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Puerto Vallarta

The Hungry Critic

"Vallarta's Favorite Critic"

As a former executive chef and restauranteur, I’m often asked my opinion about a restaurant, bar, caterer, etc.

And I am never shy about telling it like it is, even though I know from experience that you can be in the weeds some days in your kitchen, and nothing seems to be going right. Eating out is truly an art form here in Puerto Vallarta, and it is my pleasure to share my experiences with you.

Each week I will review one of Puerto Vallarta’s famous and not-so-famous culinary experiences. Keep in mind, this is just my take on that one day, and yours may not be the same. Austin James


This Week, Puerto Vallarta’s Hungry Critic Reviews Zumo

The buzz in town these days centers on Zumo. Following the success of Zumo in San Miguel de Allende, Vanessa Villegas and her husband, the culinary maestro Stewart Haverlack (remember the sensational Boca Bento?), have graced Vallarta with a second Zumo location.

Puerto Vallarta’s Hungry Critic is Back! – Reviews Canto

I've once again donned my critic's hat, although you may not find my reviews every week, as I now balance my time between Vallarta and our second home in Guanajuato. What better way to kick off this new series of reviews than a visit to Canto - Modern Cantonese Bistro, one of PV's freshest culinary stars?

Puerto Vallarta’s Hungry Critic: Best of 2023 Awards

Puerto Vallarta restaurant reviewer, Austin James, has emerged from the holiday season, a whirlwind of festive gatherings and indulgent meals, and he's thrilled to bring you his most anticipated column of the year – The Hungry Critic's Best of 2023 Awards.

Puerto Vallarta’s Hungry Critic Reviews La Traviata

Perched majestically above Cinco de Diciembre, La Traviata wowed with its panoramic embrace of Banderas Bay and the city of Puerto Vallarta below, a view that can only be described as a feast for the eyes. But alas, as the old saying goes, 'You don't eat the view.'

Vallarta’s Hungry Critic Visits Ascencio Tacos y Chelas

I continue to be excited by the wave of avant-garde restaurants you can find in the Puerto Vallarta neighborhood or Versalles. We had heard of this little tacos and beer gem for over a year, but we finally made it to Ascencio with a couple of friends last week, and I will certainly be back.

This Week, Vallarta’s Hungry Critic Reviews Canto del Mar

Puerto Vallarta boasts an array of beachside dining spots. While tourists tend to gravitate towards the renowned ones like La Palapa and Daiquiri Dick’s, there’s something truly delightful about the smaller, tucked-away gems. Canto del Mar is one of those hidden treasures, perfect for those seeking a laid-back and wallet-friendly lunch.

Vallarta’s Hungry Critic Visits Vitea Oceanfront Bistro

The ambiance of Vitea is as compelling as its culinary offerings. Whether you choose to relax outdoors under the protective awning or prefer the cooler indoors during the summer months, you're in for a treat. The establishment itself is a masterpiece of design, mirroring the artistry evident in their food presentations.

The Hungry Critic Reviews Casa Tradicional Cocina Mexicana

The menu at Casa Tradicional is quite extensive, from enchiladas to rib-eye steaks, and the price points will suit any budget. However, the shining stars of this restaurant are its service staff. You will feel like a local family invited you to dinner. Oh, and don’t forget those Cadillac Margaritas!