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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.