My Sayulita Top 10 (June 2019)
For years, I’ve been hearing about how great Sayulita is to visit and luckily some friends invited us to stay at their place which is located right in the middle of all the action. You fly into Puerta Vallerta and drive about 25 miles north. Sayulita is a little beach town but it has an amazing night life and so much food. The beach is awesome and many go there to surf. I plan to go back and if you find yourself looking for a nice town to get away, I cannot recommend visiting Sayulita enough. Here are some of my favorite spots. This is not an all encompassing list but just the best spots that I got to experience:
Street Food - I could just tell you to eat only street food and end the post there. The street food is incredible and you really don’t need much else. There’s a spot where Av. Revolucion and Calle Jose Mariscal meet where they have a spot in front of a bodega that has street food all day long. Almost every morning, I had fried tacos with birria (barbacoa) inside two soft corn tortillas that are fried til crispy. You add onions, cilantro, salsas, and cabbage and you have the breakfast of champions! We were obsessed with those tacos. At that same spot but later in the evening and well into the night, you had Sonoran hot dogs and hamberguesas which were also delicious! We also found another bodega that sold the best refried beans on the counter and I don’t think I’ve had better beans before!
Beach Food - We had a daily habit of laying out on the beach all day nearly every day with tequila sodas and pacificos and most times we hung out in front of a restaurant/bar that had servers bringing us new drinks and bites. Even though we were situated on restaurant property, vendors would walk up to us all day every day asking if we wanted to buy novelties, jewelry, clothing, and food. It was never-ending but there were vendors selling some of the freshest oysters with lime juice and hot sauce, grilled shrimp or fish on a stick, and mangoes with lime juice and chile salt1 Those oysters were probably some of the best oysters I’ve ever had and the magoes were magical!
Tacos El Ivan - It’s all about the Tacos al Pastor here which is all about the shawarma spit-grilled which was introduced to Mexico by Lebanese Immigrants (immigration is a good thing!). It’s all about stacking up the spice marinated pork and pineapple on top of each other and let it grill on the vertical spit. When ready, they take a large knife and cut off thin pieces of meat and pineapple which is put on a corn tortilla and you are in business! We had these a few different times and I want them right now!
Maria’s Fish Tacos y Tostadas - Some of the best restaurants are just a little alley-way kitchen with a few picnic tables set out in front. They focus on just a few menu items and do them very well. This place makes some of the best fish and shrimp tacos you will ever have. With fish, they have the grilled or the baja style (battered) and I had both. The fish, as you might imagine, is extremely fresh and everything is made to order!
Don Pedro’s Restaurant and Bar - This spot is right on the beach and they focus on seafood while embracing both Mexican and Italian influences. I was taken there to drink Rose and have some grilled artichokes. We actually got artichokes a few times as they were ridiculously good! Somehow, they have mastered finishing the artichokes on the grill while incorporating sliced/roasted garlic and melted cheese in nearly every crease of artichoke. I am planning to make this sometime soon and hope it’s half as good as this dish!
Barracuda - Another Mexican seafood spot up from the beach on one of the most instagrammed roads in Sayulita. We sat on the patio and enjoyed really nice cocktails while having octopus and shrimp tacos and scallop sashimi! Everything is so fresh and when cooked, cooked perfectly! Plus sitting on the patio is a great spot for people watching!
Atico - One of my favorite bars in Sayulita, you have the option to sit at the bar on a swing or at a seat or sit at little cocktail tables close to the road. Every night of the week, they have music. It’s mostly cover bands and the occasional DJ, but it just brings a super fun, really eclectic crowd. The staff was having fun every night and the energy is infectious! I mostly just tried different mezcals but they have great cocktails, and an awesome tequila list! It’s a great place to meet people!
Casa Yaka - This is the property my friends own in Sayulita and it’s a perfect place to stay when you go to visit. Their property includes 3 units (a 3 bedroom / 5 bed space, a 2 bedroom / 2 bed space, and a 2 bedroom / 4 bed space). You can rent one space or rent them all if you wanted to bring a bigger crew. Each space has it’s own kitchen and they all share a common area with a nice pool and grill. It’s super close to the center of town and just blocks from the beach. It’s the perfect spot to bring a crew of friends or family! (link goes to Michael who manages the 3 properties at Casa Yaka!)
Surf It Out - Surf it Out provides surf lessons for kids and adults and their instructors are the best. My son and his friends took multiple lessons and were surfing almost immediately. The instructor worked really well with the kids and they had a great time. Surfing lessons were very affordable, too!
El Conejo - Sayulita has a great night life and lots of places with live music and dancing. We went here one night on a night that they had salsa dancing and a lively band providing the music for dancing. Also, coincidentally, this place was opened by the Boulder-based Tequila company, Suerte. They have an entire wall dedicated to their line of Tequilas and everyone was dancing and having a great time. Don Pedro’s also has salsa dancing on certain days!
There are so many spots that I still haven’t checked out, but I plan to get to know Sayulita more and more with each visit. While you are there, you have to try a Chocobanana (frozen chocolate banana), Italian food at La Rustica, and pastries at Boulangerie Patisserie! I could see myself spending a lot of town there and understand why so many of my friends love it there! If there’s a spot I missed, please mention it in the comments!