Puerto Vallarta's Excellent Culinary Scene

Janine Dávila Madrid


For anyone who loves gourmet dining, Puerto Vallarta is definitely an excellent option because of the great selection of restaurants serving a diverse variety of cuisine. Many of the restaurants in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit offer from Mexican, Italian, fusion and seafood, to Mediterranean, Asian, and even French haute cuisine.

Vallarta's Gourmet FestivalPuerto Vallarta is the ideal place to experience the delicious flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine, ranging from simple tacos to the most elaborate dishes, the options are endless. In Puerto Vallarta, you can literally find restaurants for all tastes and budgets. Besides offering an incredible variety of dishes, many of the Puerto Vallarta restaurants provide the most breathtaking views of Banderas Bay, the beautiful green mountains that surround it, and of the picturesque town center.

The Gourmet Festival

Vallarta's Gourmet FestivalEvery year, there are two culinary events that celebrate the gastronomy of this extraordinary resort town. The Festival Gourmet, in November, and Restaurant Week, in May, both provide visitors with the opportunity to dine at some of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit.

Vallarta's Gourmet FestivalFifteen years ago, the Festival Gourmet came about from an idea to showcase Puerto Vallarta's many excellent restaurants and culinary traditions on a world stage. The first festival took place in 1995, with six five-star hotels participating together with six independent restaurants, each with an internationally renowned chef as a guest of honor. The original format has not changed much since then; it has only gotten better with more events, and now includes over 20 host hotels and restaurants participating each year.

Top chefs like Gerald DuPont from the Academie Culinaire de France and the "First Lady" of Mexican cuisine, Patricia Quintana are special guests every year. The festival includes several events where world class dining is the focal point, such as the Chef's Table, Winemaker's Night, Wine and Tequila Tasting, the Wine and Cheeses Party, and the Grand Gala, as well as numerous cooking classes with the best local and guest chefs, offered with simultaneous translations for all the participants.

Restaurant Week

Vallarta's Gourmet FestivalThis event has taken place for five years in a row and this year Restaurant Week 2010 will be from May 15th to the 31st. You'll be able to dine at the best restaurants in town and enjoy spectacular three-course meals with up to 50% off their regular prices.

After the success of Restaurant Week 2009, where diners had 17 days to try the sensational dishes of many of the best restaurants in town (spending between $179.00 to $299.00 Mexican pesos per person, not including drinks and tips), this time round promises to be much better than the last, because each year more and more restaurants join in with this exceptional event.

Puerto Vallarta Restaurants

Vallarta's Gourmet FestivalEating good food is also important for the local population, who are fortunate enough to enjoy incredible dishes cooked by the outstanding Mexican and foreign chefs who have moved to this idyllic tropical destination. The amount of restaurants in the area is amazing, in fact, in Puerto Vallarta alone there are over 1,000 and quite a few more in the Riviera Nayarit.

Vallarta's Gourmet FestivalIf you're planning on going to Puerto Vallarta or the Riviera Nayarit soon, try to schedule your trip so you can be there for either of these two fantastic culinary events. If you're not lucky enough to go during this time period, then make sure that when you do visit you make time to dine at a few of the many excellent restaurants in town.