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Puerto Vallarta - how are my picks?

Hey there. I am headed to PV in a month with six other friends and my partner. Looking for comments on the places I want to try out and some of our plans.

Daiquiri Dicks: Our first night I have made a reservation for the whole group for Daiquiri Dicks. Seems like a good first spot for a group to have a nice meal by the water. Thoughts? I have read good and bad about the place.

Archie's Wok/Boca Bento: Thougth about going to one of these two on Sunday night. which is better? I know they are both pretty different decor wise, but how is the food?

El Arrayan: This sounds like a must and thinking of doing that Monday night.

Mama Delores: I thought the group might need a burger fix at some point and thought about that place. Other suggestions for diner food or cheap easy meals?

La Palapa: I have a plan to take my boyfriend here for the romantic dinner they do on the beach. set menu, and pretty sure that people really like this place.

Barcelona Tapas: I wanted to do a final group dinner here on Friday night before we all take off on a Saturday. thoughts?

So, a couple nights are up in the air and plans can be changed, but wanted feedback. What about places for cheaper authentic mexican fare? i have heard about but curious people's take on the following:
Red Cabbage Café
Fajita Republic
Las Palomas
Agave Grill
Joe Jacks’ Fish Tacos

And are there spots that aren't here that I just MUST try, or MUST take off this list?

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  1. With the exception of Mama Dolores which I haven't been to, you should find all of the other restaurants to be very good. You should note that to get to Barcelona Tapas you have to climb some 70 steps which some find intimidating.
    Usually on the "must try" lists is Cafe des Artistes I think you were wise not to include it. However all of your restaurants are downtown. If the budget can accomodate getting a van and driver for your group there is a new branch of Cafe des Artistes on the beach in Punta de Mita. Going out there for lunch with short detours in Bucerias and La Cruz would give you a tour of the incredible development taking place.
    Similarly closer to PV a visit to the Marina just south of the airport would be a worthwhile visit. A new (this year) branch of La Palapa in the Marina called Tikul is excellent. Of the many restaurants there the other favorite is an Italian restaurant called Porto Bello.
    Can't help with "cheaper authentic mexican fare" but a less expensive Mexican Seafood restaurant that is a personal favorite is Cuetos.
    They say there are some 1500 "restaurants" in PV. So you're choice is really difficult for a short trip.
    To make it more difficult you might want to take a look at the restaurant reviews at http://www.vallartalifestyles-digital...

    1. Daiquiri Dicks: Our first night I have made a reservation for the whole group for Daiquiri Dicks. Seems like a good first spot for a group to have a nice meal by the water. Thoughts? I have read good and bad about the place.

      Big Yes. Lovely spot. Do not know why you heard bad. Charming, upscale, beachfront and wonderful brunch on weekends with live soothing music.

      Archie's Wok/Boca Bento: Thought about going to one of these two on Sunday night. which is better? I know they are both pretty different decor wise, but how is the food?

      Both super. 2 of my faves. Archie's is special in that it is a mix of Chinese, Thai and Filipino, as he was. Family runs this tight top spot where I must go every couple months. Boca is a blend of Asian and Latino, very gourmet and fabulous setting, right near my place on Basilio Badillo.

      El Arrayán: This sounds like a must and thinking of doing that Monday night.

      Right at the top. Say HI to owner Carmen [we love each other] and absorb the traditional recipes from Grandma. Sat night features duo!

      Mama Dolores: I thought the group might need a burger fix at some point and thought about that place.

      Sold and closed. Will be reopening but what food, chef, service, we do not know yet, so this is an unknown. Burger at Back Alley Bistro.

      Other suggestions for diner food or cheap easy meals?

      Joe Jack's, Gilmar, Johnny's Diner, Bolero and Red Cabbage are good choices.

      La Palapa: I have a plan to take my boyfriend here for the romantic dinner they do on the beach. set menu, and pretty sure that people really like this place.

      Top notch, delicious, romantic, torch-lit, run by Alberto Perez [and singer] and yes, his Tikul in Marina is primo, a new fave!

      Barcelona Tapas: I wanted to do a final group dinner here on Friday night before we all take off on a Saturday. thoughts?

      Adore it, great for a sharing group and Bill's little sis Agave Grill. BT is top of the line true Spanish tapas and more and then add in a 4th floor view!

      So, a couple nights are up in the air and plans can be changed, but wanted feedback. What about places for cheaper authentic Mexican fare? I have heard about but curious people's take on the following:
      Red Cabbage Café [above]
      Fajita Republic [moved across the street. His new one is El Barracuda and excellent!]
      Las Palomas [very good for pasta and pizza]
      Agave Grill [above]
      Joe Jacks’ Fish Tacos [above]

      WHERE is River Cafe, my #2 place? Yes, yes, yes and consider sis place Mestizo, yum.

      And are there spots that aren't here that I just MUST try, or MUST take off this list?

      Cafe Roma, Celia's, Cafe Bohemio, Pancho's Takos [sic], Cafe Candela, Ztai and El Brujo. More in my restaurant guide on CafePress.

      Gary
      San Francisco, CA./Puerto Vallarta, JAL.

      3 Replies
      1. re: garyrbeck

        wow! that is awesome information. I appreciate it so much!

        1. re: garyrbeck

          To Garyrbeck - sorry to correct you but i believe the restaurant is Takos Pancho, not the other way around - and yes, thanks for all the good advice on PV restaurants!!

          1. re: lopo123

            Correcto: Takos Pancho
            Waiter a number of years ago after I asked why they spelled Takos that way, he said that is the way the Americans spell it. I went, oh yeah...only in PV!
            Soon to be fulltime so anyone can contact me year-round after 4/1/10.

        2. anyone else with feedback or thoughts?!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chargenda

            Hi Chargenda...my favorite food in mexico so far was at Cafe de Olla
            in PV. I haven't had any other food in Mexico that even comes close!
            That good...

            1. re: islameg

              great food there
              we also loved barracuda on the ocean front

          2. I would second the Cuetos idea. It has been one of my favorites for years. I would consider it cheaper authentic Mexican seafood fare. There are two locations. Especially notable are the great seafood casuelas.

            1. did boca bento really close? guess that one is off my list. For good or just for a bit?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Chargenda

                There's a "For Rent" sign so it looks like they have really closed.

                1. re: mexivilla

                  thanks. What about archie's wok? I read someplace they are closed through the end of October. True?

                  1. re: Chargenda

                    Archie's is closed for September. Will open Oct. 1, according to the plan.