Puerto Vallarta Restaurants

Puerto Vallarta Old Town Restaurants
Puerto Vallarta Old Town Restaurants

Puerto Vallarta restaurants can be found everywhere in the city, including in most of the hotels. These dining spots are varied, offering a wide selection of cuisine and atmospheres. The city is known as the culinary capital of Mexico, and has become more and more a center for fine international chefs with the Vallarta Gourmet Festival held over ten days each November. This is one of the most popular events in the region, making dining in Puerto Vallarta a truly memorable experience; chefs fly in from respected restaurants around the world and all the region’s best restaurants take part.

Puerto Vallarta Old Town Restaurants
Puerto Vallarta Old Town Restaurants

Puerto Vallarta seafood is the region’s most famous offering, and it is regarded as some of the best in all of Mexico. Long before the missionaries and conquistadors arrived from Spain, the people of the coast relied heavily on fishing for a nutritious diet. Fishing is still important here, and deep sea fishing is one of the most popular sports in the region. If you’re staying in one of the better small beach resorts, the chef will often be happy to prepare your own catch for your evening meal. Puerto Vallarta seafood that commonly appears on the dinner table include shrimp (from which popular Camarones Beach gets its name), octopus, dorado, mackerel, tuna, and wahoo. Also popular at many of the Puerto Vallarta restaurants is ceviche, prepared in various ways by different chefs. Seafood of all varieties make up a good percentage of tranditional Mexican cuisine because of the country's several thousand miles of coastline. 

Other Puerto Vallarta seafood dishes favored by visitors and locals alike are: pescado zarandeado, grilled fish with a chili and garlic flavored paste; shrimp breaded with coconut; rollo del mar, fish filets stuffed with octopus and shrimp and wrapped with bacon; and fish of all sorts cooked with various tropical fruits. Virtually all restaurants in Puerto Vallarta serve fish, from elegant gourmet restaurants to little palapas (thatched roof) shacks on the beaches. You will see the chefs from restaurants all over the city down at the downtown fish market (Mercado) every morning, picking out the best specimens. If you’ve taken advantage of vacation rentals and are cooking for yourself, this is definitely one of the places you should shop. While here, you can have a snack of sopes, flautas, or enchiladas at one of the loncherias (lunch stands).

Puerto Vallarta Restaurants
Puerto Vallarta Restaurants

Dining in Puerto Vallarta reveals much more than seafood. There are excellent Puerto Vallarta restaurants specializing in sushi from Japan, fine French cuisine, Italian, and Chinese. You can also find some excellent restaurants specializing in gourmet Mexican food. You can even find fast food places, including some familiar names from the United States such as the Hard Rock Café and McDonalds. Probably the best dining in Puerto Vallarta within the city will be found on the famous Restaurant Row in Old Town. It is located along Basilio Badillo Street, which also has a number of galleries, boutiques, jewelry stores, and other places for shopping. Many casual music bars and restaurants will also be found along the popular Malecon, the mile-long oceanfront promenade just a few blocks south of Old Town. If you’ve come to soak up the sun on the beaches, the food will sometimes come to you. Most of the beach bars serve snacks, and there are strolling vendors selling snacks who come right up to your sun bed.

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