Mole, “drowned sandwiches” and margaritas: Where a travel writer eats in Mexico

My wife, Morgan, and I frequented Mexico for the to start with time in 2019, and at any time considering that then, I have been dreaming of likely back again. Considering the fact that we visited Mexico Metropolis last time, this time close to we made a decision on flying into Puerto Vallarta and then driving to Guadalajara, from where we would fly home. The two towns are situated in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, but are pretty distinct, allowing us to sense like we ended up using fully distinct journeys. 

As predicted, food items was a spectacular section of our trip. For these on the lookout to make a identical trip, in this article are some of the very best stops to make along the way. 

Vallarta Food stuff Excursions

It really is been about six months due to the fact I took my very first foodstuff tour with The Tour Man, and it modified the way I journey. Whilst tour-tours have normally been an afterthought for me (and they however are), meals excursions are now a non-negotiable element of my itinerary. Whilst quite a few foodstuff excursions restrict you to a small walkable space, Vallarta Meals Tours also give a pushed tour, taking you to many unique areas in Puerto Vallarta. 

The food items was positively phenomenal! We tried using numerous diverse dishes, together with the torta ahogada — which translates basically to “drowned sandwich,” and is regular sandwich made by stuffing a crusty roll with pork carnitas and red onions and “drowning” it in a chile sauce — a tamal that was conveniently the best I’ve at any time had, and a shrimp taco that convinced me that perhaps I definitely do like shrimp. 

Connected: A new guide to traveling — and traveling to try to eat — although unwanted fat

The guidebook also took us to a tortilla manufacturing unit where by we savored a lesson about how they are created and attempted the most flavorful tortillas, incredibly hot off the push. 

Due to the fact it was a driving tour, the tutorial was in a position to convey to us about the background of the town, pointing out several landmarks, and discuss in-depth info about the food items as we drove. By the end of the tour, we were being stuffed and vowed to go back again to some of the dining establishments for whole meals all through the rest of our stay. 

Mole sampler (Jodyann Morgan)

Marival Armony

I am going to confess something to you: I’ve usually type of appeared down my nose at all-inclusive resorts. Why would you vacation someplace and stay in a resort instead of checking out the city? 

Very well, as it turns out, you can have the greatest of both equally worlds. The Marival Armony vacation resort was just superb. From the lavish jacuzzi that stretched into the jungle to the significant balcony with sights of the ocean that took my breath away, just about every section of the resort was thoughtfully regarded as. 

But the evening meal on the seashore is actually what sealed the offer. 

It was simply the most romantic meal I have ever relished. My spouse and I were guided down to the beach front and greeted by a candlelit pergola, established with a whole tablescape. The meal was timed flawlessly to the sunset, so we got to take pleasure in the views of the oceans, the twilight and, of class, every single other. The meals was worthy of the outstanding setup. Our meal celebrated seafood, with a significant key class of two lobster tails for every human being, served with the lobster head. But my beloved parts of the food have been the sensitive tiny-type programs, together with a tuna tartare and properly-cooked scallops. 

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I was not about to devote my whole time at the Marivel, so we headed on a personal tour of San Pancho and Sayulita. The half-day tour integrated a check out to the industry, walking via the town and, of program, lunch at Mary’s. As before long as you stroll up to Mary’s you just know that the meals is likely to be remarkable. 

The line stretched extensive as we squished beneath the canopy to escape the blazing sun, but we weren’t likely any where else. Our tutorial informed us that this was the incredibly finest cafe in the place and we had been hungry.  

It was really worth every moment of the wait around. While the chairs ended up really smaller —making it really hard to get up at the conclusion — the fajitas and mahi mahi empanada have been almost everything we experienced hoped for. Only wonderful meals, excellent assistance and if that wasn’t sufficient, there was stay acrobatics and tunes outside the house on the avenue as we ate.


If I am heading to fly to one more state, I want to make the most of my time there, which commonly indicates I am checking out at least two diverse towns. Mexico was no exception. Immediately after paying out fifty percent of our excursion in the Puerto Vallarta place, which includes Punta De Mita, we headed to Guadalajara. 

It is only five hrs absent, so I was not going to fly. We settled on locating a driver, but after a little bit extra digging, I discovered Daytrip, a firm that will help individuals get from a person metropolis to the future, and permits you to make sightseeing stops along the way. This was ideal up our alley. 

Our 1st prevent: El Cora Crocodile Sanctuary. This sanctuary rehabilitates wild animals that have been hurt — or ended up captured to be domesticated — with the hopes of returning them to the wild when attainable. For a smaller charge, you could be taken on a guided tour of the assets. We even got to pet a very small blind crocodile that they use for educational applications, given that it would die if introduced into the wild.

El Cora Crocodile Sanctuary (Jodyann Morgan)

We did cease for food, but it was not something to publish house about, so bring treats!

Just ahead of achieving Guadalajara, we drove by the attractive town of Tequila, on a highway flanked by agave crops as significantly as the eye can see. We desired to tour a distillery, but sad to say, there were being no English tours for a couple hours (if you make this excursion, timing is significant). But we did enjoy some specialty tequila and I got a hibiscus margarita which was simply in the prime five beverages I’ve at any time savored. 


I’m a fairly adventurous eater. I like food items of all kinds, but there is some thing about tasting menus that make me seriously psyched for the meal forward. In particular tasting menus that are chef’s alternative, where by you will not actually know what is actually to occur, and get to aim on the food in front of you, in its place of what’s next. 

Even though not all tasting menus are winners, Alcalde serves a single of my top-10 environment huge. It really is what I might simply call a learn course in all the strategies you can serve seafood. 

The chef, Francisco “Paco” Ruano, is a Guadalajara native who studied food throughout Europe, even cooking on a cruise ship for a whilst. His culinary adventures and coaching are extremely considerably at enjoy in just about every chunk of food stuff that celebrates the most effective of Mexican substances. The 15-system tasting menu does not accurately have what 1 would look at a “principal class,” but the various bites depart you pretty contented. My favorite bites had been the octopus and chicken tacos, and the rabbit roulade on prime of a spectacular mole. The food ended with an ingenious use of bone marrow in dessert type, the ideal closing hurrah for a memorable meal.


Morgan and I ended up super energized to try Bruna, as we might been encouraged the restaurant a lot of situations throughout the times major up to our food. But the working day of our reservation, our wallet went mysteriously lacking even though at a shopping mall, leaving us with close to 300 pesos (about $15) and a huge headache. 

It was a prolonged, very long working day, and we just about canceled our reservation to order area support and get some sleep. On the other hand, as before long as we requested our initially cocktail — with its remarkable presentation — we knew we had been in for a deal with. Our evening meal only received far better from there. 

We requested a mole tasting given that my wife was insistent that she did not specifically enjoy mole, and I required to exhibit her just how diverse moles could be relying on the location in Mexico it arrived from. And of course, she did find 3 distinct moles that she relished, so the mission was a success. The rest of the food was just as excellent, starring the signature little one pig with delightful crispy pork belly and a lovely piece of fish. We remaining in total agreement that it was well worth driving to Guadalajara just for the option of dinner at Bruna. 

If looking at this still left you hungry, in this article are some tasty Mexican dishes to make at household: 

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