Looking for the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta?
Mexico’s popular beach resort offers diverse culinarkey
y options for visiting foodies, from authentic street food to romantic fine dining restaurants.
Our Puerto Vallarta menu guide features the history of the local dining scene, list of the best food tours and detailed profiles for popular places to eat out. Read on and you’ll see what’s trending on menus at the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta right now!
Our comprehensive best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta list features everything from street food favourites to award-winning dining rooms with a view and romantic cocktail bars.
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History of the Best Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
Eric Wichner is the founder of Vallarta Eats, Puerto Vallarta’s leading culinary tourism operator. Dobbernationloves sat down with Wichner to learn more about Puerto Vallarta’s restaurant history and trendy menu offerings.
Wichner explains the history of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, “Once upon a time, Vallarta was a tiny fishing village. As the destination grew, the demand for culinary options increased. Given the relatively low cost of labor, it is much less expensive to open a restaurant here. In addition, the expat community has exploded, fuelling demand for new and different experiences. In my 15 years living in Puerto Vallarta I estimate 500+ restaurants have opened (and 250 closed). Today, tourists spend quite a bit of time researching and planning their meals and are thrilled at the quality and value available.”
Wichner goes on to to describe local dishes first time visitors must eat when adventuring through each Puerto Vallarta menu, ” Birria is from the state of Jalisco as Al Pastor comes from Mexico City. Chile en Nogada is a national dish and was once only available during the celebration of the Mexican Revolution. Now this amazing dish is available all the time and people order it often.”
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So what tips does Wichner offer foodies visiting Puerto Vallarta? The local food expert shares, “For the higher end restaurants, reservations have become a necessity. During our busiest times of year (December-Easter) it is difficult to get into most well established and highly regarded restaurants. One of the reasons I love our Tasting Vallarta Tour is folks get to experience four restaurants, which helps them decide where they want to return.”
How does the owner of Vallarta Eats predict the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta will evolve into the future? Wichner adds, “Hold on tight because the destination is exploding! I expect the growth to continue and many new places will open. At this point the successful restaurateurs are opening multiple outlets and concepts. We will see more of this in the future. Something I find interesting is the international food scene. The snow birds do not want to eat Mexican food every day, nor do the locals. New Asian, Italian and vegetarian restaurants are opening every day.”
Best Food Tours in Puerto Vallarta
Whether you’re traveling alone, with a partner or gaggle of food loving friends, booking a food tour in Puerto Vallarta offers an entertaining way to explore the city’s finger-licking-good food culture.
You’ll visit some of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, from craft breweries to the authentic street food vendors serving sizzling tacos.
- Signature Taco and Street Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta: on this 3.5 hour daytime walking tour learn how the locals eat while an expert foodie guide leads you on foot to family-owned eateries and taco stands.
- Tacos After Dark Food Walking Tour in Puerto Vallarta: on this 3.5-hour evening walking tour of Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town, have your your fill of tacos and other delicious street food at night.
- Mole & Pozole Food Tour: on this 3 hour tour pop into 4-6 family-style eateries, and sample foods, such as enchiladas, tacos, tamales, mole and pozole.
- Craft Brew and Bites Tour: experience Mexico’s burgeoning craft beer scene sample up to 15 artisan-produced microbrews on this 3-hour evening tour of Puerto Vallarta.
Best Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
If you’re planning to eat around the clock, you’ll also require a comfy bed to rest your head in Puerto Vallarta. The popular Mexican beach resort caters to romantic couples, families and LGBT travellers.
- Casa Cupula: this luxury boutique hotel sits perched over Puerto Vallarta’s gaybourhood. The chic property just launched a new signature restaurant, by the lesbian couple behind popular Bistro Teresa. The price point for rooms here are higher so the clientele tend to skew older.
- Almar Resort: is a gay luxury boutique hotel that sits on a hillside overlooking the wildly popular Mantamar Beach Club. The gay resort attracts more of a millennial crowd as the prices are a bit less steep then neighbouring Casa Cupula. Interior design throughout the hotel is contemporary chic. Head to Top Sky Bar to enjoy the best panoramic views over Zona Romantica. The popular gay bar is also the best place in Puerto Vallarta to watch RuPauls Drag Race. Shangela frequently goes on vacation here.
- Rivera del Rio Boutique Hotel: this quirky boutique hotel overlooks Puerto Vallarta’s river, a short walk from the local craft market. The chic lobby and spacious luxury suites feature eclectic antiques.
- Marriott Puerto Vallarta: located at the marina, the Marriott Resort is an ideal hotel for families on holiday. The property features Puerto Vallarta’s destination spa, largest pool, beautiful beachfront and a handful of excellent restaurants. The Marriott offers fun kid programming throughout the day, perfect for parents looking to ensure their children have a memorable holiday.
- Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway: is an adults-only resort catering to the all-inclusive crowd. The luxury hotel is unique in that it offers all guests ocean views from their rooms.
- Casa Kimberley: is a luxurious 5 star boutique hotel located in the former residence of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The chic hotel’s Iguana Restaurant is one of the best fine dining rooms in Puerto Vallarta.
Calle Zaragoza 445, 52-322-222-1336
The Iguana at Casa Kimberly is ranked as one of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta for romantic couples looking for a beautiful sunset view at dinner.
The luxury boutique hotel in downtown Puerto Vallarta was formerly the residence of Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor. The A-list stars likeness appears in vintage portraits throughout the chic, chandelier adorned property.
The hotel’s luxurious Iguana Restaurant is an open air concept, offering jaw-dropping views of downtown Puerto Vallarta at sunset. Dinner guests are encouraged to explore the hotel’s postcard-perfect courtyard, featuring a water fountain and tiny art gallery featuring portraits of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Visit The Iguana Restaurant at Casa Kimberly in the high season (November to April) and you’ll enjoy a live mariachi band over dinner. The dining room wraps around an outdoor patio and features retractable walls, which can be closed during rainy or windy weather.
Casa Kimberly’s Chef Jesus Suastegui crafts a Puerto Vallarta menu at The Iguana Restaurant that blends traditional Mexican recipes with modern culinary influences.
- Ceviche: scallops, octopus and shrimp marinated in a roasted habanero vinaigrette.
- Diablo Shrimp: served with rice in a spicy diablo sauce and accompanied by a black bean and pineapple salad.
- Chicken Enchiladas: served with a black bean and tomatillo sauce. Topped with Chihuahua cheese and guacamole.
- Chiles en Nogada: traditional chile relleno with ground meat, dried fruit and nuts. Bathed in a walnut sauce and sprinkled with pomegranates.
- Lamb: lamb chops crusted with green plantain. Accompanied with jalapeño, mashed potatoes and asparagus. Served in a blueberry and chile guajillo sauce.
Calle Allende 344, 52-322-222-7195
El Arrayan is a gay-owned restaurant in the heart of downtown Puerto Vallarta. The Mexican restaurant’s name pays homage to the Arrayan tree, which grows throughout the region, and the restaurant’s own courtyard.
In addition to being named “The Best Mexican Restaurant” in Puerto Vallarta, El Arrayan has been a supporter of the Slow Food movement in the region for years. El Arrayan has also also bene given the coveted AAA Three-Diamond Award, named a Fodor’s “Choice Restaurant”, was called a “truly memorable meal” by Lonely Planet, and a “must-do” by Frommer’s Guide.
Skip inside El Arrayan and you’ll find colourful Mexican art and furniture. Shades of terracotta, washed-out browns and bright fuchsias surround the traditional courtyard.
El Arrayan first opened its doors in 2003, offering visiting foodies a casual dining room to sample authentic Mexican dishes. The chef prepares recipes that incorporate pre-Hispanic ingredients, such as chili peppers, corn, nopales, beans, squash and avocado.
- Duck Tostadas: shredded pickled duck. Sesame-corn crispy tostada, black beans, lettuce, tomato, avocado and crema.
- Queso Fundido: melted cheese mixed with sautéed mushrooms, olive oil, garlic and guajillo pepper.
- Beef Barbacoa: steamed beef cooked with avocado leaf, banana leafs and fresh thyme. Served with nopal cactus salad and borracha salsa.
- Chicken Two Moles: chicken breast with no skin, no bones, house spice rub, Mole Poblano and Black Mole and ancestral corn-Cotija cheese.
- Nopal Cactus Salad: cooked nopal cactus with tomatillos, tomato, onions, panela cheese with Mexican oregano dressing.
Calle Guadalupe Sánchez 740, 52-322-226-7200
Considered one of Puerto Vallarta’s first fine dining restaurants, Cafe des Artistes has been serving fancy fare for almost three decades.
Puerto Rico born Chef and Founder Thierry Blouet transformed Puerto Vallarta’s dining scene by offering European excellence through quality service and creative haute cuisine. He’s known locally as a champion of French technique in Puerto Vallarta. He was raised and trained in France, holding the honour of being both a French Academie Culinaire and a Maitre Cuisinier de France.
Cafe des Artistes is known for serving a Puerto Vallarta menu that is rooted in French cuisine but inspired by Mexico. All is served in a perfectly romantic setting, with jaw-dropping hilltop views, a dining room filled with hundreds of tear-drop crystals that hang from the ceiling. If you’re visiting during the high season, book a reservation in advance at the popular candlelit garden.
- Adobado Broiled Octopus: grilled polenta and smoked organic beets, pea mousseline, crunchy garlic, beet vinaigrette.
- Seared Rougie Foie Gras: potato siphon, freshly baked bread, tropical salpicon
- Inverted Kampachi Tostada: marinated Kampachi fish, avocado, habanero mayonnaise, crudité.
- Short Rib and Charcoal Beef Filet: camembert cheese and chipotle sauce, paper potato, confit shallot, potato and bacon terrine.
- Suckling Lamb: lamb chop crusted with pistachios, crunchy ossobuco, eggplant cloud, braised carrot, crunchy garlic.
Amapas 380, 52-322-222-4911
The Top Sky Bar is located in the luxurious Almar Resort. The gay Puerto Vallarta hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant offers jaw-dropping panoramic views of Zona Romantica and the Mantamar Beach Club below.
The sky-high al fresco space features chic beach-inspired furniture, a choir of hot tubs sitting perched over the ocean, and one of Puerto Vallarta’s largest stages.
The Top Sky Bar offers one of Puerto Vallarta’s best margarita lists (get the spicy Jalapeno number) and brunch menus (we suggest selecting from one of the omelette options). During lunch and dinner service you’ll find classic Mexican fare including mole enchiladas, ceviche, quesadillas and tacos.
The Top Sky Bar at Almar Resort is famous for hosting the best RuPaul’s Drag Race party in Puerto Vallarta. The city’s top drag queens regularly perform on the open air stage. If you’re lucky you might spot Shangela, the famous American drag performer regularly vacations at the Almar Resort.
- Mole Enchiladas: stuffed with chicken, topped with mole, fried beans and panela cheese
- Enfrijoladas Norteñas: enchiladas with bean sauce, stuffed with cheese , served with chorizo, avocado and cream
- Tostadas De Aguachile: fresh shrimp aguachile, cilantro, red onion and avocado.
- Molcajete: flank steak, chicken, scallions, cactus and panela cheese, fried beans, salsa and tortillas.
- Thai Tacos: romaine hearts, shrimp or chicken, cucumber, carrots, avocado, coconut and peanut dressing.
Malecon 169, 52-322-222-6260
Owned by Almar Resort, Mantamar is Puerto Vallarta’s best gay beach club, located on Playa Los Muertos. The luxurious beach club offers similar quality service, food and beverage program, and VIP exclusivity as you’d expect in Ibiza.
Mantmar Beach Club is one of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta for sushi lovers. Arrive early to grab a cabana by the pool and enjoy a sushi feast accompanied by a tropical slushie cocktail.
Mantamar Beach Club’s Puerto Vallarta menu features creative sushi rolls, fresh salads, ceviches and aguachiles, tacos and tostadas, pasta and pizza. If you’re looking to enjoy a lively lunch featuring great music and beautiful ocean views, join speedo-clad gays at Puerto Vallarta’s best beach club.
- Manta Special: sushi roll wrapped with mahi-mahi, baked and stuffed with smoked marlin, crab, salmon and avocado. Served with kani salad, bonito flakes and unagi sauce.
- Rainbow Roll: sushi roll covered with fresh ahi, salmon, avocado, octopus and shrimp. Stuffed with cucumber and crab and served with sweet sauce and sesame seeds.
- Peruvian Ceviche: white fish marinated with ginger, serrano pepper, sea salt, red onion and corn.
- Arrachera Tacos: grilled flank steak tacos, served in corn tortillas with a variety of salsas, jalapeños and grilled onions.
- Spicy Pizza: goat cheese, habanero pepper, beans, avocado, sour cream and ranchero cheese.
Hidalgo 339, 52-322-223-1509
The best tacos in Puerto Vallarta near Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe can be found at local favourite El Campanario. Skip inside and you’ll find mosaic tiled floors, bright pink walls and indigo wooden chairs.
Egg dishes and chilaquiles are served between 9-11am, while an inexpensive lunch menu is offered between 2-5pm. For around $5 you’ll get a soup, main dish, drink, homemade tortillas and dessert.
El Campanario is popular with local office workers who come here for takeout or visit between 6pm and 10pm for tacos, tortas and pozole.
El Campanario’s taco Puerto Vallarta menu includes birria (red sauce cooked pork), machaca (scrambled eggs with shredded beef), chicharron (fried pork skin) and a vegetarian option featuring beans with panela cheese.
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Located in Old Puerto Vallarta on Lazaro Cardenas, Mercado Emiliano Zapata is the city’s local food market.
Skip around the market in the morning and you’ll find locals purchasing everything they need for their Mexican kitchen. Dance around towers of tomatoes, bright green limes, jars packed with spices, busy butchers and a family-run tortilla factory.
Mercado Emiliano Zapata is also one of the best places in Puerto Vallarta to enjoy brunch. A corridor of the market is lined with local food vendors, who offer affordable and authentic Mexican dishes such as birria de res (beef stew), huevos rancheros, chile relleno, pozole and chicken mole.
Calle Matamoros 906, 52-322-222-0510
Barcelona Tapas is one of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta for those looking to enjoy a taste of Spain. The popular Spanish restaurant offers both great food and excellent panorama of the ocean at sunset.
We suggest ordering a jug of sangria for the table upon arrival. While sipping on fruit muddled wine, wag your finger down the tapas and paella filled Puerto Vallarta menu.
Barcelona Tapas’ Chef William Carballo originally comes from Chicago and his popular Puerto Vallarta restaurant is a popular destination for romantic couples on a Mexican beach holiday.
The dishes at Barcelona Tapas are best enjoyed family style. We suggest ordering one paella and two to three tapas plates if you’re enjoying dinner for two.
- Spanish Ham: spanish ham, manchego cheese, toasted bread, fresh tomato, olive oil
- Spicy Garlic Shrimp: sizzling shrimp with extra virgin olive oil and chili peppers
- Croquettes: choose from blue cheese and spinach, chicken with serrano ham or shrimp and crab
- Spanish Tortilla: olives, aioli, sweet pepper
- Seafood Paella: fish, shrimp, calamari, scallops, mussels, octopus and saffron rice
Púlpito 105-3, 52-322-222-5225
La Palapa is one of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta for those looking to enjoy a romantic dinner on the Malecon.
The idea for La Palapa restaurant was first envisioned in 1957 and would become one of the first restaurants offer beach dining in Zona Romantica.
Stroll along Playa Los Muertos beach at sunset and you’ll find a parade of candlelit tables at La Palapa Restaurant. The restaurant’s chef describes the Puerto Vallarta menu as tropical Mexican cuisine, combining local flavours with techniques from Asia and France.
- Tortilla Soup: squash blossom, guajillo, avocado, queso fresco
- Mole Enchiladas: suckling pig, almond mole, corn tortilla, red onion, cream, cheese
- Lobster and Shrimp Taquitos: caramelized onions, watercress, bell pepper, papaya, chipotle
- Coconut Shrimp: cilantro puree, mango sauce, ginger, tropical fruit relish
- Beef Medallions: bone marrow, pasilla pepper sauce, brussel sprouts, asparagus, carrot puree
Púlpito 102, 52-322-223-5568
El Dorado has been a prime beachfront dining destination since the early 1960’s. The elegant open air restaurant offers dining tables on the beach with views over Puerto Vallarta’s pier.
El Dorado opens each morning at 8:30am, serving breakfast and brunch on Playa Los Muertos. The restaurant also offers beach club services daily from 8:30am to 4pm. Dinner service at El Dorado takes place each evening between 5:30pm and 11pm.
If you’re looking to enjoy a romantic seafood feast in Puerto Vallarta we suggest booking an early reservation at El Dorado so you can enjoy the sunset. Skip inside the dining room and you’ll find an elegant thatched roof, glowing lanterns and a choir of friendly servers.
- Grilled Panela Cheese and Nopales Salad: heirloom tomatoes, lemon vinaigrette, avocado, purslane
- White Corn Cream Soup: crab beignets, truffle essence
- Shrimp Enchiladas: yellow corn tortilla, mushroom, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper sauce, habanero
- Red Snapper Ceviche: leche de tigre, red onion, corn, sweet potato, manzano pepper
- Bone Marrow and Lobster Tacos: huitlacoche tortilla, avocado, chipotle, pickled onions
Blvrd Francisco Medina Ascencio, 52-322-293-0901
La Leche is located north of downtown Puerto Vallarta en route to the marina. It’s regularly ranked as one of the best restaurants in town, especially for those who have a penchant for inspiring interior design.
The milk-themed space features a dramatic entry and its main dining room offers an all-white rotunda stacked with shelves lined with milk cans. Each night Chef Alfonso Cadena presents a different Puerto Vallarta menu on a chalkboard, his stark white dining room is a perfect backdrop for an unforgettable and unique feast.
Highlights from La Leche menus of the past include Drunk Pear Salad, Beef Carpaccio, Fetuccini Fresco and Shrimp Risotto.
Be sure to arrive to your reservation early and skip up to La Nata, located on the second floor of La Leche. The restaurant’s exclusive bar is a great place to enjoy a craft cocktail or glass of fine wine before tucking into dinner downstairs.
Paseo de las Palmas #39, 52-322-226-8413
Our favourite experience in Puerto Vallarta is Rhythms of the Night, an unforgettable evening featuring a cruise, buffet dinner and al fresco Cirque du Soleil-style show.
Guests begin the journey by boarding a one hour cruise, which sails across The Bay of Banderas at sunset. Enjoy bottomless margaritas, rum punch or beer before docking at Las Caletas, a private park owned by Vallarta Adventures.
Upon arrival, skip across the beach to an open air dining room where guests feast on traditional Mexican dishes under the twinkle of stars.
So what’s on the Rhythms of the Night Puerto Vallarta menu? Guests can prance through a beautiful buffet featuring a selection of salads, salsas, guacamole, chicken mole, spiced skirt steak and steaming seafood. If you can manage to find room, there’s a Mexican dessert table, best paired with Kahlua spiked coffee.
After dinner guests are seated at an outdoor amphitheatre, which warps around the crumbling Mayan pyramid of Chichen Itza. Written and directed by Gilles Ste-Croix, co-creator of Cirque du Soleil, Rhythms of the Night is a celebration of spectacular acrobatic skill, pulsating rhythms, vibrant dance, amazing costumes and Ste-Croix’s breathtaking interpretation of the Aztec creation story.
Av Paseo de la Marina Nte 435, 52-322-226-0017
Marriott Resort is located at Puerto Vallarta Marina and is home to the city’s largest hotel pool and most luxurious destination spa.
The resort’s open-air lobby lounge, Ceviche & Tequila Bar is a popular restaurant for hotel guests as well as visitors. With more than 180 tequilas, 12 kinds of draft beer and a long list of craft cocktails, Marriott Resort’s Ceviche & Tequila Bar is the perfect spot to indulge in a Mexican snack attack.
- Shrimp Croquette: fresh cheese, shrimp, corn, poblano pepper, roasted garlic aioli and chipotle.
- Blue Corn Marlin Quesadillas: spinach, gouda cheese, guacamole, chipotle aioli.
- Maya Guacamole: grilled pineapple, habanero chile and mint.
- Hamachi and Coconut Ceviche: fresh coconut sauce, serrano chile, curry, hearts of palm, plantain chips.
- 5 Chiles Crusted Angus Steak: sweet potato purée, vegetables, port wine reduction, onion rings.
Venustiano Carranza 239, 52-322-260-9718
Looking for the best craft brewery in Puerto Vallarta? Monzon Brewing Company was launched in 2014 by a couple from Seattle who moved to Mexico, keen to offer locals fresh and flavourful craft beer.
Skip inside Monzon Brewing Company and you’ll find a choir of fermentation tanks, which sit under a massive mural featuring a giant octopus devouring a beer barrel at sea.
We suggest hopping up at the bar and ordering a beer flight to find your favourite brew. The brewmaster here produces a variety of craft beer styles including Kolsch, Blondes and hoppy IPAs. You’ll also find creative beer recipes such as Jalapeno Margarita Gose and Coffee and Cinnamon Stout.
If you’re feeling pecking, pair your pint at Monzon Brewing Company with tacos, poke, ceviche, guacamole, vegan tostada or sweet churros.
Guerrero 264, 52-322-222-2196
Trio is an elegant Mediterranean restaurant located a short walk from Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon.
The romantic restaurant’s main floor features a small open garden, water fountain, topical plants and gallery of work by local artists. Skip inside Trio restaurant and you’ll find a hand carved caoba bar and Tiffany lamps that reflect Southern European style. The three-story restaurant features a gallery on the second floor (popular with private parties) and a terrace on the third floor.
Over the years Chef-owners Bernhard Güth and Ulf Henriksson have made Trio one of Puerto Vallarta’s best restaurants by constantly switching up their creative Puerto Vallarta menu. The restaurant is popular with visiting tourists as well as local Mexican’s keen to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean sea. The kitchen offers pretty plates inspired by Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
- Seafood Antipasto: octopus, shrimp and calamari tossed in tomatoes, white beans and black olives
- Fettuccini: porcini mushroom and braised leeks
- Risotto: pumpkin, aged goat cheese, truffled mushroom
- Spanish Shrimp: peppers, onions and brandy on white beans, chile and cardamom oil
- Roasted Rabbit: Italian vegetables, garlic-parsley sauce, parmesan gnocchi
Callejon de la Igualdad 129, 52-322-223-2484
Casa Cupula is Puerto Vallarta’s best gay luxury boutique hotel. In Fall 2019, Casa Cupula rebranded its signature restaurant in a new partnership with local favourite, Bistro Teresa.
“When Bistro Teresa opened their first Puerto Vallarta location in Amapas nine years ago, it was the only restaurant near our hotel that provided a gourmet experience,” explained Casa Cupula owner, Don Pickens. “We are thrilled to see them coming back to the neighbourhood where they started. Their creative and consistently high end dining experience will be greatly appreciated by our sophisticated clientele.”
Bistro Teresa is the brainchild of lesbian couple Marisol Flores and Laura Hernández. “My grandmother and Laura’s mother’s name is Teresa, so we decided to name our restaurant in their honour,” Marisol explains. Bistro Teresa enjoyed five successful years in Amapas, after which they relocated to Puerto Vallarta’s El Centro neighbourhood, directly across from City Hall, where they continue to wow guests with their stellar cuisine and a spectacular view of the bay.
Bistro Teresa at Casa Cupula will feature some of their staple dishes along with some new ones. Marisol and Laura are strong advocates of Mexican wines, so the new menus will be planned around pairings with one of Mexico’s increasingly important contributions to the fine dining experience.
In addition to Casa Cupula’s breakfast, lunch and popular Sunday brunch, the new Bistro Teresa at Casa Cupula will be open for dinner Monday to Saturday.
Calle Mina 252, 52-322-222-0480
Gaby’s Restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Puerto Vallarta. The family-owned Mexican restaurant began in 1989, serving authentic local dishes to sun-kissed tourists.
Gaby’s Restaurant is located across two floors and features four separate dining areas. Balcony seating is available on two levels, overlooking Hidalgo Street. Downstairs in the back, an intimate patio features a romantic waterfall. If you’ve arrived during the hottest and most humid months of the year, make a reservation upstairs, in a separate air-conditioned space.
The popular Puerto Vallarta restaurant is especially atmospheric at night, when videos are projected onto a neighbouring building.
Run your finger down the Gaby’s Restaurant menu and you’ll find an encyclopedia of traditional Mexican dishes.
- Plantain Empanadas: filled with black beans, gouda and cotija cheese, sour cream.
- Chile Relleno: poblano pepper stuffed with panela cheese, rustic tomato sauce and sour cream, served with refried beans and rice.
- Tamales Perez: two tamales, ground beef served with rice and refried beans.
- Northern Tampiquena: beef steak served with enchilada, poblano pepper strips, corn, sour cream, refried beans and rice.
- Mahi Mahi Veracruz Style: red, green and yellow peppers, tomato, onion, olives, capers and white wine.
Venustiano Carranza 210, 52-322-222-7211
Merida Grill is located a short walk from Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon. From the sidewalk take a peak up at the popular southern Mexican restaurant and you’ll find a massive tree growing through the roof, covered in glowing fairy lights.
Skip inside the Merida Grill dining room and you’ll find a selection of Mexican crafts, Mayan mural and dangling bird cage lanterns.
Chef Milton Castillón specializes in serving dishes native to the Yucatan, from Playa del Carmen to Merida. Merida Grill’s menu preserves the culinary legacy of Mayan culture. The restaurant’s signature dish is Poc Chuc, a pork loin marinated in bitter orange juice and white recado, a spice mixture typical in Yucatan cuisine. The marinated pork is cooked over coals in a charcoal oven, resulting in an authentic smokey flavour.
- Ceviche Yucateco: fish of the day marinated in citrus juices, coriander, carrot, cucumber, jicama and radish.
- Nojoch Nojol Salad: mixed lettuce, roasted prickly pear and ash quelite, with honey vinaigrette.
- Cochinita Pibil: pork tenderloin marinated in sour orange and white recado.
- Duck Carnitas: blue corn huarache, black beans, molcajete sauce and homemade tortillas.
- Seafood Pozolillo: yellow corn, shrimp, octopus and fish with red onion, radish and cilantro.
Aldama 114, 52-322-180-8167
In 2019 a couple from Barrie, Ontario moved to Puerto Vallarta, where their parents had retired several years ago. The duo are fans of the local food scene and were keen to launch their own business to cater to Canadian and American holiday crowds.
Located a stones throw from the Malecon, Sol Shack is an ice cream shop offering decadent dairy, gluten free and dairy free sweets. Order their Hong Kong-style egg waffle cone, topped with scoops of your favourite ice cream.
For the health conscious crowd, Sol Shack offers acai bowls as well as nutrient smoothies.
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