15 Best Restaurants You Shouldn’t Miss in Puerto Vallarta
After living in Banderas Bay for 15 years, our family has compiled this list of all the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. We believe a vacation is not complete without experiencing the local cuisine, so we hope you get to try as many as you can! Don’t leave without trying some of the local seafood dishes such as zarandeado-style fish, ceviche, and aguachile.
- 1 Best Tacos in Puerto Vallarta
- 2 Best Beachfront Restaurants
- 3 Best Restaurants with a View
- 4 Michelin Star Quality Restaurants
- 5 Best Seafood in Puerto Vallarta
- 6 All-Time Favorite Restaurants
- 7 Best Breakfast in Puerto Vallarta
- 8 Best Bars with Food
Best Tacos in Puerto Vallarta
El Tacon de Marlin
This hole-in-the-wall is a Puerto Vallarta classic. It is across the street from the airport, so I highly recommend eating here when you arrive (plus it is right in front of the airport’s Uber pick-up spot) or before you leave. The specialty of the house are the legendary burritos filled with marlin (my favorite), shrimp, crab, or octopus.
Hours: 2:00 PM – 7:30 PM (Open late on weekends)
This small hole-in-the-wall is the can’t-miss place for tacos in Puerto Vallarta. Make sure to get the al pastor tacos, chorizo, and guacamole. It is worth the wait!
Hours: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM
This taco stand is for more adventurous eaters. The tongue and beef cheek tacos have earned a cultlike following among locals and tourists alike. It is pretty hard to find since they don’t have signage, but don’t give up! The address is correct. The tacos are juicy and flavorful.
Hours: 5:00 pm – 1:00 am
Best Beachfront Restaurants
This restaurant is in the Romantic Zone on Los Muertos Beach. It is the perfect balance between fine dining and Mexican charm. It is perfect for a romantic dinner and you get to poke your toes in the sand. The tenderloin, beet salad, and coconut shrimp are very popular dishes.
Hours: 8:30 AM – 11:30 PM
This restaurant is on Olas Altas Beach, right on the ocean for a spectacular sunset view. They have live music on the weekends and it is under a huge palapa roof. The coconut shrimp, guacamole, red snapper, and octopus are very popular seafood dishes.
Hours: 9:00 AM – 11:30 PM
El Dorado (previously ‘Vista Grill’)
Their most popular dishes are the red snapper, mussels, & ceviche.
Hours: 8:30 AM – 11:30 PM
This restaurant is right on the beach, so they have a beautiful view if you’re sitting up front. The Mexican coffee is delicious and their food is delicious with a great view of the Malecon and Banderas Bay! They also have Mariachis play on the weekends, which is an eight-piece group with three violins.
Hours: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Best Restaurants with a View
This is one of the best restaurants in Puerto VallartaThe breathtaking views are worthy of any special occasion such as an anniversary or birthday. Their most popular dishes are the lobster, red snapper, and the lava cake for dessert. We highly recommend making reservations as it fills up fast.
Hours: 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM
This is a very unique experience as you have to drive south of downtown to Boca de Tomatlan and the restaurant will have a water taxi ready to take you to their secluded location on the bay. Their most popular dishes are the octopus, mahi-mahi, and their key lime pie. The restaurant has amazing views of Colomitos Beach which you can walk to after dinner. Make sure to make a reservation and bring your swimsuit!
Hours: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The view is unrivaled as they are located on top of Hotel La Siesta on a hillside 4 blocks from the beach in Old Town. There are two rooftop terraces to choose from as well as indoor seating with spectacular views as well.
Hours: 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Michelin Star Quality Restaurants
Cafe des Artistes
Situated in an old house in downtown Puerto Vallarta for the past 29 years, Cafe des Artises is known for its exquisite menu. Chef Thierry Blouet is a legend. Upon entering the restaurant, the romantic multi-level patio gardens surround you and the twinkling lights engulf your senses. They specialize in Mexican fusion with European techniques to deliver a meal you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
Hours: 5:30 PM – 11:00 PM
A highly underrated upscale restaurant serving Mexican Fusion with breathtaking sunset views of the bay. It is a 20-30 minute drive north of downtown Puerto Vallarta in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a small town on the northern shore of the bay. Perfect for a special evening (e.g. anniversary, birthday, etc).
Hours: 5:00 pm – Midnight
Best Seafood in Puerto Vallarta
This is an authentic Mexican seafood restaurant, and the menu is only in Spanish. They specialize in octopus, prawns, tuna, salmon, and squid. The service is very fast even when the restaurant is quite full. I highly recommend the Marlin ceviche tostada which is made fresh by the order. For the main course they have the Trilogy which has grilled shrimp, octopus, and mahi-mahi in a bed of mashed potatoes, gravy, and sauteed zucchini.
Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Their seafood menu is very extensive, and the view of the open kitchen opens the apetite to anything they offer. Great service and they also provide all guests with shrimp broth, plenty of chips, and salsa throughout the meal. It is a family business so Mauricio may introduce himself and invite you to some tequila shots.
Hours: 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
This restaurant is a little out of the way but absolutely worth going to. Several food tours stop here, so you may see some tourist groups but don’t let that scare you away. Their fresh seafood is some of the best in Puerto Vallarta and it is topped with outstanding service. Make sure you get some freshly made churros across the street!
Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
All-Time Favorite Restaurants
Our family always eats here when we are in the Marina. Seafood is their specialty, and anything on the menu will be delicious. The portions are very large and each order comes with free shrimp broth, chips, and a bottle of tequila with limes and shot glasses. I wouldn’t recommend drinking the free tequila, as you can imagine the quality of it… but everything else is amazing! The lime frozen margaritas are also great. The dessert is fried bananas and a creme liqueur which is also included. It is very popular among locals and tourists alike.
Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
It’s a pleasant change from several days of Mexican fare, so make sure to try their popular Italian dishes such as the lasagna. They have a really great view of the marina, and it never disappoints no matter what you order.
Hours: 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Uniquely delicious flavor profiles. We highly recommend the seared tuna taco, carnitas taco, crab, and octopus tostada… but honestly everything is delicious! Aguachile is a local favorite which is a shrimp served ceviche-style with cucumber and habanero.
Hours: 10:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Best Breakfast in Puerto Vallarta
Bright, airy, spacious, and colorful atmosphere with great breakfast food. There are lots of choices including gluten-free and vegetarian. You know it’s good when there are lines! Go early (before 9) if you want to avoid the wait.
Hours: 8:00 AM – 2:45 PM
One of the best courtyards in the Romantic Zone, Coco’s serves up a delicious breakfast. The food is very reasonably priced and never disappoints, but what I love the most is the laid back, airy atmosphere of the place. It always feels comfortably cool even on the warmest of days. There is often a wait to be seated during high season.
Hours: 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
If you’re too skinny, this is the place for you. If not, come anyway. It’s too delicious to miss. There is usually a wait, but it has never taken us more than 20 minutes to get a table. There is so much on the menu that there is something for everyone. There are Mexican dishes such as chilaquiles or huevos rancheros as well as International fare like pancakes and waffles.
Hours: 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Best Bars with Food
Los Muertos Brewing
Micro-Brewery with the best pizzas and craft beer you’ll find in Puerto Vallarta!
Hours: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
We call this the Dollar Store of bars. Everything on the menu goes for $20 MXN, including the drinks and food. We usually order 3-4 food items per person along with a beer or two. Everything on the menu is delicious, so don’t be afraid to try something new. There is also a location in Nuevo Vallarta.
Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Decent food and service right on El Malecon. This place is quirky and has a lot to choose from on the menu. Portions are also a good size. Staff is always very friendly and fun.
Hours: 11:00 AM – 4:00 AM