**Updated May 2017
We’ve been living in Sayulita, Mexico (just outside Puerto Vallarta) for almost a month now, and I’ve been slowly growing my list of favorite bites. A foodie hit list if you will. My friends Valerie and Hope arrive today and I have decided to dedicate this post to them – a Scavenger Hunt of Deliciousness – to ensure they taste every amazing morsel in this magical little Mexican village.
1. Tacos Mary’s Way
There’s so much to love about Mary’s. The wooden sidewalk lunch counter, the frozen limeade on a sweltering day, the enormous plate of fresh guacamole…but the Tacos de Camarones Mary’s Way don’t mess around. Shrimp, roasted poblano peppers, melted cheese (optional), and fresh avocado. Doctor those bad boys up with an assortment of delightful salsas provided and you’re in business. I’ve heard the chile relleno is amazing too!
2. Nady’s Agua Frescas
Nady’s is a popular spot, with few places to sit. You can eat on the sidewalk, sit on the corner or take it to go (which you would never do since it’s packaged in styrofoam). Best meal for the value in Sayulita in my book with great options for vegetarians. I’m partial to the tacos with chicken chipotle or pork with squash, but the aqua frescas are to die for. Splurge on the grande, you’re worth it.
3. Falafel & Friends
Because you can’t eat tacos every meal, right? Get the vegetarian falafel, the one in the traditional pita, not the wrap. Somehow the wrap is so subpar it ruins everything in a soggy sort of way. Smother that sucker with tahini and hot sauce, and be sure to get the mint limeade as big as your head.
4. Spicy Tuna Tostada – El Break
Holy amazingness. This blew my mind. Two tostadas and an order of guacamole para compartir and you’re in heaven. Smoothies are good too (I’m partial to piña, guayaba, banana y agua). I’ve had people stop on the sidewalk to ask me what I’m eating, it looks THAT good. This may be my favorite bite in Sayulita. Coco Frio pairing optional.
5. Wakika Heladeria
Popsicle insanity! Fresh, healthy, creative. Pineapple-Basil! Mango-Chile! Or straight up fresh coconut…this place is the bomb. Dozens of flavors to choose from. Milk or coconut water based. I eat one every day.
UPDATE: I’ve recently discovered a rival! Paletas la Reinita near the beach, try the Prosecco and Peach. Speechless.
6. Tacos Ivan – The late night street taco
To be eaten after 10pm with a good buzz. Located in front of the butcher shop right before the bridge on the left. It’s a cart with some tables and chairs. There’s a big slab of pork on the vertical rotisserie, shawarma style. You tell them how many. The guy hacks off some pork into a taco and then with one elegant motion, hacks off a slice of the pineapple above it you didn’t even notice before, leans back and catches the pineapple in the tortilla. BOOM! Sprinkle some onions and cilantro on top. Viva Mexico Cabrones! At 12 pesos a pop (< $1) you’ll go back for thirds.
7. Coffee on the Corner
My daily stop. Best coffee in town. The owner is the sweetest man. Stay for breakfast too!
8. La Princesa Pizza at Rustica
Val and I don’t dig on cow cheese. They made this one for me with goat. Pesto, sundried tomatoes, olives, arugula, balsamic glaze…D-LISH! Pasta’s look good too and waiter’s are super friendly. If you’re in the mood ask for the jalapeño margarita, it won the Public House “Best Margarita” contest last year.
9. Tamales from the Tamale lady
When you’re sitting on the beach and you hear “Tomales?”. Say yes. ’nuff said.
..and then there’s Drinks
Margaritas on the Beach
Las Sirenas Beach Club, best margarita in town in my humble opinion. Relax in a lounge chair and sip this secret recipe that’s perfectly tart while you watch the surfers rip by.
Mojitos at El Patio
Lovely setting, awesome menu (try the ceviche) and beautifully made cocktails right on the beach. I love the classic mojito but the margs are great too. Be sure to try a Paleta at La Reinita on your way!
Drinks on the plaza Public House
Multi-level, great bartenders (tell Estaban we sent you!), lots of locals, great bar menu and right in the heart of it all.
House made Tequila at Cava
My most recent discovery and possibly favorite hole in the wall. Cava is a little strip of a bar with fabulous house made tequila you can buy in beautiful bottles, and a great vibe.
Craft Beer at Palmar Trapiche
The only beer garden in Sayulita. This tranquil setting boasts the largest craft beer menu in town. They often host drink-for-a-cause to raise money for local schools and animal shelters which I find awesome.
But wait! There’s more…
- Esperanza’s for breakfast lunch or dinner, the quinoa salad with goat cheese and roasted beets….
- Golden Latte at North Side Cafe
- Scallop Sushi or Bouillabaisse at Don Pedro’s
- Ceviche at El Nono
- Acai bowls at El Fortín
- Sashimi at Aloha
All I can say is thank goodness I’m as enthusiastic about surfing these days as I am about eating. Sayulita, I love you!