PUERTO VALLARTA RESTAURANTS
The restaurants in Puerto Vallarta (PV) are amazing! They say there are 250 fine restaurants in PV and I believe it. They have so many chefs that have come from Europe: France and Germany and Switzerland in particular. The good news is there are fabulous restaurants everywhere. The bad news is you can spend a lot of money! The ambiance is amazing. There are wonderful restaurants along the beach in the Zona Romantica in all price ranges. As you move up the hill in El Centro there are so many fine establishments you can literally dine at a new place every evening! The outdoor dining is the mainstay. Most have charming outdoor gardens as well as inside with air conditioning, although this is usually not needed. Several are noted for their sunset views so take advantage of this by making a 6:45 reservation so you are seated for the main event. I may do a posting some day naming some of my favorite restaurants but suffice to say you will eat well. Although prices in the nicest places are similar, if not slightly lower, than an equally nice place in the US, the tip expected is more like 10-15%. But remember, tips are not included in the check in Mexico. By the way to get your check just say La Cuenta, por favor! My husband doesn’t do much Spanish but he definitely has mastered this!
PV has very drinkable water. Their ice is all OK. With the exception of a tiny cantina in an all-Mexican neighborhood or a street vendor you can feel very safe in Puerto Vallarta. They make their money from tourism and they do not take chances. We have never been sick in the four winters we have spent there. On the other hand, I have had food poisoning three times in my home city in the US over the years!
The fresh fish is more often than not, Mahi Mahi. The best is Sea Bass but availability depends n the warmth of the water. The Red Snapper is usually great and if you like it that way you can get it whole. Red snapper is called Huachinango.
Breakfasts are usually inexpensive. You can have toast or tortillas, refried beans or hash browns. I love my eggs scrambled with peppers called Huevos Mexicana. Almost everywhere they have fresh squeezed orange juice, jugos naranja. Of course they also have huevos rancheros, which are more familiar. And the pancakes are the best ever!
ENTERTAINMENT. If you spend the winter in PV, you will end up with guests almost every week. That is what leads to gaining weight and spending lots of money eating out! I already have talked about the cheap produce in an earlier post, but because your friends are just there for a week they want to try all of these fine restaurants you have been raving about! The good news is, less time in the kitchen. The bad news is the waistline expands as the pocketbook shrinks!
Seriously though, there are so many fun things to do. On either Wednesday or Thursday mornings the International Friendship Club sponsors house tours of the finest home around PV. For $30 USD you board a shuttle bus and go to three wonderful venues. Usually one on the beach, one up the hill and one in the city. They never fail to please. You meet at a downtown hotel and it takes about 2-3 hours, dropping you off in time to go lunch. This is not just a girl thing. Lots of guys go as well. Take your camera. These are multi million dollar homes!
Every Wednesday evening about 6:00 is Art Walk. There are probably a dozen galleries open each week with wonderful pieces to thrill any taste. The prices can run quite high although there is something for everyone. There is wine in almost every gallery and one even serves pina coladas! All free, by the way! Some even have appetizers. This is a great thing to do followed by a reservation at one of the wonderful restaurants you will pass along the way. It is also a great way to spot some of the restaurants and shops. Each gallery will have a map of all of the galleries open on the art walk. This is a mainstay for those of us wintering in PV.