sayulita restaurants

Sayulita restaurants are open and here are the best ones to try

Reader Mail: Trisha, I found your blog while researching about my trip to Sayulita and I’ve been hooked since! I found out that you are currently based there so I hope we can meet when I go there in December. I am not on a tight budget as this will be a vacation but I am a picky eater. I might end up eating American food in Mexico if you don’t point to me the best Sayulita restaurants. Can you give me a few restaurant options including what to eat? An idea of the price will be great, too! Thanks a lot and let’s meet soon!
– Rodney Parks, San Diego, CA, USA

[This post was originally published on 22 Aug 2019 and was republished to update current events.]

Dear Rodney,

Thanks for writing! I’m glad you decided to come to Sayulita! Though I have never been to San Diego, I am aware of the cheap (and direct) flights that frequent San Diego and Puerto Vallarta, the airport closest to Sayulita. There are a lot of food options in this town and they are all delicious! However, in this list, I am only recommending restaurants I frequently visit. Here are my ‘where to eat in Sayulita’ recommendations. I hope you’ll have the time to visit them all! If you ever come to the pueblo, please get in touch – I can personally take you to these places!

Xx,
Trisha

Sayulita Restaurants guide: where to eat

Click on the links below to jump to the content you are looking for.

  1. What to eat in Sayulita
  2. Sayulita restaurants that are not very popular
  3. Best breakfast restaurants in Sayulita
  4. Smoothies, bowls, vegan, etc
  5. Where to eat chilaquiles in Sayulita
  6. Mexican food in Sayulita
  7. Best pizza in Sayulita
  8. Best burgers in Sayulita
  9. Seafood restaurants in Sayulita
  10. Fish tacos in Sayulita
  11. Beachfront restaurants in Sayulita
  12. Sayulita restaurants for families
  13. International cuisine

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

What to eat in Sayulita

I love cooking but this little pueblo called Sayulita has a lot of food options to choose from. Ever since I moved here, I’ve been tempted to try all the best eats in Sayulita they’re very interesting and delicious. Compared to the rest of Mexico, this town is a bit more expensive but even if I live here, it wouldn’t hurt to eat out every now and then.

The heat of the day can be especially intense around lunchtime. While some ‘Sayulenses’ may prefer to take a siesta during these hours, other spots offer lunch in the shade with the cool breeze from a fan of the ocean and a generally laid-back vibe owing to the oppressive heat and humidity (full disclosure: this article is being written at the end of a long, hot summer). Lunchtime can be a great time to take advantage of Sayulita’s geographic location and long-standing fishing heritage to enjoy fresh, local seafood.

Fish tacos are an excellent choice, and Sayulita Insider made a video about exactly that. It is the first video in our True Value series, and it explores three fish taco restaurants. The first is a small puesto, El puesto de Gabi, number **** on our list. (puestos, Spanish for “market stalls,” are small, often moveable stands that offer simple meals for affordable prices). Not all puestos serve food–some offer any variety of wares from clothing to hardware and more–in this article, I will be talking about lunch spots, so we can assume that puestos in this context refers to the food carts, food trucks, and market stalls that offer lunch. Many puestos set up early in the morning and sell their dishes until they are gone.

There are essentially four simple seafood options, though they are prepared in a myriad of different ways: tacos made with shrimp or fish and ceviche made with fish or shrimp. (You can see our video featuring Doña Irma, a local woman who was voted best of the best for fish ceviche in Sayulita to see how it is made at home).

For those who are not familiar with the dish ceviche, it is a popular seafood dish believed to be Peruvian in origin, though it quickly spread throughout the whole of coastal Latin America. It is made with white fish, as fresh as possible, and some combination of carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, cauliflower, chilies, and other fresh raw vegetables.

The ingredients are finely chopped and set to marinate in fresh lime juice for ten to twenty minutes. The combination varies from one location to the next, but in Mexico, ceviche is typically made with onion, serrano chilies, tomatoes, and other vegetables and served on tostadas (crispy, fried tortillas) with a dash of Maggi salsa, which is similar to soy sauce and Salsa Huichol, a ubiquitous salsa made in the state of Nayarit.

sayulita restaurants

Follow @sayulitasocial for the most beautiful photos of Sayulita.

Is the food in Sayulita expensive?

Food in Sayulita range from $7 – $12 USD per person. The majority of Sayulita restaurants have this price. If you’re planning your Sayulita travel budget, you can allot at least $5 USD per meal ($15 per day). There are also lots of street food stalls that are not just tacos that are less than $5 USD.

Are Sayulita restaurants open?

Living in Sayulita, I’m always used to the very confusing COVID rules but here’s what’s happening about restaurant opening and closing hours for 2021. The state of Nayarit has mandated a 9:00 pm curfew for bars and restaurants. Sayulita has a culture of eating out late (so as the Mexicans) so these days, you will see everyone having early dinner because of the curfew. This mandate is only until February 5, 2021, but I will update this post if ever it gets extended.

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Sayulita restaurants/food that are not in any other guides

Now this one is all my discoveries from living in Sayulita for years. These are all the local people I order food from. When the quarantine started, food deliveries in Sayulita became a hit and a lot of Sayulita local chefs appeared from nowhere, adapting to the crazy new normal.

Birria Fabiola: only open every Sunday

Hangover from a Saturday night-out in Sayulita? Birria Fabiola is a family-run restaurant that only serves birria. Birria is a typical Jalisco dish which is meat stew (goat, beef, or mutton) that is cooked for 10 hours. I was able to witness how Fabiola and her family make their birria when I visited their home- it really is tedious and requires special hands! Since Birria Fabiola is not on Google maps, I am going to try my best to explain how to get to her. You have to go to Magaly’s store at Punta de Mita highway. Once there, you can easily spot Birria Fabiola (it’s a garden-like set-up) or simply just ask Magaly where it is – she will point you in the right direction! Make sure to come and get your birria before 11:00 am – they run out very fast since she’s only open once a week!

Macarena’s private breakfast service

My friend Macarena who is an impressive chef from Argentina came up with the idea of bringing a great breakfast experience to people who do not want to go out because of COVID. Macarena will go to your Airbnb (for as low as $5 USD per person) and set-up a nice breakfast service for you and your family. She can even cater to big groups! I am currently helping her set-up her Airbnb experience and I will update this post when it’s already up! If you find this post and it’s not updated yet, get in touch with me on Instagram and check how you can avail of her services.

Ana Karenina’s cochinita pibil

Ana is another good friend of mine and she’s the only one who makes made to order cochinita pibil, a typical Yucatan dish. This is another option if you want to keep food in your Airbnb in Sayulita. Bear in mind that the process of making cochinita pibil takes 3 days (I’ve watched her do this a lot!) so if you are going to order from Ana, be mindful of the time. I hope you can support Ana because she is really passionate about what she does. Watch the video above to get to know her in the hopes that you will support local.

Sayulita’s Friday Market

Every Friday, Sayulita’s mercado del pueblo is open and there are lots of food options here. I make sure to have brunch here every week because you won’t see these guys often – they don’t have a permanent ‘puesto’ in town. My favorite in the mercado is the paella and the choripan (chorizo sandwich). You can also buy artesanal breads, farm-produced vegetables fruits, and vegetables, spices, etc if you want to keep some for your home cooking.

Get directions to Sayulita’s Friday Market »

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Best breakfast restaurants in Sayulita

Breakfast restaurants in Sayulita start getting busy from 9:00 am although many of them are already open as early as 7:00 am. In this section, I will also add the super local ones that are only open for breakfast (closes at 1:00 pm) but most of these places are open all day. Most Sayulita breakfast restaurants in this selection serve savory food.

Gloria’s: Mexican-style breakfast

I go to Gloria’s when I am craving a big Mexican breakfast. They have this ‘bandeja paisa’ plate with beans, eggs, avocado, bread, rice, and meat of your choice. Mexicans like to have heavy breakfast so if you wake up with a hangover, Gloria’s is your place! The owner (Gloria) is always there and she’s very accommodating to guests even if she does not speak English. Gloria’s restaurant is not on Google maps but it’s just right in front of Jhoul Foods (click for directions). The big breakfast plate that I always order is only for $100 MXN ($5 USD) and it can last me for two meals!

Chocobanana: all-day breakfast

Chocobanana is an all-day breakfast restaurant by the plaza. You might wonder why I am asking you to support a restaurant while most of this list is street food vendors but the woman who owns this is a very interesting person. It’s just right at the plaza so you won’t miss it. Their breakfast menu options include American, Mexican, and some European plates. They also have an awesome takeaway counter where you can order their freshly baked pastry. Their banana bread is to die for but make sure to go early because this is quite in-demand, it runs out really fast!

Get directions to Chocobanana »



Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Smoothies, bowls, vegan, etc

Famous for being a surf town, Sayulita has lots of smoothies, bowls, and healthy food options. Smoothie bars are really big here but you can also get really good (and big) vegetarian bowls in these places.

Organi-k: healthy and sustainable food

Situated by the Sayulita bridge (and river), Organi-k’s menu has smoothies, acai bowls, and rice bowls. I particularly come here for their ginger and turmeric shot which is my favorite healing drink. You will always see Organi-k with long lines as early as 7:00 am. The place is small so a lot of people who are early-risers (mostly surfers) make a quick Organi-k run before or after their surf sessions. They also have branches in Punta de Mita and Bucerias.

Get directions to Organi-k Sayulita »

Orangy: Smoothie Bar

Now if you’re looking for something that has a more specific menu, Orangy only sells smoothies but they also have a short selection of Acai bowls. The place looks small outside but they have a seating area at the back of the bar. The owners (Paul and Dani) are very sustainable people. They are living the off-grid life in the jungles of Sayulita and their way of life is really interesting! Orangy has the cheapest smoothies in Sayulita and what’s good about them is that they give discounts if you are a local.

Get directions to Orangy »

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Where to eat chilaquiles in Sayulita

Chilaquiles is a very popular and traditional Mexican breakfast. It is corn tortillas cut into quarters, lightly fried, and bathed in green or red salsa. It is usually spicy and best for hangovers. This is my favorite Mexican dish so I think it deserves to be in a separate category in this Sayulita restaurants posts. I’ve tried almost all chilaquiles in Sayulita and though I don’t like them all, these are my favorites.

Alquimista: curb-side restaurant

My top chilaquiles on the list is Alquimista. There was one point in my life where I was doing yoga next door to Alquimista and just having chilaquiles every day! Javier, the chef, really knows how to make the best chilaquiles. They don’t just put eggs on their chilaquiles but they give you an option to choose your protein (like cochinita pibil). I always choose Milanesa for my chilaquiles – try it, their milanesa is good! I also recommend their agua frescas, particularly the basil and pineapple.

Alquimista is also situated in a very quiet part on the southside of town. Their table arrangements are best for people watching as they are facing the streets. Although they have no fiber-optic wifi, you will often see digital nomads in Sayulita hanging out here with their laptops, mainly because of the food.

Get directions to Alquimista »

sayulita restaurants

Tierra Viva: gourmet restaurant

I usually come to Tierra Viva for Sunday brunch as they have a wide variety of food on their menu. With this, they are popular for food any time of the day but I particularly like their chilaquiles because of the gourmet style. This Sayulita restaurant has two floors so dining in is really nice and comfortable.

Get directions to Tierra Viva »

Chilaqueen: street food stall

Marcela and I met at a random Mexican party in Sayulita and that’s when I got to know about her chilaquiles food cart. She is a licensed lawyer from Mexico City and decided to leave her job to live a simple life in Sayulita. She opened Chilaqueen, which is a food cart with tables and chairs on the streets and she makes the best chilaquiles! Be careful though, she does not adjust the spice level for her clients. She believes that when you come to Mexico, you need to adapt to how the Mexicans eat and cook. Spicy food is very iconic to Mexico but I’m sure she’ll adjust it for you if you ask nicely.

Get directions to Chilaqueen »

This is a video/TV series I produced for Sayulita Insider, where we went to three different places to try chilaquiles with three price points: $80 MXN, $120 MXN, and $200 MXN. Our show hosts, Julieta and Rodrigo who are local chefs in Sayulita explained the difference between the three chilaquiles and if they are worth the price. This video is in Spanish but English subtitles are available.

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Mexican Food in Sayulita

Of course, you are in Mexico – you have to try Mexican food. Personally, I think Mexican food is one of the best in the world but from living here, I got really tired of it (please don’t kill me, I know this is a crazy thing to say). There are lots of Mexican restaurants in Sayulita but these are the ones I truly recommend as I visit them frequently.

Mary’s Traditional Cuisine: best mole

Their menu is packed with traditional Mexican cuisine that is presented simple, priced reasonably, and yet can make you feel the true food culture of Mexico. I avoided Mary’s for a long time because I got tired of Mexican food and eating out when I moved to Sayulita. However, a very good friend of mine from Australia couldn’t stop raving about it so I gave it a try. True enough, Mary’s didn’t fail to impress. This curbside eatery is the best restaurant in Sayulita where you can get the Mexican experience that you will pay for less.

Get directions to Mary’s »

El Metro Torteria: best tortas (sandwiches)

I realize that this article so far has been quite heavy on the seafood front, but for those who prefer their food to come from the land, we have Metro Tortería. Tortas are sandwiches made with a soft loaf of bread cut in half and filled with meat and/or vegetables. Being a pescatarian, there are several options for me: the chile relleno torta, chilaquiles torta, marlin torta, panela cheese torta, and the three-cheese torta, and the grilled vegetable torta. When they moved to a newer, cooler location on Revolución, they updated the menu and my favorite, the apple, and brie with honey torta, sadly didn’t make the cut.

For carnivores, there are plenty of great options. Though this is second-hand information, the torta cubana, which is made of pulled pork and Cuban spices, and the torta de milanesa are to die for. Milanesa is a Latin American Spanish term from the Italian dish veal milanesa. It is thinly pounded, breaded, and fried beef or chicken. In addition to their twenty different tortas, they also have enchiladas, guacamole, French fries, and sweet potato fries.

El Metro is open 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day but Saturday. It is on calle Revolución, tucked into a corner next to the fruit stand with a green awning, Frutería Alejandrina.

Get directions to El Metro Torteria »

Yeikame: best enchilada

Just right beside Burrito Revolution is Yeikame, an old school Mexican dining experience headed by a great Mexican woman chef. Her recipes have been passed by generations in her family so if you want to try authentic Mexican enchiladas, this is the place! I will probably volunteer here so she could share her recipes!

Get directions to Yeikame »

Burrito Revolution: best burrito

Listen up, vegetarians! This vegetarian burrito is always a favorite even for non-eaters. I find myself coming here when I am out of food choices in Sayulita because it’s always worth it no matter how many times I have it in a week. There are many restaurants in Sayulita where you can find vegetarian burrito but this one is still the best. It’s cheap and the serving is generous. I always keep the other half for later because it’s really a big one! Of course, they do have meat burritos you can choose from.

Get directions to Burrito Revolution »

Check out the video I produced above and get to know Itacate! This is for a Sayulita restaurants series by the Insider Group.

El Itacate: best gourmet tacos

Itacate is also something you shouldn’t miss. And I mean it. Here, you will find a lot of food options that involve cheese. Like this one pictured above which they call “Itacate,” a taco-like dish that has cheese as a “tortilla” instead of the traditional corn tortilla. I normally come here with a bottle of wine because it definitely fits the pairing. Itacate is right next to Burrito Revolution and Yeikame so you surely won’t miss it. If you haven’t tried pulque in your life, this is also the best place to do it. Itacate claims to serve the best tacos in Sayulita though I haven’t tried that myself. I prefer eating tacos in the street stalls.

Get directions to El Itacate »

Naty’s Kitchen: best vegetarian tacos

One of Sayulita’s most beloved breakfast restaurants is Naty’s Cocina, which opens at 10 am and closes around 4pm (or when the food is all gone). A simple window in the side of a building off the plaza displays more than a dozen freshly-made guisos. Guisos are taco fillings cooked in a stew-like process. They are kept warm in their juices until ordered, at which point a slotted spoon scoops them out and sets them in a fresh, warm tortilla (from a nearby tortillería). While many of the guisados are made with meat (the chicken mole guiso is especially popular), nearly half of the options are vegetarian, and some are even vegan.

Each order comes with rice or beans. After ordering your guisos, you step inside the diminutive common area, where you add cabbage, pickled onions, carrots, and jalapenos, and any or many or all of the five different types of salsas offered. (Here’s a pro-tip when ordering: spring for the porciones. Portions cost five pesos more than the tacos, but there is more guiso, and they serve the tortillas a parte, in aluminum foil so they stay warm.

That way, you can follow this author’s example and mix multiple types of guiso with your vegetables, and custom-make your own perfect taco.) Then a friendly worker offers you your choice of two aguas frescas of the day. Aguas frescas are cool drinks with water, ice, some type of fruit and often herbs, and a lot of sugar. They are quite refreshing in a hot climate such as Sayulita, but their ubiquity in Mexico likely contributes in no small part to Mexico’s obesity and diabetes crises.

One of the factors that keeps the price low at Naty’s Cocina (tacos cost 15 pesos each and porciones 20) is it’s small size and low overhead. Unless you’re extremely hungry, you would be hard pressed to spend more than 100 pesos (about 4.25 USD) per person at Naty’s Cocina. On the street outside the restaurant are three picnic tables with beach umbrellas, and then a long, narrow hallway seats another eight to ten seats arranged in a line, with a small counter to eat on.

Get directions to Naty’s »

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Best pizza in Sayulita

Pizza options in Sayulita are unlimited! But the good news is, we have a great community of Italian expats here – I sh&t you not, all the pizzerias here are owned by real Italians. The competition is pretty tight but if you ask the locals, they will have different opinions about the best pizza in Sayulita. My personal vote is Pizza Venezia but I also included all the pizza places that I have tried here.

Pizza Venezia

Many people voted this as the best pizzeria in Sayulita and I agree – it is one of my favorites but I don’t know how I feel about it (yet) being on top of the list. Pizzeria Venezia is in the northern part of Sayulita and is a bit farther from town so only the people who know visit. They are quite busy during dinner and late lunch hours so make sure to mind the opening hours! Aside from the pizza, they have a huge salad that I really love to order all the time. Their pasta is also made by hand and is my favorite pasta in town! They don’t sell alcohol so feel free to buy a bottle of wine or a 6-pack beer in a tienda close by.

Get directions to Pizza Venezia »

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Best burgers in Sayulita

Did you know that if I am asked to choose one food to eat for all my life, I choose burgers? I really love burgers and I try every single one in the city I live in. I feel like this is my comfort food (or go-to food when I am extremely busy). There are many burgers in Sayulita but my favorite is La Fogonera, a family-run food cart on the northside of town.

La Fogonera: best burger in Sayulita

Tamara, Radaii, and Jenny are professional chefs who left their life in Veracruz, Mexico to travel with their food truck. On their travels, they came across Sayulita, loved it, and never left. Their burgers are really cheap but it’s very filling. I remember one time I visited them and they did not have artisanal bread – Tamara told me that she was only using the normal Bimbo burger buns that day and she refused to sell me any. They always strive to serve the best food and this is what I really like about them. They are also so warm, humble hardworkers – I hope you can support them!

Local tip: After your sumptuous burger, make sure to order churros for desserts. It’s a big plate for sharing and it’s the best churros in town!

Get directions to La Fogonera »

Hamburguesa Papo’s: late-night burgers in Sayulita

If you ever find yourself hungry after hours, visit Diana and her family at Hamburguesa Papo’s. They’re usually open until 2:00 am but right now, I am not sure if they are following curfew. In Mexico’s confusing COVID travel restrictions, there is a silent agreement that street food stalls can stay open. I mean, come on, where do people eat in Sayulita if the curfew is at 9:00 pm? I’ve seen this pattern a lot where I live in Puerto Vallarta but I never get to ask why they can stay open past curfew.

Now, Papo’s is one of those Sayulita food options that are not on Google maps. They set up their food cart from 7:00 pm in front of this meat shop. You will spot them easily!

Sayulita Public House: best beyond meat burger

Vegetarians, don’t worry – you can eat burgers in Sayulita and Public House is the place for it. It is the only restaurant that has beyond meat burger here but their meat burgers are also to die for! This American pub is also famous for football games. They are usually packed during NFL season (and other sporting events, really). Aside from food, this is also the best place to meet people if you are traveling alone.

Get directions to Sayulita Public House »

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Seafood restaurants in Sayulita

You are visiting the Pacific Coast – the bulk of your meals in Sayulita should be about seafood! Sayulita is a fishing town so all our seafood comes from local fishermen and restaurants literally buy them from the pangas (fishing boat) on the shore. Most Sayulita restaurants have seafood on the menu but here are my favorites.

El Jakal

On the small terrace of a lime green building on the north side of town, one block from the beach is an unassuming seafood restaurant. One of Sayulita’s best lunch restaurants is El Jakal. The terrace only seats about 15 people, and it is generally uncrowded though the food is excellent, the service friendly, and the atmosphere laid back.

They are known for their mariscos (sea food), but when I was a vegetarian–until about a year ago, when I started eating fish–I would order the vegetarian ceviche, made with cauliflower marinated in lime juice in the place of fish. I highly recommend this dish for vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores looking for a fresh, healthy option (not that fish is unhealthy). Now that I am eating fish again, I also highly recommend their fish ceviche, fish tacos, and other seafood as well.

El Jakal is open from 1 to 9 Moday through Saturday. Its facade is hand-painted with tropical flowers, and it is located on Calle Palmar, the main street connecting the whole north side, near the corner of Calle Miramar.

Get directions to El Jakal »

Chilly Willy’s

One of the first and oldest restaurants in Sayulita is Chilly Willy, so named for the owner, a local fisherman who also leads hiking tours. Chilly Willys had a restaurant for many years on calle Revolución, but has since moved to a shady corner next to the river. It is diminutive in size, and a bit out of the way, but the simple dishes like shrimp and fish tacos are done very well, and large portions. The ceviche is sold as an order for 140 pesos (about 6 USD) and by the kilo for 300 pesos (about 13 USD). My favorite dish was a fish soup. Passing by one day, I saw sopa de pescado on their a-frame, I had a craving for it, which is a strange thing to crave, I admit.

But I was right to trust my gut. The fish soup was excellent—it was made of tomato stock and had lots of fish and came with avocado, lime, chicharrón (pork rinds –not my jam) and cotija cheese on the side. Other popular dishes include the shrimp chile relleno, which is a specialty of the region. Chiles rellenos are stuffed poblano peppers, often with cheese and/or meat or seafood. Chilly Willys hours vary from one day to the next, but you can find it on calle Pelícanos, near calle Manuel Navarrete. It is between the street and the river.

Get directions to Chilly Willy’s »

Estrella del Mar

After years of walking past and saying “Hola” to the friendly chef with a contagious smile, I finally tried Estrella del Mar for the first time. (Hey, I’ve only been a fish-eater for a year and a half, plus there are a million seafood restaurants in Sayulita, as you can tell by this list!) I’m happy to report that it was excellent. The mussels and fish filet in a butter sauce were delicious. The service was excellent, and the staff were as friendly as that chef I’ve known since the restaurant was a small puesto with a tiny kitchen and a few tables in the street. The place is still small, with a limited capacity, but it has expanded into a small gravel-lined enclosed area and now boasts a much larger kitchen and a longer menu.

Estrella del Mar is located at Avenida Palmar 31, on the corner of Avenida Palmar and Calle Miramar. They are open from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM every day except Wednesday.

Get directions to Estrella del Mar »

Barracuda by the beach

Barracuda is a very popular restaurant chain not only in Sayulita but all over Riviera Nayarit. Apart from Sayulita, they are also in Nuevo Vallarta and San Pancho. They serve a lot of seafood and all their branches have different menus. Now, in Sayulita, they have two Barracudas so don’t be confused. The one that I am talking about here is by the beach (next to Coco’s Beach Club which Barracuda also owns). This branch is new so they are not on Google maps yet but you should be able to easily see it if you follow the directions to Coco’s. I honestly prefer this one to the Barracuda in the city center but you should try both and see the difference!

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Fish tacos in Sayulita

Fish tacos need to be in a different category since it’s one of the most sought after dishes in our pueblo. There are many fish taco stands in Sayulita but most restaurants have fish tacos on their menu. These are the ones that are dedicated to selling only fish tacos (plus other typical Mexican mariscos) and they are very local.

Gabi’s Fish Tacos

A popular puesto that is literally a hole in the wall is El puesto de Gabi. Gabi serves you herself her delicious fish tacos, battered and fried. The taco is made with mahi mahi, also known as dorado or toro in Spanish, which means “golden” and “bull” respectively. On top she puts lettuce, cabbage, and pico de gallo; then you can add the dressings you choose from several homemade salsas, chile-infused olive oil, red and green salsas, onion with habanero, and other options.

best restaurants sayulita

Sadly, Mexicans still use non-biodegradable materials so I bring my own plate whenever I am craving Gabi’s fish tacos.

I sat down with Gabi and spoke to her about how she prepares her food, how she serves it, what her popular dishes were, and her personal favorites. She served us her delicious fish tacos for the first episode of our True Value series. Our hosts Julieta and Rodrigo tried the fish tacos at three different restaurants, which to me seems like a lot of fish tacos for one day, but Julieta was undeterred, inquiring about the ceviche.

As it turns out Gabi also sells two types of ceviches: a fish ceviche and an aguachile ceviche. She prepared us one of each and they were quite good. Aguachile is typical of the west coast of Mexico. It is a shrimp dish, usually served with tortilla chips or tostadas. The shrimp is served raw but cured in lime juice along with chili peppers, cucumber, onion, cilantro, and salt. It is customary to prepare aguachile with a mortar and pestle.

Gabi opens around 10 in the morning and leaves when all of the fish and shrimp in her cooler is gone. You can find her at the corner of Revolution and Jose Mariscal (in front of a tree commonly referred to as “the drunk tree” in honor of the borrachos that enjoy its shade).

Gabi is not also on Google maps but you can easily spot her when you go to Subway in Jose Mariscal Ave.

The Real Fish Taco

The Real Fish Taco is a semi-puesto just a stone’s throw from the beach. It started as a stand-alone food cart, but due to its popularity, it later expanded to occupy a room in the building behind it. Just steps away from the beach, you can recognize this food cart by the bright red letters proclaiming “FISH TACO MY AS$!!! Get a real one!” and a yellow awning it has been a Sayulita icon for over a decade. It was the second participant in our True Value fish taco challenge, and our hosts Rodrigo and Julieta were impressed by the salsas, the location, and the quality of their signature dish, FISH TACO MY ASS!!!

Get directions to The Real Fish Taco »

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Beachfront restaurants in Sayulita

What I noticed about foreigners visiting our town is that when they arrive, they automatically look for beachfront restaurants – Sayulita has lots! Sayulita’s main beach might be very busy for some tourists but this is the best place to eat with a view.

Terrazola

Another restaurant with an excellent location is La TerrazOla. Their name in graffiti script and adorns a 15-meter (30-foot) wall that encloses the restaurant and bar. That wall runs the entire length of the restaurant, and the whole cavernous space is covered with a large palapa (the thatched palm fronds on top of wooden posts that are ubiquitous in tropical Mexico). The restaurant is on the north side, about five minutes walking from the river, and it’s a great place to relax and have a drink or snack in the fresh ocean breeze.

I recently had lunch at La Terrazola, one of the few times I have ever eaten lunch on the north side (I’ve only ever lived in the south side), and everyone in my party was happy with their meal. The brusqueta was delicious, with fresh tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, but the veggie burger completely fell apart at the first bite.

La Terrazola is open from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day but Monday. They are a convenient place to relax in the shade after or during a beach session and serve snacks and drinks at reasonable prices.

Get directions to La Terrazola »

El Break

El Break has one of the best locations in all of Sayulita. The cafe/bar started in a small cubic local directly in front of the beach. (Local in this instance means a space, typically a small concrete cube about 25 square meters [169 square feet].) A small walkway separated the spot from the beach, between calle Marlín and calle Delfín, two of the principal entryways to the main beach.

In 2017, El Break underwent a renovation and expansion, renting a concesión on the beach where they have table service. The beach concession is surrounded by palm trees of modest size: just the right size to give shade to the patrons. They installed new stylish tree-slab tables and chairs and the vibe was significantly upgraded.

They serve a breakfast-lunch menu and beer and cocktails from 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM. They have several vegetarian dishes and vegan dishes. I love eating (and drinking!) at El Break, but I’ve consistently gotten slow service. Friendly, but very slow.

Get directions to El Break »

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

Sayulita restaurants for families (with kids menu)

Known to be a very family-friendly town, some Sayulita restaurants added a special kids menu section. I am not a parent but I am an aunt so I have an idea of how hard it is to feed children as they are really picky! These are the restaurants in Sayulita that are good for families traveling with kids.

La Rustica

Many say this is not the best pizza in Sayulita but this is my favorite! I’ve tried all the pizzerias in town but I particularly like this one because of the dough – it never makes me feel heavy even after having 5 slices! As seen on the featured image of this article, La Rustica’s seating arrangement is also part of the “experience the side street” trend but they also have indoor seating. Inside, you will find a big open kitchen where you can see the chefs toss the dough and put it in their massive brick ovens. This place is good for special occasions, couples, and is very family-friendly. Take note that there is mandatory tipping of 15% for groups of 6 people and above.

La Rustica Sayulita »

Don Pedro’s

Don Pedro’s has a very familiar vibe. When you come here, you will see lots of kids as they are also on the beachfront on the southside of town. I really love this place and this is where I always bring my clients for meetings. Kids love their chicken nuggets (I know all kids love this) and spaghetti. Adults can enjoy a wide variety of food choices. They also have special menus every weekend.

Get directions to Don Pedro’s »

Sayulita Restaurants Guide

International Cuisine

At times, you probably crave Chinese or Middle Eastern dishes. We do not have a lot of these in Sayulita but we have a few that are thankfully good. Here are the best international cuisine restaurants in Sayulita and I hope something new will come up!

Achara: Thai food in Sayulita

Achara is a small place but they have maintained their good service and food quality ever since they opened. The owners are not Thai, and I am often doubtful non-Asians selling Asian food to me. I am from the Philippines and know my Asian food very well so I always have the rule to eat in Asian restaurants run by real Asians. However, Achara is an exemption. The head chef, Sam, spent years working in Thailand and I am thankful that he’s able to give Sayulita a little zest by having a Thai food option. If you don’t eat meat, Achara can customize your meals. They can replace your protein with tofu or any vegetable you like! They also have vegan soy sauce and vegan fish sauce.

Get directions to Achara Thai »

Loro Cafe: Japanese/Korean food in Sayulita

I first heard about Loro last year since the facade of their restaurant really calls your attention. I went in and checked out their menu and was surprised to see a wide variety of Japanese ramen! They also have kimchi on their menu and mind you, most of their dishes are vegan!

Get directions to Loro Cafe »

Zatar: Middle Eastern food in Sayulita

Zatar has not been open all season. The last time I had it was before COVID. They completely shut down for the rest of the year but I talked to the owners and they are still planning to open. It’s just difficult for them right now because of COVID and the curfew restrictions. Anyway, if you want burekas, shakshuka, hummus, and other Middle Eastern delights, Zatar is the only place that does that. Most of their menu is Lebanese and Israeli. I always order Zatar whenever I have dinner parties in my house and when I am lazy to cook. I wish they’ll be back soon so you can try it! I will update this post when they are open again, hopefully soon.

Get directions to Zatar »

Cocina Feliz Express: Chinese food in Sayulita

Now this one literally appeared from nowhere three months ago – I did not even witness their construction! I woke up one day and there they are on my street. Cocina Feliz is one of that traditional Chinese-style buffet where you pay by the number of dishes (for as low as $70 MXN, [$3.50 USD]). Cocina Feliz is right by the beach but it does not have a beachfront view.

Get directions to Cocina Feliz Express »

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Have you been to Sayulita? Where did you eat? What did you think about the food culture in this pueblo magico? Is there anything else you can add to this list? Let’s chat! Leave your ideas, suggestions, and thoughts in the comment box below.

Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak, and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. In no particular order, her favorite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Tel Aviv.

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