Report: Puerto Vallarta
We just returned from a week in Puerto Vallarta. After several disappointing meals at the so called recommended restaurants, we decided to eat where the locals eat.
El Tacon de Marlin - yummy seafood burritos. Located at the corner of Peru and Honduras streets in the South Hotel zone.
Fish Taco and Seafood Cocktail Stand located near the corner of Diaz Ordaz and Uruguay streets in the southern hotel zone. I believe its name may be Santa Anita. The stand is located on the side of the street with the Oxxo convenience store not the stands located by the large supermarket. We ate there three times it was so good, until we discovered Marismas Tacos on the southern side of downtown.
Taco stand located near the corner of Diaz Ordaz and Honduras streets (on the side of the street closest to the beach) in the Southern hotel zone. We had some of the best carne asada and al pastor tacos there.
Marismas Tacos - located at the corner of Naranjos and Carranza Street in the Romantic Zone. IMHO these are the best fish and shrimp tacos in all of PV!
Alfredo's - Italian restaurant located just south of PV at the Presidente Intercontinental Hotel. This restaurant was surprisingly good! The quality of the cuisine was comparable if not better to the Italian restaurants that we enjoy in San Francisco. If you must have non-Mexican food or are staying at the Intercontinental and dont feel like going into town, this is a great bet. We paid about $50US for two pasta dishes (spaghetti carbonara and meat ravioli), a caprese salad and cannolis we shared.
El Arrayan - some friends and the hotel concierge recommended this traditional Jalisco style Mexican restaurant. We found the food OK, but highly overpriced. The restaurant was filled with American tourists so its clear that the locals don't eat there. We paid about $70 US for two people with two beers which is an outrageous amount for a moderate meal in Mexico considering that the minimum wage in that country is $4.50 US per day.....
El Palomar de los Gonzalez - was recommended by our hotel concierge as a place to have a nice moderate meal. I asked her to recommend a place where she herself would eat. While this place was perched on a hill and had a fantastic view of Vallarta, the food was just so so, kind of tasteless Mexican seafood. Our meal was about $65 including two drinks.
Left Wanting To Try:
We wanted to try the Mexican antojitos located in a hole in the wall on Diaz Ordaz street next to the pool hall south of the aforementioned tacos stands. Our taxi driver highly recommended it as a place where he often eats. They are only open in the evenings.
We also wanted to try the rotisserie chicken at El Pollo Feliz on Diaz Ordaz and Honduras streets. There was a line out the door when we passed by on a couple of occasions.
We have been going to El Arrayan for several years and always enjoy the food. I have recommended it highly on this board as well as others. I think there is a misconception that if a restaurant serves regional Mexican cuisine, it will be really cheap. Just considering the level of service, dishes offered, style and decor of El Arrayan would indicate that it is not a tacqueria. I don't find it out of line at all for level of dining. I hate that you wasted a meal opportunity on Palomar---it is strictly a view restaurant and not known for great food. There are SO many better places to eat in PV, it is a shame to waste a dining experience.
There is all kinds of restaurants for all kinds of pocket sizes. Some people don't realize even in Mexico it is expensive for the local owners to operate a place with full bar, bilingual staff, clean decent bathrooms fans or a/c. If you like good food and dont mind paying for the little extras that make it confortable, you will find several places in Vallarta that have both. Anyway if you convert it to US dlls it is still good prices...
I live in P.V. and agree with you that the prices have gotten way out of line. Try the Rotisserie chicken at the place across the street from Rizzo's grocery on the south side. I think it is one of the best chickens anywhere in the world. They do differ from store to store as to the seasonings etc.