5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta

Your heading to Mexico so we will assume that street tacos and Tequila are on your list of things to do, but you might be wondering what other foods you should try while you are here? Below is a list of 5 regional and classic Mexican foods that even if you’ve had outside of Mexico—you must try in Puerto Vallarta!

Seafood Restaurants In Pitillal

Ceviche

If raw fish isn’t your thing we urge you to have at least one bite of a freshly caught ceviche. Marinated in each restaurants signature blend you simply can’t go wrong. An excellent option for first timers is to head to our food tour partner Joe Jack’s Fish Shack for their ceviche sampler. They serve traditional regional Corvina bass, shrimp aguachile, shrimp and octopus, and tuna poke. If not, ceviche give fresh shucked oysters or clams a try.

5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta-Birria

Birria

Other than tortilla soup, soups and stews might not really come to mind when you think of Mexican food—but you must try at least one or two while you’re here. What I love is that Mexican soups are so different than soup back home giving you a whole new culinary experience. One of the regional specialties is birria, which is a spicy meat stew made with goat, lamb, or sometimes beef. What makes this slow-braised stew so special is each restaurant’s signature spice blend. Like most Mexican soup, it can be topped with onions, cilantro, and lime juice. While common as a stew our food tour partner Robles Birria Tacos serves it in delicious tacos. A must-visit taco stand you may not have found on your own.

5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta-Mole

Mole

You may have had mole before but if you have never tried it in Mexico then it must be at the top of your list. Mole can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every restaurant has a family recipe that has been passed down through the generations with some containing upward of 100 ingredients. While similar each recipe is unique so it’s worth trying a couple of different restaurants.

5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta-Corn

Corn Many Different Ways

You’ve certainly had corn many times before but there are a few corn dishes you must try while in Vallarta. Corn tortillas will be served with your tacos but give the corn dishes below a try too.

Huitlacoche: this is a delicacy sometimes referred to as corn mushrooms or the Mexican truffle. It is a fungus that grows on corn, which is often turned into an enchilada sauce or soup you will be daydreaming about. Don’t think fungus sounds good? Trust me. Besides we eat cheese and mushroom without second thought.

Pozole: a simple but delicious corn hominy soup made with chicken or pork. Clear pozole is not spicy, red pozole has a bit of kick. Top with lettuce, radishes, lime juice, onion, and cilantro.

Corn On The Cob: you must try a fresh grilled corn on the cob while you are here, seasoned with lime and salt. If not corn on the cob give elotes a try—which is fresh grilled corn with crema (a Mexican sour cream) and cotija a crumbly cheese. It is then topped with your choice in spices—lime juice, salt, and a spice blend. Both will be found by street vendors.

Atole: this hot corn beverage is often served during festivals to celebrate. Made by toasting masa and adding cinnamon, vanilla, and local fruit juice like coconut or pineapple. It’s more of a dessert than a beverage.

5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta-Mexican Coffee5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta-Jamaica Agua Fresca

To Drink

There is a long list of drinks to choose from both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Here are just a few to prioritize:

Non-Alcoholic:

Agua Fresca: a fresh fruit-infused water with Jamaica (hibiscus flowers) being a favorite.

Coconut water: fresh right out of the coconut.

Limonada: fresh lime juice with a local sparkling mineral water. Can also be made with orange juice as a naranjada.

Coffee: if you are a coffee lover skip Starbucks and head to the local coffee shops, most of which sell the beans they brew.

Alcoholic:

Tequila: a tequila tasting is a must, preferably one that includes the difference between Tequila, Mezcal and Raicilla. Or head to the town of Tequila which is only about 4 hours away.

Margaritas: if straight tequila is not your thing do a margarita instead. Since you’re on vacation upgrade to a top-shelf tequila.

Micheladas: a spicy beer-like Bloody Mary often topped with shrimp, carrots, and jimica.

One of the easiest ways to try most of the food on this list is to book a 3-hour tour with Vallarta Food Tours. Book on the first day or two of your trip so that you can head back to the restaurants you enjoyed most.

Summer Blues in Puerto Vallarta

The summer in Puerto Vallarta has us moving slower, trying to duck rain showers and running into the OXXO just for their free AC. Anticipating what is traditionally the slowest month of the year, some business shutter their doors for the month of “Septi-hambre”. However, the savviest of locals understand that braving the summer has its benefits, namely crazy, great deals.  Restaurants looking to fill their seats offer up great discounts and promotions in the summer months. Some are just for the summer and some are year-round. Among our favorites are:

    • Nicksan, in Nuevo Vallarta, with its exquisitely fresh fish, offers sushi-lovers a deal year-round from 2 to 5 daily.  During these hours, for $250 pesos, you get a chef’s choice 5-course meal with cocktails while you are being served. It is AMAZING!
    • Just upstairs from Nicksan at the Marival Residences, Insu boasts an incredible Sky Lounge with enviable ocean views.  They also offer up three tapas and three glasses of wine or beer for $250 pesos. With the gorgeous backdrop of the Bay of Banderas, you will be floored by their delectable global tapas.
    • Los Muertos Brewing Company, the city’s favorite watering hole, offers up ladies ½ off wine bottles and ½ off appetizers on Thursdays.
    • Joe Jack’s Fish Shack, on Basilio Badillo, extends its 2 x 1 mojito special to 7pm daily and all day on Saturday and a special price for burgers on Wednesday.
    • The legendary River Cafe is a serene location along the river in the middle of the city. This summer, The River Cafe presents a 3-course meal for a hard-to-beat $295 pesos.
    • Omaggio, also at the Marival Residences, has a to-die-for Sunday Brunch for just $200 pesos.  This price includes national cocktails.
    • Feeling adventurous? Vallarta Adventures has great specials this summer!
    • Of course, there’s our own Vallarta Food Tour coupon code of 10% off for the summer on all tours. Take the Evening Taco Tour and cool off with a cold Pacífico. Just type in “summerblues” to get your much-deserved discount and get out of the summer blues!

summer blues 2

Puerto Vallarta Restaurant Week

Celebrating 10 years, Vallarta Lifestyle’s Restaurant Week is back featuring more of the Bay of Banderas’ incredible restaurants.  From May 15th through May 31st, thirty-six of the region’s most acclaimed restaurants offer three-course menus (with three options each) at a discount. The fixed price menus are two-tiered – $199 pesos or $299 pesos per person and the menus showcase the well-crafted cuisine of these enviable culinary havens.  Whatever type of cuisine you are in the mood for one of these restaurants will fit the bill. You will find some of the best food in Puerto Vallarta at the best price of the year.

restaurant week

Perennial favorites Cafe des Artistes, Trio, Daiquiri Dick’s, Hacienda San Angel, Mark’s Bar & Grill and No Way José!, among others, are in the upper tier of$299/pp.  Coco’s Kitchen, Archie’s Wok, Barcelona Tapas, El Arrayán , Vitea, Bravos and others offer their menus at $199/pp.

Take Restaurant Week as a culinary challenge, one that is none to difficult, but rather will allow you to try restaurants that you have always meant to try but have never gotten around to. Restaurants that you love but haven’t visited in a while.  It is one of those events that are fun, engaging and showcase all the best that Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas has to offer. Go ahead. Be bold. Try three a week! Provecho!