Though there are many great restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
, there are some that truly stand out. Not just because they're cheap or expensive or the ambiance is high-class or humble. Locals and tourists alike love them because they serve authentic Mexican food. If you truly want to get a taste of Puerto Vallarta's local flavors, head on over to El Puerco de Oro, Balam Balam, Marisma Fish Taco, Pepe's Taco, and Sonorita Olas Atlas. These are some of the best places to get your hands on traditional Mexican cuisine. And the way they prepare and serve their dishes is out of this world!
Balam Balam is a must for foodies who travel to Puerto Vallarta. They serve some of the most scrumptious seafood in the city. You haven't lived until you've tried their fish tacos. One bite is enough for you to prefer them more than the standard beef or any other meat tacos. Especially since they fry their fish just right. They're not overly cooked and the crunch makes the sensation that much more satisfying. One could even argue that the fish here is better than whatever you'll find in the most popular fish & chips shops in London
. And that's saying something!
Source: Balam Balam Facebook Page
Picture it: you just got through your first night in Puerto Vallarta. You wake up to a bright sunny day and all you want to do is to eat to your heart's content. Where do you go then? To Cha’, of course! Located in the Versalles neighborhood of Puerto Vallarta
, this old-school diner is the hottest brunch spot in the city. It's a pretty casual place, often the morning hang-out for locals and tourists alike. And they all go here to indulge in some authentic Mexican food for brunch. The dishes to order? Chilaquiles, what else?
Source: Cha’ Facebook Page
El Puerco de Oro
Don't let El Puerco de Oro's tiny space fool you. Even though there are only four tables in the diner, it's still one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Hence, you need to be quick about getting a table here because they're all about limited seating. And you wouldn't want to miss it too since this is the best place to enjoy some deep-fried pork belly! Served in either tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or tortas (only on weekends), you'll feel satisfied in no time. The best part is that their meat is so rich and hearty, one helping is enough!
Source: El Puerco de Oro Facebook Page
La Fina Cocina de Barrio
La Fina Cocina de Barrio is the closest thing to fine dining that you'll find among the local and more traditional Mexican restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. This family-run establishment on the farther edge of Zona Romántica has long captivated diners with its deceptively humble ambiance and traditional cooking. The place may look like a typical diner, but it's actually among the most beloved culinary hotspots in Puerto Vallarta. From their tacos to their quesadillas, their local cuisine is so top-notch, they practically deserve their own Michelin stars. That's right, stars—which means more than one!
Source: La Fina Cocina de Barrio Facebook Page
Marisma Fish Taco
The name says it all: Marisma Fish Taco! While the most famous kinds of tacos are those stuffed with beef, cabbage, and cheese, this place's seafood take is not to be overlooked. For one thing, their fish is always fresh. With just one bite, you can already tell that they just caught the fish either this morning or the day before. You also shouldn't miss their shrimp tacos! The prawns they use are so juicy, you can help but scarf them all down. And paired with the coastal backdrop of Puerto Vallarta, you can't get any more tropical than this!
Source: Marisma Fish Taco Facebook Page
How does Pepe’s Taco stand out against a myriad of taco places in Puerto Vallarta? Well, for one thing, locals love it here. This place has what's probably the biggest number of local fans out of all the hotspots on this list. And why wouldn't it? The space is cool and homey, a great spot to hang out after spending a tiring day in Puerto Vallarta
. When you grow tired of all that swimming, suntanning, and other things to do in the city, eating authentic Mexican food here is the best way to rejuvenate. And it helps that their pastor tacos are out of this world!
Source: Pepe’s Taco Facebook Page
Pulquería Chinga Quedito
When you spot a bright red diner in Zona Romántica and you smell something delicious coming out of it, it's probably Pulquería Chinga Quedito. Now this is a place where you'll find the most authentic Mexican food in the city! Apart from the usual culinary staples that you've likely already had in other restaurants (both in Puerto Vallarta and everywhere else), this place serves a few relatively unknown but equally delicious dishes too. Not the least of which is tlacoyo, a pre-Hispanic dish where masa is stuffed with chicharron, cheese, beans, and more. You have to try it at least once!
Source: Pulquería Chinga Quedito Facebook Page
Sonorita Olas Altas
Finally, there's Sonorita Olas Altas, another must-try for any foodie in Puerto Vallarta. Also located in Zona Romántica, it's as popular a foodie hotspot as it is an LGBTQ+ hangout. You can expect many members of the queer community, be they locals or tourists, to dine here often. And you couldn't blame them too since the place's tacos, huaraches, alambres, and more are all so delicious. The tacos are especially popular. They're so hearty and rich, just one is enough to have you feeling full in no time! Yet you'll still end up craving some more afterward.
Source: Sonorita Olas Altas Facebook Page
If you're in Puerto Vallarta and you're craving some authentic Mexican food, you need to go to these amazing culinary hotspots. Ranging from restaurants to snack stalls, they serve the true flavors of the country!