Some travel for views, while others travel for food. Food lovers, welcome to Puerto Vallarta. A town known for its beaches and, of course, food.
Unfortunately, like many other top tourist destinations, Puerto Vallarta also has ridiculously expensive offerings targeted at tourists. Worry not, backpackers and budget travelers, I have compiled some of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta that are still easy on the wallet.
Puerto Vallarta restaurants for budget travelers
In a country with so many regional delicacies, such as Mexico, you're bound to find a new dish to try every meal. Although new experiences are exciting, you'll eventually grow a craving for familiar soul foods like pizza.
Thankfully, there's Los Muertos Brewing to save the day! This Puerto Vallarta staple is owned by a gringo, and it is one of only three breweries in the area. Los Muertos Brewing is located within Zona Romántica, an easily accessible area.
This brewery serves up some of the best affordable eats in Puerto Vallarta. You can get a large, thin-crust pizza for 35 Mexican Pesos (1.90 USD) per slice and a full pizza for 210 Mexican Pesos (11 USD).
These pizzas taste authentic, temporarily transporting you back home and giving you the familiarity you so crave. They are best enjoyed with any of the beers served at this restaurant. Make sure to visit them during happy hour (4 to 6 PM).
Aside from pizza, Los Muertos Brewing also offers other Western fares like salads, chicken wings, and hamburgers. The Puerto Vallarta location is open daily from 11 AM to 12 AM.
Gaby's Restaurant is both a favorite among locals and backpackers alike. Gaby's has been around since 1989, which speaks a lot about the quality of their food and service. It is open from breakfast to dinner with live music during the evenings.
You can tell this is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Puerto Vallarta because it is always packed. The festive ambiance is also a stark reminder of authentic Mexican restaurants. The restaurant spans two floors with a romantic balcony included.
This family-owned restaurant specializes in home-cooked dishes that are served as if you're a guest in the family's own home. If you come to Gaby's, don't miss the chile relleno and sopa de tortilla. Of course, they have excellent tacos too!
Gaby’s is located at Calle Mina 252, Proyecto Escola, Centro, Puerto Vallarta. They are open from Mondays to Saturdays from 1:30 PM to 10 PM.
One of the best Puerto Vallarta restaurants specializing in tasty foods that don't break the wallet is Pancho's Takos. It's one of the most recommended spots in Puerto Vallarta for anyone craving tacos while staying within budget.
The specialty at Pancho's Takos is tacos al pastor, which is a taco made with juicy pork slices that are cooked in a vertical rotisserie. It is topped with mango and pineapple salsa to deliver a sweet and spicy flavor combo.
The popularity of Pancho's Takos means waiting in line to get a seat at this hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Make sure you go there early to avoid the long line!
Pancho's Takos is located at Basilio Badillo in Puerto Vallarta. They are open from 4 PM to 12 AM.
If you're on the hunt for the best Mexican restaurants in Puerto Vallarta for an easy breakfast, this is it. Langostinos Restaurant and Bar is located in Muertos Beach.
This location is one of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta with a view. If you like a filling breakfast to kick off your day of sightseeing, you don't want to miss this spot.
The breakfast menu at Langostinos includes traditional Mexican dishes like chilaquiles and huevos rancheros. You can also find Western dishes like pancakes, omelets, and eggs benedict.
Langostinos Restaurant and Bar is located at Playa de los Muertos, Zona Romántica, Puerto Vallarta. It is open daily from 8 AM to 11 PM.
If delicious breakfast food is what you're after, Fredy's Tucan is another can't-miss spot in Puerto Vallarta. Fredy's Tucan is one of the best Puerto Vallarta Mexican restaurants and is another highly recommended spot by locals.
When you come to Fredy's Tucan, you can indulge in a hearty Mexican meal featuring traditional favorites like chilaquiles, chile relleno, and campesino. They also serve Western dishes like avocado toast, omelets, crepes, pancakes, and waffles.
Fredy’s Tucan is located at Basilio Badillo 245, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, 48480 Puerto Vallarta. It is open daily from 8:45 AM to 2:45 PM.
Mariscos el Guero has been consistently rated as one of the best seafood restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. It has gotten raving reviews from locals and backpackers on sites like Yelp.
The food in Mariscos el Guero is surprisingly inexpensive as well. It's the ideal place for indulging in delicious seafood dishes without harming your wallet. Get a superbly fresh ceviche for 16 Mexican Pesos ($ 0.80) or tacos (fish or shrimp) for as low as 24 Mexican Pesos ($1.20).
Other must-try dishes on the menu include aguachile, guacamole, and tostadas.
Traviesos Restaurant caps off this list of the best affordable eats in Puerto Vallarta. It is the best place to go if you want good-quality food while still staying on a budget in Puerto Vallarta.
The menu at Traviesos Restaurant features Mexican favorites like fajitas, burritos, tostadas, and tacos. They also have hamburgers and great drinks and cocktails selection.
The best thing about dining at Traviesos Restaurant is that prices are reasonable. The vibe of this restaurant is easy-going and relaxed. There is an outdoor seating area available for those who want to soak in the sun while enjoying their meal.
Traviesos Restaurant is located at Insurgentes 242, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta. It is open daily from 12 PM to 8 PM.
A Mexican food tour with Pilot
If one city isn't enough, consider taking a stop in Tulum. Tulum offers a variety of flavors at a variety of price points. Follow this guide for the best restaurants in Tulum.
A Mexican food tour requires careful planning and scheduling. Organize your next big food adventure with Pilot.