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Vallarta has some of the best restaurants in Mexico. There are so many
local fine dining venues, with more than four dozen in the South Side/Romantic
Zone alone, that it's hard to find a bad meal in the whole town. Restaurant
Row on Basilio Badillo street in the heart of Old Town has some twenty
or more gay-friendly eateries in seven blocks, from Coco Tropical on Los
Muertos beach to the La Fonda and beyond, including those that serve German
(Hacienda Alemana), Mexican (Cafe de Olla, El Mole de Jovita, Fajita Republic,
Mama Rosa, Margarita Grill and Paco's Tacos), Italian (Boccon di Vino),
international cuisine (Di Vino Dante and La Fonda), American (The Pitt
and Wing's Army), seafood fare (Joe Jack's, Mr. Pulpo), Mex-Tex (Nacho
Daddy), and some of the best breakfasts in town (Fredy's Tucan, Johnny's
Diner and Memo's Pancake House). Most of these have extensive menus with
a wide and rich variety of delicious dishes to choose from. The downtown
malecon boardwalk area is not only the center
nightlife but also has many
restaurants, with a number of them serving food and providing some musical
entertainment such as La Bodeguita del Medio (Cuban music, salsa), La Chata
and El Andariego (both with mariachi), La Dolce Vita (jazz), and rock 'n
roll at Paradise Burger. PV as a great gay travel destination has become
a major attraction for people who enjoy cuisine and fine dining, winning
more gastronomic awards and praise than any place in the country other
than Mexico City. Since Puerto Vallarta has some of the best gourmet restaurants
in the country, you can be pretty confident that you'll not only have lots
of great food while you're here but good service as well. Most of the major
hotels also have their own specialty eating places serving their own tasty
cuisines. 'Casual but elegant' or 'casually elegant dining' seems to be
the phrase in common use these days to describe going out to dinner. For
dessert or coffee after a good meal, check out the cafes
& bakeries page.
116 Pulpito Gastro Bar - Olas Altas - 116 Pulpito.
Tel: 113-0004 **
Apaches Bistro - Old Town - 443 Olas Altas.
Telephone: 222-4004 **
Archie's Wok - South Side/Zona Romantica - 130
Francisca Rodríguez. Tel: 222-0411
Tapas - Downtown - Matamoros & 31 de Octubre. Tel: 222-0510
Bistro Balsamar - South Side - 372 Ignacio Vallarta.
Tel: 222-0926, 223-2260 **
Blue Chairs Beach/Blue Sunset Rooftop Bar and
Restaurant - Los Muertos Beach - Calle Malecon y Almendro #4. Telefono:
There is the Blue Chairs restaurant on the gay beach itself, and another on the rooftop at the Blue Chairs Resort, the later having a wading pool and lovely views of Banderas Bay from the two open top levels. Menus include Mexican, steaks, chicken dishes, pasta and seafood. Please call for details on entertainment. The Blue Chairs on the beach is open daily, 8am-Sunset. Blue Sunset rooftop bar and restaurant, Daily 3pm-11pm
Boccon di Vino Italian Trattoria - South Side
- 317-A Basilio Badillo. Cell: 044-322-102-8557
New Italian restaurant that comes well recommended from several friends. With a newer larger outdoor dining area in the back and a new wood burning pizza oven. Home-made pasta, seafood, lasagna. Good to excellent reviews. Chef Gaetano Fernandez from Naples. Mon-Sat, 1pm-11pm
Bravos - Old Town/Romantic Zone - 263 Francisco
Madero. Tel: 222-0339 **
Recently opened in October 2013, with international food and an extensive wine list, the new menu includes shared starters like crispy calamari and grilled Thai chicken skewers, soups and salads, steaks, seafood & chops. The Bravos classic entrees range from braised lamb shank and Italian sausage ravioli to baked cheese cappelletti. Owner Michael Boufford managed the River Cafe, one of Vallarta's most well-known restaurants, for five years and was general manager of a famed Toronto dining spot for 8 years as well, so he knows his stuff. Reasonably priced; gay-owned and friendly with all welcome; events and catering. Visit bravospv.weebly.com Tues-Sun, 5pm-11pm
Cafe de Olla - South Side/Romantic Zone - 168
Basilio Badillo. Tel: 223-1626
Very good restaurant for Mexican food with reasonable prices and friendly service. The Mexican plate is probably the best in town and the ribs are delicious. Cafe de Olla menu also includes chicken, beef, shrimp and traditional national dishes. Quite popular, so be prepared to stand in line during the winter months. One of my favorite places to go out to eat for years. Closes Sept 15-Oct 15. Weds-Mon, 10am-11pm.
Cafe des Artistes - el Centro/Downtown - 740
Guadalupe Sanchez. Tel: 222-3228
Cafe des Artistes blends provincial Mexican with classical French cuisine under chef-owner Theirry Blouet. Live piano music, original works of art and lush gardens enhance the tropical romantic effect. Restaurant menu includes stuffed crab, roasted sea bass, marinated salmon and roasted duck. des Artistes is one of most well-known and first-rate Puerto Vallarta restaurants, winner of several awards for cooking and according to a local poll voted the overall favorite in town, as well as for best service, most romantic, and best atmosphere. The Gourmand Magazine 2011 Guide to restaurants and fine dining named Chef Thierry Blouet as one of the ten most influential chefs in the world and the Cafe des Artistes as the best restaurant in all of Mexico. A connoisseur friend of mine says, "Best restaurant in Vallarta. We ate on the high level terrace in Cocina de Autor Thierry Blouet. Very expensive but great and memorable." Full info at cafedesartistes.com Daily, 6pm-11:30pm.
Casa Naranjo - Emiliano Zapata - 263 Naranjo
at Lazaro Cardenas. Tel: 222-3518
International cuisine with an accent on flavors of oranges. Ranked on TripAdvisor as #23 of 683 Puerto Vallarta restaurants so it gets many pretty good reviews, including by gay food-writer Gary Beck, though some gourmet friends of mine did not enjoy the meal that night. Daily, 5pm-11pm
Coco's Kitchen - South Side/Zona Romantica -
122 Pulpito. Tel: 223-0373
Coco took over the old Barrio Sur restaurant and serves three meals a day. Cocos is especially noted for a good breakfast on the South Side-Old Town, and for its romantic garden setting. Some friends report "the best chile rellenos in Vallarta". Early bird daily dinner special Tues-Sat, 5pm-7pm. Daily for breakfast and lunch, 8am-4pm; Dinner, 5pm-11pm
Dick's - South Side/Old Town - 314 Olas Altas. Tel: 222-0566
California cuisine blended with traditional Mexican flavors at this fine Puerto Vallarta gourmet restaurant on Los Muertos beach. The Daiquiri Dick menu includes filet of fish "Zarandeado", BBQ spareribs, butter fried prawns and chicken in Oaxacan mole. Highly rated and one of the overall favorite restaurants in town year after year according to local polls, and noted for its fine service. Some of the best food in Puerto Vallarta. Owners Peter and Tari Bowman of Puerto Vallarta's Daiquiri Dick's (photo left) recently celebrated 40 years in November 2011 and have a cookbook of their recipes out, Sand in Your Shoes. Weds-Mon, 9am-11pm.
de Santos - Hotel Zone/Plaza Peninsula
- 2485 Blvd. Fco Medina Ascencio, Local 35-36. Tel: 221-3090
Mediterranean international cuisine from Italy and Spain in a chic environment. After dinner this Puerto Vallarta restaurant-bar becomes a discoteca/disco nightclub scene. House DJ spins a combo of flamenco, lounge, mood and jazz music for meals and later. De Santos also has locations in Guadalajara and NYC. One of the owners of De Santos is a member of Mexico's most famous rock group, Mana. Food daily, 12:30pm-2am; Music begins around 10pm until 3-4am.
Derby City Burgers - South Side - 356 Olas Altas.
Tel: 223-3323 **
Hamburgers, salads and fries....Reportedly some of the best in town. Street-side seating. Mon-Sat, Noon-10pm
D'Z Route 66 Rock N Roll Diner - Marina Vallarta
- Paseo de la Marina 3, Locale #6. Tel: 209-0760
Diner in the Marina which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with milkshakes, burgers, pizza, ribs, fries, etc. Based on '60s rock music, style, memories and colors. D'z Route 66 Diner open at their new location on Basilio Badillo street where Roberto's Puerto Nuevo used to be, but closed within a few months - said to be looking for another spot in this area of town. Owners Michelle and Armando Jimenez. Daily, 8am-10pm
Arrayan - Downtown/Centro - 344 Allende. Tel: 222-7195 **
Locally voted "Best Mexican" in Puerto Vallarta for 5 years in a row, El Arrayan restaurant offers old family traditional recipes from different parts of Mexico. The restaurant (photo at left) has a welcoming atmosphere with a courtyard and arrayan tree growing there and plenty of Huichol art. Menu includes shrimp pozole, fish filet, ceviche, empanadas, duck "camitas" and "Chiquis" chicken breast. Frommer's Mexico 2007 included El Arrayan in the chapter on the best of Mexico. Live music with "Los Frijoleros" on Sat, 7pm-10pm. Gay-owned and operated by Carmen Porras, with head chef Mariano Valdez. Casual ambiance. Weds-Mon, 5:30pm-11pm
El Brujo - South Side - 510 Venustiano
Carranza at Naranjo. Tel: 223-2036
Mexican, seafood and beef dishes. El Brujo has become popular for its reasonable prices and ample servings of good food. Expect to wait in line during the winter high season. Location also in Bucerias, Nayarit on the Avenida Pacifico with Tel: 329-298-0406. Tues-Sun, 1pm-10:30pm
El Dorado - Los Muertos Beach/South Side - 102
Pulpito. Tel: 222-4124, 222-1511
Seafood, international and Mexican specialties in one of oldest restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, since 1961. During the '60s and '70s when this part of Old Town was mostly fields and woodlands, it was one of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's hangouts for meeting friends and drinking. Nowadays it's a favorite among locals and tourist gringos, especially for lunch. The El Dorado restaurant, beach club and bar has been under new management since March 2010 and was completely remodeled-renovated in autumn 2010. Sculptor Ramiz Barquet's bronze sculpture "Sharks in Spiral" graces the little square at Pulpito and Los Muertos beach between the El Dorado and La Palapa restaurants. Daily, 8am-2am.
El Mole de Jovita - South Side
- 220 Basilio Badillo. Telefono: 223-3065 **
Breakfast, lunch and dinner at this relatively new Puerto Vallarta gay-owned and operated restaurant. Mexican dishes and the house specialty of chicken mole. Good quality food at reasonable prices, and I'm hearing good reviews and word of mouth. Inside or street-side seating. Friendly service at El Mole de Jovita with owners Sergio Mucino and Roberto Gomez. Mon-Sat, 8am-11pm
Fajita Republic - South Side - 188 Basilio Badillo.
Tel: 222-3131 **
Beef, chicken, shrimp, combo and vegetarian fajitas are the specialty of the house, with BBQ ribs and traditional Mexican plates as well. Ample delish portions and moderate prices make Fajita Republic popular for dining. One of my favorites. Recently totally remodeled, and also with a new location in Nuevo Vallarta, Tel: 297-2277. Daily, 5pm-11:30pm
Burritos - Romantic Zone - 300 Carranza at Constitucion street. Cell:
A recently established gay-owned breakfast and brunch spot, Figueroa's (photo left) is "just a fun little local hang out with fresh California style Mexican food, good service and great prices." With burritos, chicken mole, tacos dorados and many others. Vegetarian, take out and delivery available, does a good business. Ranked #38 of 601 restaurants in Vallarta. Mon-Sat, 9am-7pm
Fredy's Tucan - South Side - 245
Basilio Badillo. Tel: 223-0778
This restaurant & bar is popular with locals and tourists alike mainly for its breakfast (no dinner) in the open interior patio and street-side seating area. Waffles, french toast, crepes, omelettes, pancakes and some Mexican specialty dishes. Lunch/brunch available from noon. Fredy's Tucan often wins Virtual Vallarta on-line voting as the best breakfast in Puerto Vallarta. Since 1981 with the family Garcia Acevedo. Daily, 8am-3pm
Fusion Gourmet - Romantic Zone/Zona Romantic
- 156 Pilitas. Tel: 223-1177
Breakfast, lunch and dinner in the outdoor garden seating area, inside, or on the rooftop with some city and mountain views. With chef Andres Garcia, and live music. Happy hour, Noon-5pm. Weds-Mon, 8am-11pm
Hacienda Alemana - South Side - 378 Basilio
Badillo. Tel: 222-2071
Good German and international food prepared by chef-owner Mike Pohl from Bonn. Lunch and dinner, served in an open garden restaurant, with a menu that includes several varieties of schnitzel and sausage, fish filet, sauerbraten and veal bratwurst. On Weds and Sat, 6pm-11pm, Hacienda Alemana offers a German buffet with all you can eat including draft beer; Friday it's all you can eat BBQ ribs. Daily, 11:30am-11:30pm
India Gate - Downtown/el Centro - 124 Allende.
New downtown eatery just a short walk up from the Malecon boardwalk and La Bodeguita del Medio, Indian Gate Puerto Vallarta serves such dishes as butter, mango and curry chicken, lamb tikka and curry, plus vegetarian fare as well. Tues-Sat, 3pm-11pm; Sun, 2pm-8pm
Joe Jack's Fish Shack - Romantic Zone - 212
Basilio Badillo. Tel: 222-2099, 223-9752
Fish and chips, fish tacos, burgers, seafood dishes. Joe Jack's Fish Shack serves tasty dishes and is a personal favorite, on two levels with outside seating on the rooftop terrace. Has been voted best inexpensive restaurant and best burger in town; since 2005. Home delivery. Visit their website at joejacks-fishshack.com Daily, Noon-11pm
Kabuki Sushi Bar - South Side - 414 Olas Altas.
and Tsunami - Hotel Zone - Centro
Commercial Villas Vallarta Local A-32. Tel: 224-0105
Japanese food and sushi. Catering and events; home delivery. Good sushi since 1988. Kabuki on Olas Altas street (change of name from Tsunami), Daily, 1:30pm-11pm, has an all you can eat on Tues for 199 pesos; Tsunami in the Villas Vallarta Center/Plaza Las Glorias, Mon-Sat, 2pm-11pm
Kaiser Maximilian - South Side - 380-B Olas
Altas. Tel: 223-0760
Combination of old and new world cuisine with a specialty of traditional Austrian and European dishes. Kaiser Maximilian serves delicious fare such as braised baby lamb strips, mahi-mahi, sautéed squid and San Blas shrimp. Inside dining with a/c or outside on Olas Altas street. The Maximilian Espresso cafe, open 8am-Midnight, serves 20 different coffees as well as Austrian pastries and ice cream. Mon-Sat, 6pm-11pm
La Hacienda - South Side - 388 Cardenas.
One of traditional Vallarta's oldest family restaurants, since 1978. Breakfast and lunch only. Tues-Sun, 8am-2pm
La Palapa - Los Muertos Beach - 103 Pulpito.
One of loveliest and best beachfront restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. Mexican and international cuisine with candlelight beachfront fine dining. La Palapa has had a great romantic setting and been a tourist favorite since Dec 31, 1958. A gourmet connoisseur friend of mine notes: "Hands down the best restaurant South Side and one of the best city wide. The setting may be the best....Great breakfast and good lunch and dinner". Casually elegant; expensive. Acoustic guitar accompaniment or light Latin jazz music by Alberto Perez or Raul Simetal, 8pm-11pm. La Palapa restaurant - Puerto Vallarta. Daily, 8am-11:30pm
La Piazzetta - South Side - 143 Rodolfo Gomez
at Olas Altas. Tel: 222-0650
Over 20 kinds of delicious Southern Italian style pizza as well as pastas and traditional Italian plates by owner Mimmo. La Piazzetta is often voted the best pizza and best Italian restaurant in the city. Excellent service and very popular year round; since October 1995. Visit lapiazzettapv.com Another locale at 219 Ave. Fluvial Vallarta, Daily 1pm-12am, Tel: 224-7288. In Old Town, Mon-Sat, 4pm-Midnight
Langostinos - Playa Los Muertos Beach - 109
Manuel Dieguez. Tel: 222-0894
Breakfast, lunch and dinner in the same block as the new Los Muertos pier. Service, food, atmosphere and the views of oftentimes spectacular sunsets are generally above average quality. Inside seating or on the beach with salads, soups, seafood and Mexican specialties. Reasonable prices and location make this dining spot popular with locals and tourists alike; ex-pats have regular get-togethers here. With owner Collet and a friendly staff. Langostinos frequently has live music. Next door to Cuates y Cuetes. Daily, 8am-11pm
Rosa - Romantic Zone - 223 Basilio Badillo and
- 297 Leona Vicario. Tel: 222-2000, 222-4010 **
Traditional and contemporary Mexican cooking for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A special breakfast buffet is served only Fri-Sun, 8:30am-1:30pm. Dinner served Tues-Sun, 6pm-11pm. Also offers three course meal specials. Daily, 8:30am-11pm
Mariscos El Coleguita - Marina Vallarta - Popa
street at Condominiums Marina del Rey, Local 17. Tel: 108-9726
One of the most popular restaurants in the Puerto Vallarta Marina. Reasonably priced seafood, shrimp, scallop, lobster, fish and Mexican dishes. Some two dozen tables on the covered patio. Locations also in Ixtapa, Jalisco and La Cruz de Huanaclaxte in Nayarit. Weds-Mon, 1pm-8pm
Memo's Pancake House - South Side - 289 Basilio
Badillo. Tel: 222-6272
Memo's breakfast place is popular, so you may have to wait in line. Pancakes, omelets, waffles, eggs and Mexican dishes. Pleasant open interior patio. In June 2003 the Pancake House was rated "the best place in the world to go for breakfast" by International Living. Daily, 8am-2pm
- South Side/Romantic Zone - 507 Olas Altas. Tel: 223-2060, 223-2088
Italian cuisine at this trattoria (photo left) with owner Michel Pascal Ferrari, who also operates the new remodeled Sapphire Beach Club & Lounge on Los Muertos beach. Appetizers, pastas, risotto, meat and fish dishes, all prepared à la minute. Rather on the expensive side, but good reports of fine cuisine. Gay-owned Michel's has been over seven years at this location, and with inside or outside sidewalk seating. Daily, 6pm-11:30pm
Mr. Pulpo - Old Town - 219 Basilio Badillo.
Tel: 222-2598 **
New restaurant, extensive seafood and some grilled meats, with a beautiful shaded outdoor space ideal for dining and cocktails under the stars. Menu at Mister Pulpo includes soups, mahi mahi, oysters and octopus, fish fillet or whole, scallop ceviche, seafood tacos and others. Mixed reviews. Daily, Noon-11pm
Nacho Daddy - South Side - 180 Basilio Badillo
street. Tel: 223-0838
An original concept in "Mex-Tex" cuisine with a large dining area, a popular sports bar area with 42" TVs, billiards and all with a lively atmosphere at night. Newest addition to the growing number of restaurants on Puerto Vallarta's famed Restaurant Row. Live music, Thurs through Sat, featuring Joe King Carrasco or special guests. Also hosts Charity Bingo through the season every other Tuesday night at 6:30pm. Daily, Noon to Midnight
Nu Tapas Bar - South Side - 115 Pulpito at Amapas
street. Telephone: 222-2114
A global tapas bar since autumn 2012 with street-side and upstairs indoor seating (formerly known as Fuego, and before that The Banana Cantina). Nu (facebook) serves salads, soups and a tapas menu including asparagus and red bell pepper frittata, cauliflower ceviche, eggplant albondigas, scallop carpaccio, seared tuna and other fine dishes. A nice wine list. Good reviews from a gourmet friend. Tues-Sun, 3pm-2am
Peking Restaurant - South Side - 136 Francisca
Rodriguez. Tel: 222-8609
Outdoor dining with good flavors from Chinese chef Xu Ji Feng. Deserves more business than it gets. On Francisca Rodriguez street before one gets to the Los Muertos pier, and next door to Archie's Wok. Weds-Mon, 1pm-11pm
Planeta Vegetariano - Central - 270 Iturbide.
A wonderful little place with an all-you-can-eat vegetarian lunch buffet for only 85 pesos, including drink and dessert. A la carte menu for dinner, 7pm-10pm. Colorfully decorated with a tranquil atmosphere to compliment the good food. Planeta Vegetariano receives most excellent reviews. Mon-Sat, 8am-11:30am for breakfast, and 11:30am-10pm for lunch and dinner.
Porto Bello - Marina Vallarta - Marina Sol Local
#7. Tel: 221-0003
Canadian owners Mario Nunes and Maurizio Pelligrini have a fine Italian restaurant here with pleasant views of marina Vallarta and the harbor where the large outdoor patio overlooks the sailboats and Sierra Madre mountains. Inside seating with a/c. Restaurant menu includes cannelloni, fusilli Porto Bello, veal scaloppine with white wine cream sauce, sautéed fish fillet and tasty deserts. Popular since 1989. Daily, Noon-11pm.
Red Cabbage Cafe - Remance - 204-A Rivera del
Rio. Tel: 223-0411 **
This charming out of the way place along the Cuale River in a typical Vallarta neighborhood is filled with movie photos and posters. Regional Mexican food with specialties from all over the country including divine chiles en nogada, chicken mole from Puebla, and hearty carne en su jugo (steak in its juice). In addition, the vegetarian menu is diverse and tasty. Lola Bravo's place has been reviewed and recommended by Bon Appetit, Lonely Planet, NY Times and the Toronto Star. Frommer's rated the Red Cabbage restaurant as "exceptional traditional Mexican cuisine". Woman owned and operated. Mon-Sat, 5pm-11pm.
Salud Super Food - Old Town - 534-A Olas Altas.
Offering delicious healthy cuisine focused on great tasting food using "superfoods" such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts or low-fat yogurt as their core ingredients. A healthier choice for a deliciously balanced diet. Options for vegetarians, vegans and carnivores alike. Nite bites after 5pm include humus plate, lettuce chicken wraps, tacos Mumbai. Take out is available, with more info at saludpv.com Mon-Sat, 9am-9pm
Sapphire Ocean Club - Los Muertos beach - #1
Calle Malecon. Tel: 223-3264 **
Michel Ferrari, the gay owner of the fine Olas Altas restaurant-trattoria Michel, has just totally rebuilt what was formerly the El Lido Beach Club, located in front of the One Beach Street Vallarta condo-resort on Los Muertos beach, renamed it the Sapphire Ocean Club & Lounge (facebook) and opened as of November 2014. This restaurant-bar opens for breakfast starting at 9am through dinner ending at 12am, with a menu that includes soup, sandwiches, homemade pasta, salads, ceviche, and a variety of meat, fish and seafood dishes. The beachfront Sapphire Bistro offers chaise lounges and recliners with sun shades, plus an open-air dining area for its gay-friendly clientele. Brand new & quite stylish. A friend writes, "Great waiters. 80/20 gay/straight. Older, wealthier crowd....No tortilla chips, no papas fritas. But the lounge chairs, cute and super-friendly beach guys, and real wine glasses makes it all worthwhile." The Sapphire boasts its own new pool as well, and is practically adjacent to the traditional Blue & Green chairs of the Puerto Vallarta gay beach. Daily, 9am-Midnight
- Amapas - 129 Callejon de la Igualidad. Phone: 223-2484 ext. 151
Taste (photo left) is the new Puerto Vallarta gay restaurant at the luxurious Casa Cupula gay guesthouse. Menu with a taste of four different cuisines: Mexican, Asian, US and South American, with all dishes available in half and full portions. In only months, Taste restaurant has risen to the top 10 of all Puerto Vallarta restaurants on Trip Advisor. Full bar and with a romantic secluded tropical atmosphere. Voted best new Puerto Vallarta restaurant in 2011. Under the direction of Erick Martinez and Chef Jose Luis Ponce. Sunday with mimosa brunch, 10am-1pm. Daily for breakfast, 9am-Noon; and lunch with fresh salads, sandwiches and light affaires; Dinner, Mon-Sat, 6pm-11pm
The River Cafe - River Cuale Island, local #4,
West Bridge. Tel: 223-0788
International cuisine such as diver scallops, rainbow shrimp, rack of lamb, soups and salads. Seating on the terraces along the banks of the Cuale River with a pleasant natural setting. "Casual but elegant dining". The River Cafe has live music with Cheko Ruiz, Mon and Tues from 7:30-10:30pm and with Invitro, Weds and Thurs, also from 7:30-10:30pm. Head chefs Benjamin Sanchez and Karla Morales. Reservations recommended. Margaritas 2x1, 12pm-6pm. See rivercafe.com.mx Daily, 8am-11:30pm
The Swedes Bistro & Bar - South Side - 154
Pulpito at Olas Altas street. Tel: 223-2353 **
The Swedes gay bar and bistro serving food from Weds-Mon, 6pm-11pm. Bistro menu includes Swedish meatballs, pasta tagliatelle, filet mignon, traditional Swedish hash and other North America & European cuisine. The Crow's Nest Bar is on the 2nd floor of the bistro, with nice views and serving drinks until late. Gay bar and bistro with Rikard and Morgan. Good reports-reviews on The Swedes Bistro & Bar with an eclectic food selection that is well-presented and prepared. Weds-Mon, 6pm-2am
Tony's Please - Emiliano Zapata - 440 Lazaro
Cardenas near Jacarandas.
Tony has had a restaurant at various spots on the South Side since the 1970s and has faithful local & tourist customers, a testament to the good cooking and decent prices. Mexican, steaks, seafood. Mentioned by friends and always rated very good to excellent. Mon-Sat, 5:30pm-11pm
- Centro/Downtown - 264 Guerrero. Tel: 222-2196
"Casually elegant", featuring international gourmet food that combines Mediterranean cuisine with the traditional flavors of Mexico. Stylish decor with art work by local artists and a patio in the back open during the winter season. Many reports indicate that Trio restaurant prepares one of the better meals in Puerto Vallarta though some have demurred and clearly prefer the sister-restaurant Vitea hands down. Upscale. Further information triopv.com Dinner, 6pm-11:30pm.
Uncommon Grounds Chill Out Lounge - South Side
- 625 Lazaro Cardenas. Tel: 223-3834 **
Restaurant, lounge, cafe, aromatherapy bar, boutique. Unique in Puerto Vallarta, "a multi-sensory experience". Reservations recommended Fri and Sat evenings. Uncommon Grounds restaurant menu includes shrimp nirvana salad, Bleeker street BLT, Casablanca and Mediterranean wrap, and other savory dishes. Near the Cuale River. Uncommon Grounds is lesbian owned with Lydia and Anne. Oct-Jun: Weds-Sun, Noon until closing; food until 11:30pm.
Vista Grill - Alta Vista - 377 Pulpito.
Romantic mood, excellent cuisine and stunning views of the town and Banderas Bay make Vista Grill restaurant a Puerto Vallarta fine dining experience. Main courses include grilled salmon, braised short rib, duck confit and five-spice shrimp. Expensive. Daily, 5:30pm-11:30pm
Vitea - Downtown/el Centro - 2 Libertad on the
New Malecon. Tel: 222-8703
Ocean-front bistro located along the stretch of the New Malecon extension between Los Arcos Amphitheater and the pedestrian bridge over the Cuale River. Vitea has a pleasing casual sidewalk atmosphere, modern eclectic decor and an excellent selection of wines. Menu includes quiche, salads, sandwiches, filet mignon and seafood. Voted best moderate priced Puerto Vallarta restaurant in 2010. Operated by the owners/chefs of Trio restaurant Bernhard Güth and Ulf Henriksson. Popular. See their website viteapv.com Daily, 8am-Midnight
Z'Tai - Central - 737 Morelos.
Restaurant, lounge and garden that spans 1/4 a city block from front to back. Three different concepts combine a stylish Pacific Rim International restaurant, a Zen like garden, and an oceanfront 2nd floor bar overlooking Banderas Bay. Entering from the malecón is the Wing's Army-Z'Bar, an 2nd floor lounge with music, bay views and comfy banquettes to relax on. Inside is an open air garden area that serves cocktails as well as an array of Asian-inspired dining and snacking options, accompanied by electronic music at a level still open to conversation. Seating is casual and spans several elevations, overlooking Zen gardens and flowing ponds. At the other end, the Morelos street entrance, there's a dining area with air conditioning. Daily for food, 6pm to 2am; bar service until 4am
Briefly, here are a few other popular/well known Puerto Vallarta restaurants that may well be worth checking out:
100% Natural - North Side/Hotel
Zone - 1630 Ave. Francisco Medina Ascencio. Tel: 223-2974
Veg-friendly restaurant with a buffet that features hot foods, salad bar, some raw food and soup; with fresh juices. Two levels with views of the avenue decorated in bright colors and with artwork. Across from the Sheraton Hotel and with home delivery. Mon-Sat, 8am-10pm
Andale - South Side/Zona Romantica
- 425 Olas Altas. Tel: 222-1054
Andale's bar is on the first floor, which can be quite crowded and loud during the winter months with music and dancing. The sidewalk restaurant has seating as well up on the 2nd and 3rd floors overlooking Olas Altas street, 8am-11pm. Daily, 8am until 2-3am
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company - Downtown
- 674 Paseo Diaz Ordaz. Tel: 222-9380, 222-9447
American chain and one of more popular Puerto Vallarta downtown restaurants. Plenty of shrimp & seafood dishes; rather pricey. Daily, 10am-12am
Cafe Roma - Downtown/Central -
287 Encino at Matamoros, upstairs. Tel: 222-7378
Italian restaurant/pizzeria and bar near the municipal flea market and across from the Cuale River so some nice views. Noted for its home-style environment and friendly service since 2006. Karaoke on Mon, Weds and Fri, 6pm-9pm. Rated as #47(was #6) out of some 683(were 340) restaurants in Puerto Vallarta at TripAdvisor. Website at romamexico.com Mon-Sat, 11am-10pm
Elena - Central - 520 Matamoros at Galeana. Tel: 222-0161
Romantic garden restaurant known for its diversity of Mexican dishes and international specialties (photo left). The rooftop terrace bar El Nido has panoramic views of Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay. The Chez Elena menu includes grilled catch of the day, chicken mole, several vegetarian choices and a savory Mayan pork dish. Opened in 1955 by the original "Elena" and operated since 1980 by Gloria Whiting. Caters to small and large groups and private dinner parties. Dinner, 6pm-11pm
Cuates y Cuetes - South Side -
101 Francisca Rodríguez at pier Los Muertos. Tel: 223-2724
A restaurant-bar on Los Muertos beach that often has good live jazz-salsa-light rock-reggae music in the evenings from around happy hour sunset time until approximately 11pm. Specialty of seafood; food is reportedly so-so. Cuates and Cuetes is popular for happy hour 6pm-8pm. Daily, 8am-11:30pm
El Coleguita - Marina Vallarta
- Popa s/n Local 27 at Condominio Marina del Rey. Tel: 044-333-111-5040,
Popular seafood restaurant in Marina Vallarta for over 6 years, and over 19 years in its Ixtapa location on the La Palmas highway. Generous portions of fish and shellfish selections. Weds-Mon, 11am-8pm
El Colera - South Side - 542 Lazaro
Cardenas. Tel: 223-0769
Popular with the Mexican locals for all kinds of fish and seafood coctels, tostadas and empanadas. Daily, 11am-7pm
El Panorama - Central - Josefa
Ortiz de Dominguez and Miramar. Tel: 222-1818, 222-1824
The top 4 floors of the Hotel La Siesta make this restaurant famous for its incredible panoramic views of Puerto Vallarta downtown and Banderas Bay. Two open-air rooftop terraces. Seafood and international cuisine with violin, guitar and grand piano accompaniment. Puerto Vallarta sunset restaurant El Panorama has dressy attire; handicap accessible. Serving since 1973. Daily, 5:30pm-Midnight
Johnny's Diner - Old Town - 336
Basilio Badillo. Tel: 222-5679
Breakfast at Johnny's diner, South Dakota style, starting at 59 pesos. Variety of plates, wifi, seating out back too. Weds-Mon, 8am-6pm
La Chata - Centro/Downtown - 710
Paseo Diaz Ordaz, upstairs. Tel: 222-5530, 222-5529
Mexican restaurant on the malecon serving seafood, chicken and beef dishes. One of the more moderately priced Puerto Vallarta downtown restaurants. Second level up, so good views of the boardwalk and Banderas Bay from the balcony seating. Live music with Mariachi group Nuevo Imperial every night, 9pm-10:30pm. Family owned business with locations in Guadalajara since 1942. Daily, 8am-Midnight
Dolce Vita - Central - 674 Paseo Diaz Ordaz. Tel: 222-3852
Serving great northern Italian food. Located on the malecon with ocean views upstairs (picture of staff at left). I'd call La Dulce Vita the most popular restaurant in downtown Puerto Vallarta. Also in Nuevo Vallarta, #2 Ave Paseo de Las Palmas, Tel: 297-0403. Downtown with live light jazz music 11pm-2am, Weds and Fri only. For info dolcevita.com.mx Mon-Sat, Noon-2am; Sun, 6pm-Midnight
La Terraza di Roma - Marina Vallarta
- Condominium Puesta del Sol, Local 2. Tel: 221-0560
The pier of the Italian restaurant La Terraza along the Marina walkway or boardwalk has a pleasant relaxed atmosphere for dining or drinks, day or night. Daily, 8am-11pm
Mariscos Tino's - Downtown - 920
Paseo Diaz Ordaz, upstairs. Tel: 223-2803, 223-2808
Seafood and fish restaurant bar with a great location just past the north end the Malecon across from Hidalgo Park; with seating inside and along the 2nd floor balcony. Mariscos Tino's menu includes marlin and crab tacos, seafood cocktails, many varieties of shrimp dishes, lobster and filet mignon. Locations also in Nuevo Vallarta and Punta de Mita, Nayarit. Locally since 1990. Daily, 10:30am-Midnight.
Marisma Fish Taco - South Side
- 320 Naranjo at V. Carranza.
Reportedly the best fish tacos in Puerto Vallarta, with hand made tortillas. Marisma has locations also in the Marina at Popa and Quilla just behind Plaza Neptune at the Condos Marina del Rey, and also in Fluvial Vallarta at Carlos Barrios and Lake Michigan street. Menu includes tacos, guisados, shrimp, smoked marlin or fish burritos, quesadillas and hamburgers. Since 1990. Tues-Sun, 10am-5pm.
Oscar's - Central - Cuale River
Island, Local #1, West Bridge. Tel: 223-0789
Located at the west end of the Cuale River island, Oscar's restaurant offers dining under a large thatched palapa with views of the Cuale river as it enters Banderas Bay. Menu includes lobster bisque and traditional Mexican, American and international dishes. Daily, 10am-11pm.
Paradise Burger - Downtown - 740
Paseo Diaz Ordaz, upstairs. Tel: 223-2328
All American fare with some Mexican specialties to spice things up, and a good location ocean-front in the middle of the downtown Malecon boardwalk. They sometimes have live rock and roll music in the evening. Daily, 10:30am-Midnight
Pipi's - Central - 807 Guadalupe
Sanchez at Pipila. Tel: 223-2767
Tex-Mex specialties include steak, chicken, shrimp and fish fajitas. Often crowded with tourists; serving traditional Mexican food since 1986. Pipi's is noted for its large drinks and plentiful servings. Daily, 11am-11pm
The Blue Shrimp - Los Muertos
Beach - 366 Olas Altas. Tel: 222-4246, 223-1840
Now located on Los Muertos beach next door to Daiquiri Dick's under the giant palapa. Shrimp prepared a dozen different ways, lobster, fish filet and rib-eye cuts. A good meal, great views and popular. Often with live music by Graham Cook. Daily, 9am-12am
The Dog House - South Side/Old
Town - 237 Ignacio Vallarta. Tel: 044-322-136-0400 **
Need a quick bite while out dancing the night away? Check out the new gay-owned Dog House take out hot dog stand - hotdogs and sausages (Italian, chicken, chorizo, bratwurst, Polish), located in front of Paco's Ranch gay nightclub and next door to Club Roxy. Tues-Sun, 10pm-6am
Puerto Vallarta restaurant reviews and ratings
The Puerto Vallarta Restaurants & Dining Guide has a fairly comprehensive lists of restaurants, cafes and bars in the city, ranging from budget selections and hamburger stands to exquisitely delicious gourmet French food and popular Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. Much more can be found online here at TripAdvisor where there currently 610 restaurants and over 27,000 reviews by travelers; or at Virtual Vallarta with paid listings, another one of the best sources, by location, type and price; or at the All Vallarta Message Board. Gay guys might also be interested in Gary Beck's Puerto Vallarta Restaurant Guide as his book has updated reviews of over 375 eateries, and covers just about everything from taco stands to upscale dining throughout Banderas Bay. And of course there's JR's usual reliable round up and ratings of anything local, go here for his Restaurant list by type of food, and for something authentically unique and useful for those on a modest budget or who like to eat out and around at the various tacos stands, there's his Street Food - Taco Stands webpage. Gary Beck, JR and their friends certainly do get around.
Natural Foods Store
Don Fresco at Los Mercados - South
Side - 265 Aquiles Serdan. Tel: 222-0383
Los Mercados is a newly remodeled market located in Zona Romantica which offers a variety of shops including Don Fresco which offers fresh produce including locally grown heirloom tomatoes, sweet white corn, a selection of lettuces and every sort of fruit and vegetable. Located 1/2 block from the Gutierrez Rizo supermarket.
Virtual Vallarta Readers' Choice Awards 2012 for the best in local dining are here. Once again the winners are selected by visitors and residents alike who filled out the on-line voting form between Feb 1 and June 15. Some 11,000+ votes were submitted in 44 categories. Everyone has their favorites but this list will perhaps help you to decide where to find something special for eating out. I consider it somewhat difficult to find a bad meal in all of Puerto Vallarta, though going out has gotten a bit pricey in many of the restaurants that cater to tourists.
Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet
International - November 16-22, 2015
The annual Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet or Restaurant Week in November features the culinary talents of local chefs of Puerto Vallarta and Nayarit state, as well as some guest chefs from internationally acclaimed restaurants and hotels. Highlights of the Festival include cooking classes, cheese seminars, Tequila Madness Night and the exceptional Gourmet Brunch at Cafe des Artistes. Participants have included Blanca Blue, Cafe des Artistes, Coco Tropical, de Santos, El Arrayan, Kaiser Maximilian, La Palapa, Porto Bello Bistro, the River Cafe, Thierry's Prime Steak House, Trio, Vista Grill and some 15-18 or so other restaurants and Puerto Vallarta hotels including Andrea at Hotel Velas Vallarta, El Patio at Dreams Villamagna, Gaviotas at Sheraton Buganvilias, Insu Sky Lounge at Marival Residences and World Spa Nayarit, La Casona at Villa Las Estancia, Las Casitas at CasaMagna Marriott, L'isola at Fiesta Americana Hotel, Luxury Resort in Riviera Nayarit. Tel: 222-2247
Travel note: The information on this and other pages of the Puerto Vallarta Gay Travel Guide were deemed accurate when posted, but things can change without notice. You may wish to confirm dining details directly with the restaurants in question before planning your day or night out.
Puerto Vallarta tapas restaurant Nu; Oscar's on the Cuale River island; upstairs at Nu (the old Fuego & Banana Cantina)
Daiquiri Dick's fine dining (left) and two photos of La Palapa restaurant Puerto Vallarta, both Los Muertos beach
Cafe de Olla on Restaurant Row; La Piazzetta with los Bambinos; The River Cafe for Vallarta dining by the Cuale river
The River Cafe gourmet restaurant; the old Le Bistro Jazz Cafe; lesbian/women-owned Uncommon Grounds
the Red Cabbage Cafe for regional Mexican cuisine; Puerto Vallarta fine dining; The Blue Shrimp on Los Muertos beach
Fusion Gourmet on Amapas street at Pilitas; two photos of Le Bistro cafe (now closed) in Puerto Vallarta
Fajita Republic; Archie's Wok asian restaurant; La Bodeguita del Medio on the new malecon boardwalk
Burros Bar lunch on los Muertos beach; Joe Jack's fish shack for seafood; Brasil steak house (now closed)
Puerto Vallarta restaurant Hacienda Alemana for German food; Heart Coffee deli bar, now the Mediterranean Cafe
& Reposteria; staff at Nacho Daddy
Trio for fine Vallarta dining
strolling minstrels Los Bambinos - Lazzaro, Giorgio, Carlos and Immer Morales
(picture thanks to Becas Vallarta)
Vallarta Restaurants Photos
"When hunger comes through the door, love jumps out the window." - Mexican proverb
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