Just across the border, in the state of Tamaulipas, is the town of Nuevo Progreso. It’s an easy 30-minute drive from where I live so I am fortunate to be able to go often. I go to shop, get a pedicure and, of course, eat. Over the past three years, with a brief timeout when the border was closed to all but essential travel, I dined at several of the restaurants in Nuevo Progreso frequently. Here are my thoughts on the best places to eat in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico.
The Best Places to Eat in Nuevo Progreso
On my very first visit to Nuevo Progreso with my friend Linda, she took me to Rene’s Restaurant and Bakery for breakfast. Even though it’s a very popular place to eat breakfast in Nuevo Progreso, we arrived at a good time and it was not crowded. We didn’t eat a lot since we planned to also have lunch later. Some coffee and a couple of appetizers held us over until lunch time.
Hours: 8am to 5:30pm daily
Location: On the right hand side as you walk south away from the International Bridge just a short distance from Arturo’s.
Chuy’s Red Snapper
Chuy’s was my first real dining experience in Nuevo Progreso. They have a pretty extensive menu including hot and cold appetizers, soups, salads, steaks, Mexican plates and lots of seafood.
When I discovered they had frog legs I was super excited. I hadn’t had frog legs since I was in Mazatlan oh so many years ago. Linda was leery of the idea but said she was game to try them. One taste and she was hooked. That’s what we have almost every time now in Nuevo Progreso if they are on the menu.
Sides at most restaurants consist of some combination of French fries, baked potato, rice, onion rings or beans. I did discover when I was really trying to keep my carbs down that vegetables might be available if you ask.
Chuy’s is bright and colorful inside. There is live entertainment most of the time and room to dance.
When the weather is nice, you can eat on the balcony overlooking the busy street below. It is rarely too cold but it may be too hot and muggy to be comfortable.
The first time we went to Chuy’s after the border reopened to nonessential travel, I wasn’t thinking and ordered my frog legs fried. I definitely prefer my frog legs grilled rather than fried. The grilled have so much more flavor and are more moist.
Hours: 10am to 8pm daily
Location: There are two Red Snappers in Nuevo Progreso. Chuy’s Red Snapper is directly across the street from Red Snapper. It’s upstairs on the left side walking south away from the International Bridge.
Arturo’s – Is it the Best Place to Eat in Nuevo Progreso?
From the moment I walked into Arturo’s, it felt like a different time and place. The atmosphere is very upscale with linens on the tables and waiters with black ties. Definitely different from the usual restaurant in Nuevo Progreso. Service is always very professional yet friendly. The drinks are strong and the food is delicious. Many visitors, especially the Winter Texans, consider Arturo’s to be the best place to eat in Nuevo Progreso.
Arturo’s also has frog legs on the menu so I’ve had a few there too. They also have fabulous mango margaritas!
Hours: 10am to 7pm daily
Location: On the ground level one block south of Mexican Customs on the back left hand corner.
My friends Tom and Bonnie took me to Angel’s for the first time. It’s their favorite place so I’ve eaten there the most of all the restaurants I’ve been to in Nuevo Progreso. Angel’s is often rated second among the best places to eat in Nuevo Progreso.
From its location on the 4th floor, you can keep an eye on the line heading back over the border, which Tom likes to do. I park on the US side and walk over but he prefers to drive.
Thanks to the huge, high windows, the dining area is a bright and cheery place.
They always try to accommodate my unusual requests for substitutes for the carbs. It’s clear that they don’t truly understand the concept though as my plate still always has bread on it.
When I eat out, I like to try things I might not want to or be able to cook at home. I had been wanting to have goat but it was so hard not to order the frog legs. I finally had it both at Arturo’s and here at Angel’s.
When I went to Angel’s the first time with Tom and Bonnie, they debated about having bananas Foster for dessert. It’s been ages since I’ve seen bananas Foster made so I encouraged them to get it. It was fun to watch. I had just a bite and it was decadent!
Hours: 9am to 6pm daily
Location: You can’t miss the four story red building on your left as you walk south from the International Bridge. Take the elevator to the 4th floor.
In Pancho’s Bar, the music is loud (as it is most places) and the lights are low except by the windows. There are fewer choices on the menu but what they do serve is very tasty. Pancho’s is a great place for awesome drinks, lively entertainment, dancing and good Tex-Mex food.
Hours: 8am to 8:30pm daily
Location: Inside the El Disco Super Center on the right hand side as you enter the store. The El Disco Super Center is on the right as you walk south away from the International Bridge.
Tony’s Bar and Grill
One morning during the summer, when it was already hot and muggy, Linda and I wanted a nice place for breakfast with air conditioning. Linda asked a couple of people for recommendations and they suggested Tony’s. We had been there on a previous visit for drinks but had not eaten there.
Breakfast is not a great meal to make a comparison on but I can tell you a few things about the restaurant. It is large, airy, nicely decorated and very clean. Service, as is the case at all these restaurants, was professional but very friendly. There is seating on the balcony when the weather permits, although I have never actually seen anyone out there.
Hours: 9am to 6pm daily
Location: On the second floor of the Canada Store. It is on the right hand side as you walk south away from the International Bridge.
El Cabrito – Would it Have Been One of the Best Places to Eat in Nuevo Progreso?
I was disappointed to see this restaurant, which specialized in goat (cabrito), close. I stopped in once and got an order to go but never got the full dining experience. The order I took home was amazing.
My Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Eat in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico
Heading across the border to Nuevo Progreso is always like a little escape and adventure. Even though it is so close, it is a bit of another world.
So which restaurant do I think is the best place to eat in Nuevo Progreso? It’s a bit of a tie depending on what I’m in the mood to eat or do. However, my top three best places to eat in Nuevo Progreso are Angel’s, Arturo’s and Chuy’s Red Snapper, but you can’t go wrong with any of these places.
You can also check TripAdvisor or Yelp for reviews and rankings of the best places to eat in Nuevo Progreso. (Be sure to keep in mind that some of the places on TripAdvisor or Yelp might have permanently closed.) Just like wine, though, what people like in food and a restaurant varies. The best thing to do is try them all for yourself!
Until next time…
So interesting to read that you can hop across the board to shop, pamper yourself and grab a tasty meal. If I ever make it to Nuevo Progreso I will certainly have a list of restaurants to try. And I won’t pass on a mango margarita!
A little pampering and a good meal makes for a fun day! And those mango margaritas…
Oh my gosh this post made me hungry. We spent several weeks in southern mexico in November…the food is so amazing. I can’t wait to return. Nice to see how easy it is to hop over the boarder too.
In my younger days, I spent a lot of time visiting all over Mexico. I loved all the food. It definitely is terrific being able to cross the border so easily.
Good to see that some of these places still have real vegetables – eg Chuys. It’s getting harder to find anything except peas in many restaurants here.
Hi Annie. Thanks for dropping by. I love peas but that might get tiring if that’s all you could get.
Pingback: Tourist Day in Nuevo Progreso | Golden Country Cowgirl