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Puerto Vallarta’s Hungry Critic: Best of 2023 Awards

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – I’ve emerged from the holiday season, a whirlwind of festive gatherings and indulgent meals, and I’m thrilled to bring you my most anticipated column of the year – The Hungry Critic Best of ’23 Awards.

Since mid-last year, I’ve had the joy of sampling the culinary delights of 33 restaurants across our charming city and a few neighboring locales. The beauty of being a food critic lies in the constant push to step out of your comfort zone and venture to unexplored destinations.

But enough preamble – let’s dive into the awards! Remember, these accolades reflect my experiences at the establishments I’ve personally reviewed.

Best High-End Beachside Restaurant: Daiquiri Dick’s. Under new ownership, this enduring Vallarta gem has reinvented itself, while maintaining the same service excellence as the original. A revamped ambiance, exceptional cocktails, and an inventive menu have rightfully earned it top honors. Kudos for rejuvenating a classic with a refreshing zeal!

Best On-A-Budget Beachside Restaurant: Canto del Mar. A longtime favorite, this year, it seemed to sparkle with an extra pinch of magic sand. Stellar service paired with a kitchen that’s outdoing itself both in taste and presentation – put your feet in the sand and have one of the best lunches in town.

Best Hacienda-Style Mexican Restaurant: Casa Tradicional. It’s a symphony of flavors – from the best tableside guacamole and salsa to the fresh-from-the-bay seafood dishes. And the Cadillac margaritas? Generous pours are the rule of the day. But it’s the service that truly sets it apart. Don’t miss out on meeting Nacho, a waiter par excellence.

Best Down-Home, Honky Tonk Restaurant: Whiskey Kitchen. Gina Hendrix’s establishment is the go-to spot for fun drinks, live entertainment, and gravy-laden carbohydrates that warm the soul. I still regret missing their Thanksgiving and Christmas buffets – they’re the talk of the town!

Best ‘I Wish It Was Better’ Restaurant: La Traviata. This Cinco de Diciembre rooftop spot boasts breathtaking views, but my last visit was marred by subpar service and lukewarm fare. I’m hopeful for a turnaround when I revisit in ’24.

And now, drum roll please…

The Best Restaurant of 2023: Homun. Nestled in Versalles, this was one of my initial reviews, yet it’s the one I remember the most. With its extraordinarily inventive menu, flawless execution, and outstanding service, it stands unrivaled. Do check out their Instagram for a visual appetizer. Above all, make it a point to discover this culinary jewel.

Here’s to a 2024 filled with more culinary adventures! I eagerly await your feedback and restaurant suggestions at TheHungryCriticPV(at)gmail.com.

Click HERE to read more Puerto Vallarta restaurant reviews.

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