Riviera Nayarit, MEXICO – From charming beachfront restaurants in tiny fishing villages offering authentic Mexican seaside cuisine to elegantly sophisticated gourmet restaurants with international chefs, the dining experience in Mexico’s newest vacation destination, Riviera Nayarit, is a unique fusión of tradition, contemporary innovation and local products. For the visitor, the result is a memorable and intensely flavored adventure in gastronomy.
The roots of Riviera Nayarit’s culinary traditions date back to the 1500’s when La Nao de China, a giant commercial maritime company, began sailing the Pacific Ocean in Spanish galleons from the Philippines and the Orient to the coast of pre-Hispanic Mexico. This flow and exchange of products, ingredients, and produce would provide an important foundation of flavors and seasonings for a dazzling assortment of regional dishes for centuries to come.
No less important, Riviera Nayarit is blessed by an ideal location on the Tropic of Cancer offering the perfect climate for growth – sun, warmth and abundant rain in the summer to nourish fertile soils that produce a bounty of produce. Coconuts, wheat, beans, 14 types of bananas, five of mangoes, sugar cane, and corn – like the incredible 27-inch long variety from Jala – are just the beginning. Offshore from palm-fringed sandy beaches, tiny coves and sweeping bays, the tropical waters teem with red snapper, marlin, grouper, yellow fin tuna, mahi mahi, shrimp and oysters, guaranteeing the freshest of seafood for visitors and residents alike.
With all this to work with, it is easy for Riviera Nayarit’s chefs to prepare a wealth of favorite local dishes. These include “Pescado Sarandeado,” originating on the island of Mexcaltitan. Best with red snapper, this “nahuatl” delicacy is grilled over mangrove wood, served with handmade tortillas on palm leaves with garlic, fresh squeezed lime juice, salt and chiles and adorned with slices of onion, tomato and cucumber. Others include the ancient “Tlaxtihuilli,” a thickened shrimp broth and corn meal; fish “chicharon,” the deep-fried fish skin served as snacks; and enchiladas with oysters and shrimp; exquisite “sopes” or soups; tamales, and the ceviche-like “Aguachile.”
Where to dine in Riviera Nayarit depends on the visitor’s palate, whims or gustatory yearnings. Nuevo Vallarta is the region’s most developed area and offers a broad selection of world-class resorts and, of course, a wide variety of restaurants featuring everything from Sarandeado and “vacio,” a tender Argentinean steak, to cosmopolitan dishes from around the world. In contrast, vacationers can kick back and relax in Bucerias, which offers affordable inns and bed & breakfast lodgings as well as quality restaurants, many by the sea as we;; as some trendy and contemporary spots. ispired by the Mediterranean or Asia.
Punta Mita’s choice of dining experiences lives up to the area’s reputation as Riviera Nayarit’s most luxurious and exclusive resort destination. The variety, for romantic sunset dinners or leisurely lunches, includes chic waterfront establishments, elegant resort restaurants and casual eateries. “Mexiterranean” menus put a new twist on the blend of Mediterranean and Mexican influences, while distinguished chefs like Thierry Blouet of the award-winning, Café des Artistes del Mar or Ricardo Sandoval’s Ketsi, add an exciting hint of celebrity.
San Blas shares a colonial past with its restored fort and the ruins of its ancient cathedral. One of Riviera Nayarit’s finest restaurants, El Delfin at Hotel Garza Canela, is headed by chef Betty Vasquez who studied at The Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Paris and then worked under celebrated chef Juan Mari Arzak of Arzak restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain. Vasquez captures the region’s nuanced gastronomic traditions by using Mexican ingredients fused with classic European cooking techniques.
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, with its luxurious 400-slip marina named “Riviera Nayarit Marina & Yacht Club,” offers a variety of restaurants with choices ranging from regional favorites and fresh seafood tacos to Italian pastas, even authentic German cuisines.
Bohemian Sayulita is a haven for an eclectic mix of surfers, artists and expats and offers a wide variety of bars and restaurants serving everything from Mediterranean specialties with Mexican and Californian influences to Baja-style fish tacos, homemade salsas, guacamole, empanadas, quesadillas and burritos.
The fishing village of San Francisco, also known as San Pancho, is famed for its natural beauty and Polo Club matches which take place between November and May. It also features seaside restaurants serving seafood “caught that morning,” steaks, and local produce.
Rincon de Guayabitos is a tiny unpresuming, utterly charming beach and fishing town. There is only one main street – Avenida del Sol Nuevo – where visitors will find a variety of hotels, shops, restaurants and lively bars. The main attraction is the beach, of course – over a mile and a half of it, lined with alfresco “palapa” restaurants serving seafood fresh from the town’s fishing boats. Among the goods served by the many beach vendors is grilled shrimp.
For more information about the restaurants of Riviera Nayarit, please refer to the attached Sidebar.
About Riviera Nayarit Riviera Nayarit is Mexico’s newest travel destination stretching along 192 miles of pristine Pacific coast framed by spectacular mountains to the north of renowned Puerto Vallarta. Mostly undeveloped, the destination extends along the entire coast of the Pacific state of Nayarit including the resorts of Nuevo Vallarta, the historic, colonial town of San Blas, exclusive Punta Mita and the spectacular Banderas Bay. The region features luxury resorts and eco-tourism boutique hotels, world-renowned surfing, four professional golf courses, rare native wildlife including sea turtles and tropical birds, mountain and island adventures, shopping for local artwork and traditional Huichol handicrafts, charming fishing towns and miles of serene beaches. For more information, visit: www.RivieraNayarit.com.
Angelo’s Specialty: Italian cuisine and steaks Website: www.angelospv.com Address: Paradise Plaza L-J2, 3, 4, Nuevo Vallarta Telephone: (322) 297-6130 Email: email@example.com
Il Pescatore at Paradise Village Resort Specialty: Italian cuisine/seafood dishes Address: Paradise Village Resort, Paseo de los Cocoteros # 1 local 16 int 7, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, 63731 Telephone: (322) 226-6770
La Portena Specialty: Quality steaks, like the “vacio,” a tender Argentinian steak; seafood, homemade pasta dishes Address: Boulevard Nayarit, PTE 250, Nuevo Vallarta Telephone: (322) 297-4950
Tino’s La Laguna Specialty: Seafood Website: www.tinosvallarta.com Address: Km 1,2 on the 2nd entrance to Nuevo Vallarta Telephone: (322) 297-0221
Adauto’s On The Beach Specialty: Seafood (lobster, jumbo shrimps, red snapper, langoustines) Address: Av. Del Pacifico # 11A, Bucerias, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: (329) 298 2790
El Chivero Restaurant & Bar Specialty: Mexican cuisine – Seaside establishment offers breakfast, lunch and dinner Address: Av. Pacifico No. 9, Centro Bucerias, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: (329) 29-806-12
Ecole de Cuisine LeFort Specialty: French cuisine, one of the largest wine cellars in the area Website: www.lefort.com.mx Address: Lázaro Cardenas No. 71-A, Bucerías, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: (329) 298.1532 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark’s Bar & Grill Specialty: Mediterranean with a touch of Asian-inspired flavors Website: www.marksbucerias.com Address: Lazaro Cardenas 56, Bucerias, Bahia de Banderas, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: (329) 298-0303 Email: email@example.com
MezzoGiorno Specialty: Italian cuisine – Beachfront restaurant and two bars. Website: www.mezzogiorno.com.mx Address: Av. Del Pacifico 33, Bucerias, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: (329) 298-0350 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
Marina Riviera Nayarit Specialty: International cuisine Address: La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Tel: 52 (329) 29-555-26
Sky Bar Specialty: Bar with light snacks overlooking Banderas Bay Address: La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Tel: 52 (329) 29-555-26
Aki Samurai House Specialty: Japanese – Restaurant has a third floor palapa offering unimpeded views of the bay Address: Coral 156 Oriente, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Tel: (329) 295-5880
Black Forest Restaurant Specialty: German cuisine Web Page: www.blackforestpv.com Address: Marlin 16 La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Phone number: (329) 295-5203 Email: email@example.com
Frascati Ristorante Specialty: Italian and Mediterranean cuisine – The owner also owns a charming and sophisticated bed & breakfast in town called Villa Bella Website: www.frascativallarta.com Address: Av. Langosta No. 10, esq. Coral, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: (329) 295 61 85 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
La Glorieta Specialty: Seafood, Fish Tacos and chilaquiles Address: Coral 26, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Telephone/Cell: 044 (322) 278-3292
Philo’s Specialty: BBQ ribs and hamburgers Address: Calle Delfin 15, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Telephone: (329) 295-5068
Taco Stands – El Güero De Sinaloa Address: Huachinango, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Specialty: Sinaloa style meat tacos and quesadillas Telephone: N/A
Columba Specialty: Seafood Address: Marlin 14, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: (329) 295-5055
Britannia Bar Specialty: Drinks and bar snacks Address: Coral 68, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: N/A
Miramar Specialty: Seafood (i.e. sarandeado fish Mexican style grilled fish; whole fish, marinated with lime & chilies then grilled over charcoal) Address: La Manzanilla Beach, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: N/A
Don Emerio Specialty: Seafood Address: La Manzanilla Beach, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: N/A
Vista Hermosa Specialty: Seafood Address: La Manzanilla Beach, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: N/A
Sufi Restaurant Specialty: “Mexiterranean” Fusion of Mexican and Mediterranean ingredients Address: Inside the gates of Punta Mita, across from the St. Regis Telephone: (329) 291-6990
Café des Artistes del Mar Specialty: French/Mediterranean with emphasis on using fresh local seafood Website: http://cafedesartistes.com/delmar/index.htm Address: Av. Anclote Lote 5, Block 19 at Hotel Des Artistes del Mar, Punta de Mita, Riviera Nayarit 63734 Telephone: +52 3292915145 Email: email@example.com
Margarita’s Specialty:Seafood/Mexican Address: El Anclote, Punta de Mita Telephone: N/A
Tino’s Specialty: Seafood/Mexican Address: Punta de Mita Telephone: (322) 224-55-84/ (322) 224-55-84 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Si Hay Olitos Specialty: Mexican cuisine Website: http://www.sayulitalife.com/business/sihayolitas.htm Address: Just over the bridge on your left Phone: 52-329-291-3203
Rollie’s Specialty: Mexican/Continental Address: Av. Revolución, 2 blocks west of the main square, Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: (329) 291-3053
Sayulita Fish Tacos Specialty: Mexican (Signature dish is the Baja style fish tacos) Website: http://www.sayulitafishtaco.com/ Address: Calle Jose Mariscol, Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit Telephone: (329) 291-3271 Email: email@example.com
El Delfin Restaurant at the Hotel Garza Canela Specialty: French with Mexican influences and ingredients Website: www.garzacanela.com Address: Paredes #106 Sur, San Blas, Riviera Nayarit 63740 Telephone: (323) 285-0112 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Pancho a.k.a. San Francisco
Mar Plata Restaurant (only open during winter season) Specialty: Seafood and steak Address: Hotel Cielo Rojo ,Calle de Palmas 30, Col. Costa Azul, San Francisco, Riviera Nayarit Tel: 52-311-258-4425
Café del Mar Specialty: International cuisine Address: China no. 9, San Francisco, Riviera Nayarit Tel: 52-311-258-4251
Rincon de Guayabitos
Vista Guayabitos, Restaurant & Bar Specialty: International, Seafood Address: Carr. a Los Ayala Km. 1.5, Rincón de Guayabitos Phone: (327) 274-2589 Website: www.vistaguayabitos.com