There are over 900 registered restaurants in and around Puerto Vallarta. You have almost every culinary choice under the sun to choose from, from Mexican to Asian, Indian, German, Austrian, International, to traditional down-home American favorites, and everything in between. The most difficult part of your entire vacation may be deciding where to eat.
Where to Eat?
When you ask your hotel, taxi driver or tour rep where to eat, you may get a recommendation that isn't always the best choice. Often, these people receive a commission for sending clients to a specific restaurant. Be careful if they give you a recommendation along with a coupon or card with their name on it. While chances are that it is a good restaurant, there is likely more to it than an objectively honest recommendation.
Ask your Peers
The best bet for dining out, if you don’t already have a list of places you want to try, is to ask fellow travelers, and see what they have already tried and highly recommend. You can also go in search of unbiased restaurant reviews before you travel. While any restaurant can have an off night, the truly great ones stay on top because they strive for consistency.
Most popular restaurants have a loyal clientele and are therefore usually filled with happy diners. This criteria should be used when choosing a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. The best rule of thumb, look for many diners, clean surroundings, and attentive staff. Almost every restaurant posts their menu outside of the restaurant so diners can decide if the menu and pricing appeal to them.
Things to Know
The majority of restaurants here go to great lengths to use only purified water and sanitize the produce. Since restaurant chains are not the norm in Mexico, individual restauranteurs must strive to make a name for their restaurant and adhering to good food safety and sanitation is crucial. No sensible restaurateur will sabotage his livelihood by cutting a few corners sanitizing fresh fruit and vegetables. It is hardly the best way to guarantee return customers.
Food Safety and Sanitation
Many people are under the mistaken impression that only the food at THEIR hotel is safe and everything else is questionalble. While standards do vary greatly from hotel to hotel, buffet food always presents the biggest challenge to maintain a consistently safe range of hot and cold food serving temperatures. This food often remains on display uncovered for the several hours throughout the breakfast or dinner serving period. This is why buffets are a very common source of food borne illnesses. If you don't usually eat from a buffet three times a day, seven days a week at home, then why would you settle for this during your vacation.