Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has long been a top tourist destination, famous for its expansive beaches. Here’s our guide to steering clear of tourist traps and chain restaurants, instead immersing yourself in the most delicious dining experiences on offer.
A Puerto Vallarta institution, Mariscos El Coleguita has three locations in the area, but the best views are offered down by the marina. Grab a table on the terraza to really take advantage of the stunning scenery, but don’t feel like you need to dress up for the occasion. El Coleguita has a relaxed, friendly vibe and excellent freshly caught and cooked seafood. There are also complementary tequila shots and banana desserts with every order. If the vegan ceviche from Playa Detox doesn’t float your boat, come and try the original down by the docks at El Coleguita.
Calle Popa Loc. 17 (opposite the docks), Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, +52 322 167 8095
Florios has customers flocking in to try the delectable thin crust pizzas and pastas, generously topped with Mexican and Argentine-inspired salsas. The ever popular chimichurri comes highly recommended, accompanied by a refreshing agua fresca to combat the famous Vallarta heat. Located downtown, the brightly decorated, cozy Florios often has live music. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a break from exploring the malecón. Enjoy the excellent service, affordable food, and meet the friendly owner, Miguel. The 2-for-1 offers on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays only add to the appeal.
Hidalgo 536 on the corner of Galeana Corona, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, +52 322 222 1765
Going beyond the familial, rustic aesthetic of many Puerto Vallarta restaurants, Café Des Artistes offers a high-class dining experience, in a breathtaking interior. Acclaimed chef Thierry Blouet was educated in France and Mexico. This goes someway to explain the delicate, delectable compositions that dominate the menu here. Highlights include the rib-eye steak and refreshing cucumber martinis, served by attentive waitstaff. Be sure to inform them of birthdays or anniversaries for a truly special experience. However, if a three-course meal is too much, partake in tapas and cocktails at the adjoining and equally decadent P’Yote Lounge.
Guadalupe Sanchez 740, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, +52 322 222 3228
If you’re tired out after the slight uphill walk and stairs needed to reach fifth-floor Barcelona Tapas, treat yourself to a delicious sangria on arrival. Be sure not to immediately take in the views over downtown Vallarta and the beach as you’ll be left even shorter of breath than before. The range of both tapas and wine is impressive and diverse. You’ll be spoiled for choice, so going in a group is advisable to take advantage of the options available. The service is excellent, the views stunning, and the food will make you temporarily forget about tacos.
Matamoros & Treinta y Uno de Octubre, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, +52 322 222 0510