Puerto Vallarta Restaurants

First-time travelers come for the sun and sea, but it's PV's wonderful restaurants that create legions of long-term fans. You can pay L.A. prices for perfectly decorated plates but also get fresh-caught fish and hot-off-the-griddle tortillas for scandalously little dough. Enjoy a 300-degree bay view from a cliff-top aerie or bury your toes in the sand. Dress up or go completely casual. It's the destination’s great variety of venues and cuisine that keeps returning foodies blissfully content.

During the past 30 years, immigrant chefs have expanded the culinary horizons beyond seafood and Mexican fare. You'll find everything from haute cuisine to fish kebabs. Some of the most rewarding culinary experiences are found outside of fancy restaurants and familiar chain eateries at the street-side tacos stalls and neighborhood fondas, humble spots serving bowls of chili-laced pozole and seafood-heavy Mexican comfort food.

The trend of the day is restaurant-lounges. Ten years ago, DeSantos (co-owned by the drummer of the Mexican rock band Maná) was the first to combine dining and dancing in a hip new way, with its noisy ground-floor bar-restaurant and pulsing dance club above. Today DeSantos, Mandala, and other lounges provide places to party with the locals beyond the cool and chill dining rooms.

For those who prefer dining alfresco (and wearing flip-flops) over the glamour scene, almost every popular beach has a palapa shanty or two selling fish fillets and snacks, sodas, and beer. Some offer the Pacific Coast specialty pescado sarandeado (butterflied red snapper rubbed with salt and spices and grilled over a wood fire) or the devilishly simple (and fiery hot) dish aguachile, which is a ceviche salad. The catch of the day may vary, but the white plastic tables and chairs in the sand are permanent fixtures.

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  • 1. Barra Galeria de Arte and Restaurant

    $$

    An art gallery that doubles as a gourmet restaurant, this place is classy and sophisticated, and as such it takes its time for every entrée...

    An art gallery that doubles as a gourmet restaurant, this place is classy and sophisticated, and as such it takes its time for every entrée that it serves. During high season it may open for an evening or two during the weekend. You can be sure that when it is open, the culinary experience will be special.

    Av. Mazatlan 75, 48987, Mexico
    315-109--6239

    Known For

    • Homemade recipes
    • Art gallery
    • Tequila tastings

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch. Closed Wed. and weekends
  • 2. Café des Artistes Bistro Gourmet

    $$$$

    Style and sophistication is what you get when eating at Café des Artistes. Owned and managed by famous French chef Thierry Blouet, this restaurant is...

    Style and sophistication is what you get when eating at Café des Artistes. Owned and managed by famous French chef Thierry Blouet, this restaurant is top-shelf for gourmet cuisine in Puerto Vallarta.

    Av. Guadalupe Sánchez 740, 48300, Mexico
    322-226--7200

    Known For

    • Crème brûlée
    • Cigar bar
    • Festivals and events throughout the year

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch
  • 3. Casa Triskell

    $

    This midsize enclave is sure to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth, particularly those fond of well-crafted French crepes. Try the orange-flavored Suzette or, if...

    This midsize enclave is sure to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth, particularly those fond of well-crafted French crepes. Try the orange-flavored Suzette or, if you're a chocolate fan, the full-on Tahitian with ice cream, chocolate, and whipped cream. They also have savory crepes and occasionally hold a moules et frites (mussels and french fries) night for seafood lovers.

    Calle Lázaro Cárdenas 500-B, Mexico
    322-120–5041

    Known For

    • Moules et frites
    • Sweet and savory crepes
    • Dessert
  • 4. Daiquiri Dick's

    $$

    Locals come frequently for breakfast; visitors come for the great service and consistent Mexican and international cuisine. The lunch-dinner menu has fabulous appetizers, including superb...

    Locals come frequently for breakfast; visitors come for the great service and consistent Mexican and international cuisine. The lunch-dinner menu has fabulous appetizers, including superb Mexican shrimp al pastor with lemon-zest beurre blanc, delicious blackened salmon fillet, and perfect, spicy tuna tacos. The tortilla soup is popular, too. Start with a signature daiquiri and move on to the extensive wine list. The open patio dining room frames a view of Playa Los Muertos, creating a beautiful, simple scene to enjoy while you sip that drink.

    Av. Olas Altas 314, 48350, Mexico
    322-222–0566

    Known For

    • Homemade orange-almond granola
    • Grilled fish on a stick
    • Sunset views

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sept.
  • 5. Frascati

    $

    Frascati is friendly and intimate while simultaneously sophisticated, with a lively soundtrack. Choose your pasta (several are house-made) and one of 12 toppings, including traditional...

    Frascati is friendly and intimate while simultaneously sophisticated, with a lively soundtrack. Choose your pasta (several are house-made) and one of 12 toppings, including traditional sauces such as Bolognese, pesto, four-cheese, and pomodoro, or something chef-inspired like the Arturito, a sauce of fresh tomatoes, cream, chicken, and basil. The mixed seafood combo, served in an oversize martini glass, is a must-try. In addition to lightly battered and deep-fried denizens of the deep, the appetizer comes with batter-fried julienne zucchini and crispy fried parsley.

    Calle Marlin 39, 48315, Mexico
    329-295–6185

    Known For

    • Mixed seafood combo
    • Upscale setting
    • Romantic ambience

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
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  • 6. Jardin Nebulosa

    $$$$

    Chic, fancy, and delicious, Jardin Nebulosa seems to be out of place for its environment. Unusual dishes—many of Aztec origin—are made with mostly seasonal and...

    Chic, fancy, and delicious, Jardin Nebulosa seems to be out of place for its environment. Unusual dishes—many of Aztec origin—are made with mostly seasonal and locally harvested ingredients. Wash everything down with a craft beer.

    Calle Gral Aguirre, 46990, Mexico
    322-150–5451

    Known For

    • Craft beer
    • Tortillas with assorted insects
    • Rabbit tacos
  • 7. La Ola

    $

    Fresh seafood including ceviche, tuna, and shrimp are to be found in this relaxed restaurant. The friendly staff and owners and surf decor (and sand...

    Fresh seafood including ceviche, tuna, and shrimp are to be found in this relaxed restaurant. The friendly staff and owners and surf decor (and sand that's often dragged in by surfers from the beach) makes for a relaxed vibe.

    Paseo de las Palmas 8, Mexico
    322-297--0280

    Known For

    • Chill atmosphere
    • Tuna toast
    • Sashimi

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No dinner
  • 8. La Palapa

    $$$

    This large, welcoming, thatched-roof eatery is open to the breezes of Playa Los Muertos and filled with wicker-covered chandeliers, art-glass fixtures, and lazily rotating ceiling...

    This large, welcoming, thatched-roof eatery is open to the breezes of Playa Los Muertos and filled with wicker-covered chandeliers, art-glass fixtures, and lazily rotating ceiling fans. The menu meanders among international dishes with modern presentation: roasted stuffed chicken breast, pork loin, seared yellowfin tuna drizzled in cacao sauce. It's pricey, but the beachfront location and, in the evening, the low lights and romantic atmosphere, keep people coming back. Breakfast is popular with locals as well as visitors.

    Calle Púlpito 103, 48350, Mexico
    322-222–5225

    Known For

    • Puerto Vallarta's original beach restaurant
    • Seafood enchilada
    • Beach club
  • 9. Mediterraneo

    $$

    Serving Lebanese food right on the Nuevo Vallarta marina, this casual restaurant has been voted the best restaurant in Nuevo Vallarta several years in a...

    Serving Lebanese food right on the Nuevo Vallarta marina, this casual restaurant has been voted the best restaurant in Nuevo Vallarta several years in a row. Staple Lebanese dishes are great, but there's also pasta and  pizza any little one will enjoy.

    Paseo de la Marina 8, 63735, Mexico

    Known For

    • Pizza
    • Tabouleh
    • Kibbe
  • 10. Porfirio's

    $$

    Porfirio's is a sophisticated restaurant that reinvents traditional Mexican cuisine by adding modern accents and flavors. The food is excellent and the atmosphere is even...

    Porfirio's is a sophisticated restaurant that reinvents traditional Mexican cuisine by adding modern accents and flavors. The food is excellent and the atmosphere is even better, with on-site mariachis, sparklers, and all kinds of iconic Mexican characters.

    Francisco Medina Ascencio 2485, Mexico
    322-221--3589

    Known For

    • Exquisite tortilla soup
    • Dinner with a show
    • Great kids' club with video games
  • 11. Sonora al Sur

    $$

    Combine prime cuts from Sonora (Mexico's finest meat-producing state), a chef that has found the secret to grilling the perfect barbecue, and affordable rates, and...

    Combine prime cuts from Sonora (Mexico's finest meat-producing state), a chef that has found the secret to grilling the perfect barbecue, and affordable rates, and you'll get this local favorite. The restaurant now has an indoor area with a/c, making it a comfortable place where to eat year round.

    Blvd. Nuevo Vallarta 64, Mexico
    322-297–0376

    Known For

    • All-you-can-eat buffet
    • Local favorite
    • Delicious barbecue
  • 12. Sonora Prime

    $$$

    One of the most sophisticated restaurants in Puerto Vallarta and a favorite of meat lovers, Sonora Prime is a renowned chain that serves high-quality steaks,...

    One of the most sophisticated restaurants in Puerto Vallarta and a favorite of meat lovers, Sonora Prime is a renowned chain that serves high-quality steaks, imported directly from the northern Mexican state of Sonora.

    Paseo de la Marina 121, 48335, Mexico
    322-221--3124

    Known For

    • The best steaks in town
    • Impressive international wine list
    • Veggie carpaccio
  • 13. Tacos on the Street

    $

    This small, no-frills restaurant offers what many claim to be the best tacos in all of Bahía de Banderas, but also the most expensive. The...

    This small, no-frills restaurant offers what many claim to be the best tacos in all of Bahía de Banderas, but also the most expensive. The tender rib-eye meat that melts in your mouth is the secret to its success.

    Calle Huachinango 9, Mexico
    329-295–5056

    Known For

    • Handmade tortillas
    • Carne asada tacos
    • Best tacos in the area

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues. No lunch
  • 14. Trio

    $$$

    Trio is simply Puerto Vallarta's best restaurant. Waiters are professional yet unpretentious—either the sommelier or the maître d' can help you with the wine—but the...

    Trio is simply Puerto Vallarta's best restaurant. Waiters are professional yet unpretentious—either the sommelier or the maître d' can help you with the wine—but the main reason to dine here is the consistently fabulous food, which is also a great value. The grilled oyster from Cabo Corrientes is a great appetizer and then you can treat yourself with the rabbit roasted with aromatic herbs and red wine. The kitchen often stays open until midnight, and during high season the restaurant opens the back patio, second floor, and rooftop terrace.

    Calle Guerrero 264, 48300, Mexico
    322-222--2196

    Known For

    • German chef-owners
    • Warm chocolate cake
    • Wide liquor selection

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch
  • 15. Vista Grill

    $$ | El Centro | International

    Sensational views of the sunset and sparkling city-light panoramas after dark make this one of the best restaurants in PV for a celebratory...

    Sensational views of the sunset and sparkling city-light panoramas after dark make this one of the best restaurants in PV for a celebratory toast—of life, love, or the perfect vacation. Dedicated observers can spot whales spouting offshore almost any day during the winter months. An army of attentive waiters brings baskets of delicious, buttery rolls and whisks away plates. Try the stellar crab-and-sea-bass cakes, lobster tacos, or sashimi with truffle-and-soy vinaigrette and avocado coulis. The chef adds new dishes every few weeks; the barman stocks top-of-the-line spirits; and there is a large wine cellar representing several continents.

    Calle Púlpito 377, near Calle Aguacate, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, 48380, Mexico
    322-222–3570

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted, No lunch
  • 16. Andale

    $

    Although many have been drinking rather than eating at this local hangout for years, the restaurant serves dependable cuisine (fajitas, burgers, fries), with daily lunch...

    Although many have been drinking rather than eating at this local hangout for years, the restaurant serves dependable cuisine (fajitas, burgers, fries), with daily lunch specials and nightly drink specials. The bar has a friendly atmosphere; the interior is cool, dark, and informal. Service is generally attentive, although that doesn't mean the food will arrive promptly. This spot is party-hearty later in the evening, by 10 pm or so.

    Av. Olas Altas 425, 48380, Mexico
    322-222–1054

    Known For

    • Outdoor dining
    • Attentive service
    • Nighttime party spot
  • 17. Archie's Wok

    $$

    Dishes at this extremely popular pan-Asian restaurant include Thai garlic shrimp, pansit (Filipino stir-fry with pasta), and Singapore-style (lightly battered) crispy fish. The spinach and...

    Dishes at this extremely popular pan-Asian restaurant include Thai garlic shrimp, pansit (Filipino stir-fry with pasta), and Singapore-style (lightly battered) crispy fish. The spinach and watercress salad with feta, pecans, and a hibiscus dressing is healthy, refreshing, and perfect for a late lunch (the restaurant opens only after 2 pm). Ceilings are high, and the decor includes dark wood, lacy potted palms, and Indonesian étagères.

    Calle Francisca Rodríguez 130, 48350, Mexico
    322-222–0411

    Known For

    • Vegetarian dishes
    • Puerto Vallarta staple
    • Great service

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Sept., Reservations not accepted
  • 18. Barcelona Tapas

    $$$

    One of the best all-around restaurants in El Centro, this place offers great food and excellent service. The paella Valenciana has no equal in the...

    One of the best all-around restaurants in El Centro, this place offers great food and excellent service. The paella Valenciana has no equal in the Banderas Bay area, and if you come for the tapas then you can't miss the spicy garlic shrimp or the Galician-style octopus. The restaurant is air-conditioned in summer; the rest of the year the windows are taken off to let the breeze in.

    Calle Matamoros 906, 48300, Mexico
    322-222--0510

    Known For

    • Best tapas in town
    • Outstanding view of the bay
    • Fresh sangria

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Reservations essential
  • 19. Barramar Beach Club

    $

    Barramar Beach Club is both the best beach club in town and one of the very best restaurants in the whole Barra de Navidad–Melaque area....

    Barramar Beach Club is both the best beach club in town and one of the very best restaurants in the whole Barra de Navidad–Melaque area. Locals come for the swimming pool and stay for the seafood.

    Av. Miguel López de Legazpi 250-A, Mexico
    314-100--8464

    Known For

    • Variety of shrimp dishes
    • Lively happy hour
    • Large infinity swimming pool

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Wed.
  • 20. Birriería Robles

    $

    If you want to try birria de chivo, a delicious goat or beef stew very popular in Jalisco, Birriería Robles is the place to go....

    If you want to try birria de chivo, a delicious goat or beef stew very popular in Jalisco, Birriería Robles is the place to go. With four different branches in Puerto Vallarta, the Robles family has based its success on keeping the menu simple and focusing on serving the best birria in town.  

    Constitucion 271, Mexico

    Known For

    • Tacos de birria
    • Homemade queso fresco
    • Traditional café de olla with refill

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Tues.

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