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Oct 11, 2008 09:50 AM

Puerto Vallarta at Christmas

Any suggestions for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinners in PV?

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  1. Hola Consuela~
    I have over 360 restaurants in my dining guide from mom and pops up to 5* dining so narrow the choices down since I just do not know where to lead you, esp. price-wise. Gracias.

    7 Replies
    1. re: garyrbeck

      Hi Garybeck-Thanks for your help. Something nice-I was concerned about what would be open and making sure we have reservations, as we arrive Christmas eve. Staying at the Westin on points. Absolutely not interested in eating there!

      1. re: Consuela

        Consuela, every place will be open XMas Eve and Day. They want the biz! But once you decide where you wish to dine, call as soon as you arrive or place a reservation online to assure a seat. All I have heard is in 2 months this place will be packed and dining will be a premium. But act fast and you will be fine. You do not have to spend a lot as there is a wide range of places for all peso budgets, even mine!

      2. re: garyrbeck


        I am in culinary school in Miami and I want to do my extern in Mexico or Jamica. What guides are you using? I need to research 5*'s in those areas (and possibly Peru since my wife is from there). Any help would be useful. Thanks

        1. re: chefkiller

          Good for you. A very fine career. PV has become a worldwide dining destination in the short 30 years since I have been coming here. It would be a great place to cook, learn and study. Weekly I meet new chefs from all over the globe who are here to further their career. I support them all.

          Sorry I do not know anything about Peru.

          Best of luck wherever your path takes you and if you end up cooking here, let me know so I can sample your fare and consider for my guide!

          San Francisco, CA./Puerto Vallarta, JAL.

        2. re: garyrbeck

          Gary-Can I buy your book once I get there?

          1. re: Consuela

            I am sorry for being absent. Am in PV now editing my guide. The one I refer to is my comprehensive one on the entire PV area, north and south, over 262 spots from taco stands to mom and pop's to 5* dining. It can always be found online at cafepress and is available in PV, my 10/08 issue, at PVRPV, Mariscos Polo, PV Botanical Gardens, Agave Grill, El Arrayan and Boca Bento Mismaloya. If anyone will be in town before 12/4, we can munch on some food if you like. I organize small tables at local spots, many hidden and unknown by most except the locals!

            San Francisco, CA./Puerto Vallarta, JAL.


          2. re: garyrbeck

            Hey Gary -- just out of curiousity, the chowhound police aren't giving you a hard time about your professional work in the food biz? They kicked off a friend of mine who was spent more time here than on Facebook because she happened to be a publicist, some of whose clients were food and wine related. She's bummed. Maybe they changed their rules?

          3. Consuela, have you previously vacationed over the Christmas holidays at any of the Mexican beaches?

            Are you prepared for incredible hordes of other vacationers, both from Mexico and other countries of the world? The two most heavily crowded times of year for Mexican vacationers are 1) the week before and the week after Easter and 2) the week before and the week after Christmas. Everyone who can goes to the beach during those times.

            Vallarta is one of the most popular vacation destinations here! Have a blast.


            8 Replies
            1. re: cristina

              Hi Cristina-No, it's been light years since we've visited PV or Mexico-feel in love with a spot in the Grenedines that has been getting our attention. This was just a last minute idea, using lots of points. I guess we needn't worry about the restaurants being closed-more that they'll be busy and we'll need reservations. If we're in the marina area, should we rent a car for the week to go to downtown restaurants, or will the cab fare be reasonable? Those that have caught our eye are El Arrayan, Daiquiiri Dick's, Red Cabbage Cafe, Archie's Wok, the Tapas places (BArcelona and Esquinada Capriches), Trio, Cafe Des Artistes-Cuetos. We can use all the advice that is out there!! Thanks

              1. re: Consuela

                With the exception of the taxis at the airport cab fares are very reasonable in the 60 to 90 pesos wherever you would be going. However the bigger problem is parking which can be impossible unless the restaurant is close to one of the new parking garages.
                Incidentally two of the "good" restaurants,Tikul and Portobello, are in the Marina and you should add La Palapa to your list.

                1. re: mexivilla

                  ok-guess the car rental, other than for a day or two of touring, is out. Much easier with taxis.
                  I thought we'd do Tikul and Portobello when we wanted an easy night of just walking over-I'll add La Palapa. More restaurants than we have nights, but how good is that? Still, which of the ones mentioned, would you reserve for the first two holiday nights? Dying for input on this!

                  1. re: Consuela

                    Tikul is well worth a visit, I found the menu to be better than at its siblings (La Palapa and the very overrated Vista Grill). I've never had a less-than-great meal at the River Cafe. I think it's well worth a visit. Cafe des Artistes has proven itself to be inconsistent (we've been in PV about 4 times in the last 3 years and half the visits were just okay while the other two were quite good). Trio is solid. We did the touristy thing on our last visit and went to Le Kliff, despite the concierge's warning and it was surprisingly good. I felt like I was in an Elvis Presley movie. I'd certainly consider a return visit, but it may not be your cup of tea.

                    1. re: ferret

                      Visted Tikul's website today, and it did look very inviting-as does River Cafe. Also discovered that "Gary Beck" has a book I'm wondering if we can buy when we get in-rather than ordering it from here-are you listening Gary? Reading reviews here, bit by bit, I've determined most people think Cafe des Artistes is inconsistent. The eraser is out on that one. Thanks for the advice.

                    2. re: Consuela

                      Here's a link to River Cafe. The menu may not have a wow! factor but I can assure you that their ingredients are excellent and everything that I've had from their kitchen has been skillfully prepared.


                  2. re: Consuela

                    Situated in the marina, you will not need a car unless you are planning a bunch of side trips but you could rent daily. The bus service into town is 55 cents and fast, a very short trip [5-10 minutes] into Centro. SouthSide would be another 4 minutes approx. Taxi would cost about 6 USD. The fares went up and I am unsure, but really not a big deal. Determine the price before you enter the cab.

                    <<El Arrayan, Daiquiiri Dick's, Red Cabbage Cafe, Archie's Wok, the Tapas places (BArcelona and Esquinada Capriches [La Esquina de los Caprichos]), Trio, Cafe Des Artistes-Cuetos. >>

                    Yes to all of the above, good choices. Upper end. Need reservations at all these places listed. Add Cafe Bohemio and Boca Bento.

                    1. re: garyrbeck

                      We are planning to be in Puerto Vallarta at Christmas this year (2009). We are looking for a place near the beach serving Christmas dinner that is not too pricey. Any suggestions?

                  1. re: chefcman

                    With thanks to all of you, we had a spectacular visit to PV. Restaurants were not as busy as we feared. Tikul was wonderful, Portobello disappointing, Trio fantastic and our favorite. Tried 4 different Tamales at Maria C.'s-still thinking about them. Barcelona Tapas ok food, lovely view, pretentious service. El Arrayan also met our expectations. One place not mentioned on these boards is Terraza di Roma in the Marina for breakfast. After a terrrible experience of cold tasteless food at Mr Cream, we landed with great happiness there the next 5 mornings. We were so pleased we tried dinner one night, and it too was surprisingly fresh. Unfortunately, we didn't get to Marisma for the unbelievable Shrimp and Fish Tacos until the day before we left. That's one reason why we're heading back to PV as soon as possible. Now we need recommendations for a nice condo or boutique hotel on a great stretch of beach.

                    1. re: Consuela

                      Next time you return, make SURE to stay at Casa Amorita in Old Towne. The house is 3 blocks from the beach right behind Iglesias Guadelupe, ...absolutely beautiful, incredible breakfasts which are prepped by the hostess, Rita Love. She choses recipes rom her beloved Joy of Cooking serving everything from Huevos Divorcess (sp?) to Walnut Waffles with a decadent egg yolk, dulce, cream "Sin Sauce." A pool, a loving dog, sweet parakeets, ocean views from the well appointed rooms... truly stunning, affordable...and free phone calls to the US. :)

                      1. re: FoodKitCat

                        wonderful-just read all the reviews and it looks splendid. I love trip advisor, but missed all the B&B reviews. Can't wait to show my husband. Thanks.

                      2. re: Consuela

                        Here are photos of Casa Amorita.