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Puerto Vallarta isn’t just about sandy beaches and tequila sunsets (although we love those). It’s a foodie’s paradise waiting to be explored! From sizzling street tacos to exotic local delicacies, this place has it all.
And our favorite way to experience it? A food tour, of course!
Puerto Vallarta is one of our favorite parts of Mexico. The history and culture in the city is so much fun to explore. We like that food tours in Puerto Vallarta took us to parts of the city we wouldn’t have otherwise seen and allowed us to eat our way through a guided city walk (or bike – stay tuned).
When traveling in a place like Mexico, it’s easy to fall into the tourist traps. Instead, food tours in Puerto Vallarta allow you to dive deep into an authentic Mexican culinary experience.
So, grab your stretchy pants and a sense of culinary adventure. We’re going to help you find the best food tours that’ll make you say, “Más, por favor!”
- Our Top Choice for a Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta
- 1. Why do a food tour in Puerto Vallarta?
- 2. What are the best food tours in Puerto Vallarta?
- 3. Is the street food in Puerto Vallarta safe to eat?
- 4. Is a food tour in Puerto Vallarta suitable for children?
- 5. Do you need to book a food tour in Puerto Vallarta in advance?
- 6. Are there vegan and vegetarian options available?
- 7. Can you do a food cooking tour?
- 8. Is a food tour in Puerto Vallarta worth it?
- Other Activities to do While You’re in Puerto Vallarta
- Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta
- Thanks for reading!
- Why We Book Tours with Viator
- Renting a Car in Mexico
- Don't get Caught without Travel Insurance!
Our Top Choice for a Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta
If your mouth is already watering and you don’t have time to read through all the options, this Puerto Vallarta taco and street food tour doesn’t disappoint. It’s our top pick because it’s a great mix of street vendors and restaurants with tasty dishes throughout. You’ll eat your fill of tacos, watch a bakery make corn tortillas in front of you (and taste them!), and try everything from beef birria to fish tacos to Michoacán-style sorbet, which is basically my new favorite kind of ice cream.
The tour is $55 USD including all your food and some fun tour photos along the way. You can book your spot here and see the hundreds of 5-star reviews. We’re not kidding, this tour is popular for a reason!
1. Why do a food tour in Puerto Vallarta?
We thought we knew everything about Mexican food. Tacos, burritos, some delicious guacamole … but turns out we hadn’t lived until we tried the local flavors of Puerto Vallarta. We’re talking about a culinary journey that goes way beyond that neighborhood taco joint.
When we travel, we love to venture off the beaten path. Food tours in Puerto Vallarta take you to local spots that even some residents don’t know about. Nothing is more satisfying than finding a good mom-and-pop shop serving up the best churros you’ve ever had or a hidden alley where they make tamales that are out of this world.
For us it’s not just about the food, it’s about the culture. We love learning the history behind our food, how it’s made, and why it’s important to the local community. That’s why we love food tours, it’s like a history lesson, but way more delicious!
2. What are the best food tours in Puerto Vallarta?
Taco and Street Food Day Tour
We’ll start with one of the best experiences on our list, this taco and street food tour. This is one of the most popular tours, and for good reason. The tour guides are so friendly and the food is absolutely delicious!
For us, this tour tops our list because it includes a great mix of street vendors and restaurants in Puerto Vallarta for both a unique and authentic taste of Mexico’s cuisine.
We ate so much food on this tour that we had major food babies! I had 10 tacos and have zero regrets – they were so good.
We also loved the behind-the-scenes look at how our food is made in the bakery where we got to taste some yummy freshly-made corn tortillas. This is in addition to dishes like carnitas (braised pork), fish tacos, and beef birria (a Jalisco specialty).
Save some room though because the tour ends with our favorite part – some tasty ice cream. This isn’t just any ice cream though, this is Michoacán-style sorbet. Basically, it’s made right in-house with tons of fresh fruit and there are so many flavors that are really different from what we’d seen before. Plus, my sweet tooth was super happy when we popped into a candy shop at the end!
My best advice is to come hungry as this tour covers breakfast, lunch, bottled water, snacks, and Mexican Agua Fresca. A really nice extra is that photography services are complimentary, allowing you to take home some fun memories and not worry about taking photos yourself – you get to concentrate on the food!
For $55 USD, this tour is your golden ticket to Puerto Vallarta’s culinary wonderland. Starting at 10 am, the trek begins at the River Cafe and ends in the heart of the city at Agustín Rodríguez 284. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking between the different food stops. We highly recommend booking early, this tour is popular (with hundreds of 5-star reviews!) and often sells out.
Seriously, booking this taco and street food day tour is a must if you’re looking for a lively taste of the best foods in Puerto Vallarta.
Food and Mixology Tour
If you’re wanting to guarantee a good night, this food and mixology tour is a must! This is where our love for jalapeno margaritas began!
We visited many different restaurants and taco stands eating delicious food and sipping amazing cocktails along the way. The tour starts with a bang at Joe Jack’s Fish Shack. This local staple in Old Town Puerto Vallarta is known for its fish tacos and we can vouch they are totally worth the hype. Plus you get a pineapple mezcalini to wash it all down.
From there, your tastebuds are just getting warmed up! There are stuffed peppers and local moonshine called raicilla (this stuff is strong!!!) at Mariscos Cisneros, a lesson on making the best tequila palomas plus mezcal and tacos galore. It’s a seriously fun (and delicious!) evening.
The tour starts at 3 pm and lasts four hours, so consider your supper plans taken care of! You’ll meet at Lazaro Cardenas Park in the Romantic Zone. You can’t miss the gazebo – that’s where the local guide will be hanging out.
We think it’s worth every bit of its $98 USD price tag. Keep in mind that the experience is centered around alcohol so you must be 18+ to join.
Taco’s and cocktails, what could be better? If you agree, this food and mixology tour is a great option!
Evening Taco Tour
Some of the best food we’ve eaten in our lives has been street food which is why we enjoyed this evening street food tour so much. While exploring food stands, we got to savor some of the most incredible food we’ve ever tried. From fish tacos to tasty churros, you are guaranteed to leave full and happy.
We appreciate that this tour goes on a unique route, taking us to hidden local gems for delectable (and genuine) taco experiences. Don’t miss the crab tacos stand! Expect an engaging blend of history and culture, a delightful aspect of food tours.
While you’re sampling tasty foods throughout the night, these are no typical samples you might get at a grocery store. These are full-size tacos, churros, quesadillas, etc. By the end of the night, we were stuffed! I have to give a special shoutout to the marlin tacos at Mariscos La Tía II. I’m still thinking about them!
This night tour starts at 5:30 pm and costs $55 USD for adults. We, of course, upgraded to the beer tour which includes two beers and only costs $59 USD. It’s a small group tour with a maximum of 10 people, so we felt like we were hanging out with a group of friends.
We will warn you, this is a lot of food so be sure to come hungry! If you’re like us and can’t get enough street food, you have to try this evening taco tour by reserving your spot here.
Taco Bicycle Tour
We walked so much in Puerto Vallarta our feet were aching! That’s why we had to include this taco bicycle tour so we could sit for a bit while cruising through the city and still sampling some of the amazing food.
In total, it’s about a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) nice morning bike ride through the city. The tour starts at 9:30 am and acts as much like a city tour as it does a food tour. You’ll meet at Av México 1193, right in the heart of the 5 de Diciembre neighborhood.
Prepare to bike down charming cobblestone streets, along the Malecon beside the ocean and check out some of the best landmarks in town. The guide is a local who knows all about the history and shares some great hidden secrets of the city. I recommend booking this tour on one of your first days in Puerto Vallarta so you can get the inside scoop on places you want to come back to!
Some of the secret spots our guide let us in on are where to find amazing steak tacos from one of the oldest taco stands in the city and the best local chocolates we’ve tasted.
There’s so much food on this tour we were happy to be exercising on the bikes in between stops! Plus we could cover more ground while exploring Cinco de Diciembre, Centro, and Old Town. Because of the pace of the tour, there is an age restriction of 14+ so everyone can keep up. We definitely felt like we earned that cold brew at our last stop El Solar – a beachfront bar!
For $65 USD a person, you’ll spend three hours learning, exploring, and eating your way through one of our favorite parts of Mexico. Bikes and bottled water are included in this price but hotel pick-up is not.
If biking and tacos sound like your kind of heaven, booking this taco bicycle tour is a great way to eat your way through the city!
Downtown Daytime Walking Tour
The Zona Romántica is one of our favorite parts of the city and this downtown food tour stops at many of the most iconic spots around town to taste the local cuisine.
When it comes to variety, this tour takes the cake … or should I say taco? We had some amazing stuffed seafood jalapeno tacos at Mariscos Cisneros and some of the tastiest mole at Gaby’s. There are an incredible eight stops on this tour, so it’s the best way to discover new places and flavors. Getting away from the tourist spots and supporting some local small vendors was a ton of fun!
Our guide was excellent at showing us around and telling us all about what we were eating and how each dish related to Mexican culture. We tried lots of dishes for the first time and definitely would go back for seconds!
This tour is a great option for families looking for a fun lunchtime activity. While it is a walking tour, it isn’t far between stops making sure kids will have fun and not tire out.
Adults cost $55 USD while teens 13-17 are a little less at $49 USD, kids 5-12 are $44 USD, and children 4 and under are free. Bottled water and tastings from eight of the best restaurants and stands in Puerto Vallarta are included in this price. This tour is great for people with special dietary requirements, just be sure to let them know when you book.
We love that this walking tour is a smorgasbord of flavors and Mexican culture and history. If that sounds like your vibe, be sure to book this downtown daytime walking tour!
Why We Book Tours with Viator
Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:
- Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
- Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
- Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
- Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.
3. Is the street food in Puerto Vallarta safe to eat?
Ah, the age-old question about street food safety. When we were strolling through the vibrant markets of Puerto Vallarta with the aroma of spicy burritos filling the air we were asking that very question. We are happy to report the answer is a resounding yes but with a small asterisk.
You see, the food tours in Puerto Vallarta are specially curated to take us only to places that meet the highest food standards. We’ve been on these tours, and let us tell you, they’re picky – in a good way. They make sure that each stop on the culinary journey adheres to top-notch hygiene practices. So, you can munch away without a worry in the world – just another reason we love food tours.
That said, when it comes to food safety in Puerto Vallarta, it’s always a good idea to bring some hand sanitizer along. Not all places have bathrooms, and you’ll want to make sure your hands are clean before diving into that next taco or ceviche.
So go ahead, indulge in that street food. Just be smart about it. Your taste buds will thank you, and you’ll leave with a full belly and zero regrets.
Related Read: If you’d prefer to catch your own fish, check out all our tips for booking a fishing charter in Puerto Vallarta!
4. Is a food tour in Puerto Vallarta suitable for children?
If you’re traveling with children and want to try a food tour, we say go for it – especially if you have an adventurous kid! While we saw some children on these tours who seemed to love the experience, it really depends on your child’s palate. These tours are a taco lover’s dream but don’t necessarily cater to your chicken nugget-loving kiddos.
That said, some tours are more accommodating than others. The downtown daytime walking tour offers a more balanced menu, featuring items that are more likely to be a hit with the younger crowd. So, if your kids are adventurous eaters or just really into tacos, then you’re in luck!
Keep in mind these tours aren’t just about eating, they’re about learning and exploring. Your kids will get to see how tortillas are made, learn about the local culture, and maybe even pick up a few Spanish phrases. It’s like an educational field trip, but way tastier.
So, is a food tour in Puerto Vallarta suitable for children? Yes and no. It really depends on your family’s food preferences and how willing your little ones are to try new things. But if they’re up for it, this could be a memorable experience for everyone!
Related Read: Whether you’re traveling with kids or solo, there are some fun day trips from Puerto Vallarta when you’re ready for a change of scenery. Spoiler alert: Sayulita tops my list and there are some fantastic Sayulita tours from Puerto Vallarta to take care of all the details for you!
5. Do you need to book a food tour in Puerto Vallarta in advance?
Yes, we always recommend booking ahead of time. When we travel, we like to have a good idea of what our days are going to look like. Planning ahead allows us to maximize our time abroad so we can see as much as possible. While we don’t normally plan our food so we can go by local recommendations, the exception to that is with food tours.
We always like to plan our food trips ahead of time. If not to secure our spot, it gives us time to prep and make sure we don’t eat much the rest of the day so we’re good and hungry for the tour – get our money’s worth!
The tours we’re raving about, like the Taco and Street Food Day Tour and the Food and Mixology Tour, are the talk of the town. They fill up faster than a tequila shot glass on a Friday night. These options have limited spots and are incredibly popular, especially during peak tourist season so we definitely recommend booking early.
If you’re worried about committing to a day and time now, that’s where Viator comes in. Most of these tours offer a 24-hour cancellation or date change policy on Viator. This is one of our favorite things about booking tours with Viator and why we always use them on our travels.
6. Are there vegan and vegetarian options available?
Yes, there are vegan and vegetarian options available, and they’re not just an afterthought. Puerto Vallarta’s food scene accommodates many different dietary restrictions, including those with a plant-based diet. We’ve been on tours where they served up vegan tacos that could give any meat taco a run for its money.
Not every tour will have a full vegan or vegetarian menu, but most are accommodating if you give them a heads-up in advance. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ll want to reach out to the tour operator in advance. They’ll usually go the extra mile to make sure you’re not stuck eating lettuce leaves while everyone else feasts.
If you’re looking for a tour that’s accommodating to plant-based diets, the Downtown Daytime Walking Tour is a solid choice. They offer a variety of food options and are known for being flexible with dietary restrictions.
7. Can you do a food cooking tour?
Absolutely, you can (and you should)! A cooking tour is one of the best travel memories you can make. One of our favorite ways to be nostalgic when we get back home is to cook up some food from all around the world. We’ve been on both of these tours below and here’s the inside scoop.
We love how farm-to-table these tours are. First, we visited the local markets to pick up all the fresh ingredients we needed for the meal. You don’t just buy the tortillas and mole sauce, you learn to make them from scratch and how to find the freshest ingredients. Trust us, once you try freshly made tortillas, you’ll never want store-bought ones again!
Puerto Vallarta Cooking Experience
We love a good ceviche dish and this traditional Mexican cooking class and market tour will teach you all about the classics. Starting at 10 am and lasting 4.5 hours this experience had us shopping, cooking, and laughing the whole time. We loved visiting the tortilla factory to buy the dough for our creations and in typical Mexican style, the tequila was flowing, making our cooking taste even better. It was a bit like a mini Puerto Vallarta tequila tour!
The chef has a great personality and really makes the excursion fun. He does a great job of making the cooking easy while teaching you the skills to bring home with you.
We love this cooking class because every day is a new lesson. Check which day you’re booking to see if you’ll be making some pork tacos, ceviches, or tamales. Regardless of the time you choose, every day is margarita day – our kind of tour! Adults are $124 USD each which includes all your food, drinks, and an overall good time! This cooking class is offered Monday through Friday and can be booked here.
Cooking Authentic Mexican Food in Puerto Vallarta
We loved this cooking class in Puerto Vallarta as we weren’t just cooking up a typical taco. This tour allowed us to make suggestions while we picked up ingredients and then cook the type of food we’d actually want to eat at home by adding a modern twist to our favorite authentic Mexican cuisine.
Chef Manu is incredibly talented and makes cooking easy and enjoyable. His innovative recipes aren’t your typical pico de gallo but offer a more modern flavor. Once you’ve shopped for the ingredients you go back to his house, say hi to his dog, and start cooking!
You can choose between a lunch (9 am start) or dinner (2 pm start) cooking class any day of the week except Sundays. It costs $122 USD for adults, $68 USD for kids 5-11, and children 4 and under are free.
If you’re traveling with kids, we’d recommend this tour. Chef Manu is incredibly patient and the modern twist of his creations will more likely suit your kid’s palette. Plus, he doesn’t mind making adjustments like swapping fish tacos for chicken! You can book your cooking class with Chef Manu online here and get ready to bring the flavors of Mexico home with you.
Related Read: Cooking classes make a great date and if you’re traveling as a couple, check out our guide on planning the most romantic honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta for more ideas!
8. Is a food tour in Puerto Vallarta worth it?
Yes, it’s worth every single peso and then some. We’ve been on a lot of food tours in many different cities and there’s something about Mexican food that we just can’t get enough of.
But it can be hit or miss, so a food tour ensures there are fewer “misses” since everywhere you go is a local favorite. When you find a tasty taco joint, man it’s so good!
Imagine savoring a taco where the tortilla is hand-pressed right in front of you. Or sipping on a margarita made from tequila produced in the very state you’re standing in. It’s not just food, it’s a story, a tradition, a slice of Mexican life served on a plate. At least that’s what we tell ourselves to justify our 5th taco!
We love taking food tours to get all the insider info on the best places to eat. The guides are local experts who offer way more insight than you’ll find in a guidebook. It’s also a great way to meet people while you travel.
So, is a food tour in Puerto Vallarta worth it? In our book, it’s a definite yes!
Other Activities to do While You’re in Puerto Vallarta
There’s a good reason why Dan and I keep coming back to Puerto Vallarta – there are a ton of fun activities to try!
From cruising around on an ATV tour to strolling down the Malecon (boardwalk), you’ve got plenty to sink your teeth into outside of a food tour or two. Here are a few of our personal favorite things to do in Puerto Vallarta:
- Enjoy a swashbuckling show on a pirate ship – Ahoy landlubbers! Ever wanted to live out your dream of being a pirate, sailing across the seven seas? Or maybe you’ve got a little one who is swinging around their imaginary cutlass like a pro? This pirate ship cruise includes a dinner fit for a pirate king with cannons, fireworks, and all kinds of jolly entertainment to boot!
- Explore the jungle on an ATV tour – One of my all-time favorite activities in Puerto Vallarta was going on an ATV tour. Dan and I went on this half-day Jorullo Bridge ATV experience that takes you to some of the most scenic natural spots in the area, as well as over the longest suspension bridge in Latin America!
- Visit the Rhythms of the Night Show – When it comes to the best dinner shows in Puerto Vallarta, the Rhythms of the Night Show is a tough one to beat! It takes place on a secluded island with incredible dancing, acrobatics, and music, and, of course, the food is amazing too. You also get to enjoy a beautiful catamaran cruise to and from the island! You can book your ticket online here.
- Walk the Puerto Vallarta Malecon – The boardwalk here is absolutely full of amazing museums, some of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, and more shops than you can count! This is a great spot to pick up some souvenirs for the folks back home, have a go at making your own chocolate, or simply enjoy a drink at Señor Frog’s!
- Go whale watching – Going whale watching in Puerto Vallarta is one of my favorite activities. This 4-hour whale-watching tour is ideal for those on a budget but is also capped at just 12 passengers! These tours are specifically geared towards whale watching and take you to the best spots. You’re likely to see humpback whales – and maybe even grey or blue whales too.
Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta
There are TONS of great hotels in Puerto Vallarta – no matter your budget or preferences. From luxurious budget resorts to cozy boutique hotels, deciding where to stay in Puerto Vallarta is super exciting, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite spots with you!
Hilton Vallarta Riviera – $$$
The Hilton Vallarta Riviera is one of the best resorts in town – it’s all-inclusive, so you’re free to have plenty of peaceful downtime. They also have 7 restaurants, a private beach, a pool, a spa, and a gym. Rooms have super comfy beds and can include a terrace, balcony, and a private jetted tub overlooking the ocean! There’s evening entertainment and a kid’s club to keep the little ones happy
Rooms here at the Hilton Vallarta Riviera average around $350-$650 USD per night, but you can often get a good deal (on the lower end of that range) if you book in advance.
Amapas Apartments Puerto Vallarta – $$
The Amapas Apartments in Puerto Vallarta are a series of adults-only, self-contained apartments located in my favorite area of town – the Romantic Zone. It’s really close to the beach, restaurants, and tons of shopping and nightlife options. They even have a pool, with all rooms being well air-conditioned too!
With one and two-bedroom apartments available, a stay here typically starts around $96 USD per night, which I think is a great deal considering the size of the apartment and its location! This is another really popular spot, though, so don’t forget to book your stay online in advance.
Oasis Hostel – $
Who said you couldn’t live the dream on a budget? The Oasis Hostel offers both dorms and private rooms, which all have air conditioning with traditional Mexican decor. It’s around 5 km (3 mi) to get downtown, but that’s really easy with a taxi, or you can also rent a bike straight from the hostel. Rooms here are super affordable and include breakfast. Dorm beds start at $16 USD, and a private twin ensuite starts at $40 USD.
Oasis Hostel is a great choice if you’re backpacking through Puerto Vallarta or prefer to spend your money on experiences over accommodation. You can book your space on either Hostelworld or Booking.com.
Posada de Roger – $
Another superb budget choice is the Hotel Posada de Roger, right in the heart of the Romantic Zone. All rooms here have AC, and they even have an outdoor pool that gets tons of sun. You can also chill on their rooftop terrace overlooking the mountains. Plus, if you fancy making up some packed lunches, they have a shared kitchen for guests. No wonder it’s our go-to place to stay in Puerto Vallarta!
A one-night stay here at Posada de Roger starts at $64 USD per night, but it is pretty popular, so I’d recommend making your reservation in advance on Booking.com. You can always cancel the stay for free if you change your mind, so it’s a win-win!
Renting a Car in Mexico
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car.
I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Cancun in 2023, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically.
I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend.
The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too.
Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit.
Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your rental will be much cheaper!
Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!
We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.
They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!
Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)
Thanks for reading!
We’re still craving the tacos we had on our Puerto Vallarta food tours! From exploring the bustling markets to eating foods we didn’t even know existed, the food tours were undoubtedly some of the best memories we made in Puerto Vallarta. Trust us, these aren’t just meals, they’re experiences that’ll stick with you long after you’ve licked the last bit of salsa off your fingers.
If you found this blog helpful while planning your Puerto Vallarta getaway, check out our other Mexico blogs! We have lots of tips about how to make your vacation the best one yet.