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Where to Eat in Sayulita Part One: Mexican Food

Sayulita is a small town with a lot of restaurants. There are probably 50-60 places to eat here, which is quite a lot for a town of 5000 people, don’t you think? Naturally, Michael and I spent a lot of time eating here- we actually made it our mission to try every place in town.

It didn’t take me long to find my favorites, the places I return to time and time again, sometimes multiple times a week. So I figured I would share in case you are ever lucky enough to visit our marvelous beach paradise.

I’ve split this article into two parts: Mexican and non-Mexican. There are truly great restaurants in both categories, but it really just depends on what you are looking for. I am always on the lookout for really great Mexican food, not just generic tourist fare. Sayulita has a lot of both, so you will want to pick your restaurant carefully.

Here are my favorites:

Yeikame

Chilaquiles, beans and huevo rancheros

Yeikame is hands down my favorite place to eat in town. Breakfast, lunch or dinner I’m always begging Mike to take me. Surprisingly the rest of Sayulita to what a gem this place is; although it’s situated between two of the most popular places in town (Burrito Revolution and Itacate), it’s usually pretty empty.

This family-run place has an extensive menu featuring items you can’t find anywhere else in town like cochinita pibil (Yucatan style slow roasted pork), green chorizo from Toluca and exquisite homemade blue corn tortillas. It’s hard to pick a favorite but I love their enormous sopes and their tasty pozole stew (also hard to find elsewhere in town). Mike usually goes for the mole enchiladas.For breakfast, anything with chilaquiles will make your stomach happy.

Pedritos

This recommendation is for lunch-time only, in the evening an entirely different business takes over the spot (these restaurant sharing deals seem common here). Roberto has to be one of the best cooks in town (he’s handsome too), and he serves up fresh and beautiful Oaxacan food. Not only is it delicious, it’s a nice change from the other offerings around town. My favorite is the panela cheese tacos but the coconut shrimp are excellent too. Mike loves the mole, natch.

Tacos Ivan

You’ll need at least 3 or 4. Extra pineapple.

Back home our drunk 3 AM snack spot of choice was Taco Bell. Here we have Tacos Ivan, an unassuming street stand that’s easy to spot by the hordes of people who crowd around it (it’s listed in Lonely Planet, which probably helps). Ivan’s doesn’t really get going until around 8 pm and is known for one thing: tacos al pastor. Slow spit roasted pork slivers topped with a slice of pineapple. At 10 pesos a taco it’s also one of the cheapest meals in town.

Metro

We discovered Metro our first week here and now eat here for lunch at least once or twice a week. In terms of deliciousness for your dollar, it’s definitely one of the best deals in town. This place specializes in Mexican tortas– a toasted sandwich on a special kind of white crusty roll. For just 40 pesos ($3) you can get a very filling lunch. I’m a big fan of the Milanesa sandwich, but only if you are REALLY hungry.

Tacos on the Street

Despite the name, Tacos on the Street is actually a sit down restaurant. They have a very small menu: chicken, steak or veggie tacos or quesadillas. On thursday there is fish too. Even so their tacos are super tasty and cheap- this is the best place in town, hands down, to get a roasted veggie taco. Their desserts are great too: creamy flan, or tart key lime pie.

Itacate

chile relleno taco

This place is number one on TripAdvisor, so it doesn’t really need my recommendation, but it’s too excellent not to mention. We’ve had nearly everything on the menu and it is all great but giant steak tacos are the draw here, made from grass-fed organic beef and served with a huge variety of optional toppings. Also good: the chile relleno taco, which is exactly what it sounds like and super messy and delicious. This place is tiny and always packed so try to show up early.

Ricky’s

Ricky’s is a fairly new favorite- an open air taco stand on Calle Jose Mariscal. They have terrific home-mad tortillas (they make them as you order) and tasty grilled meat. We almost always opt for carne asada quesadills. Make sure you add some of the home-made hot sauce.

Rinconcito

Shrimp tacos

Skip the flashy “Real Fish Taco” stand down near the beach, these are the best shrimp tacos in town. Plus they are cheaper. Rinconcitos is located near the bridge and serves a very basic menu of fish and shrimp tacos, empanadas and ceviche. I’m not a big fish person but their fried shrimp tacos are heavenly. Mike is a fan of the ceviche tostadas.

The Cake Lady

The Cake Lady probably has a name, but she is known universally around town by this moniker. You can find her every night near the plaza with a card table stacked high with half a dozen varieties of cake. Her flan is out of this world, as is the chocolate tres leches cake. A slice costs 15 pesos ($1.15).

Wakika

There area couple decent ice cream places in town, but Wakika is the only place where you can buy legitimate Mexican paletas (popsicles) in a huge assortment of flavors. I like the milk based ones- pistachio, cookies and cream or chocolate, while Mike usually goes for the water-based: lime, jamaica, even habanero mango.

Also decent: SayuliTacos, Bichos, the lady who sells grilled chicken next to Metro, Naty’s, Burrito Revolution, the guys who sell barbacoa tacos next to Pedritos, and Sayulita Cafe.

Places to Avoid: While there are many more great places worth trying around town, there are a couple spots that serve up inauthentic, overpriced “Mexican food” and are definitely not worth your money. Don’t waste your time on Fajita Banana or the giant Sayulita Fish Taco restaurant in the square. Actually most of the restaurants in the square, where waiters try to peer pressure you inside as you simply walk down the street, are not worth your time.

26 Responses to Where to Eat in Sayulita Part One: Mexican Food

  1. Renuka May 4, 2014 at 10:16 AM #

    The food looks amazingly yummy! Being a foodie, I must bookmark this list. Thanks!

  2. Naomi May 4, 2014 at 11:06 AM #

    How much I would love to be booking the next flight out there! All your recommendations sound divine, Mexico is definitely high on the list to say the least!

  3. Sam May 4, 2014 at 11:45 AM #

    Nom nom nom…all looks so good, though I’m not convinced about pineapple on tacos. Having recently decided to give up eating dairy, I wonder how much of a hard time I’d have eating in Mexico…though from the looks of this roundup, there seem to still be a few options.

    • Steph May 5, 2014 at 8:39 AM #

      You’ll have to be careful but there is a lot less cheese in real mexican food than in tex-mex american-style mexican. ie: most tacos have no cheese, guacamoles, salsa, there are lots of meats in sauces, stuff like that should be no problem, just stay away from the quesadillas!

      • Sam May 5, 2014 at 12:02 PM #

        Thanks, Steph. That’s reassuring to know!

  4. Marteen May 4, 2014 at 5:35 PM #

    DearcNom Nom Sam. No worries about the dairy. The all serve beer.

  5. Rachel of Hippie in Heels May 4, 2014 at 9:06 PM #

    I wish I could remember what street vendor I got tacos from near the square- it was so cheap and good!

  6. Morgan May 4, 2014 at 9:26 PM #

    Oh yum! The Itacate taco looks absolutely delightful!

  7. Jen Seligmann May 5, 2014 at 4:27 AM #

    Those shrimp tacos look delicious and totally what I would prefer to over the plate of pasta I have for dinner tonight. I love love love Mexican food and try and find a way to eat it at least once a week. Can’t wait to get to Mexico one day and taste the real stuff!

  8. Carmen May 5, 2014 at 9:40 AM #

    Oh my gosh this post has me drooling. We are going here in November so I can’t wait to eat myself around the city like you have! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. Rebekah May 8, 2014 at 3:22 AM #

    For whatever reason being in China makes me crave Mexican food…. this post sounds so good. I’d love some taco’s and an avocado…. Oh well, its not like I’m suffering with Chinese Food

    • Steph May 8, 2014 at 9:23 AM #

      Ironically, all I’ve been craving the past 6 months is mapo dofu and bao zi, so it’s definitely a grass is always greener sort of situation….

  10. Richelle May 12, 2014 at 9:31 AM #

    As someone who has been living in China for the last year, the one thing I CRAVE is good Mexican food. I am actually dying a little inside looking at these pictures. But I know as soon as I return to America and get my fill of Mexican, I’ll be craving authentic Chinese in no time.

  11. John May 14, 2014 at 6:51 PM #

    Thanks for the great information, we are headed to Sayulita in early July and I was always get over anxious and start studying up on everything before a vacation. I will definitely use this information when out and about looking for a good meal. Do a lot of these places close down for the summer? That is one worry I can of have about when we are going.

    • Steph May 14, 2014 at 8:34 PM #

      Hi John, I’m afraid that a lot of these places (but certainly not all) do close down in the summer. I’m not sure what will be open in July, but there ought to be at least a handful of good places!

  12. Lori carmack September 11, 2014 at 6:46 PM #

    Do you have an opinion on Don pedros?

    • Steph September 11, 2014 at 6:54 PM #

      We only ate there twice as it was a bit out of our budget, but I thought it was terrific!

  13. Tricia Rivera March 10, 2015 at 11:13 PM #

    This is such a great article! My husband and I are headed to Sayulita in July and we will definitely be checking out some of these places during our visit (well, the ones that are open in July!) Thanks for compiling this list!

  14. Raquel March 22, 2015 at 7:20 PM #

    Does anyone know of a place right in front if beach at a corner street that sells tostadas de ceviche? The owner is well known with crazy long hair and I think he’s originally from Brazil. I can’t remember the name of his place but all seats are outside. Anyone know this place????

    • Natasha Stanley May 8, 2016 at 10:44 AM #

      El Break? The bar stools and chairs made of knotty wood?

      • Natasha Stanley May 8, 2016 at 10:46 AM #

        We had ceviche tostadas at El Break last night and I would definitely return. Spicy tuna was great! Also fresh squeezed margaritas.

  15. Elizabeth March 21, 2016 at 10:08 AM #

    I stumbled upon you blog when googling “where to eat in Sayulita”. It literally made my trip! Each day we would read through this page and pick a new place to try.

    Thanks for all the great advice!
    Elizabeth

  16. Mark March 23, 2016 at 1:58 PM #

    Just ate at Yeikame last night due to your suggestion! We ordered The Conchinita Pibil and Green Chorizo in addition to a few other things. The green chorizo was amazing!

    • Steph March 25, 2016 at 1:20 AM #

      Yay! I am so happy/jealous.

  17. Sean July 5, 2016 at 12:10 PM #

    Sayulita Fish Taco was extremely tasty and has beautiful beautiful view. Not to mention the service was fantastic. Easily some of the nicest people we met while dining. I’d say your comment about not wasting your time there is ill informed and a bit much.

    • Steph July 5, 2016 at 2:05 PM #

      Sounds like we had very different experiences.

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