Ask the leading experts in luxury travel about Punta Mita and they are likely to shake their head with a knowing smile. After all, the Forbes travel expert said that “few places in the world do world-class service and aesthetic bliss as they do in Punta Mita.”
After all, Punta Mita is part of a private peninsula in the Riviera Nayarit, and is (as that same expert said), “the type of place where heavenly dreams of idyllic tropical getaways turn to reality.” It is home to two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, a world-class tennis center, 15 premier residential communities, and home to two of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands: Four Seasons and St. Regis. It attracts the jet-set as well as the rich and famous and it is a consistently award-winning area for its beautiful design and facilities.
Punta Mita is a planned community that has been carefully designed by some of the leading experts in the world, and because of that, it has retained a sense of natural beauty and peace that very few developed areas can manage to keep. The landscape has been preserved, and yet many homes and other sites are tucked right into the scenery. This includes spaces where seaside dining, ocean sports, and waterfront clubs are found.
Little wonder, then, that it should also be home to a long list of amazing eateries.
The Sea and Its Bounty
Punta Mita is still a fishing village and this means that seafood is often a central ingredient in many dishes found in the array of restaurants. And our top recommendation is one such establishment. Tuna Blanca, as one food and travel expert explains, offers “showstopping Mexican haute cuisine, featuring organic produce, fresh-caught fish, and seasonal dishes. Owned by rock star chef Thierry Blouet, their rich menu features contemporary recipes highlighting local ingredients alongside elevated versions of traditional fare.”
Diners are encouraged to try the shrimp temazcal with flaming raicilla. There is also the house ceviche that takes the unusual step of using octopus as a main ingredient. The menu also features a five-stroke menu with options like Blue Bay Tuna Toast or Chef Thierry Prawns and Pumpkin Cream. There are milk tacos, and an array of amazing desserts like the fondant de cajeta which includes walnut crumble, banana ice cream and caramelized fruit.
As the restaurant’s website explains, it is “focused on seafood and Mexican style, brings fresh seasonal ingredients from the fisheries and from the Nayarit regional farms of Mexico to its table.”
If this idea appeals to you, then you also want to try another, more laid-back option known as Si Senor.
Many visitors to Punta Mita are eager to leave the resorts behind and head out to find any local favorites or unique restaurants with a more casual feel. Si Senor is that, and one reviewer noted that it is “funky, atmospheric and all about the fresh fish,” and then went on to say that travelers will want to “have your camera ready because the whole restaurant has a fun, show-like atmosphere and delicious Mexican cuisine and very strong margaritas.”
The margaritas are a signature item and made right at the table, with waiters squeezing lime juice and telling diners to “say when” as the tequila pours. Made with the tequila of choice selected by the diner, they are a popular part of dining here. The guacamole and salsa are the same and are made table-side and accompanied by the restaurant’s authentic totopos.
Menu options also include classic Oaxaquenos tamales, Peruvian ceviche, catch of the day, and much more. There are Chef’s Specialities, and these can include a seafood pozole, Puerto Nuevo lobster, vacio steak, and more.
And if you are eager to have a more authentic, local dining experience (and with the fresh ingredients on hand every day, you really must try at least one local restaurant), the many street restaurants or street food vendors are a great choice. Here you can enjoy authentic tacos, pozole, and sopes. Consistently ranking as one of the best of the best is Norma’s Tacos. As one travel writer said of them, the “single best spot in Punta de Mita for authentic tacos, pozole, and sopes,” is Norma’s. Found in the Emiliano Zapato neighborhood, it is a warm and welcoming spot where you can bring your own beer and then dive into the specialties of the house. Pozole is a real treat but made only on weekends, and a must-try beverage is the agua de avena, which is made from oatmeal and has a sweet flavor similar to horchata.
The Naef Café is a more upscale version, but serves two meals daily and is housed in a courtyard space offering dishes made from the chickens (owned by the chef) who are kept nearby. Try the egg dishes, of course, but don’t miss the homemade bread and ice cream. It is also noted as being the best option for coffee in the entire area.
Tacos and Papas is another good choice and serves all of the classics that are made according to the diner’s preference of chicken, beef or vegetables. It is in the Calle Pescadores area. Mexique is another option found “about a 10-minute drive from the town’s center, on an organic garden, within a thatched-roof hut.” The menu changes daily and is made based on the fresh ingredients in the garden. It is a true farm to table option and uses classic Mexican dishes with a Thai kick.
Just like many areas designed to offer premier travel experiences, Punta Mita is a foodie’s paradise. Whether you opt for fine dining or street food, you won’t be disappointed.