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. ChocoBanana

    $$ | American

    One of Sayulita's pioneer restaurants has really gotten spiffy, adding tile mosaic accents and generally beautifying its terrace restaurant...Read More

  • El Arrayán

    2. El Arrayán

    $$ | El Centro | Mexican

    The oilcloth table covers, enameled tin plates, exposed rafters, and red roof tiles of this patio-restaurant conjure up nostalgia for the quaint...Read More

    El Arrayán
  • 3. El Brujo

    $$ | Mexican

    This newer Bucerías branch of El Brujo is located right on the beach but with the same food and generous portions of the original location in...Read More

  • 4. La Ola Rica

    $$ | International

    One of San Pancho's first upscale restaurants, "The Delicious Wave," has still got it goin'. Small, medium-crust, wood-fired pizzas are just...Read More

  • 5. 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...Read More

  • 6. Archie's Wok

    $$ | Zona Romántica | Asian

    Dishes at this extremely popular pan-Asian restaurant include Thai garlic shrimp, pancit (Filipino stir-fry with pasta), and Singapore-style...Read More

  • 7. Calypso

    $$ | Eclectic

    This second-story restaurant overlooks the town plaza from beneath an enormous palapa roof. Locals rave about the deep-fried calamari served...Read More

  • 8. Casa Grande

    $$ | Steakhouse

    This steakhouse also serves grilled chicken and seafood. Under a roof but open on all sides and with an incredible view, it's highly recommended...Read More

  • 9. Chez Elena

    $$ | El Centro | Mexican

    Frequented in its heyday by Hollywood luminaries and the who's who of PV, this downtown restaurant still has a loyal following. The casual patio...Read More

  • 10. Cruz'ers

    $$ | Mexican

    A view of the Nayarit mountains backing the yacht harbor is best from the newly named Cruizers, at La Cruz's new Marina Riviera Nayarit. Here...Read More

  • 11. Cueto's

    $$ | El Centro | Seafood

    Teams of engaging waiters, all family members, squeeze past the trio that croons romantic tunes throughout the day to refill beer glasses, remove...Read More

  • 12. Dolce Vita

    $$ | Italian

    Fine Italian food is to be found at any of the two locations of this well-known local business. Pizzas are thin-crusted and baked in a traditional...Read More

  • 13. Don Pedro's

    $$ | International

    Sayulita institution Don Pedro's has wonderful pizzas baked in a wood-fire oven, prepared by European-trained chef and co-owner Nicholas Parrillo...Read More

  • 14. El Andariego

    $$ | El Centro | Mexican

    A few blocks past the north end of the malecón is this lively Mexican restaurant. Paintings of the city brighten the walls; at night the lighting...Read More

  • 15. Kaiser Maximilian

    $$ | Zona Romántica | European

    Viennese entrées dominate the menu, which is modified each year when the restaurant participates in PV's culinary festival. One favorite is...Read More

  • 16. La Bodeguita del Medio

    $$ | El Centro | Caribbean

    Near the malecón's north end, this world famous franchise restaurant with a fun-loving atmosphere has a bit of a sea view from its second-floor...Read More

  • 17. La Piazzetta

    $$ | Zona Romántica | Italian

    Locals come for the Naples-style pizza, cooked in a brick oven and with a crust that's not too thick, not too thin. There's also great pasta...Read More

  • 18. La Playita de Lindo Mar

    $$ | Olas Altas | International

    Open to the ocean air, the wood-and-palm-front restaurant looks right at home on Conchas Chinas Beach. And there are wonderful views of waves...Read More

  • 19. Maya

    $$ | International

    Two Canadian women have teamed up to bring sophistication to San Patricio–Melaque's dining scene. East meets West in contemporary dishes such...Read More

  • 20. Memo's Pancake House

    $$ | Zona Romántica | American

    Your child will most certainly find something he or she likes on this Pancake House menu. There are 12 kinds of pancakes—including the "Oh Henry...Read More

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