Eat + Drink

Carnivores, Get in Formation. Here’s Where to Eat the Best Meat in Monterrey

Monterrey is recognized for the quality of its meat. In fact, there’s a whole cultural movement devoted to it in the city. According to the natives, it’s the best in the country—and they have reasons to boast about it.

The first thing that surprises those who arrive in Monterrey is to see the countless travelers carrying packages of meat. Yes, no one can leave the city without having tried good meat.

If you find yourself passing through Monterrey you have to go to one of these restaurants to try the delicious regiomontana (from Monterrey) meat.

El Gran Pastor

Due to being situated in a semi-arid ecosystem, historically, the meat that is most consumed in Monterrey is cabrito (baby goat or kid). El Gran Pastor is one of the highest ranking and most recommended restaurants, where locals have been eating their favorite dishes for over 50 years.

monterrey mexico meat
Locals have been eating at El Gran Pastor for over 50 years. (Photo: Getty Images)

We recommend the golden tacos and grilled kidneys accompanied with melted cheese—another local specialty. At night you can enjoy live music by way of a trio, who will accompany your dishes with traditional Mexican music.

Gran San Carlos

If you come on a weekend, just tour the city to observe the smell of roasted meat rising from every terrace and garden in town. No one can call themselves regiomontano (originally from Monterrey) if they don’t eat roasted meat with an unprecedented frequency.

For 40 years, locals and visitors alike satiate this impulse at Gran San Carlos. Here, the meat is roasted on charcoal, as it should be, according to the fervent local custom. We also recommend cabrito al pastor (shepherd-style kid) or accompany your cut of meat with frijoles con veneno (beans with venom), typical in Monterrey. Oh, and don’t forget to order a norteña (northern) beer!

El Rey del Cabrito

The third classic restaurant is El Rey del Cabrito. Tourists, celebrities and locals themselves come here to try the delicious flavor of the cabrito, which is roasted in a wood-burning oven, following a traditional, 30 year-old recipe.

If this dish is not for you, El Rey del Cabrito offers a finger-licking menu: a variety of roasted meats of your choice, from local cut arrachera (hanger steak)—derived from the diaphragm of the beef—to rib-eye chunks, which you can accompany with local beer and sauces that add their own touch to the meat.

La Nacional

Without a doubt, La Nacional is one of the most revered restaurants in recent years as it represents the modernization of local gastronomy. Located in the San Jerónimo area, the delicious cuts of meat offered are typical, traditional food: try the barbacoa de res (beef barbecue) and the rib-eye a la sal (salted rib-eye), accompanied with some tacos and fideo seco con chorizo de Sabinas (dry noodles with chorizo sausage from Sabinas).

As a bonus: the restaurant’s walls are adorned with pieces by the best local photographers, so eating here is a well-rounded artistic experience, not only for the flavors but for the artwork.


It only took a couple of years for Pangea to position itself as one of the favorite restaurants of regiomontana society. Run by the celebrated chef Guillermo González Beristáin, Pangea integrates the best of contemporary haute cuisine into its flavors, smells and textures.

monterrey mexico meat
Pangea integrates the best of contemporary haute cuisine into its flavors. (Photos: Pangea)

With an international touch but without sacrificing the best of Mexican cuisine, the chef achieves the perfect combination of ingredients. Do not miss the costilla encebollada (rib with onions)—bathed in the juice of dried meat—nor the classic sopa de queso (cheese soup). Pengea also offers a magnificent national and international wine list.

Carnes Finas San Juan

Every regiomontano that plans to roast meat in their garden—be it to celebrate with family, get together with friends or simply out of habit—stocks up at Carnes Finas San Juan.

This butcher shop is responsible for so many meat-filled suitcases spotted at the airport or at the bus terminal. No one that has eaten meat in Monterrey can leave without a package tucked under the arm to try their luck at home.