Puerto Vallarta's Best Restaurants

 

By Taylor Wade
Writer for Ambiance Matchmaking

People come from all over the world to open restaurants and seaside cafes in Puerto Vallarta. You can find Italian–Argentine gastronomic infusions, French cuisine, and of course, traditional Mexican classics inspired by local ingredients and flavors. However, any seasoned dater knows that picking your first date restaurant is not all about the food. It also needs the right ambiance. Follow our guide to ensure your date night goes perfectly as planned!

El Mole de Jovita

As the name suggests, El Mole de Jovita is known for its “amazing mole” which is evident in its 139 razing reviews. You can even sample an array of mole sauces before ordering. You feel like home here, with its charming and attentive owner, who is bound to come out and explain the origins of his mole based on his mothers recipes.
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La Traviata

The perfect place for a pizza and wine date. La Traviata is a rooftop restaurant located inside the Paloma del Mar Hotel, equipped with scenic views of Puerto Vallarta and a romantic vibe. The service may be slow, but you can easily pass the time trying one of their top-notch bottles of wine. They offer wood-oven thin-crust pizza, pastas, and fresh fish. The food will not disappoint! Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available.
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Meño’s Place

From the creators of La Traviata comes Meño’s Place. This time with classic Mexican cuisine, such as enchiladas, quesadillas, Chile relleno, arrachera, panella and guacamole, and fresh seafood such as ceviche, marlin tacos, and seafood soup with delicious octopus. This open-air rooftop restaurant is situated uphill in an authentic Mexican neighborhood, away from the tourist traps. Worth a visit. Don’t forget to try one of their cocktails!
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La Madalena

La Madalena offers contemporary Mexican cuisine with a modern and contemporary interior to match. Start by ordering one of their hand-crafted cocktails and homemade guacamole, made in front of your table. You can find pretty much anything your heart desires – octopus chicharrones, tomahawk steak seared in tequila, shrimp ceviche, tuna tacos, scallops, you name it. While the large TV screens playing live concerts could be distracting on a first date, opt for their outdoor patio seating which even has plush leather couches.
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Florios Vallarta

Four words; Italian–Argentine gastronomic infusion! We love how an Italian and Argentine decided to combine their passion for culture and cuisine and bring it to Puerto Vallarta. Each dish preserves its homemade and artisanal touch based on natural products and ingredients. That’s not all we love. Just looking at the restaurant makes you want to live there. Florios Vallarta is located inside the old house of the first Municipal President of Puerto Vallarta during the 1920s. Come enjoy the environment, architecture, music, and homemade, international cuisine!
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Di Vino Dante

The owner, Gena Guarniere, founded Di Vino Dante in 2013, a wine bar that focuses primarily on Mexican and Latin American wine, along with international and mediterranean cuisine. Cocktails and beer also available. It’s located directly above the largest art gallery in Puerto Vallarta which makes a great dinner, wine, and art date. Take your seat in the courtyard balcony and you’ll have a view of the art gallery, or the front balcony with views of the bustling streets and people. We describe it as elegant yet casual, and most importantly, damn romantic.
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Haciendo San Angel

Claiming to be one of the world’s most elegant and romantic boutique luxury hotels, well, we kinda agree. This is the kind of place where you use adjectives such as nestled, charming, lush, intimate, breathtaking, and sophisticated. Richard Burton purchased the Hacienda’s main villa as a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife in 1977, after falling in love with Puerto Vallarta as he filmed The Night of the Iguana in the 1960’s. You are surrounded by Mexican Colonial architecture, turn-of-the-century furnishings, views of Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral, three pools, an open air wedding chapel (!!!), and two rooftop fine dine restaurants, including Hacienda San Angel Gourmet, and La Cappella Italian Restaurant.
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Café Des Artistes

Café Des Artistes is a beautifully adorned and elegant restaurant serving Puerto Vallarta international cuisine for over 27 years.The acclaimed Chef Thierry Blouet specializes in French and Mexican cuisine. This extremely romantic restaurant is perfect for an anniversary or other special event. As Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes puts it, “At Café Des Artistes, every dish is an art-masterpiece, and every art masterpiece feeds the spirit.”
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Miriam’s Sauce & Spirits

This place breathes Mexican life into you! The cocktails are made from scratch, inspired by the flavors of Mexico or using seasonal produce such as guanabana, maracuyá and mango. The food is prepared with fresh local ingredients; ceviche is made with catch of the day, and the naturally blue corn totopos and tostadas are sourced from a farmer south of town. Looking for a more unique date? Hit up their happy hour class every Thursday from 3-5pm, and learn how to make traditional Mexican sauces and cocktails, including their famous Miriam’s Margarita!
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El Palomar de los González

El Palomar de Los Gonzalez mixes American, Spanish and Mexican cuisine using the highest quality of beef and seafood. It’s a family operated traditional Mexican restaurant founded in 1987 and nestled on a hilltop in old town Puerto Vallarta. This place get bonus points for a romantic atmosphere and panoramic views of old town Vallarta and Banderas Bay.
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Restaurante Icú

The owner and chef at Restaurante Icú knows how to deliver a culinary experience. Choose the creative five course tasting menu with pairings, which is sure to surprise the senses. Chardonnay with beets, golden ale with tamale soup, and mezcal with dessert, just to name a few. The space is completely indoors with no windows, yet spacious and furnished with beautiful wood. Perfect for food adventures!
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La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita is a traditional Italian restaurant located in the famous Malecón area of Puerto Vallarta. Reserve your date in the outdoor garden and choose from a variety of salads, wood oven pizzas, pastas, meat, chicken or fish. And don’t forget about the extensive wine cellar! You can now check out its new location in Nuevo Vallarta.
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Tre Piatti

Tre Piatti is an Italian restaurant in the heart of the Zona Romantica in Puerto Vallarta. The interior is beautifully decorated with artwork and the patio has two 120 year old enormous mango trees between tables. The name “Tre Piatti” derives from their seasonal menu that offers three options in each section. Chef Chanan personally forages for the ingredients to be used in their dishes. Would you expect any less from the husband and wife team who worked in Michelin starred restaurants in Italy, San Francisco and New York?
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Barrio Bistro

Chef Guillermo Wulff brings 20 years of gastronomic experience to his restaurant Barrio Bistro. Each dish uses ingredients harvested on his ranch or in the region, and is always prepared with techniques acquired through his years in the kitchen but always with a Mexican "flair.” "Memo" Wulff, a native to Puerto Vallarta, continues to promote the regions cuisine through events such as Food and Wine in Aspen Colorado, Flavor of the Senses at Epcot Center in Orlando Florida, the Puerto Vallarta Gourmet Festival and cooked in New York at The James Beard Foundation. Chef Memo has two new projects, "Del Rancho a su mesa" and "Barrio Farm Project," where he involves the community and promotes 100% sustainable projects.
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