Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations due to its gorgeous beaches, lively nightlife, and the many activities there are for visitors to enjoy during their stay. While visiting this destination, you will no doubt eat out in many restaurants. The city is known for its food scene, which is reflected in both the number of eateries in this resort town and the menus’ diversity. Here are the 10 best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta to help you decide where to eat during your stay.
10. La Cappella
For those who adore Italian cuisine, one of Puerto Vallarta’s best offerings is La Cappella. The loggia-style restaurant is partially open to the elements, and there are amazing views of the bay and the town’s church. As you enjoy your meal and watch the sun setting across the bay, there is a trio of violinists playing music in the background.
9. La Iguana
One of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta recommended by Vallarta Food Tours is La Iguana. This restaurant is within Casa de Kimberley, which is a small boutique hotel that was once the home of actress Elizabeth Taylor. Chef Jesus Saustegui is at the helm of this restaurant, and he has created a menu of traditional Mexican dishes that have been given a modern update. However, it is not only the outstanding food that makes this an amazing dining experience, as the open-air restaurant has magnificent jungle views and a Mariachi band plays while you dine.
8. El Arrayan
El Arrayan is a refined restaurant that serves classic Mexican and Oaxacan-inspired cuisine with an elegant twist. Food from this restaurant disproves the myth that all Mexican food is cheese-heavy, and there are options on the menu for those following a gluten-free diet. The restaurant is set back a few streets away from the Malecon and boasts a beautiful courtyard where fruit trees supply some of the ingredients used in the food and cocktails.
7. Mariscos El Coleguita
There are three locations of Mariscos El Coleguita in Puerta Vallarta, but the best one is the one down by the marina as this has the best views. You will benefit from the best views if you sit outside on the terrace but eating inside in the dining room is also an enjoyable experience. The restaurant has a relaxed and casual vibe, so it is acceptable to drop in wearing your holiday gear with no need to call back at the hotel to dress for the occasion. There are many options on the menu, but the highlight is the freshly caught seafood. With every order, diners receive complimentary banana desserts and shots of tequila.
6. Playa Detox
Many of the restaurants in Puerto Vallarta have menus that are meat and seafood-heavy. However, there are options for vegans and health-conscious diners in this city. One of the top choices is Playa Detox, which is a relatively new Puerto Vallarta restaurant. Even those who are not vegans may enjoy something light and refreshing from the plant-based menu. Lunch at this restaurant is best enjoyed with one of the cold-press juices.
5. La Palapa
The Culture Trip lists La Palapa as one of the top restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. This restaurant is the epitome of beachfront dining, which is one of the things for which the resort town is known. The dining area is set across the sand, and diners can enjoy amazing ocean views as they dine. There is a fusion menu of Mexican, Asian, and French dishes that are created using fresh, local ingredients. The prices at this family-owned restaurant are reasonable, so it is a good option for those who are on a budget.
4. 116 Pulpito Gastro Bar
One of the trendiest places to visit for delicious food is the 116 Pulpito Gastro Bar. It is a lively cocktail and tapas bar that is popular with residents and visitors alike. A large proportion of the tapas menu contains seafood, although there are also some vegetarian and meat options. This restaurant also serves pizzas with various toppings. As it is only a small establishment, it is best to reserve a table in advance.
3. Mariscos Cisneros
If you are a fan of seafood, then one of the top options is Mariscos Cisneros, which is a restaurant included in many of the town’s food tours. It is a casual venue with a relaxed and friendly vibe. On the menu, there are traditional Mexican dishes made using fresh seafood, such as fish tacos, shrimp burritos, and ceviche. Mariscos Cisneros is a family-friendly place to eat that is particularly popular at lunchtime and during the high season, so you might need to wait a while to grab a table.
2. Kaiser Maximilian
While many of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta serve Mexican cuisine, there are also plenty of eateries serving international cuisine. One of the best is Kaiser Maximilian, which serves traditional Austrian and other European dishes alongside some popular Mexican options. The restaurant is in a central location in Zona Romantica, and it is a great spot for people-watching if you choose to dine at one of the outdoor tables. Although the restaurant is open all day, it is especially popular at breakfast time.
1. Café des Artistes
According to Mexico Dave, one of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta is Café des Artistes. The dishes on the menu combine Mexican flavors with French techniques, and they are made using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Different dining experiences are possible at this restaurant, as diners can sit in the crystal and white dining room for a fine dining experience or enjoy al fresco dining outside on the jungle garden patio. The restaurant boasts an extensive wine list, and there are cocktails made using fresh fruits and regional spirits. Although making a reservation is not compulsory, it is advisable due to the popularity of this venue.