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Fresh, superb food is easy to find in Puerto Vallarta — the town is know both for its exceptional seafood and for its eclectic mix of restaurants. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the best spots to eat in the Mexican coastal town:
1. La Leche. Wear all white and you'll blend right in with the minimalist theme at La Leche (the milk) located inside Zona Hotelera Norte. The restaurant is a mod-Victorian hybrid with upscale, fresh cuisine.
2. Ecole de Cuisine LeFort. While known for its gourmet French-inspired cuisine, this spot in Riviera Nayarit just north of town is actually a food school in disguise. Chef Gilles Le Fort teaches the room how to recreate what’s on your plate once you’re back home. Classes are capped at 18 and the first six to RSVP are awarded the task of deciding the menu. Pair your meal with an excellent selection of some 3,000 wines in the cellar.
3. Café des Artistes. This place rarely fails to come up when Vallarta veterans gush over their favorite restaurants. Housed in a historic residence in Old Vallarta, chef Thierry Blouet’s famed bistro has impressed foodies for almost two decades with a menu that pulls its ingredients from both land and sea. Among the not-to-be-missed list: confit duck chilaquiles and tamarind-laquered pork belly.
4. La Palapa Restaurant & Lounge. Save this spot for your last Vallarta meal — the massive, open-air dining room alongside the boardwalk, where an extensive roster of seared sea steaks, lobster and shrimp fills the dinner menu, and a live jazz band sets the mood for savoring your final night in town.
5. Teatro Limon. Run by an expat couple on a side street of an unassuming north Vallarta neighborhood, Teatro Limon is a small, unassuming place that has become a hotspot for foodies. Owner and chef Bruce Byrg crafts his nightly, all-inclusive menu depending on the tastes of his guests. The result? Wood-fired pizzas, duck prosciutto, trip-tip-wrapped asparagus and sous-vide buffalo. Space is extremely limited — the restaurant doubles as Byrg’s home — so reservations are a must.