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20 Most Essential Puerto Vallarta Restaurants To Try In 2023
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

When planning a trip to Mexico, online searches will often yield the names of big cities like Guadalajara, Puebla, and Mexico City. While those cities are indeed beautiful and worth the trip, one area that is often overlooked is Puerto Vallarta.

Situated along Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta markets itself as the “friendliest city in the world.” However, it also has a strong regional culinary identity that boasts flavors from its stunning landscape and the tropical ingredients evoking the bold flavors of Mexican food.

If you are a serious food lover and want to go to the restaurants in Puerto Vallarta where all locals eat, you’ll want to check out the places on this list.

Breakfast and Brunch

Breakfast, as they say, is the most important meal of the day… which is why it makes a lot of sense to start your day right. Breakfast does not have to be a complicated affair. Here are some of the best Puerto Vallarta restaurants for a filling breakfast.

El Andariego

El Andariego Facebook Page
El Andariego Facebook Page

El Andariego is a beautiful breakfast joint in the Romantic Zone featuring rows upon rows of colorful Buganvillas, a setting that makes it the perfect place to enjoy a hot cup of coffee before you begin working.

This restaurant has an extensive menu that offers authentic Mexican food as well as Spanish and English options. Their coffee is great and goes perfectly well with their fruit slices.

Each portion is large, so make sure you’re ready to get stuffed. The prices are also quite affordable. Overall, it’s a great spot for a good, classic breakfast.

Coco’s Kitchen

Coco's Kitchen Facebook Page
Coco’s Kitchen Facebook Page

If you’re looking for a restaurant with a nice courtyard, Coco’s Kitchen is a must-have on your list. Coco’s pride itself on being one of Puerto Vallarta’s favorite breakfast stops, and rightly so. In fact, it was listed as one of the top 10 breakfast restaurants in Puerto Vallarta by The New York Times in 2016.

Coco’s Kitchen offers a large menu of breakfast favorites, including American-style omelets, French Toast, Waffles, and Fruit Plates. They also offer Mexican breakfast classics, including Chilaquiles and burritos.

One thing to remember if you’re planning on eating at Coco’s Kitchen is to come in early as there is often a line during the high season.


Lunch is all about eating well and making sure you’re ready to face the rest of the day. This is why we’ve selected the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta that offer an exceptional dining experience and fulfilling meals.

Asadero Las Parotas

Asadero Las Parotas Facebook Page
Asadero Las Parotas Facebook Page

Located in Nayarit, Asadero Las Parotas is a family-owned restaurant renowned for its savory and smoky wood-fired lamb al pastor, which utilizes meat from lambs the family raised themselves. The lamb al-pastor is served Tapalpa-style and can be put inside a corn tortilla that is handmade and served with frijoles charros and salsas.

In addition to their lamb, Asadero Las Parotas also offers plantains that are slowly grilled alongside the meat. All plantains are served with a generous drizzle of condensed milk.

Note: Asadero Las Parotas only serves its lamb feast for lunch on Sundays.

Makai Restaurant

Makai Restaurant Facebook Page
Makai Restaurant Facebook Page

If you’re looking for fresh seafood dishes, Makai Restaurant is worth checking out. This unassuming restaurant is run by chef Sebastian Renner, a Tapalpa native who went on to cook across Europe at Michelin-starred restaurants.

The dishes at Makai are a little bit more on the fine dining side, with dishes ranging from seafood charcuterie featuring local ahi tuna and bottarga, and pig jowl taco over a mashed plantain puree.

Pancho’s Takos

Pancho's Takos Facebook Page
Pancho’s Takos Facebook Page

This small hole-in-the-wall restaurant is one of the places you should visit to get a taste of Puerto Vallarta. Pancho’s Takos serves delicious traditional Mexican dishes, including al pastor tacos, chorizo, and guacamole.

If you’re hoping for a complete meal, pair your tacos with a drink from Pancho’s menu, which includes domestic beers, cocktails, fruitades, and wine.

El Itacate Molino de Nixtamal

El Itacate Molino de Nixtamal Facebook Page
El Itacate Molino de Nixtamal Facebook Page

El Itacate Molino de Nixtamal is a gem among Puerto Vallarta restaurants, especially because it offers hard-to-find traditional Mexican cuisine—specifically, tortillas made with heirloom corn.

Tucked away in the Albatros neighborhood, the restaurant was opened by Mexico City natives Édgar and Alan Llamas and Lucia Bouchan to bring textbook-perfect pressed tortillas to Puerto Vallarta.

You can pick your choice of filling to make the perfect heirloom tortilla, with options ranging from chicharrón prensado (compressed chicharrón), requesón (ricotta-like cheese), fava beans, and chickpeas… among others.

El Itacate Molino de Nixtamal has no storefront, so be sure to place your order via Instagram or WhatsApp for pick up or delivery. The tortillas are available by the dozen and comes in vacuum-sealed packs.

La Tienda Grande

La Tienda Grande Facebook Page
La Tienda Grande Facebook Page

Located in the working-class neighborhood of Ixtapa, La Tienda Grande is a restaurant opened by Chef Salvador “Chava” Carillo that serves international flavors. The dishes at the restaurant are wide-ranging, with favorites being Anita’s Pasta (quid ink fettuccine with chiltepín chile and shrimp), Charcoal Beef Carpaccio with Black Sour Sauce, and Sea Smoked Ham.

La Tienda Grande is about half an hour away from El Centro, but the food, as well as the wicker basket chandeliers and navy blue tables, are definitely worth the travel.


D'Cortes Facebook Page
D’Cortes Facebook Page

D’Cortes is a warm and artful restaurant in Puerto Vallarta founded by Chef Polo Cortes. The restaurant is the product of Cortes’ 20 years of hard work, which involved cooking in gourmet restaurants in France, Germany, Spain, and Mexico.

The restaurant offers an ambitious menu, with the cuisine being a fusion of the elements of European Cuisine and the recipes of Latin America.


End the day with a bang. While these restaurants are open the whole day, the views they offer are best fit for sunsets and the nighttime.


Makal Facebook Page
Makal Facebook Page

Makal is a fine dining restaurant spearheaded by Michelin star chef Graham Campbell whom you might recognize from Netflix’s Final Table. Makal offers an eclectic and impressive menu of a fusion of modern Mexican cuisine and international flavors featuring Spanish cuisine at its finest.

Makal offers both a la carte options and a tasting menu of 7 to 10 courses. Some favorites include Shrimp Carpaccio, Pork Belly al Pastor Tacos, Conchinita Pibil, and Seafood “Tumbada Style.”

The Iguana Restaurant & Tequila Bar

Iguana Restaurant Facebook Page
Iguana Restaurant Facebook Page

The Iguana Restaurant is an open-air rooftop restaurant located at the luxurious nine-suite Casa Kimberly boutique hotel. The restaurant, which overlooks the city of Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay, serves contemporary Mexican cuisine and specializes in tequilas and mezcals.

The Iguana serves both lunch and dinner. However, their lunch menu is only available for hotel guests. On the other hand, dinner is open to the public from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

La Palapa Restaurant

La Palapa Website
La Palapa Website

La Palapa is a historic Mexican restaurant that first opened its door to patrons on Los Muertos Beach in the late 1950s. The restaurant features plenty of indoor seating in an open-air palapa as well as several tables out on the sandy beach.

La Palapa offers a balance between fine dining and tropical Mexican cuisine, with dishes including Al Pastor Potstickers, Mazamitla Salad, Mole Enchiladas, Zarandeado-Style Local Fish Fillet, Medallones De Res, and Cola de Langosta.

Le Kliff

Le Kliff Puerto Vallarta Facebook Page
Le Kliff Puerto Vallarta Facebook Page

If it’s stunning views you are after, then Le Kliff should be at the top of your list. Situated along a cliff, the restaurant offers perhaps the most breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, making it the best location for special occasions and dinner dates.

Le Kliff’s most popular dishes include Lobster Tail, “Catch of the Day,” Red Snapper, and Lava Cake for dessert. You can also try their Salmon Sandwich a la Meuniere and Duck BBQ Taco.

La Capella Puerto Vallarta

La Cappella Puerto Vallarta Facebook Page
La Cappella Puerto Vallarta Facebook Page

La Capella Puerto Vallarta is an Italian restaurant that offers amazing views of the bay and the iconic Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, especially once the sun starts setting. The open-air restaurant catches the salt air and sea breeze, so it may be a good idea to prepare for a slightly chilly dinner date.

The food at La Capella never fails to receive rave reviews, with dishes including Ribollita, Formaggi, Linguine Con Gamberetti Gigante, Ravioli Ripieni Di Ricotta, Pork Ossobuco Alla Marsala, Pollo Picata, and Filetto Di Pesce Del Giorno.

Monzon Brewery

Monzon Brewery Facebook Page
Monzon Brewery Facebook Page

Located near the beach, Monzon Brewery is the perfect place to go to cap your night. This microbrewery offers some of the best craft beer in town, with options ranging from IPAs, blondes, and other unique styles.

If you haven’t had dinner and you’re looking for a more laid-back vibe, Monzon also has an excellent food menu that includes delicious burger, mac & cheese, fish tacos, and tater tots. Best of all, you can bring the food in a takeout box and eat it by the beach.

Cerveceria Chapultepec

Cerveceria Chapultepec Facebook Page
Cerveceria Chapultepec Facebook Page

If you’re on a budget, don’t fret. Cerveceria Chapultepec is championed as the “Dollar Store” of bars in Puerto Vallarta. Despite being called a “dollar store,” the food and drinks offered at Cerveceria are nothing less than spectacular. Best of all, everything is offered for $20 MXN, including food and drinks.