USA Today: Top Beach Restaurants


USA Today ranked the “Top Beach Restaurants on Mexico’s Pacific Coast” and several wonderful establishments in Vallarta-Nayarit made the list. See which of your favorite beachfront restaurants in Banderas Bay were selected. USA Today gives us the rundown on these favorite eateries and tells us why they were chosen:

El Dorado Restaurant and Bar – Punta de Mita

Address: Av. Anclote Lote 8 Coral, Punta de Mita, Nayarit, Mexico

A standout eatery on Punta de Mita’s Anclote Beach is El Dorado Restaurant and Bar. For the best view, opt for one of the tables on the ocean-view balcony, especially in the evening, when the sunset puts on a show. If looking for a Nayarit regional dish, try the fish grilled Sarandeado-style, usually red snapper or bream cooked over a smoky wood fire while slathered with chili, limes, mustard, and butter. Bring a bathing suit for a pre-prandial dip; the restaurant has its own outdoor shower right on the beach.

Don Pedros Restaurant and Bar – Sayulita

Address:  Calle Marlin #2, Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico

The surfing town of Sayulita in Riviera Nayarit has often been described as laidback, although presently a more apt description would be “lively.” Sayulita has grown in popularity and now contains an assortment of restaurants. One of the oldest and most popular in town is the beachfront Don Pedro’s Restaurant. It’s grown over the years, keeping pace with the town’s development, and now has a beach patio and bar for those who want to dine with their toes in the sand. The best views can be had from the second floor, although they only open the second floor during peak season or when the first floor is packed. I dined on the first floor and the views of the scene on the beach were fine — everything from surfers catching waves, kids playing along the shoreline, and musicians strumming guitars. The Mexican-style seafood is great, but if a diner is interested in changing things up, Don Pedros also serves wood-fired oven pizzas and mesquite-grilled filet mignon.

El Barracuda – Puerto Vallarta

El Barracuda Restaurant and Bar in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
El Barracuda Restaurant and Bar in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Address: Paraguay 1290, Colonia 5 de Diciembre, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (just steps south of the Sheraton Hotel)

El Barracuda is informal but hip, offering dining right on Playa Camarones (Shrimp Beach) only a few blocks from downtown. Fresh seafood is the main ticket, although they also serve barbequed ribs and steaks for the meat lovers in a group. While the menu is top-heavy with seafood mainstays like fish tacos and ceviche, they also provide dishes that are more unusual, such as garlic octopus, tostadas with smoked marlin, and shrimp burgers. Jettison the cerveza and go for a jalapeno mezcalita, a cocktail prepared with mescal, cucumber, and jalapeno.

La Palapa Restaurant – Puerto Vallarta

Address: Pulpito 105, Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

La Palapa is on the main beach, Playa Los Muertos, right in the middle of the city’s Romantic Zone. The restaurant has been in business for over 50 years and bills itself as the first beachside restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. La Palapa is a great place to catch a sunset over Banderas Bay, accompanied by a live Latin jazz combo. A special touch is the candlelit tables on the beach, which is further lit with tiki torches.

Link to the full USA Today article: