Don’t good food experiences just make a vacation SO much better? On these sorts of trips (staying in an Airbnb – read more about this here), we tend to buy groceries for breakfasts and lunches, and then treat ourselves to evening meals out. We were blown away by how good the food options were in Sayuilta. Prices are shown in Mexican pesos and US$. Oh, make sure you have PESOS!! We weren’t able to pay by card anywhere in town.
Tacón de Marlin was recommended to us by the guys at our car rental place, Gecko (read more about this here). We’d had an early morning flight from Chicago to Puerto Vallarta and were all really hungry. We wanted to grab some food before we set off for Sayulita.
This place is DEFINITELY worth a stop; we came here on the way back to the airport too! The food was fresh, incredibly tasty, stuffed with seafood … and all at a great price.
A huge seafood burrito and a soft drink = 130 pesos ($5.50)
We went to La Malagueña on our first night in Sayulita. It is right on the main square, overlooking the streets and plaza. This place is pretty new, apparently, and the décor is definitely ‘what tourists think a Mexican restaurant should look like’. The food was much better than I was expecting (better than the cocktails) and it is a great place to soak up the atmosphere and people watch.
Cocktail = 140 pesos ($5.90), Eggplant involtini = 180 pesos ($7.50)
La Rustica is well known and loved in Sayulita, and it’s clear why. The décor and ambiance is incredible, as are the food and drinks. I can’t speak highly enough of this place. We came here on a day trip from Bucerías a few years ago and still talk about it – in fact, it might have been a factor when choosing where we wanted to stay on this year’s Mexico trip. Their pizzas really are that good!
Large pizza = 260 pesos ($11), pasta = 210 pesos ($8.80). I split a pizza and pasta dish with my friend Amy, plus a cocktail = 510 pesos ($21.50)
Sayulita Cafe is on the main drag in town. Although I didn’t love the décor as much as other places, this was probably our favorite restaurant in terms of food. My friends raved about the mango margaritas (better than the regular margarita, apparently). John had the Aztec Molcajete (which is the ancient pestle and mortar type bowl this dish is served in), which was a volcanic, spicy broth with meat, peppers and cheese overflowing the sides. He couldn’t stop raving about it.
I had the whole red snapper, which was quite possibly the best fish I’ve ever eaten in my life.
Our other friends had mole chicken, and fajitas. Everyone really enjoyed what they ordered.
My total was 280 pesos / $11.80 (I just drank water). The others had two cocktails each and paid around 400 pesos ($16.80) each.
Pizza Venezia is slightly out of town, closer to where we were staying. It is still easy walking distance from the town centre. We sat on a table in the street and enjoyed people watching and street performers.
We had read that the pizzas take a while to make, so foolishly ordered some garlic bread pizzas to start. They were yummy but our pizzas came out almost immediately afterwards, and of course I had ordered the jumbo pizza – whoops. I think I managed one slice.
They don’t serve alcohol but told us we could buy wine from the shop around the corner, which we did!
Jumbo pizza = 260 pesos ($11), regular pizza = 18 pesos ($7.50), garlic bread pizza = 70 pesos ($3)
My friends ate at Mary’s, a Sayulita institution, one night when I was exhausted after a boat trip and decided to stay home and crash (and eat my leftover Pizza Venezia pizza!). They really liked it, they said the food was great, but that overall they preferred Sayulita Cafe.
We ate at Barracuda on our penultimate night – we loved the space and décor, and the live music across the street. The food was also excellent. We shared some apps of ceviche, tuna sashimi and avocado bruschetta. I had some kind of pulpo/octopus dish, which was delicious. Amy tried the Molcajete, which was more seafood based than John’s had been, incredibly tasty, but I think she would have preferred more spice (she has a much higher spice tolerance than us!). John really enjoyed his Mole mahi-mahi. The others were a bit boring and had chicken pasta, which they said was alright. Well, that’s what happens when you order boring food.
Pasta with bottles of water = 220 pesos ($9.30), shared apps and my pulpo dish with water = 485 pesos ($20.40)
On our last night, we tried Emiliano’s, down the street from La Rustica and across from Sayulita Cafe. We sat out on the street again, and again enjoyed ridiculously good food. Lots of us had the red snapper, which was amazing, with delicious, fresh sides of rice, frijoles, guacamole and salsa. Andy had the fajitas (boring), but he said they were great.
I must also mention this gelateria. Whilst I never tried the treats (I know, who even am I?!), probably due to those jumbo pizzas, we stopped here most nights after dinner for the others to get a few scoops of gelati.
It looked delicious and was fun to sit at the sidewalk tables and watch everyone take insta-photos under the papel picado!
As I mentioned in my Sayulita overview, the level of English spoken in town was exceptionally high. Menus were provided in English, the waiters spoke fluent English (although they seemed to enjoy our efforts in Spanish), and were just so lovely and friendly and jokey. They made the whole experience even better. The prices above don’t tend to include tips, but we were sure to tip generously.
Overall, I think you can’t go wrong with restaurants in Sayulita. They were all pretty amazing. Living in Chicago, we are very lucky to have a pretty amazing food scene. This makes us quite exacting when we try restaurants elsewhere. Sayulita definitely impressed. We are also used to paying quite high prices for food here – a normal meal out, with a few drinks, can cost anywhere from $50-75. So, these prices we were paying didn’t seem exorbitant. I find it useful to include costs as everyone has different budgets and different ideas of what is acceptable to pay. For the quality of food and drink, I think Sayulita is exceptional value for money!