The restaurant scene in Puerto Vallarta is world-renown. It attracts some of the biggest foodies from around the world and you’ll find legacy chefs setting up shop here to get in on industry. While there is culinary talent in just about every restaurant, there are numerous high-end eateries that really stand out in the crowd. If you’re looking to try the best of the best and tantalize your palate, you’ll want to visit at least one of these top-notch restaurants while you stay in Puerto Vallarta.
Trio is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that has bright décor, hand-painted features and a courtyard that is serene. It’s an artsy, romantic spot that picks up speed just after 7:00pm.
Atmosphere: This restaurant sits on a quiet street and features three separate floors. It may look family-owned and quaint, but it is nothing short of high-end elegance. Inside you’ll feel as though you left Puerto Vallarta and went back to Rome. There is art adorning the walls, hand-painted stained glass and tropical plants just about everywhere you turn.
Food: The menu is Italian with a Mexican kick and includes some of those famous Mediterranean dishes like Carpaccio and antipasto. The kitchen is operated by head chefs and owners Bernhard Guth and Ulf Henriksson. The restaurant takes advantage of being close to the water by including a lot of fresh seafood dishes in their menu – utilizing what is caught in the waters just outside the restaurant.
Service: The service staff is there and ready to please. They try to keep with the Old World feel of Italy by giving diners as much space as possible – but they will check in on you from time to time to make sure there isn’t anything else you need. You may even get a personal visit from the chef to make sure your dish is perfect.
This is a flagship restaurant of Garza Blanca luxury resort. It features breathtaking ocean views and a sophisticated European-style menu and comprehensive wine menu.
Atmosphere: Blanca Blue features a magnificent dining room with big flower arrangements and large glass windows that allow you to overlook Banderas Bay. The space is all about high drama and on a warm night, you can dine out on the balcony and enjoy the view. Once the sun goes down, the restaurant lights the tiki torches around the property and candles to make it the ultimate romantic restaurant getaway.
Food: The cuisine here is highly inventive and features a more contemporary Mediterranean line up of dishes. They use a lot of locally-sourced foods, including organic fruits and vegetables. The entrees are earthy and light.
Service: The service staff is a lot more interactive than Trio, and highly formal. They do have bilingual staff that speaks Spanish and English.
Kaiser Maximillian features an Austrian-themed menu right in the heart of Mexico. You’ll find comfort dishes, hearty entrees and specialties that restaurants in the area can only dream about. They even have an espresso bar where you can get a shot of Old World-style caffeine.
Atmosphere: You’ll feel as though you have stepped into Old Vienna even though you’re in the middle of Mexico. Meals are presented as though they are works of art and served upon white linen tables in a very sophisticated dining room.
Food: Food here is strictly Austrian - and there is no Mexican flare. You’ll find classic dishes like Wienerschnitzel, polenta, duck breast and even roasted rabbit. Everything is presented as though it was meant for display and not eating. And, the food is so rich in flavor you’ll feel like you’re on a culinary journey.
Café des Artistes
This is one of Puerto Vallarta’s most elegant dining experiences. It’s a quaint French restaurant that sits up on a hill and overlooks Centro.
Atmosphere: This restaurant is all about paying homage to Old World France. The dining room is romantic, fancy and whimsical. The wait staff is dressed elegantly and speaks multiple languages. When you enter, you’ll see a mixture of French design and Latin flare. Overall, the interior is very charming, welcoming and fun.
Food: The food is a unique combination of Latin and French techniques. Chef Thierry Blouet, a founder of the Gourmet Festival, creates a menu that is French-inspired and kicked up with Latin flavors. Their most popular dish, the confit duck chilaquiles is just an example of how unique fusion cooking can be. Other popular dishes include the soufflé Chilean sea bass with a tequila sauce and the scallop Carpaccio with sea asparagus and chiles.
Hacienda San Angel Gourmet
Last but certainly not least is the Hacienda San Angel Gourmet. This restaurant used to only be open to the guests of the luxury Hacienda San Angel resort, but now it is open to the public. It features European elegance with Mexican specialties.
Chef Eduardo Michaga Lucero creates some of the most unique dishes, blending Mexican and European cooking techniques. The atmosphere of the restaurant is very elegant, including the white tablecloths, crystal chandeliers, and even the hand-etched glasses. You’ll have a picturesque view of the sea while you’re dining and the restaurant is very open - allowing the sea breeze to creep in and freshen the place up.
Puerto Vallarta has some of the best restaurants in the world. Whether you’re looking for fusion cooking or fine French dining, there is certainly an eatery to suit your tastes, style and budget.