The Riviera Nayarit has confirmed its participation in Restaurant Week, a gourmet festival that will be held from May 15th through June 10th with the inclusion of 12 of the destination’s restaurants—double the number of registrants from 2018.

Generally speaking, this is the second year in a row the record for participating restaurants has been broken with 62 restaurants preparing for the 2019 event(the previous record was established in 2018 with 59 participants).

The event is organized by Vallarta Lifestyles Media Group with the support of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Puerto VallartaTourism Trust. Restaurant week is one of several top culinary events held in the region.

Participants comprise a wide range of types of cuisine and are located all along Banderas Bay, providing local and foreign diners with the opportunity to taste the varied flavors of the destination at reduced prices.

Throughout the event, these venues will offer innovative, three-course menus (with three different options each) and will be grouped into three price categories: $289, $399 y $466 MXN per person, which in some cases represent a discount up to 50 %. Note that tips and beverages are not included in these prices.

This year’s 62 participating restaurants are: Amadeo’s Bistró, Archie’s Wok, Azafrán, Barcelona Tapas, Barrio Bistro, Bistro Limón, Bistro Teresa, Bistro Orgánico (Hotel Cielo Rojo), Blanca Blue, Boccon di Vino, Boquería Hidalgo, Café des Artistes, Coco Tropical, Daiquiri Dick’s, Di Vino Dante, Eclecticos, El Arrayán, El Dorado, El Patrón Viva Vallarta, Eugenia, Gaviotas, Hacienda San Ángel Gourmet, Joe Jack’s Fish Shack, Kaiser Maximilian, La Cappella, La Cigale, La Leche, La Palapa, Layla’s Restaurante, Le Bistro Café, Le Kliff, Lobster Paradise, Lupita Mexican & Seafood, Mark’s Bar & Grill, Mérida Grill, Mikado, Nicksan, No Way José!, Ocean Grill, Ookii Sushi, OPA Greek Bistro, Oso’s Fish Market Restaurant, Pal’Mar Sea Food & Grilled Garage, Pezlimon, Pizzeria La Dolce, Porto Bello, Restaurante Icú, River Café, Sapori di Sicilia, Seasons PV, Serrano’s Meat House, Si Señor Beach, Sonora House, Spice Market, The Blue Shrimp, The Iguana, Tintoque, Trio Mediterranean, Tuna Blanca, Umai, Venazu and Vitea.

The 16 restaurants joining Restaurant Week for the very first time are: Amadeo’s Bistro, Bistro Limon, Boquería Hidalgo, Eclécticos, El Patrón Viva Vallarta, Eugenia, Joe Jack’s Fish Shack, Lobster Paradise, Ocean Grill, Ookii Sushi, OPA Greek Bistro, Pal’Mar Sea Food & Grilled Garage, Sonora House, Spice Market, Umai and Venazu.

Editor’s Note: Roadtrip Otra Vez!



Editor’s Note: Roadtrip Otra Vez!

This past weekend I took to the road (again) under the guise of research and headed north to the small town of Chacala, the last beach town before you drive into the mountains, on your way to Compostela. It’s a fishing village that has grown in recent years to become a lively tourist destination. On the weekends the beachfront restaurants are packed with families enjoying freshly caught seafood and playing in the surf.

The beach is flat and the gentle waves shallow, perfect for small kids and those who don’t want to get their hair wet. The water is so calm that there are paddleboarders in the bay, even in the later afternoon. A couple of sailboats are moored offshore, and colourful fishing pangas line the pier just off the main beach. It’s ridiculously idyllic. And affordable.

Looking like a scene out of an advertisement for a tropical dream vacation, the palapa roofs and swaying palm trees inspire you to imagine a simpler life. And by the looks of the crowd, there are a fair number of people who have settled in Chacala, at least for the winter, living exactly this life.

If you know me, you know I gauge how much I like a place by how much I want to pack everything and move immediately. I loved Chacala so much I messaged a friend and asked her to help find me a long term rental… maybe this is the big move my horoscope is warning me about.

If you have a chance to visit this village, I highly recommend it. There are many rooms on Airbnb and a dozen or so hotels with rooms that start at $400 pesos for double occupancy (I suggest splurging on the 800 peso rooms). There were vacancies in most places I enquired at, so as long as it’s not a major holiday or a long weekend, you can probably show up and find a room easily. There are plenty of restaurants and a couple of small grocery stores. Pack a bathing suit, and you’re good to go!

Now, if you’re not up for a road trip this weekend, there are plenty of great events happening around the bay including all the live music venues which you can check out here.

This week is also the 8th Annual International Charro Championship in Arena Vallarta. This high-energy 5-day event is the highlight of rodeo aficionados and features some of the best horsemen (and women) from Mexico and the United States. Charro is recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO and is an intrinsic part of Jalisco and Mexican culture. You can learn more about the events at Look for details on how to travel by bus from Vallarta and Nayarit to the arena in these pages.

This past week was the final week of voting for the 2nd Annual Best of Vallarta Reader’s Choice Awards. 1000’s of votes were cast and will now be compiled, and the winners for 2019 will be announced in a couple weeks. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to vote and to read the ‘Best of’ guide we published this month. Copies have been distributed to over 100 points around the bay – be sure to pick up yours before they’re all gone! Stay tuned for more info. Thank you to everyone who has participated this year – it is much appreciated!

Safe travels and giddyup,




Alexis Velasco

Dec. 20, 2018

We are less than one week away from Christmas Eve, the reason why the Vallarta Lifestyles editorial staff undertook the task of gathering some of the most outstanding options to dine out. Enjoy the flavors of the local restaurants and make this an unforgettable experience. Merry Christmas!


Olas Altas 507, Emiliano Zapata.


Azafran navidad

Café des Artistes

Guadalupe Sánchez 740,

El Centro.

Foie gras montadito, fresh fig and Grana Padano cheese

Apples, beets, nuts, orange, baby leaves mix
Beet vinaigrette
Fresh, marinated and dehydrated tomatoes, wild sorrel, brioche bruschetta, white mushrooms, pistachio vinaigrette

Butter pumpkin foam
Roasted corn foam

Lemon sauce, artichoke foam, confit leek, tapenade
Butter tamal, Brussels cabbage leaves
Short rib lacquered with plum, grilled beef fillet, potato terrine, confit shallot

Dark chocolate mousse, strawberry compote, hazelnut praline cream

MACARON$1,475.00 MXP
PER PERSON Tax included, gratuities not included.

6:00 – 11:00 pm


Da Simone

Basilio Badillo 180, Emiliano Zapata.


De Cántaro

Basilio Badillo #219 Emiliano Zapata.


El Dorado

Pulpito 102, Amapas.

Gaby’s Restaurant

Mina 252, El Centro.


Kaiser Maximilian

Olas Altas #380B, Emiliano Zapata.

La Palapa

Pulpito 105-3, Amapas.


No Way José

5 de Febrero 260, Emiliano Zapata.


The Blue Shrimp

Olas  Altas 336, Emiliano Zapata.


River Café

Isla Río Cuale, El Centro.


TRIO Restaurant Bar

Guerrero 264, El Centro.


Tuna Blanca

Avenida Anclote Lote 5, Punta de Mita.


Foie gras mousse, spices bread, tomatillo and jalapeño jelly

Cucumber and marinated seaweed in chilies paste salad, capers, radish, coriander foam

Grapes and pistachio vinaigrette, epazote pesto, mini brioche
Mixed lettuces, mango and fresh herbs vinaigrette, chili’s oil

Prawn mousse, pumpkin pureé, roasted leek
Confit tomatoes foam, roasted vegetables, Cambray potatoes, perfumed with white truffle

Zucchini and roasted fennel stew, smoked tomato sauce, cauliflower cream, leek flan
Crunchy cottage cheese, mushroom and confit tomatoes cream, orange sauce au chile guajillo
Wood-fired beef tenderloin medallion, green peas mousseline, mille-feuilles of vegetables, roasted baby onions, morel sauce

White chocolate biscuit, light lemon mousse, vanilla whipped cream

MACARON$1,475.00 MXP
PER PERSON Tax included, gratuities not included. 6:00 – 11:00 pm



Malecón y Libertad 2, El Centro.


Convinced that in coastal destinations you can not only enjoy good seafood, but a great Mexican taco as well, I decided to start a taco tour in search of the best tacos in Puerto Vallarta.

The gastronomic proposal in Vallarta is as immense as its seas, and the tacos occupy a very important place among the foods that the locals of this beautiful port enjoy every day.

Taquería El Cuñado


The first stop of the tour is in the unmissable tacos El Cuñado. Family taquería with more than 30 years in Puerto Vallarta that owes its peculiar name to the jokes that diners made to the taquero when his sisters attended the premises. El Cuñado meaning brother-in-law.

With a delicious variety of tacos ranging from the famous roast beef, marinated, chorizo, to the unique machaca, this taqueria located in Olas Altas a block from the dock on Calle Francisca Rodríguez, awaits you with a great atmosphere and excellent service.

Mérida grill


In my tour I could not stop visiting the restaurant Merida grill, a beautifully decorated place that holds the distinction of being the only one in Puerto Vallarta that offers Yucatecan food.

I set out to try one of its gastronomic gems, the grilled shrimp taco. While this succulent delicacy maintains a strong bond with the sea, as shrimp is its main ingredient, the preparation is unique.

The ingredients are: shrimp, cilantro, white onion, epazote and ebra cheese .

You will find this treasure at Venustiano Carranza 210, in the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta.

Carnitas Lalo

You could not miss the carnitas tacos on this tour. We all know that this delicious delicacy is home to the state of Michoacán, even many will say that there are no better carnitas than those prepared there. However, in Carnitas Lalo, the taste is very good and they maintain the tradition of accompanying a good taco with chiles in vinegar.

In short, this street stand is a great option for those who love carnitas.

This street taco stand can be found on the corner of Aguacate and Venustiano Carranza.

Mariscos Cisneros


To conclude this list with a flourish, I headed to the Mariscos Cisneros restaurant. A very nice place where you can enjoy delicious dishes with fresh ingredients.

Since what interests us in this tour are the tacos, do not hesitate to ask for the famous chile taco filled with shrimp. In short, this taco was for me a discovery that combines the texture and flavor of the classic tacos de relleno but gives a twist when incorporating the shrimp as a base ingredient.

A taste impossible to describe and that you can not stop enjoying.

You can find Mariscos Cisneros at Aguacate 271, Zona Romántica.


by Tania Alemán Saavedra



By  Danya Soto

Oct. 12, 2018

When the most Mexican dish (tacos) is prepared with seafood, our palate enjoys a series of fresh flavors that, combined with sauces, typical dressings and refreshing drinks; it gives us a pleasant experience and make us feel fortunate to live on the coast.

Here at our destination, the options and proposals are many, ranging from establishments that offer the classic tacos capeados to those that experiment and reinvent the recipes with unconventional ingredients. On this occasion, we introduce you to 7 seafood taco stalls in Puerto Vallarta and we invite you to visit them to enjoy their specialties.


La Tradicional

Av. México 1243, 5 de Diciembre

Monday to Sunday from 8:00am a 12:00am

Facebook: La Tradicional – Cocina de Mar



Paraguay 1290, 5 de Diciembre

Monday to Sunday from 11:00am a 12:00am

Facebook: El Barracuda/Bar Solar


Mr. Cabos

Aldanaca 178 L-7, Versalles

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:00am a 5:00pm

Facebook: Mr. Cabos Fish Tacos


Pásele Machín · Tacos y Más

Centro Comercial Villas Vallarta L-H12, Las Glorias

Monday to Sunday from 9:00am a 5:30pm



Calle de las Rosas 219, Villa Las Flores

Monday to Sunday from 12:00pm a 7:00pm

Facebook: Pezlimon


Mariscos Cisneros

Aguacate 271, Emiliano Zapata

Wednesday to Monday from 11:00am a 8:00pm

Facebook: Mariscos Cisneros



Naranjo 320, Emiliano Zapata

Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30am a 7:00pm

Facebook: Marismafishtaco


Riviera Nayarit offers its visitors various activities for October, including gastronomic and sports, with the intention of generating higher occupancy rates during the fall season.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau of the Riviera Nayarit (OCV) reported in a statement that, along with the Association of Hotels and Motels of Bahía de Banderas, they work all year to attract more visitors to the destination.

This month we have scheduled the tenth edition of the Vallarta Nayarit Gastronómica, from October 14 to 18 and under the slogan “Mexico, thanks for so much!

It is a gourmet weekend, in which professionals and lovers of gastronomy come together to enjoy multiple events that will take place both in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.

The meeting will include workshops, pairings, tastings, dinners and special events for the academy, kitchen professionals and the most demanding foodies. For this anniversary edition they will have as guest states Chihuahua and Guanajuato; In addition, Guadalajara has been chosen as the guest city.

Meanwhile, the Pee Wee Surfing San Pancho League will take place on October 13 and 14, an itinerant tournament that runs through different Nayarit coastal towns to support the smallest of talent and that these become top-level athletes.

On the same dates, the fifth Guayabitos Athletic Race and the Children’s Athletic Festival will be held.

The Aquatic Marathon will be held on October 27, an event that will bring together swimmers from more than 10 states in the country, such as Nayarit, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Puebla, Michoacán, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Colima, Guanajuato and the state of Mexico.

To close the month, on October 31 the party will be held in honor of Cristo Rey, in Ixtlán del Río, Nayarit. It is celebrated on the last Sunday of October, although a novena is previously held in which the different neighborhoods of the town participate and compete to present the best pilgrimage and allegorical float.


How to Eat Well as a Vegan in Mexico

How to Eat Well as a Vegan in Mexico

Guest article by Jeanne Petrus-Rivera

How to Eat Well as a Vegan in Mexico

The Growing Vegan Movement in Queretaro

Vegan tacos? In Mexico?? Seriously?? Absolutely! And those can be found on virtually any block. You just need to know what to look for.

The last time my husband, Alejandro, and I traveled to Mexico as vegans, it was a short trip and we spent most of our time with family and friends. That was in 2010, and Querétaro wasn’t exactly bustling with vegan activity.

This time, however, we are here for two months and are definitely settling in for a bit. Six weeks into our stay, we’ve had ample opportunity to get out and explore the scene, and we can honestly say that we’ve been more than pleasantly surprised by the variety of vegan Mexican food available.

Lucky for us, days after our arrival Vegan Fest Querétaro was happening. Once a month, on either the first or second Sunday, Vegan Fest Querétaro takes place right in the historic downtown, which is the perfect way to get acclimated to the local Mexican vegan food scene, including products, foods, and businesses that cater to vegans.

Vegan festival in Queretaro Mexico

For any vegans visiting the area, Vegan Fest Querétaro should be on the top of your list of things to do in Queretaro Mexico.

VFQ is held in the courtyard of a sweet little vintage hotel and seems to me to be just the right size to spend a couple of hours perusing the natural and organic products, sampling artisanal foods, attending a talk or workshop, and making your purchases. And of course, enjoying a delicious vegan Mexican dish for lunch!

The organizers also put on a similar event in nearby San Miguel de Allende on or around the third Sunday of the month. You can find all the details on the event’s Facebook page.

I used the Facebook group Veganos en Querétaro to make contact with locals and find the most popular recommendations. The number of restaurants in Querétaro offering either a full vegan menu or at least vegan options is pretty impressive. Let me share with you some of our favorites that we’ve found so far:


TacoGreen vegan tacos in Mexico

A sweet little spot in the historic downtown tucked away in a courtyard with some other restaurants and a tiny theater. It’s a great place to go if you’ve got some omnivores in the bunch, as each person can order from the restaurant of their choosing and everyone eats together at a table in the courtyard.

TacoGreen specializes in, of course, tacos, but don’t let that stop you from trying something else on the menu. The veggie burgers are super satisfying, and if you need a serious hit of veggies, don’t miss the raw zucchini noodles bowl.

Oh, and be sure to leave room for dessert, as they’ve always got half a dozen options, including at least of couple of raw items, although we are partial to the chocolate cake (not raw). Gluten free also available.

Coco Amor - vegan Mexican foodCoco Amor - vegan Mexican food
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Talk about an idyllic location! Coco Amor is in another beautiful courtyard downtown on bustling Cinco de Mayo Street. The day that we went, the owner was short on help, so the limited menu available included burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches.

However, normally they offer lots of typical specialties including enchiladas, ceviche, and chiles rellenos. And the decor is sweet and relaxing, a perfect spot to kick back and relax while you wait for your food. Cinco de Mayo Street is filled with shops, theaters, bars, hotels, etc., so you can have lots of fun poking around the area.

Suwa Restaurante

Located just a few blocks west of the city center, Suwa is a tiny place that offers breakfast and lunch. Considered to be one of the best vegan restaurants in town, their focus is on local, organic, and sustainable food.

Breakfast includes chilaquiles (corn tortilla chips lightly fried and covered with a spicy sauce), oat pancakes, and house-made chorizo. The lunch menu is always “comida corrida,” a set menu that changes daily and includes an appetizer, soup or salad, a main dish, a raw dessert, and a glass of fruit-flavored water.

As part of their sustainability efforts, Suwa doesn’t offer single-use packaging or do UberEats. You can, however, bring your own containers for carry out.

Envuelto en Hojas

For the best tamales with a great selection of vegan options, look no further than Envuelto en Hojas (“Wrapped in Leaves”). They’ve got both sweet and savory tamales and two locations in town. Simply the best!

Tiendas Naturistas

Querétaro also has an abundance of Tiendas Naturistas, which are handy for vegans who wish to self-cater while traveling. These are natural food stores where you can pick up most of your staples for cooking at home or snacking on the road.

Super Naturista is conveniently located right downtown on Juarez Street. City Market is the upscale version of a traditional grocery store in the swanky suburban Antea Lifestyle Center. While it’s certainly no Whole Foods, you can find a decent selection of gluten free and vegan products, Asian products, essential oils, and wine and liquor. Don’t expect a lot in the way of organic produce, however.

Organic Food in Querétaro, Mexico

Tianguis Bosque de Agua
Farmer's Market - Mexican food vegan
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For organic produce, the place to go is Tianguis Bosque de Agua on Saturdays from 9am to 3pm in the Los Alamos neighborhood. It’s an American-style farmers’ market where all the vendors are certified organic, with certain products in transition to organic.

We were able to find fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs, bread and sweet treats, tortillas and other corn products, plants, freshly ground flour, jam and agave nectar, personal care products and even wine.


If the Saturday market doesn’t work for your schedule, there’s always Costco for organic produce.

Local Markets in Querétaro

The regular markets (including Mercado de la Cruz and Mercado Escobedo) have very little as far as organic produce is concerned, but they are definitely lively places to shop with excellent prices. Vegans will want to steer clear of the meat sections, however.

Top Things to Do in Queretaro Mexico

Queretaro aqueduct things to do in Queretaro

Now, why would you want to come to the middle of Mexico as opposed to the beach? Lots of reasons! If you’re wondering what to do in Queretaro, check out these activities that are available in the area:

●        Explore the history. Queretaro was where the fight for Mexican independence started, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Aqueduct is one of its most notable features.

●        Check out the wineries and arts and crafts in charming Tequisquiapan, less than an hour’s drive away.

●        Hike up La Peña de Bernal, the world’s third largest monolith.

●        Experience the arts and crafts of San Miguel de Allende, a shopper’s paradise with a lively expat community.

●        Spend a day at one of the spas located just a short drive north of San Miguel de Allende. Your body will thank you!

Vegan Tacos

Vegan Tacos

So, about those vegan tacos that I mentioned…It wouldn’t be Mexico without tacos, right??

The easiest way to scope out the vegan ones is to look for the sign “tacos de guisos,” which means stew tacos, and they will likely have at least one of the following three varieties: champiñones (mushroom), nopal (cactus paddles), or papa (potato). Cebolla (onion), arroz(rice) and frijoles (beans) are also common taco fillings.

There are also a few places that make a “meat-style” vegan taco from soy. The best vegan street tacos we’ve found are at La Take near El Mercado de la Cruz.

Vegan Mexican Food

Some other naturally vegan foods that you can find most anywhere in Mexico:

Totopos - Mexican chips with salsa
  • Tortillas (corn or wheat)
  • Sopa de arroz – this is actually not soup at all, but rather a dish of rice mixed with tomatoes, onions and seasonings. Just confirm that they didn’t use caldo de pollo (chicken stock) or Knorr Suiza bouillon cubes
  • Frijoles (beans) – best to ask if they are cooked with manteca de cerdo (lard)
  • Totopos (tortilla chips) with salsa and guacamole (make sure the guac doesn’t contain crema (cream)
  • Pickled vegetables, common on the tables of some restaurants
  • Agua de sabor (fruit-flavored water)
  • Elotes (corn on the cob) – a very common street food. Avoid the dairy-based toppings and ask for lime, chilli and salt instead.
  • Tortas – a popular street food, particularly in Mexico City. A torta is a flat bread roll stuffed with fillings. Most vendors can make one with beans and whatever veggies they have on hand, such as lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and hot chili peppers.
  • Raspado – a slushy made with shaved ice, syrup and fruit. There are many possible flavor combinations, and most are vegan, apart from a few that contain condensed milk or ice cream.
  • Oh, and the fruit! Fruit and fruit juices are wildly abundant. Sliced fresh fruit is often sold in cups for eating on the go. Some exotic ones you might want to try are mamey and tuna. The latter is not fish; it’s the Spanish name for the fruit of the nopal cactus.

Vegan Mexico Resorts and Hotels

Still not convinced that Querétaro is the place to be in Mexico? Or perhaps you’re looking for some quiet rest and relaxation, and maybe even a little bit of pampering. Here are a couple of resorts in Mexico that cater for vegans.

Casa Axis Mundi

This raw and vegan retreat center in the Yucatan Peninsula offers personalized hospitality and an intimate atmosphere in a historical, colonial house.

El Ameyal Hotel and Wellness Center

This wellness center in Cabo San Lucas offers a number of amenities, including a gym, jacuzzi, and a traditional temazcal steam bath. The hotel runs a fully vegetarian kitchen and offers lactose-free, raw and vegan options.

Vegan Mexico City

vegan Mexico City

Or do you want to experience the buzz and excitement of the big city?

If there’s one place in Mexico that should be singled out as a vegan foodie destination, it has to be Mexico City. Much has been written about the exploding vegan scene in the Mexican capital.

From a vegan bakery serving chocolate cookies and red velvet cake to a fully vegan taco stand offering plant-based versions of meaty fillings like al pastor, Mexico City really does have everything you could possibly want as a plant-based eater.

For more recommendations on the best vegan eats in town, check out this Mexico City vegan guide by my friend Sam at Indefinite Adventure. Or, if you want to leave all the research to the experts, consider joining the Tasty Bites vegan food tour of the trendy Roma neighborhood.

Vegan Mexican Recipes

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Vegan enchiladas - Mexican food vegan

Want to create easy Mexican dishes in your own kitchen? The resources listed below are full of delicious vegan and vegetarian Mexican recipes.

Mexican Recipe Websites

Vegan Mexican Food. A website created by the Food Empowerment Project that features plant-based Mexican recipes that have been contributed by food lovers from all over the world.

Dora’s Table. A recipe blog run by a Mexican woman named Dora who creates vegan Mexican recipes that stay true to traditional and regional Mexican cuisine. Dora has also written an ebook called Vegan Tamales Unwrapped.

Mexican Recipe Books

The Lotus and the Artichoke vegan Mexico book

The Lotus and the Artichoke ¡Mexico!. A cookbook written and illustrated by Justin P. Moore, who combines stories of his own travels in Mexico with recipes that he learned from local cooks or concocted on his own from local ingredients while living in the Mexican seaside town of Lo de Marcos.

Vegan Tacos: Authentic and Inspired Recipes for Mexico’s Favorite Street Food. This book by Jason Wyrick is devoted exclusively to Mexico’s favorite antojito (snack) – the taco.

¡Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook: 150 Mouthwatering Recipes from Tamales to Churros. A new book by Eddie Garza, who combines innovative cooking techniques with traditional Mexican staples, creating recipes that are both delicious and healthy.

The Taco Cleanse: The Tortilla-Based Diet Proven to Change Your Life. A tongue-in-cheek parody of all the detoxes and cleanses on the market these days. The book contains 75 vegan taco recipes.

Viva Vegan!: 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers. A recipe book by Terry Hope Romero that covers every aspect of Latin cooking across the Americas, including a number of Mexican recipes.

Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing. A lacto-ovo vegetarian cookbook by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel, who encourage Mexicans to ditch the fast food and return to their own culture’s food roots for both physical health and spiritual fulfillment.

Valle De Guadalupe Is The Napa Valley Of Mexico

878 viewsOct 2, 2018, 12:49pm

Valle De Guadalupe Is The Napa Valley Of Mexico

Deckman’s en el Mogor, one of Valle de Guadalupe’s vine-to-fork restaurantsJULIE TREMAINE

In the last few years, California’s up-and-coming wine regions have been steadily moving further and further south. First it was Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley. Then came the wineries of Malibu, and Temecula, near San Diego. Now, California’s must-visit wine region isn’t in California at all: it’s in Baja California, 90 minutes below the Mexican border, in Valle de Guadalupe. And it has legions of in-the-know wine lovers heading there – especially for the Valle Food & Wine Festival, happening October 6-8.

Valle de Guadalupe has been referred to as the Napa Valley of Mexico, and for good reason. Its 1000 foot elevation and Mediterranean microclimate create ideal conditions for growing red wine grapes, particularly varietals that don’t fare well in Alta California, and the wines being produced by the region’s wineries are worth serious consideration, even by seasoned oenophiles. Its fine dining restaurants, offering sophisticated food at a fraction of what you’d pay in America, are becoming so popular that their chefs are quickly ascending to celebrity status. But what makes the Valle so interesting is the total lack of pretense in its offerings. Envision Napa, but with no traffic, no “wine train,” no celebrity names on bottles. To visit this area is to spend a weekend in a state of low-key bliss, as long as your idea of a perfect Saturday involves good, inexpensive wine and friendly vineyard dogs.

The tasting room at Viñas de Garza

The Wine

Baja California produces nearly 70% of Mexico’s wine, and there are over 100 wineries along the Ruta del Vino (wine route) in Valle de Guadalupe, all established in the last 30 years. Maybe because of their relative newness, and the absence of the idea of a Grand Tradition that must be preserved, there’s a distinctly laid-back vibe to wine tasting in the Valle, but an energy of innovation and excitement. Not only are the region’s wines forward-thinking (many of them are organic and biodynamic, grown sustainably and with a minimum of chemicals) but the rules about which grapes to grow are dictated solely by the climate. The Bordeaux-style wines produced by Monte Xanic, the region’s oldest winery, work just as well as the Italian varietals going into the Nebbiolo and Brunello from Villa Montefiori just a few miles away. Viñas de Garza, with its terraced tasting room overlooking the vineyard, specializes in red blends like the Tinto de Mogorcito, a Cabernet/Merlot blend; and Colina Norte, made from Tempranillo, Carignan and Grenache. Vena Cava, an organic winery ripe for Instagramming, touts itself as the “hippest winery in Mexico,” and has an outdoor wine bar and a food truck on the premises. Their rules-do-not apply attitude is present in their wine blends – Big Blend is made from Cabernet, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Grenache – and in the winery itself. Vena Cava’s wine cave is made from repurposed, salvaged boats.

Roasted farm vegetables at Deckman’s en el MogorJULIE TREMAINE

The Food

The spirit of innovation isn’t just in the wine along the Ruta del Vino. Restaurants that deliver an ultra-laid back version of fine dining are also on the rise, highlighting regional cooking techniques, locally-grown ingredients and Valle wines. Javier Plasencia’s Finca Altozano, a mostly outdoor restaurant, delivers exquisitely simple preparations of Baja cuisine, with a focus on seafood that came in from the port of Ensenada, half an hour away, just that morning.

The French Laundry of Valle de Guadalupe is Fauna, helmed by chef David Castro Hussong, which drew attention from the likes of The New York Times when it opened last year. At 27 years old, Hussong is already being hailed as a star chef on the rise for his experimental tasting menus.

Drew Deckman is always mentioned third in the list of Valle chefs to watch, but is the only Michelin-starred one of the bunch. His restaurant, Deckman’s en el Mogor, is a sustainable eatery. All food is prepared in an outdoor kitchen, and all of the wine, vegetables, eggs, olive oil and more come directly from the Mogor Estate where the restaurant operates. There, simplicity is key: heaping plates of just-harvested vegetables are served roasted with roots and skin intact, cheeses are all made in the Valle and squid ink ceviche is garnished with flowers picked outside the dining room.

Inside Vena Cava’s tasting room, which is made of salvaged boatsJULIE TREMAINE

The Festival

All of the area’s momentum culminates in the Valle Food & Wine Festival, happening October 6-8. Nearly 40 star chefs from the US and Mexico descend on the valley, including Hussong, Plasencia and Deckman, alongside culinary luminaries like Nancy Silverton of Los Angeles’s Osteria Mozza and Netflix’s Chef’s Table, and Rick Bayless of James Beard-winning Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago. They’ll all be cooking locally grown ingredients in the rustic Valle tradition, using mostly open flame grills and smokers. And then there’s the wine: 25 vineyards from Valle de Guadalupe will be pouring at Saturday’s main event, which also includes live music, a Baja artisan marketplace and craft cocktails. Sunday is a more casual food truck festival: De La Calle Al Valle (from the street to the valley).

It’s an exciting weekend, to be sure, but maybe it’s not the best time to make your first visit. Maybe you’d rather go the weekend after, when the crowds have dispersed, and there are winemakers filling your glass who will talk to you for as long as you’d like about all the exciting things happening in Baja’s wine scene. Or maybe you’d just rather sit there and sip, taking in the sunshine and the vine-covered mountains surrounding you. And that’s just fine, too.

The entrance to Vena CavaJULIE TREMAINE

Upcoming Events: September 27 – October 3, 2018

Upcoming Events: September 27 – October 3, 2018

Is your venue or organization hosting an upcoming or ongoing event? We are looking for events of all kinds to share with our readers so send the details our way to be listed here and in our various online calendars! To be included please add your listing at Deadline for print publication is Friday before the Thursday publication date, but events appear online instantly and may still be included in our email newsletters.


BOHEMIO 3— Say goodbye to September with music! The last Saturday of the month, we will have the trova, ballads and pop of Bohemian 3. Come to dance and sing with us! Sat 8:30 PM at A Page in the Sun

OMAKASE PV 2018: SAKE WORKSHOP—  Omakase is an annual event featuring a menu this year by Chef Hiroshi Shima. Sake workshop on October 3, Omakase by Invitado Especial on October 4-6. Book a Table: Reservaciones: Oct 3 – Oct 6 at Hotel Mousai

BUBBLES & CHEESE NIGHT: CHAMPAGNE, PROSECCO, CAVA & MORE— In this tasting, we’ll enjoy five different sparkling wines paired with delicious cheeses. Expect the classic Italian Prosecco, Spanish Cava, and French Champagne and a couple of surprise new world sparkling – including of course a Mexican wine. Tasting of 5 sparkling wines paired with 5 delicious cheeses included. Reserve online through, event sells out quickly! Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Medregal Restaurant (Pulpito 120)

MEXICAN COOKING CLASS: TRADITIONAL MOLE VERDE — A unique opportunity to learn how to cook a delicious traditional MOLE VERDE. Cost: 500 MXN or 30 USD per person. 50% in cash when booking The price includes workshop, recipe, dinner, and drinks. Please, confirm your attendance October 3 at 3:00pm the latest at Number of participants is limited to 12 persons. Wed at 4 PM at the Spanish Experience Center

CHEF RUBEN’S MAGICAL MEXICAN SALSAS— Chef Ruben introduces a journey of different sauces of Mexico. Taking classic Mexican ingredients and by doing a variety of cooking techniques, he will show how you can get many different flavors, textures, and options for other dishes. You will help in the preparation and eat different salsas as we prepare them. Also learn how to make classic sopes with a filling and test all the salsas that we have made to have some wonderful flavors. Beer, wine, local spirits and jugos are included. $45 USD per person. Wed. at 6 pm at ART Vallarta (213 Calle Pilitas |



LIFE DRAWING’ ART WORKSHOP: LOCAL ARTIST ARMANDO REYES— Join us on a new night, Wednesdays at 8pm in the theater. More information and online tickets. More info at

MALECON SCULPTURES 101— Enjoy a relaxed walk by the ocean while chatting about the sculptures on the Malecon and the local art scene, plus a delicious Mexican brunch or snack at a charming and very unique spot. A fantastic cultural experience with a local friend. Wed, Thu and Fri at 9:00am. Make reservations through Vallarta101 ( | 01 322 100 2253)

HANDBUILDING WITH CLAY AT ART VALLARTA— This class will take the beginner student through each step of coil and slab building. The instructor will familiarize you with terms ,tools and processes, supporting your creative vision. You will build simple projects from choosing your idea, applying techniques you learn, finishing with firing and glazing. Monday and Friday from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm; Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30pm to 4:30pm. 350 pesos plus Clay Kit (462 pesos). Art Vallarta Gallery (Calle Pilitas 213 |

INTRODUCTION TO WHEEL THROWING AT ART VALLARTA— This is the next step after fundamental building with clay. You  will be guided in interactive instruction on the electric potter’s wheel; learning basic techniques, necessary for progressing as an artist in clay using the potter’s wheel. Basic finishing techniques in high – fire clay, glazing, firing and loading the kiln. 350.00 pesos plus clay (462 pesos). Monday and Friday from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm; Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30pm to 4:30pm. 350 pesos plus Clay Kit (462 pesos). Art Vallarta Gallery (Calle Pilitas 213 |

OPEN CLAY STUDIO AT ART VALLARTA— Have a project you want to work on independently? Come take part working side by side with student’s from all classes and artists currently in the studio. No instruction is provided, but Rob will be present and available to help you out with equipment and basic needs. 350.00 pesos plus Clay Kit (if you need one). Monday and Friday from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm; Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30pm to 4:30pm. 350 pesos plus Clay Kit (462 pesos). Art Vallarta Gallery (Calle Pilitas 213 |

HARNESS THE POWER OF PAINTING WITH DOUGLAS SIMONSON— This class is for both beginning and experienced acrylic painters. Painter Douglas Simonson has 35 years of experience painting in acrylics and he will work with you in whatever area of painting you want to focus on, or he can help you decide on your focus. Class is every Friday from 1:30 PM to 4:30PM. Cost is $350 pesos per class. Easels, paints and brushes are available but bring your own brushes if you have your preferences. Bring your own canvas or purchase one at the ART VallARTa Art Supply Store located on the first floor. Drop-ins are welcome (based on space availability) or you can attend several classes for more in-depth study, or if you’re working on a more involved project. Art Vallarta Gallery (Calle Pilitas 213 |


LA CRUZ MARINA FREE MOVIE NIGHT— In the VIP room at Marina Riviera Nayarit every Thursday at 8:00pm.

CINEMA CUC— Free. 1:00 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays in the main auditorium at Centro Universitario de la Costa (Av. Universidad 203, Ixtapa | 322.222.1512 |

CINE CLUB EL MUÉGANO: MARTES DE CINE— Enjoy movies at the Los Mangos Library Martes de Clássicos Cultural Center, Tuesdays at 7pm. 20 pesos.  (Av. Francisco Villa No. 1001 |

CINE CLUB EL MUÉGANO: FRIDAY CINEMA CYCLE ON SOCIAL NETWORKS— Enjoy movies about Social Networks at the Los Mangos Library Martes de Clássicos Cultural Center, Fridays at 7pm. 20 pesos. (Av. Francisco Villa No. 1001 |


BEACH YOGA— Bring your mat down to the beach for a gentle morning flow, every Wednesday at 9am at playa los camarones, in front of Barracuda restaurant. 70 pesos per person and children under 12 are free when accompanying an adult. Barracuda (Calle Paraguay 1290)

SPIRITUAL & METAPHYSICAL LECTURE— Journey of self discovery at the Center For Spiritual Living Puerto Vallarta. Each week offers inspirational talk using spiritual tools for personal growth, along with discussion and fellowship afterwards. An open and inclusive spiritual community, all are welcome. Saturdays from 12:00 – 1:00 pm at Centro Cultural Cuale (Aquiles Serdan #437)


BINGO WITH PEARL— Saturdays at 4pm. Drink specials, gift certificates, and cash prizes. Special guests Ballet Folklorico Tradiciones will perform. Incanto Vallarta (Insurgentes 109, Old Town Puerto Vallarta |  322.223.9756 |

FURNITURE SHOPPING TOUR— Looking for an easy way to get around Vallarta and/or Guadalajara to check out furniture offerings for your new home or condo in Mexico? Save time, money and stress with this tour. Call, email, or sign up on the “Tours” tab on our website. (044 329 298 6399 | |

What to eat (and drink) in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit

What to eat (and drink) in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit

Photo via Flickr/y6y6y6

Most people travel to Riviera Nayarit for the192 miles of sunny coastline, with its idyllic beaches and azure seas. But the region’s food offers just as much reason to visit. The cuisine is fresh and flavorful, filled with great seafood and pre-Hispanic Mayan flavors. Here are five items to eat (and drink) that you probably won’t find back home:

Smoked Marlin Tacos

If Mexico had a national food, it would undoubtedly be the taco. In streets all over Mexico, tortillas are filled with everything under the sun, but on the Pacific coast, smoked marlin tacos reign supreme. Naty’s Cocina in Sayulita is a great place to try this regional specialty. Ask for the marlin, pay at the counter, then dress your bright pink, shredded marlin with a variety of house-made salsas.

Oyster Sopes

 Often billed as “Mexican moonshine” or “the next Mezcal,” this agave spirit is becoming increasingly popular. Like tequila, it’s only made in Jalisco; unlike tequila, which is only produced from blue agave, raicilla uses many different types of agave, like maximiliana and lechuguilla, for a greater range of flavors. Made mostly by small producers, production is still fairly limited and flavors tend to be fruitier and sweeter than mezcal. Raicilla produced from coastal agave gets more sun and tends to be higher in alcohol, whereas agave grown in the hills is more floral, citrusy and complex.

Instead of tequila shots (or in addition to tequila shots) try this seafood shot invented by David Elizondo at Buzzos in Bucerías, the biggest of the 23 coastal towns along the Riviera Nayarit. This corner restaurant is a favorite among locals and you may even be serenaded by a live ensemble playing Mexican banda music. Order a “balazo,” which means “gunshot” in Spanish. Your choice of shrimp, scallop or octopus is splashed with lime, Worcestershire sauce, local Salsa Huichol hot sauce and tomato juice.

*This article was originally published in November 2017.