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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


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!

This Week, Vallarta’s Hungry Critic Visits Serrano’s Grill

Nearly 15 years ago, when we planted our roots in Puerto Vallarta, the gem down our street was Vista Grill. Touted for one of the most breathtaking views in town, it was the go-to for memorable occasions. Although the torch was passed through different hands, and even lay dormant for a while, it has been beautifully reborn as Serrano’s Grill.

Puerto Vallarta’s Hungry Critic Reviews Whiskey Kitchen

After navigating a challenging week due to family medical matters, my partner and I decided it was high time for some hearty, comforting food. We had heard ravings about Gina Hendrix's restaurant, Whiskey Kitchen, being the go-to place for such cravings, and I now echo the sentiment.

This Week, Vallarta’s Hungry Critic Visits Tony’s Please

After finishing my three-week tour of reviewing restaurants in nearby cities, I felt the need for some “comfort” food, Vallarta-style, with a visit to Tony’s Please, a venerable favorite of many in the Romantic Zone. The minute you walk in, you are welcomed by the owner, and you feel right at home in the cozy and casual décor.