Southern TravelingMom Melody takes her travels to the Mexican Riviera on a recent cruise. During her port day in Puerto Vallarta, she had to have her own taste on Vallarta Food Tours, a site she sees mentioned and showcased daily on Instagram. Did her tour measure up to the countless photos she has drooled over for so long? Read on to see.
Whether you are visiting Puerto Vallarta by land or sea, taking a fun and educational food tour is the way to go. Vallarta Food Tour is the perfect way to get a taste, no pun intended, for the gorgeous city of Puerto Vallarta. The three-hour walking tour takes you from Oldtown (the Romantic Zone) to Downtown, sharing historical data about this region of Mexico while nibbling your way through a treasure trove of local eateries. It stops at between 8 and 10 places for samples.
Tasting Our Way Through Downtown Puerto Vallarta
On my tour, we met at the gazebo at a popular park (Lazaro) in the center of town. This was a 20-minute cab ride from the cruise ship and cost $US15. Our guide Manu introduced himself, provided us with a bottle of water and itinerary of our stops and food items, and we set off to start eating. It is worth mentioning that Vallarta Food Tours has a 5 star Trip Advisor rating, something not easy to do, and maintain. Well done!
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Taco stands are a big deal in Mexico and it takes a delicious product and perseverance to become a really popular one. Luckily for us, we visited two family-owned taco stands serving entirely different foods, and both incredibly delicious. The typical price for a street taco in Puerto Vallarta is around $US1 and is served with a choice of salsas, chopped onions, and jalapenos. The taco stands we visited were Robles Birria Tacos and El Cuñado Taco Stand, where we had the Carne Asada, my favorite.
Full-Service, Mexican Style
Our first sit down restaurant, so to speak, was Moriscos Cisneros, creators of a super tasty Stuffed Pepper Taco. Stuffed with what? Delicious shrimp! The stuffed tortilla was then deep-fried and sliced for eating. We had salsas on the tables to dip them in and everyone enjoyed the unusual and zesty dish.
Moving on, to satisfy our sweet tooth, the group popped in La Azteca Candy Store where we tried flavored pecans and other nuts, as well as one of my favorite Mexican treats, caramel fudge. Oh my, it was delicious! I picked up a few logs of the creamy, nutty tasty fudge to bring home.
Another stop was at the Vallarta Factory, serving organic gourmet coffee and chocolates. Here, hand-rolled chocolate and nut clusters, truffles, and barks tempted our willpower. I tried the lavender chocolate. Yummy!
Tuba, A Drink To Remember
During the tour, Manu offered us more water or soda so don’t be afraid to speak up if you want something.
The only drink stop on the tour was in the center of town around a busy square. Concepcion, a man dressed to the nines, served a concoction known as “Tuba,” which we sampled. Though several varieties of La Tuba are around Mexico, his have been deemed the best of them all.
This was my favorite stop of the entire food tour. I loved the fresh combination of the healthy drink that was made from honey, walnuts, apples, fermented palm tree sap, and strawberries. I wish they could bottle this up and ship it to the United States!
A Day of Bests
At Mariscos El Güero, we tried the best ceviche I’ve ever had in my life! Wow, this stuff would knock-your-socks off! In Mexico, the fish is finely diced and seasoned, served with diced onion and avocado on a tostada. The blend of flavors was incredible!
We also tried Smoked Mackeral Dip – another crowd pleaser.
Our last stop was to a sophisticated restaurant where we gathered on a quaint rooftop deck to try Green (Verde) and Dark Mole and have a tasting of tequila. Originated in 1989, Gaby’s Restaurant is a hotspot in Puerto Vallarta.
Their award-winning mole was chocolaty and smooth, with notes of spices blended in perfectly. There were a lot of layers to the dish and I really enjoyed it.
For the tequila tasting, three tiny shot glasses were presented to us. One was a shot of tequila to throw back first, followed by lime juice, then chased by a red drink (sangrita) that totally removed the tequila taste from your mouth. It was fruity and definitely did what it was designed for.
Vallarta Food Tour Delivers a Powerful Bite
Our Downtown Vallarta Food Tour day was one to remember and definitely share with our friends and readers. Tours run around $US49.99 and are offered every day of the week. Choose from 7 different tours. It was a wonderful way to get acquainted with Puerto Vallarta’s food and drink scene, while getting some exercise (almost two miles walking), having photo opportunities, and learning something new about the culture and history of the region.