Puerto Vallarta may have been crowded at Christmas, but my boyfriend and I had a great time walking along the vibrant oceanfront malecón (pier), exploring nearby beaches by bus, and cafe-hopping. This was my first Puerto Vallarta vacation, but I have been to Mexico several times, slowly discovering more of the beauty and inexpensive travel not far from home.
Armed with my list researched on the web, I hunted down a decent array of veggie options; I wish I could have made it to more of them. A favorite was Restaurante Vegetariano Mary (inside Hotel Paloma del Mar), where you are greeted by a lovely owner and a casual buffet that makes you feel like you are in someone’s home. Mary told us about her powerful change of heart–she went from owning a carniceria (butcher shop) to practically giving the shop away once she felt compelled to go vegetarian.
Another bright buffet in a peaceful setting is Planeta Vegetariano, conveniently close to the Lady of Guadalupe church and the ocean. Not fully vegetarian–but still a mainstay in the Zona Romantica–was Salud Super Food, a popular place owned by ex-pats from the U.S. They served up wraps and smoothies and used health-conscious items such as chia seeds, quinoa, and alternative beverages like almond milk.
At the Saturday farmer’s market in the Zona Romantica, we caught not only some lovely local art but a vendor called Veggie Table that dished up veggie tacos, soy meats, burgers, and other delights. They have a new shop in town, too.
Even though I wasn’t eating as abundantly as in San Diego, there were many fine meals with a Mexican flair, and I enjoyed the sunshine, the beach, and lively streets, as often happens in Latin America.