, depending on where you are) are simply corn tortillas, wrapped around your protein of choice (at Fabale it’s either pulled chicken or potatoes and chorizo). The little tacos are then deep fried and come out crunchy and delicious.

Like most restaurants in Mexico, Fabale tops their tacos dorados with a little crema and cheese, and, depending on the day on ingredients on hand, a little salad of avocado, lettuce, or cilantro. Not the healthiest of breakfasts, but damn good.

Fabale – Sopes

Food in Valle de bravo mexico - Fabale - sopes

So, let’s get this out of the way, first … Like most restaurants that offer sopes on their menu, these are not traditional sopes. They’re still unbelievably good and we order them quite a bit.

The sopes at Fabale are their handmade blue corn tortillas which are fried crispy. They then add a bit of black bean sauce, the protein (in this case chicken), then it’s topped with crema, queso, and a small salad. Finish it with some of Fabale’s spicy red salsa, and you’ve got the perfect little meal.

Ok…a note on sopes. Unless you’re getting your sopes from a little old lady in the mercado that specializes in sopes, you’re probably not getting authentic sopes. Sopes are time consuming to make, and restaurants tend to cheat on the the base by giving you a fried or pan seared tortilla. In my opinion, this is just a tostada. Delicious, but not a sope.

A real sope starts with masa dough that is still pliable. The sope maker will flatten out the dough, and raise the edges up a little to keep the toppings in. Sort of like a small pie dough. Then this masa is either deep friend or pan seared to maintain it’s shape. It’s then filled with bean sauce and your protein of choice, then topped with crema, cheese, and a small salad.

While the sopes at Fabale are awesome, if you’re a expert at food in Mexico, you may leave saying, “those were good, but they weren’t real sopes”.

Food in Mexico – Valle de Bravo – Reynosos

Food in Valle de bravo mexico - Mercado Municipal - tacos de barbacoa line

I say it all of the time, “if you want delicious, authentic food in Mexico, head to the local market”. And in the mercado municipal in Valle de Bravo, you’ll find Reynosos barbacoa de borrego, serving up some of the best tacos I found in all of Valle de Bravo.

Reynosos – The Food

Normally at this point in my “food in Mexico” blogs I would give you a picture of the menu. Here, there is no menu, and they only serve one thing; barbacoa de borrego tacos (lamb meat tacos). And they’re some of the best I’ve ever had.

If you’re unfamiliar with barbacoa, its basically slow braised, heavily seasoned meat (normally beef but in this case lamb). It’s then chopped up very finely and put into soft corn tortillas. If you’re visiting Mexico, this dish is a must, no matter what town you’re in.

Normally, once you have your barbacoa tacos, you’ll move on to the topping station. Depending on where you’re ordering your food in Mexico, toppings could include:

Load up your tacos however you want, and enjoy. If you’re looking for real, authentic food in Mexico, this is it.

A quick note on meat tacos … if you’re going to a restaurant that specializes in meat tacos, like barbacoa or carnitas, you’re going to be asked if you want the tacos “surtido” or “maciza”. Here’s what that means.

  • Surtido – When they cook taco meats like barbacoa and carnitas, they use many different parts of the animal, including some skin, fat, tendons, the head, and pieces of meat most American aren’t comfortable eating. When you order your tacos surtido, they chop all of these different parts together, making a taco with very complex and delicious textures and flavors.
  • Maciza – If you’re a little less adventurous, you may want to go for your tacos maciza. Here they pull out only the lean meat when you order (sort of like you’d get pulled pork in the States), and chop that all up into your taco. While your taco isn’t going to be as flavorful, it still going to be delicious, and you don’t have to worry about biting into skin, fat, or cartridge.

I suggest for your first couple of outings, stick with the maciza. Then, once you’ve mastered that, add one surtido to the plate and see how you like it.

A Not so Complete List of Food in Mexico – The Valle de Bravo Edition

valle de bravo mexico sign 2

While we recommend every restaurant we feature in our “food in Mexico” blogs, this isn’t just a “where to eat” blog. What we’re trying to do is help people who may be new to Mexico, get out of the boring tourist traps, and into some restaurants that are serving some of the most authentic food in Mexico. Restaurants the locals and those in the know are eating at.

If you’ve been in Valle de Bravo, and have some favorite foods or restaurants you think our readers would like, please feel free to leave a comment.

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