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“GREAT ESCAPE” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pizza Benji's

Pizza Benji's
Ranked #269 of 396 Restaurants in Mazatlan
Cuisines: Mexican, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Families with children, Local cuisine, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout
Columbia, Missouri
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“GREAT ESCAPE”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2010

We escaped from the cruise ship and the tourist traps for a day at Pizza Benji's! After walking 1/4 mile down the street from our port of entry (a friendly tour vendor pointed us in the right direction) we took a water taxi ($2 roundtrip per person) to Stone Island (La isla de Piedra). As soon as we arrived (five minutes) we were greeted by Eli, an incredibly friendly guy originally from San Diego, CA. He steered us away from the touristy, vendor-enriched beaches of Stone Island to his getaway toward the furthest seaside point of the island, where he and his family (all local Mexicans) run a beachside restaurant. It was a short walk (no, you don't need taxi service, we lazy tourists need the exercise and it's much more authentic!).

After spending several days on a cruise ship and one day at a Cabo San Lucas portside beach (BLEEECH!) I thought I had found paradise when we walked up to Pizza Benjis! The beach is a sandy cove, great for children and just floating in the water (bring a raft if you can). Sit under the palm frond palapas or in the open air restaurant. A short walk over the rocks (bring tennis shoes if you want to hike around) and you can watch the waves pummel the rocks, taking you completely off the tourist trap and out of sight from another soul. You can have total privacy with a five minute walk! The hill behind the restaurant is home to goats, which adds to the scenic views of the ocean waves juxtaposed against a rocky cliff covered with native trees, shrubs, flowers and cactus. The bustle and highrises of Mazatlan are completely blocked from your view by the touristed strip of beach, which was across a wide expanse of ocean and comprised of small, sparse 1-2 story hotels and restaurants. It was a truly beautiful and stunning sight! We didn't snorkel, but according to Eli, this is where the snorkel trips drop people off.

Lunch was delicioso (garlic shrimp) and an authentic Mexican meal.

What truly topped off the experience, was this beach is the favored spot of local Mexican families who could drive up and take advantage of several abandoned open-air restaurants and shacks. They brought their bbqs and plastic chairs. Children played in the bay while their parents visited on the shore. I felt like I was in Mexico, not in a tourist trap! There was only one or two other tourist families there besides us. Most of the people around us were locals.

I almost hate to tell people about this place because next time I go, I hope it doesn't change at all. We did go in the off season (July) and I'm sure it's busier with tourists during the high season, which I'm happy for because I want Eli and his family (especially his beautiful new baby girl) to continue to thrive!

FYI Eli, my two teenage kids and I were there on Wednesday, July 14. You were busy so I didn't interrupt you to say goodbye, but THANKS a billion for having such a wonderful place to escape to from Cruise/Tourist hell! My only complain was the music and if you have to play music as requested by other guests, how about some local music? Almost anything but popular rock/ American contemporary. There is so much great music by Mexican artists!

THANKS AGAIN FOR A GREAT TIME!

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank happykaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    27
    2
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    2
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Walnut Creek, California
1 review
“Best Coconut Shrimp EVER!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2010

Recently visited Pizza Benji's in Mazatlan. What a great find! If you're looking for someplace to relax - this is the place to go.

Loved the private beach - it's situated on a small cove protected by a natural breakfront. A shallow dropoff makes for warm water and gentle waves. Since it's private - you avoid the contstant influx of vendors selling their goods and can just enjoy your day at the beach. One note of caution: The sand gets HOT, and can be rocky in spots. Don't burn the bottom of you feet like I did - Wear water shoes!

Fantastic food. Had the best coconut shrimp I've ever tasted. Made with coconut fresh from the trees on the property, and an amazing regional Mexican cheese. My friend's meals were fantastic, too! Come hungry - the servings are generous.

Things to do: You can sit on the beach all day, relax in a hammock in the shade, or take advantage of a variety of island activities. Eli - the owner - met our group at the Rock Island pier. He arranged for ATV rentals (no small feat since we needed a dozen) and our riders were guided around the island. There were canoes available and the "banana boat" came by, too.

Atmosphere: A bit rustic. As of Mid June 2010 they were in the process of building a deck to provide additional seating. This should be finished soon - but don't let that stop you from giving it a try.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank K2TravelOp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Leandro, CA
1 review
“great time at pizza benji's !!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2010

We had a wonderful relaxing day at Pizza Benjis! Eli was very hospitiable and a very wonderful host. He really took care of us all day long. Got us atv's for a great deal, served us flavorful food, and provided us with canoes. You dont need to go to those fancy resorts for great service. It was very low key and relaxing here with nobody selling anything to us all day long. We loved it! Spent the whole day there just chilling. Would definately recommend Pizza Benjis to anyone that is going to Mazatlan.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank macroy65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
97 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“How can this be rated in the top 10?”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2010

After our recent week long trip to Mazatlan, we ate at a number of restaurants that were rated in the top 25 as well as others. We had to look hard for this one as when you get off the boat you walk right instead of straight or left as everyone else does for the Beach. Remote as it is, I can see during peak season why this spot may be desirable. We walked over from the main Beach in the afternoon to find this place and give it a try. We were the only ones there other than a car of locals. We ordered a Pizza from the lady there, which I found out was the Mother of the owner. Very nice lady!! Pizza OK, Not that I ever wanted a Pizza in Mexico, But I had to try it as it was rated #1 when we went. Whoever rated this #1 must have come from the deepest jungles of Brazil!! As I said, Its OK at best!!! Location remote, Very nice people there.............But a long way from #1!!!

    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank messenger52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
1 review
“Pizza Benji's was the BEST part of our trip to Mazatlan!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2010

While we were on a cruise recently and decided to take the water taxi to Stone Island and look around for a place to eat. We met Eli the owner as we got off the small boat. He seemed like such a kind, authentic guy and he offered to take us over to his restaurant so we could check it out. No pressure. We are so glad we did. Their place is situated in a private little cove. It's authentic. It's family run, and it's very special. Eli brought us the food himself as his family prepared it. The homemade tortillas were blissful! Everything was SO delicious. Thid was so much more than a restaurant. It was like having the use of a private resort all day. Kayaks to use, hammocks to relax in, shady tables to sit at and beautiful water to swim in. Eli explained that they are working at adding on here and there, so it's a work in progress. If you require fancy, this isn't your place. This place is all about peace and privacy. It was THE best part of a week long cruise for our family. We will remember Eli and his family always and we WILL go back! (And "Thank You" Eli! I feel so blessed because I got to hold your new baby girl!)

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank momtype
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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