Please note that this post may contain affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you.
If you’ve been following my travels for a while now, then you know that many of my adventures are focused around food. The amazing food is probably one of the main reasons I visit Mexico a few times a year. Sayulita, a surf town just north of Puerto Vallarta in Riviera Nayarit, was my latest adventure. I had been promised good surf (but as a terrible surfer I’m not even really surf what that means), but what I was really hoping for was for the food to live up to my expectations. So imagine my disappointment when my very first meal was only “meh”. Not terrible, but definitely nothing to write home about. Luckily, that was my only bad meal in the three weeks I spent exploring Sayulita and San Pancho, another even more laid back surf town down the road. This guide will cover all of my favorite Sayulita restaurants – including where to eat and drink for the best meals.
The best part about the restaurants in Sayulita, Mexico is that there is quite literally something for any type of traveler (with over 100 different restaurants in Sayulita to choose from). You’ll find super budget options, as well as fancier, more upscale dining options. You’ll find meat heavy restaurants (like Mr. Ribs or al pastor street taco stands), but there are also plenty of places to eat in Sayulita that are vegan and vegetarian friendly.
Where to eat in Sayulita, Nayarit (the best restaurants in Sayulita)
My favorite thing to do on any trip is eat. And it is safe to say that I plan my days around where and when I’m eating next. If you’re like me, you’re going to love Sayulita, which offers tons of amazing restaurants to choose from. I’ve put together a list of some of my faves, but there is still so much more for me to explore. [Looks at booking tickets back immediately].
I still dream about these smoothie bowls from Anchor Cafe in Sayulita! When I first stepped foot into this cute cafe, I was transported back to my days in Bali. So it only made sense when I noticed posters of Canggu hanging on the walls.
The smoothie bowls from Anchor Cafe, priced at 125 pesos, are big, delicious, and filled with fruits and veggies! By far the best in town in my opinion. I recommend the Sayulita or the Blackberry. They have a number of other dishes as well, all of which look great, but I couldn’t resist a smoothie bowl each time I visited. I’ve heard amazing things about their avocado toast, as well as their chia puddings, which are topped with a smoothie!
Taco al Pastor San Ivan
I think I managed to visit this street taco stand 3 times in two days when we first arrived in Sayulita. It will always hold a special place in my heart since eating a plate of tacos here was the first thing that I did to ring in 2022.
While they do have a small menu of options, the best item is easily the classic Al Pastor tacos. Priced at 15 pesos (around $0.75), these tacos with thinly sliced pork and a chunk of pineapple are incredible. They’re small, so I recommend ordering a few.
There is usually a line, especially at night, but it shouldn’t take long to get served. This spot is only open in the evenings, but stays open until late at night. It is a popular post-bar taco spot.
Barracuda (one of the fanciest Sayulita restuarants)
Barracuda is easily one of my favorite spots to eat in Riviera Nayarit. All of the fish is super fresh and oh my god, just so freaking good. It’s embarrassing how many times I ate here during this trip. My personal favorite is the tuna tostada – both seared and raw are amazing.
This restaurant, however is located right on the main strip by the beach and is super popular. When we visited around New Years we waited an hour and a half for a table (insane), and service was still super slow after that. But honestly it was worth it, especially when I realized that they have another location just up the road in San Pancho.
There is a bunch of other great stuff on the menu, but honestly these tuna tostadas are where it is at. They’re only 80 pesos each and they are huge!
You can’t visit Sayulita and not grab a poke bowl from Organi-K. They have a ton of options to choose from, including the option to sub in tofu for fish in any bowl to make it vegetarian. My go-to at Organi-K is definitely the mango poke, which is packed with raw tuna, mango, cucumbers, and a delicious rice-quinoa combo.
Organi-K also serves delicious juices, wellness shots, and smoothie bowls if you are looking for something a bit lighter. Little PSA, don’t get the matcha. As someone who drinks matcha every morning at home, I kept trying to find the perfect cup while in Sayulita. This spot is not it. Stick with one of their juices or smoothies instead!
If you’re walking down the street in Sayulita it is just about impossible to miss Attico. Fun swinging chairs, nightly live music, and there is almost always a crowd.
All of the drinks here are great and super reasonable at 100 peso a cocktail. Make sure to order the vegan nachos if you’re hungry. They’re packed with jackfruit and so so delicious.
One of my favorite things about El Itacate is that along with your usual dips and sauces, they serve beans and tin foil wraps of grilled onions to put top your tacos. Love that for me!
The tacos are super filling, so two should usually suffice. They are famous for their steak tacos, but I personally love their ahi tuna, shrimp, and breaded chicken tacos. Plus, the guac here is delicious!
They have large portions here, I swear one breaded chicken taco is a meal in itself. But yet I always order more and more.
There always seem to be a line at this fish taco stand, but whatever the wait, it is absolutely worth it. They have a menu with a number of different tacos and tostadas, but they are best known for their delicious fried fish tacos. I recommend getting at least three!
Another favorite cute cafe in Sayulita, Miscelanea. Although we only visited once, it was definitely worthy of this list. They serve breakfast and lunch, so don’t plan to come too late in the day. They have a beautiful outdoor patio, in addition to indoor seating.
Miscelanea serves ton of cool coffee drinks for all of my coffee lovers. Their smoothie was delicious, but not as good as my favorite from Anchor Cafe. Definitely go for the chilaquiles verde if you’re looking for a heavier breakfast while in Sayulita.
We stumbled upon El Tiburon on our first night in Sayulita while looking for after dinner drinks. While this is definitely more of a restaurant than a bar, their cocktails are also fantastic. They’ve got an extensive list of great mezcals as well. Speaking to others, it seems that the most popular dishes include the firecracker shrimp and their tuna tostadas.
Looking for dessert? Wa Kika is your spot for some of the best ice cream in Sayulita.
Best bars in Sayulita
Sayulita has a big late-night party scene! However, admittedly we didn’t really explore much of the Sayulita super late night scene. I am past my prime of all night partying, plus packed indoor bars weren’t ideal during this recent surge. However, we still explored a ton of great bars around Sayulita.
Cava is easily my favorite bar in Sayulita. It is small and laidback, but it serves some of the best cocktails in town. Plus, the bartenders are all great! I highly recommend the Watermelon Mezcalita, made with fresh watermelon juice that they chop up and blend right in front of you. These craft cocktails are also super reasonable at 100 MXN a drink ($5 USD). If you’re craving a drink earlier in the evening, stop by between 4-6PM for happy hour for even better deals!
Escondido Bar is enough chill, laid back bar serving delicious craft cocktails. A bit pricier than other spots (170-200 MXN per drink), this is a great spot to start your night, or as a nightcap on a chiller evening. Atico – The swing bar! It is hard to walk Sayulita and not notice this popular bar with live music and swings! Atico has live music every evening and serves up some great drinks. While they are less known for their dinner options, I highly recommend the vegan nachos, which are loaded up with delicious jackfruit!
Known for their house made ginger beer (try the moscow mules) and swinging chairs right by the beach. Looking for a cheap night? Lucid has happy hours until 8pm with delicious tangerine margaritas for just 70 pesos.
Aaleyah’s Nachos & Wings
Although technically a restaurant, I’m including under the bar section because we never actually came here. However, it quickly became a favorite spot for us because, according to my Michelada-loving boyfriend, these are the best in town!
Other places to eat in Sayulita, Nayarita:
Unfortunately my time in Sayulita wasn’t unlimited so I didn’t anywhere close to trying all of the restaurants on my Sayulita bucket list that I would have liked to. Here are a few others that I have heard are worth a visit:
- Mary’s Tacos – traditional, cheap Mexican fare
- Alas Blancas – beachside Mexican fare, one of the best Sayulita restaurants on the beach
- La Fogonera – a local burger truck
- Orangy – known for their smoothies
- La Rustica Sayulita – come for their Italian food and pizzas
- El Pescador – Mexican Hawaiian fusion seafood restaurant known for their poke bowls.
- ChocoBanana – known for their brunch and, duh, their chocolate bananas! Usually quite the crowd, especially at brunch.
- Achara Sayulita – one of the few Asian options in Sayulita, this Thai spot is known to serve up some delicious curries. There pad thai is rumored to be great as well. Make a reservation.
- Burrito Revolution – the burritos here are huge and delicious
- Yah-Yah Cafe – known for having some of the best coffee in town
Visiting Riviera Nayarit? Here are some articles to check out: