Hans and I ate most of our meals at the Buffet RestaurantEL BOSQUE. I actually enjoyed the breakfasts there the most. They made awesome omelets. I usually had a few strips of bacon, an egg over-easy, a croissant and a bowl of fruits (papaya - mango - pineapple).
For Lunch, we sometimes ate at the Beach Snack Bar "Las Terrazas". I would usually have a hamburger with a wack of guacamole and nachos and fruit for dessert.
Dinner at the Buffet was pretty boring. They need to make the dishes more appetizing. They always seem to use leftovers in their dishes. One night I actually had two items on my plate as there wasn't much to choose from. One night they had turkey at the carving station and that was pretty good. Also one night they had BBQ ribs and chicken which I really liked. But overall I would say the food was mediocre.
Our last night we went to PORTOFINOwhich offers Mediterranean Cuisine - Cocina Mediterranea.
SOUPS AND CREAMS: Minestrone Soup or Asparagus Cream. I chose the Minestrone Soup. Maybe it's me, but I have never had minestrone soup with long spaghetti noodles in it. I didn't know whether to use a fork or a spoon. hehe! I actually cut up the noodles and then used my spoon, for the otherwise delicious soup.
PASTAS: Portofino Pastas, Penne Mediterranean Style or Spaghetti Florentine Style
MAIN COURSES: Chicken Diavola, Kataife Shrimp, Ossobuco, Vegetarian Lasagna, Grilled Beef. I chose the Shrimp which consisted of three whole jumbo shrimp wrapped in bacon. By the time i pulled the head off and tail I ended up with a one-inch piece of shrimp meat. Quite disappointing.
DESSERTS: Traditional Cassata, Panacota, Sicilian Cannolli, Tiramisu and Cheese Cake. Our waiter, Fernando, brought a dessert cart over to us and I chose a lemon parfait. When I got my dessert it came on a huge 12 inch plate with the tiny parfait in the middle. Much can be said about the presentation, but I still couldn't help but giggle.
Overall, the meal was disappointing, but I did have two cups of cappacino which was awesome.
Friday night we went to the a' la carte restaurant RIBS & MORE.
STARTERS: they offered onion loaf, buffalo chicken wings, honey chicken tenders and fried fish tenders. I chose the buffalo chicken wings. They were not that big and they gave you only four wings, but what I had was very good.
SOUP: Beef Broth or Artichoke creme. I chose the Beef Broth which was delicious.
ENTREES: Beef or Pork Ribs, Steak - New York, Rib-eye or T-Bone, BBQ Breast Chicken, Steak Tartar, Grilled Chicken, Grouper. I chose the New York Steak which was just OK. It was tough and chewy. It came with half a baked potato and steamed cauliflower, broccoli & carrots.
DESSERTS: Chocolate Souffle', Apple Strudel, Cheese Cake, Ice Cream Assortment. I chose the Cheese Cake which was quite good.
Service was very good and overall a good experience.
In trying to find contact information for this delightful little natural foods restaurant, I discovered that there are other such restaurants in Mexico and that Travel Advisor reviewers do not rate this one particularly high on the list but since I have only eaten at this one, it is at the top of my list and near the top of my list of Puerto Vallarta restaurants. Granted, it is not sexy nor glamorous but it does serve excellent food and is not nearly as expensive as the more highly regarded restaurants in PVR. You literally step into the dining area from a busy, noisy, multi-lane road and buses stopping just a few feet away will accompany your meal but I hardly noticed them until someone brought them to my attention.
Favorite Dish: I liked everything that I ate there and am not able to select a single favorite item but other than our (Sheraton Buganvilias) hotel dining areas, it is the only restaurant at which I ate more than once during my stay in PVR. I had a different smoothy each time I was there and they were unfailingly excellent. If you are in the area and thirsty, give them a try. I also had eggs, whole wheat pancakes, and lots of fresh fruits which were all excellent as well, althought the pancakes were more than I could eat, unusual for me.
Elegant and quiet with lovely service. Offers Mexican dishes from various regions and a wide selection of premium tequilas. They offer tastings of the tequilas plus great margaritas to complement the wonderful food. Salads are large enough for 2 to share and offer. The house salad includes organic greens, mango, melon, and goat cheese. Yum!
Favorite Dish: Roasted Pork Shank with Peanut Mole sauce and vegetables. The pork was fork tender, moist and delicious. The sauce was piquant without being hot or sweet. So much I couldn't finish it and mixed my leftovers with rice the next day for a second great meal.
Lazy Lizard Restaurant and Beach Bar is known as the Canadian hangout in Puerto Vallarta. The owner, Parry Ellingson, is a comedian and a half- always baring a Canadian flag on one sleeve and Mexican on the other. The restaurant is sort of tied into 3 different atmospheres; the beach, filled with umbrellas and private palapas in the sand. The bar area, where cozy tables and comfy chairs are surrounded by shady overgrown palms. And the dining terrace- a completely unroofed terrace filled with widely spaced apart dining tables with teal umbrellas during the day and open to the stars at night.
The menu is great- very low budget but tasty food. It boasts the best chicken wings in the world and Parry laughs that no one has yet to challenge the statement! Drink prices are unbeatable, especially on the trendy south side beach where right next door at La Palapa, you might pay around 10 dollars for a house drink. Lazy Lizard offers margaritas for about $1.50 US and beer by the bucket for about $5.00 US. They also offer a special "by reservation only" menu featuring 6 gourmet meals by renowned chef, Azaria Samuel for only $15!!!!!! Their Lizardtini (appletini with twist) is a fun beachside drink, and they ALWAYS have special holiday and event promotions. Emperador Hotel guests get 10% off breakfasts. They offer free wireless and sunsets!
What's really great though, is that Parry is a huge supporter of the Esperanza Orphanage in Vallarta. He is very involved with their charity events and has invited the children to eat at the restaurant and play in the sand regularly. Last week, over a dozen orphans visited for lunch where one of Parry's customers graciously picked up the $150 tab. It was absolutely heart-wrenching. So, if you happen to visit the restaurant, be sure and add your email to their "guest list" for upcoming charity events or the occasional news on moments like this.
Favorite Dish: Shrimp Utopia Salad, Surf and Turf, and the Margarita Shrimp from the special menu. Absolutely phenomenal. Goes great with my favored Lizardtini ;) Bon Appetite!
This place was a phantastic restaurant reigned by a famous Dutch Lady and her husband. They choose to set up an Indonesian restaurant, a gourmet temple special dedicated to the Javanese Ratu Kidul. Yes, that is the Goddess of the Indian Ocean. A lot of tourists entered the place to meet VIOLA HOLT, at the time a very famous vamp lady on Dutch TV ... to most of them a great experience, including the Indonesian meal in Mexico. Well, it was ...
Sorry to tell you, the place changed into Apaches Bistro ... because the famous Dutch Lady Viola & her husband Peter went back for Holland!
Favorite Dish: TOKO LOKO was a crazy place, to save your soul and to enjoy your meal. You could get in touch with the spiritual side, celebrating the traditional Indonesian dish of Nasi Koening in Mexico. That is funny, isn't it? It is saffron rice, with spicy hard boiled egg in Balinese style, steamed beef in Javanese herbs, sweet green beans in homemade coconut milk & herbs from Madura Island, boiled meatballs in a mild Surabaya sauce, and honey-fried banana ...
We stumbled upon this, running for the bus, needing to use the restroom like crazy! Fresh, natural, open restaurant next to the bus stop. We got the veggie tacos with bean sprouts, spinach, tofu(had meats if you're not into tofu), veggie patty, tons of avocado, 3 tacos for $5.80!
All very good.
Favorite Dish: Veggie tacos were really great. Light weight, and full of flavor.
The owner met us at the door and ushered us in. I believe he is from Cuba. He was so sweet and welcoming. The menu was made up of mostly Cuban with some Mexican. There are pictures of all the famous people who have frequented it over the years, along with writing everywhere! Years and years worth of people marking that they've been there. They are famous for their Mojitos, which were 2 for one. Extra minty.
Favorite Dish: Mojitos by far!
I read about this place somewhere on the internet -- there were only one or two reviews about it so there wasn't much I could hold on to, but those reviews were very good so I thought "why not??" and wrote the restaurant's address down on my list of potential places to eat during my trip.
It was in fact highly improbable to end up eating here, because my hubby and I always tried to eat close to the Malecon area and this restaurant isn't close to it. The last day we were in Vallarta we entered the Blue Shrimp restaurant but they weren't offering the same stuff their website advertised so we decided not to eat there (and I thought their prices were rather on the high side, too). So we walked inland and the closest thing on my list was Polo's. I thought we could walk by the place, and if it looked good we would stay. We finally found the spot, which is very small and far away from the most touristy area, and it was almost empty but looked very clean and neat so we thought we'd give it a shot -- also because we were starving already. And I'm glad we did!!
The place has a very simple decoration, few tables, and the owner is usually there to check that everything is ok. I was a bit peeved because I wanted a table next to the street and they wouldn't give it to us because "it was already reserved". It was before 6 PM so I thought nobody would use it at that time, but oh well. So we sat, checked the menu (which had several interesting choices) and we ordered. The service was a bit slow, but that's to be expected in a town like this (even though I did notice that the foreign tourists 2 tables away from ours got their food a lot faster than we did). However, the prices were very decent (we paid 30 USD for the 2 of us: 1 appetizer + 2 main courses + 2 non-alcoholic drinks) compared to other places and the food turned out to be REALLY good.
Eventually the place got "crowded" and we were surprised to see that all of the customers were foreigners, and most of them knew the owner so apparently they were frequent customers. I was surprised because this isn't close to the tourist area or to the big hotels/resorts and neither did I find any advertisements about this restaurant anywhere during our trip, so I wonder how these people know about it??? Word of mouth, perhaps. Most of the customers were seniors, I suppose they like the fact that the place is very quiet and away from the crowds and, again, the food is very good too. I would recommend it anytime as it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise and a hidden treasure.
Favorite Dish: The waiter said that their specialty was seafood (and they had very few dishes which weren't seafood, anyway). As an appetizer we had a Mixed burrito -- stuffed with shrimp, octopus and scallop. My hubby picked this (I would have preferred something less "gringo" than a burrito!!!) but it turned out to be very tasty.
Then as main course I had a Filete Dorado Marinera which was white fish stuffed with octupus and scallops + cheese and wrapped in bacon, with a shrimp sauce on top and rice and veggies on the side. I liked it very much. My hubby ordered the same kind of fish but "a la diabla" style -- it's marinated in a red sauce which he expected to be spicy but it wasn't (I suppose they make it non-spicy so foreigners can eat it). But it was fairly good too.
I really wanted to have a dessert (they have only 3 choices but they sounded very appealing) but I could barely finish my fish so maybe next time... they also have good sized drinks here.
I had read that there were a few restaurants on Playa de los Muertos (where the new malecon ends) which were right on the beach and where the food was supposed to be very fresh and decently priced. We reached this area on our first evening in Vallarta and this is the first spot we saw. It looked good and several people were eating here so we decided to try it out.
The place was very modest but the waiters were very kind. The service was kind of slow because they had a table with 20 people celebrating something, but they did their best to bring our food as fast as they could. I liked the fact that they light some torches when the night starts to fall so it looks very romantic. The only bad thing about eating right on the beach is the vendors and street musicians bugging you every 2 minutes, but we enjoyed our meal here and even considered coming back, but we picked another place in order to get to know other restaurants. But I would come back here, definitely. Their prices were quite decent too, especially considering that they are right on the beach and by the Malecon. I thought that customers would be mainly local tourists but we also saw 2-3 foreign couples eating here.
Favorite Dish: My hubby was drooling at the stuff that the people at the table next to us were eating, so he asked the waiter what it was and he told us they were Ceviche tostadas. They have 4-5 different kinds of those, so we asked for Tostadas de ceviche Vallarta because they sounded very appealing and they turned out to be very tasty and refreshing.
Then as main course I had a Filete de dorado con salsa de langosta (fried white fish with lobster sauce on top and rice and salad on the side). I liked it very much although the fish was a bit dry -- I guess it was a bit overcooked for my taste. My hubby ordered the same kind of fish but "al mojo de ajo" (with garlic) and he said he liked it too.
Favorite Dish: Debating whether their BANANA or their YOGURT WITH CHERRY ice cream is the best LOL.... I could eat tons of those 2!!! Tried the Tiramisu and the Stracciatella too, but didn't like them as much.
Don´t even dare to go to the All-Inclusive restaurants!! Except Grand Velas, which has very good restaurants, but in any case you won´t be able to enter. In Nuevo Vallarta there are several new options that have been opening in the past few months and that are becoming really successful (before there was nothing to do!):
- Gourmet night: Niksan in Marival Residences. A high end japanese, quite expensive...
- Best combination: there is a new plaza called 3.14 (right on the entrance to Nuevo V) which has 3 restaurants, all of them extremely good. La Dolce Vita (the same guys as the one in the Malecon, Italian), Pincho & Ole Tapas (really good tapas from Spain at good price. small place but "homey" feeling) and Ginger (Thai food, a bit expensive but very good quality and service)
try those, you will be quite satisfied
What a place! It´s all decorated in white, and the menu changes every day. It´s the place to see and be seen in Vallarta. The food is really good, a bit pricey and given the daily changes sometimes inconsistent, but I have always eaten very well. It´s fresh, young, modern, daring, and overall a great experience.
Favorite Dish: Tuna my Tuna.... fresh tuna from the bay with a special sauce, marinated and served in peculiar ways (not always), a real delicacy
This used to be Los Xitomates, a 5 star diamond award restaurant, that has changed its menu and name in December 2010. They now serve autentic Mexican food with certain sophistication but at really good prices. It´s the best value for money restaurant in Vallarta by far right now. The food is delicious, tacos de pato, tacos de chicharron, tuna sashimi, rib eye...
The Cordon Bleu chef is simply a genius!
Favorite Dish: Tacos de pato (Duck tacos), which come 4 in small tortillas with their soya sauce... You can just eat that all night, they are delicious!
Clean well maintained and on a very nice private beach setting. Several restaurants on the property....more
We had a DREAM VACATION at the Marival Resort. We will be going back once or twice a year. The...more
Stayed here for four nights in December. It is a wonderful place to stay and relax but you are very...more