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Jul 9, 2013 08:28 PM

Puerto Vallarta restaurant "help wanted"

Three couples in their mid-thirties looking for restaurant and activity recommendations for Puerto Vallarta in early August. Looking for anything from a Taco stand to a Tasting Menu, but with a Mexican flair (I can get Italian back home in New Jersey). Open to anything that you chowhounds approve for foodies.

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  1. For Mexican flair "No Way Jose".
    For steak La Vaca.
    For seafood Cuetos.
    Bianca Blue is a very good upscale restaurant.
    Then there's all the old traditional places like La Palapa, Daiquiri Dicks, Cafe Des Artistes and Hacienda San Angel.

    There are hundreds of restaurants, many of course really serving the tourist market that likes a lot of food they are familiar with. A lot depends on where you're staying and if you are driving. Big expansion has been in excellent restaurants north of PV.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mexivilla

      Thanks for the suggestions. We are staying in the Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, any of your selections near-by? A friend had mentioned Teatro Limon, any thoughts? We will have a car so 20-39 minutes is workable.

      1. re: familyguy13

        You're actually just north of downtown PV where most of the restaurants I listed are located (except for Cuetos). Parking in town is a real problem so you need to be patient or take cabs which are numerous and inexpensive. Better to use the car for local restaurants or to head north of PV.
        Close to you in Fluvial is Las Adelitas which is pretty good.
        Since you have a car make sure you take time to visit the Marina. One standard low cost favorite there is Victor's Tacuba but there are dozens of all kinds of restaurants.
        Outside of town drive up to Nuevo Vallarta and Bucerias, a little further out La Cruz and a lot further out Punta de Mita.

        Teatro Limon's owner Bruce is a very unusual individual. He is the kind of person who likes to be a very involved with your dinner. So if you want a quiet private evening that's not his style. But he is very interesting with hundreds of stories of his career which is happy to share, particularly how he ended up in PV. By the way food is normally excellent. Be prepared roads to get ther are awful although relatively clost you.

        Remember it's rainy season when many restaurants close, so best to phone.

        1. re: mexivilla

          I'm afraid to ask...does rainy season usually mean morning showers or deluge of biblical proportions.

          Any particular dish we should look forward to ordering at any of your suggested places?

          1. re: familyguy13

            Usual doesn't mean always. But usually rain is in evenings and overnight. More rain in PV and south presumably because of the mountains than towards the north. Not a meteorological expert but I think generally rain comes from storms moving across Mexico, deluges of biblical proportions come from tropical storms moving up the coast. Those storms can be extremely entertaining thunder and lightning displays.

            I hate to recommend a dish because it's a personal kind of thing but I'm a fan of langostinos at Cuetos.

            1. re: mexivilla

              Thanks again. I'll report back on my return

      2. re: mexivilla

        Great week in Puerto Vallarta. Never knew that there were so many great restaurants to choose from while visiting.

        On the first night in town I followed the advise of Mexivilla (confirmed by the taxi driver) and went to Cuetos for sea food. We were a group of seven and had to wait for a table (the place seemed to be packed with locals). The evening started with a waiter showing us a tray of the available fresh fish for the evening. We shared the grilled shrimp, grilled langoustes and the red snapper. Each dish was fantastic. Thanks for the recommendation

        Monday was a trip to the Ocean Grill for lunch. A long drive down the coast but an incredible dining experience. The restaurant jutting out of the side of the cliff reminded me of Tarzan's home in the old black and white Tarzan's jungle movies. The food was good but would not have been worth the drive but for the fantastic setting.

        Tuesday the family went to Teatro Limon. Everything you said about the owner, Bruce was absolutely correct. He is a Vegas act waiting for the curtain to go up. The food was excellent, not just good, but excellent !! I couldn't image returning next year without a reservation to spend an evening with Bruce again.

        Wednesday was a night at Casa Naranjo (recommended by several people at the hotel). The crab bisque was the second best I've ever had (first place still goes to the Tidewater Grill in Havre de Grace, Maryland - long since closed) which says a lot. The Smoked Salmon Carpaccio with Pepper and Citrus vinaigrette is superior in quality and taste, and could be served in any restaurant, any where with pride. The same could be said for the Duck Margret with ginger and orange sauce. I'd like the recipe for the sauce.

        Thursday found us at El Arrayan. I know that some of the chowhounds feel that this place is past its prime but where else can you get a roasted cricket taco appetizer. It was a good, but not memorable meal.

        Friday was the close out evening of the vacation. We went for Café des Artistes, This was the elegant setting that was perfect for the two couples in our group that were celebrating wedding anniversaries. A special mention to the Light Pea Cream and Brussels appetizer, and the grilled Angus Beef Fillet stuffed with ox tail stew, red wine and black mole sauce. But for show, few things beat the Shrimp “Temazcal” prepared at your table in a spectacle of flames and fragrances.

        I've skipped over several of the great taco stands where we had lunch, not because they weren't great, but because they has no names and I had no idea what street I was on at the time.

        Puerto Vallarta is a foodie heaven with choices that cover the whole spectrum of eating.

      3. This was very helpful. I'm also traveling with my family to Puerto Villarta in a week or so. Can't wait. I've been told it is a great place for foodies in Mexico. Salud!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Caltexan

          We're going the week of August 3rd. If you stumble across anything interesting during your stay please add the information to this string. We love all the input we can get before arriving at a new destination.

          1. re: Caltexan

            PV is a goldmine for incredible meals. There is a new place on the malecon called Cerveceria Union that I would definitely check out as a lunch option. Incredible view/vibe with AMAZING grilled oysters : )

          2. There are lots of really tasty spots in our neighborhood (Old Town). El Brujo is a local favorite (Family Style Mexican spot), as well as No Way Jose and and Mariscos Polo. Joe Jack's Fish Shack is a really fun/hip spot as well. Another great Mexican spot is The Red Cabbage, which is kind of "off the beaten path" in Old Town. They have a really nice chile relleno dish. You really can't go wrong down here.

            9 Replies
            1. re: LosMuertosBrewing

              I sent an email to No Way Jose, trying to make a reservation. No reply, do you know if they are closed the first week in August? Other's have mentioned Joe Jack's Fish, but you're the first to suggest Red Cabbage. I took a quick look at the comments on Trip Advisor and it is definitely going on my list, Thanks for the help. Anyone any thoughts on any drink specialties we should sample.

              1. re: familyguy13

                Are reservations necessary at these restaurants? I'm going next week. If so, I guess I need to jump on it!

                1. re: Caltexan

                  I'm traveling with a group of seven, my three children (late 20's early 30's) and their spouses. I make reservations before we go anywhere to avoid the great debate of where we are going to eat each night, followed by the vote of choice, followed by discovering that the restaurant is booked and can't handle a table for seven. I haven't run into a problem in PV so far but I was warned to call and make sure that each restaurant of choice is open (some close for a period of time in the off season). I just figured that if I'm calling I might as well make a reservation.

                2. re: familyguy13

                  Unfortunately it's closed

                  Sorry closer reading of website very confusing. In different sections it says it's closed July to October, closed only in September and open on Sundays. Obviously phone.

                  1. re: familyguy13

                    Joe Jack's is awesome! They're right around the corner from us and great friends. Super hip/fun place with great food!

                    1. re: LosMuertosBrewing

                      Looks like I may find myself in your neighborhood. Thanks for the tip.

                    2. re: familyguy13

                      Some restaurants that haven't been mentioned but that I would suggest are: Kaiser Wilhelm, La Cigale and the steaks at Hacienda Alemana

                      1. re: bronwen

                        the buffet on certain days at Hacienda Alemana is good, not great, but good. It's something different to do if you are there for a while, especially with a group.

                  2. Trio and Barcelona Tapas. There are very
                    good suggestions on this board. Breakfast at House of Pancakes. The bus to Centro will take you to many restaurants in Old Town for about .60.