Puerto Vallarta is a beach destination with a large number of attractions. Its excellent location in the enchanting Bay of Banderas makes the beaches fantastic, the landscapes picturesque and the sunsets spectacular; its active arts community ensures that almost everywhere you look you’ll find something artsy and interesting, and the city’s thriving world-class foodie scene means all of your food can be stellar. You’ll find something to delight your palate almost anywhere, whether it’s on the beach, at a roadside stand, or in one of the city’s many fine restaurants.

Best Restaurants

As a gastronomic reference point, Puerto Vallarta has a large number of excellent restaurants for all tastes and budgets. For haute cuisine, make a reservation at the Cafe des Artistes. Chef Thierry Blouet fuses fresh Mexican ingredients and European techniques to produce dishes that are pleasing to the eye and the palate. Choose to sit in one of the elegant indoor dining rooms or outside in the multi-tiered garden surrounded by twinkling lights.

At La Palapa you can enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner with your feet in the sand. It’s part sophisticated gourmet restaurant, part rustic beachside cabana. This restaurant has been in the same location on Los Muertos beach since Liz Taylor and Richard Burton gaily ran through Puerto Vallarta. Order the corn risotto with shrimp, scallops and octopus, or beef tenderloin served with huitlacoche (a delicious corn mushroom considered a delicacy in Mexico).

Dining by the water does not strictly mean by the ocean. River Café has beautiful and tranquil views of the Cuale River, which divides downtown Puerto Vallarta from the Romantic Zone. River Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the evenings, the atmosphere becomes even more romantic with candlelight and live music. The menu offers international and Mexican specialties, with an emphasis on seafood, including ceviche, grilled octopus and coconut shrimp.

Street food

street food

Street food options abound in Puerto Vallarta, from street vendors selling fresh coconut or grilled shrimp on a toothpick along the beach, to taco al pastor stands with throngs of locals. If you’re not familiar with the deals, it can be a bit overwhelming. The street vendors tend to be friendly, so feel free to ask questions.

If you prefer a deep dive to pick out the best spots and what to order, a taco or street food crawl is a great way to start. Book an excursion with Vallarta Food Tours at the beginning of your trip, and you’ll have favorite street food stands to return to during your stay.

Food festivals

food festivals

Street food options abound in Puerto Vallarta, from street vendors selling fresh coconut or grilled shrimp on a toothpick along the beach, to taco al pastor stands with throngs of locals. If you’re not familiar with the deals, it can be a bit overwhelming. The street vendors tend to be friendly, so feel free to ask questions.

If you prefer a deep dive to pick out the best spots and what to order, a taco or street food crawl is a great way to start. Book an excursion with Vallarta Food Tours at the beginning of your trip, and you’ll have favorite street food stands to return to during your stay.