10 Best Puerto Vallarta Restaurants: Budget To High-End

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4.48min read
Published 21 December 2017

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Even if you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, you need to sample what Puerto Vallarta restaurants have to offer. Sink your teeth into a culinary scene that ranges from cheap and simple street eats to some of the most complex mole-sauced offerings around. Our guide to the best Puerto Vallarta restaurants covers all the bases and all palates. ¡Vamos!

CHEAP EATS

Monzon Brewing Co.

Address: Venustiano Carranza 239 Col. Emiliano Zapata Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48380

If you’re surprised to see a brewpub make a restaurant list, don’t be. After all, Head Chef Litzy makes a point of tasting every batch of brew and creates his dishes around them.

Monzon is the best brewpub in Puerto Vallarta. We’re not just talking pilsners, lagers and ales here, as Monzon’s full gamut of bevies include a hearty porter, a crisp Kolsch, and even a saison, and these more adventurous beers are paired with expertly prepared dishes like the lentil and mushroom tostadas, the freshest poke and rajas poblanas con crema sopes, along with a great selection of lunchtime sandwiches and tantalizing tacos. Cheers! 

Salud Super Food

Address: Olas Altas 534A Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48380

Eating well in PVR doesn’t have to be expensive, and Salud Super Food is a perfect example.

Vegetarians flock here for the faux-chorizo quesadillas, the dynamite veggie burger and ultra-fresh smoothies, juices and the pear kombucha, but Salud isn’t only for those on a plant-based diet. Late-risers love the satisfying brunches and ex-pats swear by the place in general – always a good sign. The small dining room adds a level of intimacy that is accentuated by the always warm service.

MID-RANGE

Bravos Restaurant Bar

Address: Francisco I Madero 263, Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48380

When you’re craving done-right comfort food, it’s hard to look past Bravos’ mouthwatering Italian dishes.

Begin with a signature margarita before going all-in on a bottle from the expertly-chosen wine list. The classic, comprehensive menu covers everything from shared starter staples, salads and soups to braised signature dishes, sublime steaks and just-caught seafood, all paired with risottos, gnocchi and freshly-made pasta.

Ingredients are sourced from the local farmers market and everything comes together in a bright, welcoming dining room just a couple of blocks from the beach. Mangia! 

Barrio Bistro

Address: Espana 305 Colonia Versalles, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48310

When you’re ready to taste what Puerto Vallarta’s up and coming chefs got cooking, make Barrio Bistro your first stop.

This charming local spot is a little off the beaten path, but still just a few minutes by taxi from the Malecon. Frequented by both locals and vacationers alike, the short, ever-changing menu uses French and Italian techniques to produce unique nuevo-Mexican dishes that are the talk of the town.

Dine alfresco in the cozy courtyard or amongst the original paintings adorning the walls of the dining room, all produced by Barrio’s artsy owners. It doesn’t get more local than that.

Martini en Fuego Grill Bar

Address: Francisco Madero 260, Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48310

With acclaimed fare, a warm atmosphere, attentive service and tasteful live music (soft acoustic guitar – not Mariachi), Martini en Fuego is the total package.

Every visit begins with a recital of the daily specials (often by the chef himself), almost always featuring something fresh from the sea. Listen closely, and if a seafood platter is on the list, grab it and thank your lucky stars, unless you have something against a plateful of lobster tails, of course. Other standouts include the red snapper and the in-house tequila, of which complimentary shots are often offered as a thank-you for your patronage.

Chenandos Restaurant

Address: Lázaro Cárdenas 520 Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48360

A few blocks can make a world of difference. Tucked away from the tourist traps, family-run Chenandos is that cool local place everyone’s always looking for.

The focus is on steaks and seafood and both are perfected here. Shrimp crepes, grilled octopus and a divine pepper steak top the list of favourites but it doesn’t stop there. From the beautifully plated soups and salads to sweet and simple desserts, it’s hard to go wrong here. The generous portions almost always leave you with a doggy bag making Chenandos superb value.

Veggitalia Pizza & Osteria Vegetariana

Address: Corona 172 Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48300

Don’t let the modest setting fool you, Veggitalia is not only a great pizza joint, but it’s also arguably the best vegetarian and vegan eatery in Puerto Vallarta.

It’s the little things, like owner/chef Marco’s hand-crafted limoncello, homemade bread and pesto, and made from scratch gluten-free lasagna. It’s simple food done extremely well – just taste the pear and walnut salad. Most come for the pizza though, as it may be the only place in Puerto Vallarta serving vegan cheese, and the pies are proper. Carnivores won’t be disappointed here either and are more than welcome, too.

La Palapa

Address: Pulpito 105-3 Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48390

A Los Muertos Beach institution since 1959, there is no better place than La Palapa to enjoy an iconic Puerto Vallarta sunset accompanied by an incredible meal.

Holding guests with smooth jazz and cocktails before seating them in either the rustic dining room or directly on the beach, the experience begins the moment you arrive. Settle in with a squash blossom tortilla soup, the lobster bisque or miso seared scallops before diving into a range of specialties, like the chorizo and pecan pork tenderloin, chipotle and guava braised short rib or wild mushroom al pastor tostadas. Savour it all with your toes in the sand and PVR’s very best vista.

HIGH-END

La Leche

Address: Avenida Francisco Medina Ascencio Km. 2.5, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48335

Monochromatically stylized down to their website, La Leche’s embrace of minimalism ends at their innovative take on fine dining.

Begin at La Nata, the second-floor bar and holding room. After an aperitif, head to the airy, all-white dining room and prepare to be wowed. The menu changes daily and is explained in detail by the knowledgeable wait staff. La Leche is a beautiful bargain, with entrees of mahi-mahi, roast duck and lamb lasagna all under $20 USD. It’s the pretty presentations, flawless execution, and stunning ambiance that easily rank it among the best high-end eateries.

Cafe Des Artistes

Address: Calle Guadalupe Sánchez 740, Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48300

French-trained chef, Thierry Blouet, has outdone himself with Cafe Des Artistes, his lavishly delicious labour of love of almost 30 years.

Widely considered one of the best restaurants in all of Mexico, the gorgeous dining room is only eclipsed by the sexy secret garden made for date nights and the talented kitchen that pumps out exceptional French-inspired contemporary Mexican fare.

Come hungry and opt for the 5-course tasting menu or choose from sensational shareable plates and enticing eclectic entrees. Cafe Des Artistes should be on every foodie’s radar and is a must for any special occasion.    

 

And there you have it! Our trusty Puerto Vallarta restaurant guide lets you steer clear of tourist traps to enjoy Puerto Vallarta like it’s meant to be. Now all you have to do is get there.

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