When we decided to move to Mexico for a while, we had a few goals. Learn Spanish. Take care of necessary dental work. Save money for future travels. And most importantly, eat all the tacos. In our nearly half a year here, we’ve been pretty successful with the last one. Our Spanish still kind of sucks, but we’ve probably eaten our weight in tacos. Most of these tacos have come from street vendors, which we love. Personally, we would be just fine with a taco truck on every corner. When we heard about a tour called “The Street: An Evening Taco Adventure” with Vallarta Food Tours, we knew we had to get in on the action.
This evening tour lasts about three hours and includes eight different stops. Be sure to come hungry for this one! It covers the Emiliana Zapata, Centro, and 5 de Diciembre neighborhoods, so you get a nice tour of Puerto Vallarta in the process. In addition to all the delicious food, a knowledgeable guide provides plenty of details on the history of street food in town and stories of the shops and people who run them. Here’s a quick run-down of the tour and all the mouth-watering tacos that come with it.
Fish Tacos and Volcanes
First up is Mariscos el Guero, which is known as a cevicheria. As the title suggests, they specialize in seafood and especially ceviche. They’ve got some of the best fish tacos in town here, as well as their own homemade hot sauce. One of these bad boys plus an ice cold Pacifico was the perfect way to start the tour.
Next up was the popular street stall called Tacos Memo. These guys have been serving hungry customers on the streets of PV for over 30 years and there’s a reason people keep lining up. Here we tried the tacos known as volcanes, which are said to resemble a volcano erupting thanks to the melted cheese spilling down the side. With a crispy taco shell and some pickled jalapeños and carrots, these were one of the stars of the tour.
Beef Cheek and Mezcal
Just a block or two away, we found Tacos Don Juan. The smell was intoxicating as the expert whipped us up some tacos de cabeza. Don’t do Google Translate on that one, because you’ll get “head tacos.” A better translation would definitely be beef cheek, but these are so tender and juicy that it doesn’t matter what they’re called.
Three tacos into our journey, it was time for a stroll across the river to our next destination. Patio de Mi Casa has a great rooftop location, where we were able to digest a bit and try some mezcal. It may be related to tequila, but it tastes far different. Bite on an orange wedge covered in some chili powder before sipping on it and enjoy the smokey flavor.
Sopes and Tacos al Pastor
To get to the next stop, the group hops on the local bus as it’s on the other side of town. We somehow lost the group when they left the bar before us, but it was no problema. We’re experts on riding the bus here as it’s a big part of how we’ve been living in Puerto Vallarta on a budget. If you’re just visiting, this part of the tour is quite useful as you’ll learn how to identify where buses are going, how much they cost, and how to signal for a stop.
At Restaurant Lolita, they usually serve up the Mexican soup pozole to guests of the tour. It was too damn hot for that, though, so we munched on some sopes instead. This popular snack is made from a base of fried masa (ground maize soaked in lime) and it’s topped with meat, crumbled cheese, veggies, sour cream and your choice of salsa.
Another short walk brought us to Del Carboncito. The star of the show here is their tacos al pastor. This style of cooking is a Mexican twist on shawarma that was brought here by Lebanese immigrants. Whereas gyros and döner kebabs are traditionally made with lamb, tacos al pastor are made with pork. At the top of the spit, there’s a pineapple that is often cut to get the juice flowing into the pork. The tacos are then topped with onion and a slice of the sweet fruit. These guys have a hot salsa that will set your mouth on fire, so proceed with caution!
Marlin Tacos and Churros
You may feel like you need to be rolled to the last two stops after so many delicious tacos, but you just have to power through. Another popular street stall – La Tia Mariscos – is next. They’ve got a large menu here, with all sorts of tacos, ceviche, and more. We went with the marlin tacos, which our guide dubbed the “bacon of the sea.” They grill it up with some butter and soy sauce, and add their own homemade dressing along with some lettuce. Despite being super full, these tacos really hit the spot. In fact, I think they were the highlight of the tour for me.
Last but not least, we visited the fine family that runs Julio’s Churros for – you guessed it – some sweet, fried churros. I’m not big on dessert, but these were a great way to end the tour.
All in all, the tour was fun, informative, and delicious. Our guide was great and we got to meet some cool people who were here for a short vacation. It’s nice to be tourists in your own town once in a while, and we discovered a handful of new places we’d never have known about. If you’re visiting Puerto Vallarta and are interested in learning more about the local food and the people who make it, we’d highly recommend joining one of their tours. They can be contacted at 954 607-5633 (US/Canada) or 322 181-7196 (Mexico). You can also e-mail them at [email protected] or just visit their website to book a tour.
Note: We were invited to join the tour free of charge in exchange for an honest review and a video highlight. The views expressed here are solely our own and we wouldn’t recommend the tour if we didn’t enjoy it.