PV Cuisine hits the mark in both gourmet and street food offerings

I had the pleasure of spending some time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and was thrilled at the variety of culinary offerings you encounter when exploring Puerto Vallarta cuisine. Whether you’re experiencing gourmet dining in one of the fine restaurants you’ll find in PV or enjoying a culinary creation served at one of the street-side vendors or cafes, you will find great food. Search the hashtag #PVCuisine and you will be amazed at the abundance of information to whet your appetite!

exploring PV Cuisine

We took a Foodie Walking Tour with Vallarta Food Tours in the El Pitillal neighbourhood of PV. Vallarta Food Tours has a 5-star rating on Trip Advisor and I support that rating. The husband and wife team of Paul Mayer and Lindsay Prime run the company and are friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating. Without question, my favourite food item on the walking tour was the seafood tostada we had at Pichis.  It only cost around $3.50 USD and came with soup. The tostada was piled high with the most tender octopus I’ve ever had, along with local shrimp and avocado and freshly-made salsa.


The seafood tostada at Pichis Mexican Seafood is delicious, and a steal at the price of 35 Mexican pesos.

Other specialties we enjoyed during the walking tour included the carnitas (BBQ’d pulled pork on a tostada), watching fresh tamales being made by a group of ladies, being refreshed by a fresh fruit cup, and a visit to the local candy shop, where we saw pecans being candied and tasted a delicious freshly-made coconut candy roll. There was superb variety of authentic Mexican taste treats on the tour, which lasts three hours and leaves you with the true flavour of Puerto Vallarta without spending a wad of cash. The tours cost $49 USD per person and are worth every penny.


This group of ladies makes eight different varieties of authentic Mexican tamales from corn husks stuffed with a variety of fillings. We tried the pork with beans tamale.

If money is no object and you’re looking for the high-end of PV’s culinary offerings, there are many excellent restaurants, each with its own specialty or unique ambiance. Of the variety we tried, I enjoyed La Leche the most for several reasons. The decor is striking. The exterior is white and black, reminding you of cows–which is where “la leche” (or milk) comes from. The interior of this trendy restaurant is all white, and colour accents are used for different occasions throughout the year.


Innovation is key at La Leche, a truly unique restaurant offering the best of PV Cuisine and rated one of the top seven restaurants in all of Mexico.

the best of Puerto Vallarta cuisine

We were treated to a seven-course meal at La Leche, which included this amazing menu: Fresh-caught yellow tail tuna (raw), Beef carpaccio, vegetable soup, octopus with risotto, veal with handmade tortilla, La Leche duck (specialty of the house), and a dessert that made this chocolate lover swoon–a flourless brownie served with nuts, popcorn, and ice-cream. I enjoyed every course, the ambiance, and especially meeting the founding chef/owner Nacho, who now serves as the front man for the restaurant, circulating throughout the dining room and speaking with customers while his son works culinary wonders in the kitchen.


The very personable Nacho is the founder and inspiration behind La Leche.

I also loved the Vista Grill for its scenic vistas and chic ambiance, the River Cafe for its amazing art collection and terrific tasting menu, Gaby’s for its outdoor patio that offers great views of the town while enjoying both dark and light moles, cold beer, and a shot of tequila as a chaser.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea! You will never be bored or disappointed with the selection of restaurants and eating establishments in Puerto Vallarta. If you’re on a tight budget, you can still eat well for $5 a meal. And if you’re looking for memorable world class gourmet cuisine, you’ll find that, too.

Each November, PV hosts the International Gourmet Festival — an event I’d love to check out! Puerto Vallarta cuisine is guaranteed to please the gourmand, no matter what your preference. And there are some good chocolate options, too! 🙂

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

55 Responses

  1. Daniel A. Adams says:

    Enjoyed reading this article about cuisine in Puerto Vallarta. It really explains everything in detail and the article is very interesting and useful for my next trip. Thank you and good luck in the upcoming articles.

  2. Martin says:

    Very informative page. You’ve offered some awesome tips. Thanks for the helpful article. I really appreciate it. I love your site. Thank you so much for the great info you share with us on the world of chocolate and your chocolate travels.

  3. Elly Camron says:

    This content about Puerto Vallarta cuisine is very helpful for me. Thanks very much for sharing.

  4. Great post. Thanks for the info. I’m going to PV in December.

  5. ahhh, yes, Mexican food is delicious! Dare I say it…the best int he Americas?! It looks like you have lots of options in PV.
    Kimberly Erin recently posted…9 Beautiful Beaches in Central America to keep your eyes onMy Profile

  6. The decor of La Leche is stunning! I still haven’t done a food walking tour yet! We tried in Toronto but they didn’t correspond with our days. I don’t think I’d been good at on in Mexico being a hater of cilantro/coriander!
    Gemma Two Scots Abroad recently posted…Rockies’ Lakes, Glaciers & Polar Bears?My Profile

  7. Doreen says:

    Thx to everyone for your latest comments. If you liked this post, stay tuned for today’s look at the best chocolate in Puerto Vallarta!
    Doreen recently posted…bronze sculptures of the maleconMy Profile

  8. Tracie says:

    I have never had the pleasure of visiting Puerto Vallarta, but now I know what to do when I get there! Thanks for sharing, Doreen!
    Tracie recently posted…Granite Gear Packable Duffel reviewMy Profile

  9. Catarina says:

    Your article really makes me hungry. The tostada looks delicious and I would love to be in Puerto Vallarta trying out the gourmet food on offering.
    Catarina recently posted…What’s your strategy?My Profile

  10. Karla says:

    I love being in a place where there are a lot of options for restaurants. This is great 🙂
    Karla recently posted…High Flying For A Day With Heliservices Hong KongMy Profile

  11. Elizabeth says:

    The meal at La Leche sounds really nice. I love some of these opportunities when you travel – a great way to taste a lot of things. And the international Gourmet Festival sounds great, I might have to time a visit to go to that!
    Elizabeth recently posted…7 Things to Do when Visiting Ho Chi Minh City for the First TimeMy Profile

  12. Kire Sdyor says:

    Love the concept of a food tour. Just the thought of street food and carnitas has me calculating the hours until my dinner. Thanks.
    Kire Sdyor recently posted…It was Such a Big List, I Began to ListMy Profile

  13. the food look so yummy. Love the deco and all.
    I love seafood as well. Love the way you described your experience.
    Thanks for taking us along. Now I,m hungry LOL
    Thanks for the tips

  14. This all sounds good to me! …. 7 courses? Yes please! 🙂
    Love street food too. We’ve just been in Mykonos and the street food was definitely the best. Loved this series, Doreen. Really enjoyed each post 🙂
    Gabby | The Globe Wanderers recently posted…Getting Our Royal On at Windsor CastleMy Profile

  15. The last time I visited PV was when I attended college. I got food poisoning, so don’t have fond memories of delightful dining. I know there’s eating in mexico and there’s “eating ” in Mexico. Nothing I ate looked a fresh as the food on your plate. It sounds like wonderful and so affordable. I’m so close and they have great fares from LA. I may look into having a different experience.
    Pamela Chollet recently posted…The Temperament Categories for ChildrenMy Profile

    • Hi Pamela. Absolutely give PV another try. I, too, had had food poisoning there many years ago, and it took me a long while to get back. But I’m SO glad I did. The food and experiences I had were amazing on this year’s trip.

  16. Erica says:

    I’ve never been to PV, but I definitely would enjoy having a nice meal for just $5. The walking tour sounded fun and decadent and something worth taking advantage of if you’re in that part of the world.
    Erica recently posted…The Top 5 Sweeteners for Good HealthMy Profile

  17. Erin says:

    Oh yum! I’m hungry now and craving seafood! 🙂
    Erin recently posted…If You Love Animals, Then You’ll Love This Pet BakeryMy Profile

  18. Ken Dowell says:

    I’m feeling full just from reading your description of that seven-course meal. I’m sure that would be the last thing I did that day.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…Advertising: The Big FailMy Profile

  19. Oh wow it sounds incredible. I would love to go to the international gourmet festival especially in PV. That would be quite the trip. I didn’t realize PV had so much to offer.
    Susan cooper recently posted…Homemade Ricotta Cheese: #RecipeMy Profile

  20. Another great post.
    You vividly described the food and the location. Will be something I want to experience both someday.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.
    William Rusho recently posted…World’s Largest Garage Sale/Albany Comic ConMy Profile

  21. Oh my that seafood tostada looks marvelous! What a lovely series on PV you’ve shared with us Doreen, it must have been a wonderful trip and such a memorable experience.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…What Will Your Legacy to Life Be?My Profile

  22. It sure looks as if Puerto Vallarta has a lot to offer for food lovers. The food tour sounds like fun. I like trying a variety of restaurants when travelling. I haven’t been to Puerto Vallarta yet, but maybe soon.
    Donna Janke recently posted…Canadian Museum for Human RightsMy Profile

  23. Sounds amazing as octopus is usually very chewy. I now want a seafood tostada!

  24. I also had the best food while I was in PV, but this food tour sounds fantastic! I’ll bookmark this for the next time I’m there. Great post Doreen.
    Kathy Andrew recently posted…Lack of fREADom Sucks…No More Banned #BooksMy Profile

  25. No doubt about it, the food in PV is wonderful – both street and gourmet. I haven’t been to La Leche but definitely will go next time i visit. Great pictures!
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…Customer Feedback is Priceless!My Profile

  26. Thanks for the great tips!

  27. Linda Paul says:

    I’d be as big as a house with a delish regime like that! When you’re scouting these food delights, do you ever search for the food the real people eat? These dishes all sound wonderful, but obviously catered to the tourist palate. I always feel like you don’t know a place till you eat at the kitchen table, if you know what I mean. (Of course, digestive issues are a problem if our systems don’t have the proper enzymes or whatever to negotiate true local fare.)
    Linda Paul recently posted…Signs of the timesMy Profile

    • Linda, did you miss the first part of the post? I specifically included stops we made on the Food Tour, where they took us to places that the locals ate. Street vendors that made REAL Mexican food that cost pennies compared to the exquisite meals we had at the fancy restos. See the table of ladies making the tamales that are made in the authentic old-style way by a family of ladies. I always seek out the local food when I travel to authenticate the visit.

      • Linda says:

        I did notice the tamale ladies. I need to go back and review your previous post. That’s great that you also seek out the real deal local plates. I’m sure you put extra stress on your digestive system in doing so, but I bet you get a much richer sense of the culture, eh?

  28. Sigh. It’s only 8a.m. in Pittsburgh and I’m starving for dinner foods after looking at these great pictures! Yummy post!
    Rose M Griffith recently posted…High School Reunion – Trepidation or Anticipation?My Profile

  29. The trip looks amazing! Things sure seem to have changed in PV since I was there sooooo many years ago! Back then, the food was okay but certainly not the standard you’ve shown us here. You’ve made me think about going back.
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…BACK FAT… WHERE’S THE JUSTICE?My Profile

  30. Sandra says:

    Sounds like there are tons of choices for food lovers. This post would be very useful for someone going to PV!

  31. Lenie says:

    Eating your way around the world – what a tough job you have. I envy you, I love trying all the different kinds of foods but don’t often have the opportunity. Here in Grey/Bruce, eating Chinese is considered exotic – we don’t even have a Chuck E Cheese – how sad it that?
    Glad you enjoyed your trip and the food.
    Lenie recently posted…Winter Readiness ChecklistMy Profile

  32. Mar says:

    Looks like there is a lot to eat and sample in Puerto Vallarta and Mexican food is just great right? endless supply of tacos and guacamole please
    Mar recently posted…5 travelers share a moment which helped restore their faith in humanity – Part IXMy Profile

  33. Doreen — sounds like a wonderful visit and great food. I loved Mexico the two times I visited there but unfortunately I had bad case of tourista both times, so I’ve stayed away since then. Too bad, because it was such fun.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…I Picked My Doctor’s and Hairdresser’s Names Out of a HatMy Profile

    • Hi Jeannette. You may want to give Mexico another try. The standards have really gone up since my last visit to Puerto Vallarta. I, too, had an almost deadly case of food poisoning when I’d visited in the early 1980’s (and that was from a really nice restaurant run by a Canadian!) But the standards of cleanliness have changed, the water is drinkable pretty much everywhere you go, and unless you have an extremely sensitive system, you should be OK.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…PV Cuisine hits the mark in both gourmet and street food offeringsMy Profile

  34. Yum. That’s all I have to say about that. This sounds like a wonderful experience, and now I’m hungry. Wish I had some homemade tamales in my kitchen!
    Meredith @ The Palette Muse recently posted…Surviving Creativity: Do Less in More TimeMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge