Groceries, Puerto Vallarta
The store that I am listing here is in the center of the block long market selling fruits/ veggies and of course the freshest meat that you will be able to find in Vallarta at prices second to none.
Do not go to Rizzos looking for bargains, the locals will laugh at you if you tell them you shop there.
Fruteria Zayra is the place to go, I believe that the whole market closes at 6 so try to get there early.
What to buy: fruits veggies and meat
What to pay: half of what you would pay at Rizzos
Address: Mercado E. Zapata
Directions: 2 blocks from the exiting tunnel. Go to the street food tip that I wrote about featuring tacos AL Pastor. It is very close to that kiosk.
This is the ultimate adventure for all you people that crave sweets. What draws me to this store in particular compared to the rest of the coffee shops when it comes to buying pie’s and sweets is the way they are prepared. Cooked in a gas heated giant brick oven, these treats are still being cooked as if it were years ago. The family that owns and runs the business has been doing it for years. In fact, they first got their start by cooking these treats in the city of Yelapa. Being that al of the origonal locally geared business’s have since left Yelapa (it is now only geared towards tourists), they decided to relocate to Vallarta. Go just to look at the oven.
What to buy: Anything and everything
What to pay: This is a store where locals go, so it will be a lot cheaper than the touristy geard stores that you will encounter
Address: Balsillo Badillo & Constitution
Directions: It is kitty corner from the bus stop that you would take to Chico's Paradise
Hmmmmm...the best way to describe this chain is to call it a "Mexican WalMart." The prices are less expensive, but you have many of the same products you would find in the local Sam's Club/WalMart.
What to buy: We purchased chicken, steak, rum, beer, soda, bread, butter, red/yellow/green peppers, rice, Doritos, potato chips, tequila, condiments, tomatoes, lettuce, mushrooms, bean sprouts, salad dressing, napkins, bacon, chorizo, eggs, milk, cookies and dish soap.
What to pay: We paid less than $100.00 (USD) for two trips to the store and even won a contest to get money back...well a gift certificate to use in the store.
Address: Ave. Francisco Medina Ascencio
Directions: Located in Plaza Caracol across the street from the Los Tules resort.
Los Mercados is one location with five different shops inside. Located on the same block as the "old" (now closed) Rizo's Grocery store, on the south side of Puerto Vallarta. The very convenient location is great for anyone staying in the downtown area or south of the city.
Inside of Los Mercados, you will find seating in their courtyard and seating on their second floor. The first shop on your right is Mikey's Deli which has a large selection of imported pantry items and snacks, cold drinks and a deli case filled with prepared salads, side dishes, entrees, deli meats and gourmet cheese and hand cut meats to cook at "home". They also have a large sandwich menu or you can create your own. Perfect for bringing sandwiches to the beach, on a boat, to your rental or to eat on your flight home. I love the Banh Mi sandwich, the turkey and the Grumpy Italian- all fresh and on fresh baked bread. They also have many options of foods that "heat and eat".
Across from Mikey's is Cork + Bottle, the wine and liquor store that features the best wine selection in the area. Temperature controlled and stored properly, you know that you are getting good wine. Unlike some places where it ends up being there for ever in the heat and you essentially bought an expensive bottle of vinegar! They also sell wine by the glass and offer samples so you can try before you buy. Best place to buy wines and champagne for weddings and events. They also stock high end spirits and hard to find items and limited editions. Great selection of tequila, even a locally distilled whiskey!
At the back of the courtyard is where you want to go first- k'rico:) is the coffee shop that has great coffee/espresso drinks and the most phenomenal pastries in Puerto Vallarta. The chocolatines are amazing! Four bars of chocolate in a flaky butter croissant! Also try the cinnamon rolls, apple filled pastry and tarts and cakes! All are yummy! They also sell full sized desserts and cakes for events- so if you need a birthday cake, come here!
Don Fresco is the fresh fruit and produce shop. By far the cleanest and nicest in the area. They keep it nice and cool and everything is wonderful. Plus they sell small amounts of herbs so you do not need to buy a ton of cilantro to make some salsa. I also bought a bunch of dried fruit and nuts to add to my morning cereal. They also have yellow lemons in case you like lemon with your seafood or drinks.
Upstairs is Fireworks- one of my favorite places in Puertp Vallarta. It is a paint your own pottery place- pick what you want to paint and pay one price for everything. I have painted many items including my favorite coffee mug for only $100 Pesos. Best place for souvenirs- buy one of their creations or create your own memory! All the paint and glaze is non-toxic so you do not have to worry about actually using the stuff. (no lead!)
People ask me where to shop and this is always my answer: "Go to Los Mercados- they have everything under one roof!" (I stole that- that is their slogan. :)
What to buy: Be sure to paint something at Fireworks. Best memory of Vallarta item. Also great for children. They have tons of things for them to paint in case they are tired of the sun and sand.
What to pay: Prices vary. They have wines for 99 Pesos. Coffee for 13 Pesos and sandwiches starting at 50 or so Pesos. It says "gourmet" but their prices are excellent and not expensive for the quality!
Address: Aquiles Serdan, 265, Col. Emiliano Zapata
Directions: A few blocks south of Downtown/Malecon- by the Rio Cuale. Same block as the now closed Rizo's Grocery store.
This grocery store is in Old Vallarta, and is frequented by Mexicans. We bought 1 gallon jugs of purified water for 8.00 MXN (about $.80 US), perfect for our coffee maker. We did try the Gigante store, which was farther away from our hotel, and it seemed to have more selection.
What to buy: Grocery store on the street level, housewares on the upper level. Fressh bakery goods, but the produce was rather sad looking.
What to pay: It is a less expensive alternative to eating in restaurants all the time.
Address: Constitucion 136
Directions: On the south bank of the Rio Cuale, about 6 or seven blocks from the beach
Wal-Mart. Yes, they have a massive Wal-Mart in Puerto Vallarta. It has everything too. And you don't pay the convenience store prices. Fresh seafood, bakery, clothes, pharmacy...it's all there. We kept a well stocked fridge for a week for under $75.USD