San Pancho and Sayulita Recommendations
Going to both of these little villages. I already have MarPlata and Cafe des Artistes on my list. Other reccies??
Don Pedros in Sayulita is wonderful - fantastic seafood dishes. Right on the water so great views.
Just returned from San Pancho. Given the size of this little town, the food is amazing. No doubt due in part to the ex-pat population. The nicer places seem to cater to tourists and the foreigners who have homes there, but are definitely of high quality. We have enjoyed La Ola Rica which is probably the most popular. Cafe del Mar has great spring rolls and a delicious shrimp curry dish. We've been twice over several years and not been disappointed. San Pancho Cafe - recommend trying the chile rellenos con queso! They have steak, fish and bbq on the menu too - sit upstairs. Nopalito for the incredible breakfast crepes and fresh fruit drinks. You can watch it all being made by the lovely women working at this tiny place with counter stools. My husband had a crepe with eggs and mole sauce that was delicious. Cielito Rojo - the best dish we had was the fresh shrimp, grilled and skewered - with heads and shells on and served on top of the sweetest, juiciest grilled pineapple. Superb.
If you have the time and a car, take the time to go about 30 minutes north of San Francisco (San Pancho) to the Playas Chacala. The tourist infrastructure is less sophisticated than Sayulita or SF (but there are tourists and ex-pats with some serious homes in the area). The distance from more established places means the food served under the palm thatched restaurants on the beautiful, crescent-shaped beach reflects the genius of simple, Nayarit seafood. They do some amazing things with shrimp and whole fried fish. The ceviche is great too. I had an unusual seafood stew with fruit, served in a hollowed-out pineapple. At the north end of the beach is a tiny harbor where fishermen in pangas return with the day’s fresh catch. Hard to beat.
The local cheeses in the village of La Peñita (if I recall correctly) are great. La Peñita is on the way to Chacala.
I don’t recall the names of the beach front restaurants. They may not have any signs but if you want an eating adventure with authentic food, Chacala is a good place to spend an afternoon.
I have a ton of entries for Sayulita and a few for San Pancho [San Francisco] in my dining guide but have my copies out right now in PV. It is online though, cafepress
I edit and update at least 4 times a year in order to keep all info current. I am heading up to Rincon de G. in a few weeks as that is a growing community with quite a few good places to eat.
In case you haven't come across it there's lots of information on Sayulita at
You probably know that Cafe des Artistes is in Punta de Mita. It's very good but as expensive as its sister in Puerto Vallarta. It's especially incongruous since it's next to the very inexpensive beach restaurants.