Guests of the Four Seasons rave about the excellent food and service at Aramara and swear a dinner here should not be missed. The chef has toured extensively in Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong, and his menu features a Latin American-Asian fusion. In addition to the terrace and indoor areas, there is also a small private room and a bar. Aramara is open only for dinner and features a live band six nights per week.
The more casual of the Four Seasons’ two dinner restaurants, Bahía is a great pick both for guests of the resort and travelers staying elsewhere. The menu focuses on fresh seafood and meat cooked on an open grill visible from the dining area and served with a selection of sauces. My husband raved about the freshly grilled catch of the day, but my favorite was the tangy ceviche appetizer. Reserve one of the front tables, where you dine with your toes in the sand. Bahía also offers a children’s menu.
Located on the main drag in Sayulita, Barracuda has four small lunch tables where patrons can order fresh ceviche, fish tacos and delicious margaritas. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a spontaneous performance by locals, who often sing and dance across the street from the restaurant.
One of only a few restaurants in Mexico with an AAA Five Diamond Award, the St. Regis’s most formal restaurant is an excellent option for a big night out in Punta Mita. The seafood-heavy menu features local ingredients prepared in a Mediterranean style, white tablecloths and romantic, candlelit atmosphere that’s ideal for couples. Ask for a table on the terrace, which has great sea views.
Eating a Choco Banana is as much a Sayulita experience as catching a wave or downing a fish taco. Served to hungry surfers since 1991, the treat is divinely simple: a frozen banana dipped in chocolate and served cold. Anyone in the town can point you to this ramshackle patio on the main plaza. Buy one of their signature treats the moment you arrive in Sayulita, because you’ll probably want another before you depart.
This popular marisqueria or seafood restaurant on a sandy beach in Puerto Vallarta has some of the best tacos you’ll ever taste. There are six types of shrimp tacos, from the classic shrimp pastor to a shrimp and spicy sausage combo, plus a range of fish, octopus and steak options. Dine with your feet in the sand, and with a beer in hand, enjoy the sunset with the locals.
Located at the edge of town, La Esperanza is an all-day wellness restaurant. The entryway features a beautiful blue-tiled counter, and there is a dramatic painting of a Huichol woman on one wall. Owned by an Australian ex-pat, the eatery serves quinoa bowls, kombucha, smoothies and delicious breakfast dishes. A friendly staff emulates the easygoing nature of the town.
One of few modern restaurants in downtown Sayulita, La Rústica serves wood-fired pizzas, coffee and delicious cocktails in their charming, al fresco patio. If you tire of Mexican fare, La Rústica offers a delicious break from the traditional regional cuisine.
This casual beachfront restaurant in the town of Punta de Mita is a good choice for local seafood.
Mary’s Fish Tacos
Don’t let Mary’s menu or location in the heart of town fool you; this classic restaurant is not a tourist trap. Home to some of the best fish tacos in town, Mary’s is a must-visit. Their staple dish can be enjoyed indoors or at their al fresco lunch counters.
Sayulita Fish Taco
This small restaurant and tequila bar serves a full menu, but what it’s best known for is its fish tacos. Don’t miss trying them.
Should you tire of Mexican food during your visit, book at table at Sea Breeze, the California-style bistro at the St. Regis. The lunch menu features fresh salads and sandwiches, most prepared with organic ingredients, while at dinner you’ll find simple and healthy grilled-fish dishes, plus a few steaks for those who are also weary of sea fare. Although hedges partially block the water views, the coolness of the air-conditioned interior dining room, nicely decorated with white tablecloths and comfortable wicker chairs, can outweigh the need for gazing at the sea.