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 bu
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 dou
First-time travelers come for the sun and sea, but it's PV's wonderful restaurants that create legions of long-term fan

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. Casa Triskell

    $ | Café

    This mid-size enclave is sure to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth, particularly those fond of well-crafted french crepes. Try the orange-flavoured...Read More

  • 2. Eddie's Place

    $ | Mexican

    This restaurant is an institution among locals and visitors who know that in Nuevo Vallarta there's more than just all-inclusive hotels. Eddie...Read More

  • 3. Mar Etxea

    $ | Spanish

    If it's Spanish tapas and food you're after, this new restaurant (spring 2014) in Nuevo Vallarta will not disappoint. Sample tortilla Española...Read More

  • 4. Sonora al Sur

    $ | Barbecue

    Throw in prime cuts from Mexico's finest meat producing state, Sonora, a chef that has found the secret to grilling perfect BBQ, and very affordable...Read More

  • 5. Tacos on the Street

    $ | Mexican

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

  • 6. Andale

    $ | El Centro | American

    Although many have been drinking, rather than eating, at this local hangout for years, the restaurant serves fajitas, dependable burgers (of...Read More

  • 7. Baja Takeria

    $ | Riviera Nayarit | Mexican

    North of Banderas Bay, in little San Pancho (aka San Francisco), the multitudes rave about the fish and shrimp tacos at Baja Takeria. ...Read More

  • 8. Café de María

    $ | Café

    There are three distinct menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the morning order one of an army of different omelets, a smoothie, or an...Read More

  • 9. Café de Olla

    $ | Zona Romántica | Mexican

    Repeat visitors swear by the enchiladas and carne asadas at this earthy restaurant. It's also one of the few places in town where you can get...Read More

  • 10. Café Napolés

    $ | Centro | Café

    Originally a coffee-and-dessert stop and fashionable hangout for Mascotans, this snug little eatery serves big breakfasts and now main dishes...Read More

  • 11. Comedor de Sra. Heladia

    $ | El Centro | Mexican

    Here you can glimpse the real Old Vallarta. A short but steep walk up from the malecón is this neighborhood dining room, which serves construction...Read More

  • 12. El Brujo

    $ | Zona Romántica | Mexican

    It's on a noisy street corner, but the seriously good food and generous portions mean that this is still an expat favorite. The molcajete ...Read More

  • 13. El Campanario

    $ | El Centro | Mexican

    Fans swirl in the air, doors are open to the street, and cheerful oilcloths cover wooden tables at this no-frills spot across from the cathedral...Read More

  • 14. El Coleguita

    $ | Zona Hotelera | Mexican

    Just what you needed in the middle of the day: free tequila shots. Waiters at this super-popular family- and businessperson-oriented restaurant...Read More

  • 15. El Dorado

    $ | Seafood

    This is the best place in town for seafood; the ocean view from under the tall, peaked palapa roof isn't bad either. In addition to the garlic...Read More

  • 16. El Herradero

    $ | Mexican

    The Blacksmith" will win no awards for cuisine or, for that matter, decoration. But it's often filled with families of pilgrims, and the locals...Read More

  • 17. Fonda de Doña Lupita

    $ | Mexican

    Typical food of the countryside—enchiladas, tamales, pozole, beefsteak with beans and tortillas, and so on—is served in an equally typical family...Read More

  • 18. Fredy's Tucan

    $ | Zona Romántica | Café

    Even in low season, Fredy's, next door to the Hotel de Roger, is packed full of Mexican families, gringo friends, and local business people...Read More

  • 19. La Barra Cerveceria

    $ | Marina Vallarta | Fast Food

    In Marina Vallarta, an upscale place to go for snacks and beer is La Barra Cerveceria, which sells pizza as well. ...Read More

  • 20. La Casa de Mi Abuelita

    $ | Mexican

    Everyone and his mother likes "Grandma's House," which is conveniently open all day (and evening), every day, starting at around 8 [am] with...Read More

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