Puerto Vallarta is a food fiesta and everything is fresh, fresh, fresh; as one of the semi-permanent residents noted, “You basically can’t go wrong with any restaurant in PV.”
But here are a few of my favourite restaurants where you can go really, really right!
After a lot of taste-testing I think Gaby’s has the best enchiladas verdes in town. The chiles rellenos are fantastic too!
Gaby’s is in the Centro Histórico of Puerto Vallarta, a great place to stop if you’re doing the Art Walk. In 2019 they have started offering cooking classes – something to think about!
Another restaurant on the Art Walk route is the Café de Artistes. Gourmet meal without the high end prices and so good it rates it’s own post.
Life changes forever once you’ve tried their Tacos Pastor, slivers of spiced pork and pineapple on a tortilla. There is ALWAYS a HUGE line-up here but it’s worth the wait. The people at the table next to us came down to Puerto Vallarta just to get their hands on these tacos.
Of course, you can get great tacos pastor everywhere. But Takos shines when you see the ‘salsas al lado’ (sauces on the side) – my favourite was the mango habanero salsa on the right.
Pancho’s Takos is on Basilio Badillo with it’s wide sidewalk and plethora of restaurants and high-end shops.
Brewpubs with food.
Los Muertos. Delicious (& humungous) pizzas plus artisanal beer with happy skeletons dancing around you. Monzon Brewing Company New in 2019 and fantastic – both the beer and the food rates highly in our books.
Sand in your feet.
There are two restaurants right on the beach where people try to lure you in. I’ve always been a bit resistant to this approach of grabbing customers but ended up going to Canto del Mar to see beach vendor Johnny singing and loved it. The floors are sand, the beer is cold and the food is tasty. In 2019, Canto del Mar has gone upscale and downhill. Sad to say, I can no longer recommend it but Los Abuelos Beach Club next door has a similar set-up and great Mexican food as well. Alas it was too dark to get any decent food shots but believe me when I say I’m drooling just thinking of their chiles rellenos. It doesn’t show up on Google Maps but it’s south/left of Canto del Mar. (2019, fab enchiladas verdes!)
Down along the ‘strip’.
We had this shrimp-stuffed avocado at the Vayan Café but it shows up at a lot of places, something everyone should try.
I’ve marked the location of most of the restaurants on this map. The Sea Monkey serves food but is best known for its sunsets and $1 margaritas.
And more from the locals…
“When we go out for a special dinner we go to Casa Isabel – great view!”
“In the market the third Fonda stall next to the washrooms, Fonda Marina, has the best fish I ever had and a guava juice for only 74 pesos.”
“Right by the river, on Aquadis Cerdan, the street that leads to market on Plaza Santa Maria, is a fonda known for their pozole and flan. All the beach vendors eat there. It’s about 80 pesos for two.”
I see that all my recommendations are for restaurants serving the local Mexican fare, but there are a ton of Italian restaurants plus restaurants that offer meatloaf and ribs for home-sick gringos. But as one ex-pat put it, “why come to Mexico if you’re going to eat pizza!”