Sayulita - Good Restaurants... WHERE?
- Jetgirly Jun 5, 2008 04:14 PM
I going back to Sayulita. Last time I went I ate some good food, but I had a really hard time finding certain restaurants. There are almost no street signs in town, and if you don't know where one landmark is, it basically turns into:
"Where is Restaurant XYZ?"
"Turn left at the church and it's two blocks down."
"Where's the church?"
"Turn right two blocks past the book store."
"Where's the bookstore?"
"Cross the foot bridge and it's to the left of the roast chicken place. Not Paco's Roast Chicken... Fernando's Roast Chicken. It doesn't have a sign, but it's the one with two tables out front, not three."
So, the places that I ate at and enjoyed were A Bicyclette, Chocobana, Chile Relleno and Sayulita Fish Taco. There were some other places that were less good and/or memorable. This time I would like to investigate Los Afortunados, Lupe, Tierre Vive and Mangiafuoco. I'd be open to other suggestions for restaurants with one or two good vegetarian dishes on the menu as well. However, I didn't see any of my Want-to-Eat-Ats on my last visit! Is there a map of Sayulita with restaurants marked on it? If not, can anyone give me directions, say, from the main plaza (where Chocobanana is)?
PS- Oddly, Sayulita is not in my guidebook (Rough Guide), while places like Bucerias and Punta de Mita are.
I am an ultra-budget traveler. Last time I stayed at Hotel Diamante, which was fine for the price (one person in a room with a double bed was $35 US per night or so) but the noise generated by the owners and their family in the central courtyard made it virtually impossible to sleep. It was like a family reunion every night. This time I'm trying Petit Hafa. It's a bit more expensive but I prefer the location, and hopefully it will be quieter. I think it only has six rooms, so there probably isn't even space for the owners to get rowdy!
Petit Hotel d'Hafa is lovely, owned by French people and has a Moroccan decor. Plus free tequila in the rooftop garden!
Sayulita is tiny so any walk to and from the beach reveals all their restaurants. I recommend Chocobanana for breakfast and Sayulita Fish Tacos. Don Pedros is nice on the beach.
I just spent 5 days in Sayulita. Overall, I don't think I had a single bad meal the entire time I was there - and I'm generally pretty picky. I ate everything from tacos off the street (delicious) to Don Pedro's. Lots of places had very good to excellent tortillas; the guacamole was almost universally excellent (none of that thing soupy stuff you find in other parts of Mexico oftentimes) and the refried pintos were also quite delicious in most places. Here are some of the places I tried:
Sayulita Fish Taco - The fish tacos were good, but not much better than that. I might return to try other items.
Sayulita Cafe - I had the Molcajete Azteca which was interesting and quite good. The chile relleno and chicken mole were well thought-of as well, but I didn't try them. Definitely would return.
Don Pedro's - Supposedly the best food in town. I had their catering for the wedding I was attending, and this was amongst the best catering food I've ever had. Their restaurant food was by all accounts fantastic. Do regret not having gone for dinner - next time!
Choco Banana - Very popular with the gringos, especially for breakfast. I would skip it, personally, and try some of the more mom-and-pop locally-run places. There were a bunch that were very good.
La Fiesta - had the al pastor tacos, which were tasty. But not as good as the place just down the street (IIRC, it was towards the main zocalo from La Fiesta, same side of the street, right near the corner, adjacent to a small convenience store) with the outdoor cart. That place was amazing. Outstanding tripa and buche. They brush a bit of meat grease (in a good way) on a tortilla and grill it for a short time before loading it with the meat, onions and salsa.
I got back on Sunday; it was very much the off-season during my visit. Lupe was closed and it looked like Los Afortunados was too. Rolly's (for breakfast) was also closed. Chocobanana was closed for renovations. I found Mangiafuoco and it looked open but empty and not that appealing. Here's where I did eat:
Don Pedro's - Grilled vegetable plate at dinner was great. It's a good choice for breakfast too; I liked the banana-cornmeal pancakes quite a bit. The frittata (also at breakfast) was good but not great.
Calypso - Recommended by a friend. It was pretty good but a bit overpriced for the complexity/quality of the dishes. I had a big salad and then some pasta.
Tierra Vive - A good find. It was open but I never saw anyone eating there. However, my "Volcano Salad" was reeeally good. It had mixed lettuces, lots of goat cheese and avocado in a soya-herb dressing.
(El?) Iguana Azul - The owner was soooo nice and friendly. There are iguanas in the trees behind the restaurant and he let me go out back to watch them be fed. I had a smoothie that was really good (tropical fruit and ginger) and a veggie melt that was also good (though not exactly melted).
Sayulita Fish Taco - I don't normally eat meat, but I did succumb to their fish tacos on this trip and they were good. At least I got to eat a taco before I left Mexico. Last time I had their veggie bowl; it would have been good but it was really watery for some reason.
A Bicyclette - My favourite in Sayulita (that I tried). It's over past the trailer park and their French food is sooooo good. The goat cheese salad is amazing and the vegetable charlotte is fantastic. I could eat there every day.
LAST TRIP ONLY
Chocobanana - Not bad for breakfasts, and very good for chocolate-dipped bananas!
Burrito Revolution - Hygiene was beyond questionable. I hear they've tried to clean up their act, but it's easy to say that in the low season. I'd like to see them at work again when they're busy.
I love Sayulita but not as much as Bucerias. Many travels up there from Puerto Vallarta with taking retaurant notes for my guide. I just updated it and have more spots along what has become known as Riviera Nayarit. Punta de Mita nd Bucerias are more dstination spots with young surfers taking over portions of once quiet Sayulita. But I love it all up there, all the way past San Pancho and Rincon, a growing area good for investment.
San Francisco, CA./Puerto Vallarta, JAL. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Puerto_...