Recently labeled as Pueblo Mágico (Magic Town), Sayulita is one of the most recognized spots in the municipality of Bahia de Banderas, located approximately 35 minutes by car out of Nuevo Vallarta and one hour away from Puerto Vallarta and the Puerto Vallarta Airport. Sayulita is a charming fishing village, although it is more widely known as a bustling, bohemian surf town filled with jewelry stands, specialty boutiques, surf shops, coffee shops, and palapa-covered beach restaurants. Here in Sayulita, you will find a fabulous beach, good food, great people-watching, incredible surfing, and wonderful shopping – or of course, you can always just hang out on the beach and get a massage while you sip on a margarita or two. Sayulita is surrounded by the beautiful Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, an incredible backdrop to this wonderful beach town. Sayulita’s cultural blend of beaches, shops, restaurants, activities, and smiling people makes this village the perfect destination for an “off-the-beaten-path” Mexico vacation.
Food in Sayulita
Over the past few years, Sayulita has slowly turned into a foodie paradise. You can really find it all in Sayulita now. As always, you can find incredible tacos and genuine Mexican cuisine from breakfast to dinner, but there is so much more, and Sayulita does it all quite well. From BBQ to Italian to top-notch breakfast bowls and even some solid pizza, you can mix in quite a bit on your stay in Sayulita. And one of the greatest things about Sayulita is whether you are at a cafe grabbing an espresso or out for drinks at 10pm, almost everywhere seems to have live music.
Tucked in a little alley off one of the main roads that lead to the main Sayulita square, El Tiburon is an awesome food and cocktail spot that you may not just run into if you’re on a nice stroll out in Sayulita. They open at 5pm and close at midnight, so this is more for dinner and cocktails, and both are very good. The burgers are incredible, and my wife has now gone back multiple times for the Cheesesteak, which is shockingly good, and that is coming from someone that used to live on cheesesteaks on the East coast of the US. Our son loves the chicken tenders, and I would order the Margarite de Sandia right now if I could. If you have the chance, make sure you stay until 8pm when the music starts. Sayulita is littered with great live music, but I have seen some of the best shows at El Tiburon. Our last time there, we saw Mothers Funkers https://www.instagram.com/mothers_funkers/, a Jamaican Funk band that absolutely ripped. Any information needed on El Tiburon can be found on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/eltiburonsayulita
Marcolino Pasta Y Vino (Formerly Mama Mia Risotrante)
This is very, very good Italian food prepared and served by an entire family like most great Italian Restaurants. On July 4th of 2021, they celebrated their 7th anniversary, and it was a much-deserved celebration. Every time we go, I am torn between the Bolognese and the Gnocchi as both are incredible. The wood-fired pizzas are delicious as well. Every time we go we try to get there around 8pm and we sit outside right on the street as the music at the Hostel across the street starts around 9 or 10pm. You can time it up so that you can have dessert and a bottle of win with some great live music and an awesome crowd that fills in around. You can find information and location via their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/marcolinopastayvinoo
I don’t think you’d find Public House on many of these must visit lists and I don’t mean that in a bad way, you just don’t. But I really like Public House. The food is very good. Anytime I am thinking about lunch in Sayulita, I think about the salads at Public House, they are that good. Their beer selection is great and their bartenders are always super nice and make excellent cocktails. There is an intimate little bar with some indoor seating where they always have sports on the two tv’s and there is some street side seating which is excellent for lunching and doing some people watching. Oh, and they have a special here that gets you a shot of tequila and a beer for about $50 pesos ($2.50USD). You can not beat that. The Public House is excellent. https://www.sayulitapublichouse.com/
Tacos El Tal Ivan
When I’ve had a few adult beverages and I’m in the middle of my fourh game of fooseball at Bar Don Pato, I start thinking about tacos. And that means I’m thinking about walking down the spiral staircase to see how long the line is at Tacos El Ivan. My favorite taco is al pastor, absolutely. But please listen when I tell you the vegetarian mushroom taco at El Ivan is THAT GOOD. If you are vegetarian or are hanging with some vegetarians, do them a favor and get them this taco. Tacos El Tal Ivan has two locations in Sayulita. One, across from the main square under Bar Don Pato, and the other is on Ave Reveloucion as you make your way to the main square. You can not go wrong.
Speaking of tacos, El Itacate has some pretty incredible taco innovations going on. It is a smaller establishment so I typically get tacos to go and either take them to the beach, or to the square and hang out with a good meal. While I love their rib eye taco and the shrimp and fish tacos, the thing you have to try is called “itacate taco”. They take a big cut of cheese and place it on the flatgrill and cook it until it crisps up and then the fold it like a tortilla and put your filling inside of that. It is incredible. When I know I’m going to get this, I try to make sure I have time to eat there, because it’s just so good when it’s super warm right off the grill. And if you’re going to eat there, they have incredible chips, guac, and salsas. https://www.facebook.com/el.itacate.sayulita/