Now you know we stayed in the heart of Puerto Vallarta at Playa Los Arcos and as a family we love trying new things. On our vacation fun list Frank added – eat like a local. That may sound simple but with many food carts and restaurants in the romantic zone where do you eat. The solution – Vallarta Food Tours!
Dustin enjoying freshly made churros!
This Cultural Walking Tour took us through the many streets surrounding the hotel which led to the most amazing food we've ever tried. Cheyenne, who is 8, ate just as much as the adults which surprised us. Dustin is at the terrible 4-year-old stage so he nibbled here and there it just wasn't a good day for him, but that didn't stop the rest of us from enjoying the tour.
Street Taco served with onion and freshly chopped cilantro!
For our walking tour, we met our guide, Alex, in the pouring rain. He gave us a choice to reschedule when the weather was better, we didn't have that option since it was our last night in Puerto Vallarta, but we decided to continue on and are so happy we did. The streets had water up to your ankles which left your feet soaking wet after seconds of walking but we soon forgot as we were swept up in the history of the town and the amazing food at each stop.
Creating the perfect taco!
The tour combines food, history, culture, and education on how the foods are prepared to kick up the heat while eating a meal. To our surprise we learned that limes are the best thing to stop the burning sensation after eating really hot food, it has something to do with the acidity, or try coffee it will curb the burning mouth as well. We also learned that soups are a huge part of the cuisine, who knew. But what really fascinated us was how street stands and restaurants are handed down from generation to generation. We were lucky enough to eat at one restaurant that had the 4th generation kids running around as we sat down to dine.
Taco Stand carne asada
The best part of the food tour is it is a tasting of what Puerto Vallarta has to offer. You get a regular portion of the dish like carne asada, Xocodiva Artisan Chocolates, and ceviche. Since it is a tasting it doesn't mean you have to like all the food put in front of you but you should at least try it! If you love spicy you have to try the mango habanero salsa at Tacos Robles! Don't worry the food isn't spicy they season all their dishes with just salt and pepper and the spice is added on after through salsas and hot sauce – another fun fact!
Halfway through our cultural walking tour, Alex decided to switch things up a bit due to the storm we were in the middle of. He gave us the best of both worlds the downtown and the evening street taco tour. Since a lot of the carts are on the street the rain shut them down so we would have been unable to complete the full culinary journey that was originally planned. The kids were pleased though as we got to enjoy freshly made churros on the street corner.
Freshly made ceviche
Our favorites for trying something new on this trip were:
- Churros – the kids' favorites
- Ceviche – the adults' favorite
Churros made in front of you! Bet you can't eat just one.
If you like us we had no clue what ceviche was until we tried it on our tour with Alex. It is the process of curing raw fish in citrus juices, lemon or lime, and spice with aji or chili peppers served on a tostada. It is one of the most refreshing dishes I have ever tried. The secret is it has to be fresh fish that has never been frozen before to get the real flavor experience of ceviche.
Jalapeno stuffed with seafood, battered and deep fried served on top of a fresh tortilla with pico de gallo
I feel that my pictures don't do the whole tour justice, partly because of the rain I was limited to what I could actually take photos of. We plan on going back to Puerto Vallarta and doing another tour, our experience was truly amazing.
Can't beat the fresh ingredients at the taco stands!
If one of those doesn't interest you they also offer Private Food Tours so you can find a tour that fits your specific needs. I can't say enough about how accommodating they were for us, offering to rebook and even having umbrellas if we decided to go ahead with the tour.
Everyone came out of the walking tour with full tummies, warm hearts, and a new respect for the Mexican culture and food. An added bonus is the map you are handed at the beginning of the tour has a restaurant and shopping guide for when you're out on your own. Get your walking shoes ready next time you head to Puerto Vallarta and book your own food tour, you'll be happy you did!
Have you been on a Walking Food Tour before?