Best Restaurants in Sayulita

Restaurants in Sayulita, Mexico.

Honestly, when it comes to making the most out of traveling and finding the best local food, I like to stay away from yelp and trip advisor reviews. The type of people that spend a lot of time complaining or posting positive reviews on these websites usually aren’t my type of people. SO, the following are restaurants in Sayulita that totally cater to my type of people—people like you! The wanderers, seekers, travelers and teachers of this world!

La Isla:

On the first evening, after a long walk on the beach, we happened upon this happening spot on the Northern side of town. Basically, our time in Sayulita can be summarized as: “walk, eat, walk, drink, walk, beach, walk, drink…” and on and on the cycle repeats!

La Isla had some of the best sunset views on the beach. This spot hosted a 2-for-1 classic margarita happy hour from 4:00-6:00pm. Their staff was super friendly, they played unique electronic music that floated across the ocean breeze, and best of all, they had the biggest and cheesiest shrimp (camarones) quesadillas we’ve ever tasted.

Rosticeria la Pechuga:

We happened to be in Sayulita for Thanksgiving and were a bit sad we wouldn’t be partaking in a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner. However, on a brisk morning walk, we were lured in to Rosticeria la Pechuga on Calle de Revolucion. Here, a wonderful family smiled and sweated in front of their rotisserie racks. They offered us a wonderful (and incredibly inexpensive) Thanksgiving special.

For only $9USD, we got an entire grilled chicken, a side of rice, a stack of tortillas, 12 taquitos, and a selection of salsas. This family-run business provided the perfect Thanksgiving dinner! We revisited them several times as their grilled chicken had a smoky flavor we couldn’t get out of our minds.

Estrella De Mar Mariscos:

Estrella De Mar, “The Star Of The Sea,” was a favorite lunch spot for us while we visited Sayulita. Out front, alluring male servers (Hola cutieee Marteeeeeen!) excitedly welcomed people in off the streets.

The staff members spoke entirely in Spanish, (really slowing things down and using lots of hand motions) to help us practice. It was nice to see them taking the time to speak Spanish. Many times, in touristic places like Sayulita, they don’t have time to struggle with language barriers, so they immediately revert to speaking English.

It was quite comical when we also realized the “mamma” behind the salsa bar was also the housecleaner at our nearby vacation rental. Small world, small town!

Tropical House:

The Tropical House Sayulita is on the north side of town. It’s located inside a beautifully muraled building that seems to be crumbling to the ground. Beautiful urban decay. Once walking through the brick entryway, you walked into an almost Secret-Garden sort of setting.

Locals sat around the bar, sipping salty rims off Passion Fruit and Hibiscus margaritas. Here, the meal was a bit more expensive than most places we’d been to, but the music, atmosphere, local-bar-scene and quality of the fish dishes made it totally worth every penny.

Though I thought it wasn’t possible to ever get sick of tacos, I now know that it is indeed quite possible and unavoidable.

Sometimes when traveling, you just need a “taste of home.” They say “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” and also, often we don’t appreciate the beauty and deliciousness of our native until you’re far away from it.

Far away, sick of tacos and feeling like you can’t even look at another sip of tequila without turning your insides out… You may crave the simplicity of an American meal (without having to cross your fingers and hope for the best after sheepishly ordering your meal in Spanish).

North Side Café:

If you’re feeling like some super delicious American-style breakfast, stop at North Side Café for tasty veggie omelets, vegan burritos, and frosty mimosas.

Photo source: Fearless Female Travels

La Rustica Pizza:

This poppin’ place makes some absolutely FIRE (pun intended) fire-baked pizza. We went here several times on our trip because the quality rivals even the top pizza in the world (including the Italy, the inventors of pizza).

I’d suggest “La Princessa” pizza that’s laden with balsamic vinegar, arugula greens and blue cheese.

Pro-tip: put MAGGI on EVERYTHING. Though I’ve never seen this sauce in American stores, I’ll definitely be adding this to my seasoning collection. It’s gotta be chalked full of MSG, but it’s divine on any dish from shrimp scampi, to pizza, to a breakfast egg-scramble.

Tips for Eating Out in Sayulita:

In Sayulita, it seems many of the restaurants are following a trend toward eco-friendliness and paperless menus. Don’t forget your phone when you go out, as most restaurants require you to use your phone camera and automatic-scanner application to view their menu.

  • Don’t forget to bring your phone. Many restaurants have a “paperless menu” only.
  • Be friendly to wait-staff, smile through language barriers.
  • It’s just as much your responsibility to understand their language as it is theirs to understand yours.
  • Tipping in Mexico is starting to be a more commonplace thing. Some restaurants pre-include a 15-18% tip.
  • Try not to do “take-away” meals. In small beach towns like this, they don’t have the best infrastructure for dealing with waste management and excess Styrofoam. Though, they do have some programs to help out local wildlife.
  • Watch out for fresh water, ice, and some fresh veggies. Although, honestly, if you’re going to be in Mexico for a few weeks, I feel as if it’s a rite-of-passage for everyone to get sick at least once. Montezuma’s Revenge is kind of laughable in hindsight! 
  • If you happen to get sick in Mexico remember: drink a lot of water, charcoal pills, fiber pills, and make sure to bring along some powdered electrolytes to gain back your missing hydration and important salts.

Planning a Trip to Sayulita?

If you’re planning a trip to Sayulita, I’d love to recommend some useful products that will make your trip to Sayulita as seamless as possible! I’ve recommended a cute passport case (if you’re like me, you lose things easily. A nice passport-case will make it easier to keep track of), a large woven beach bag (for all your sunbathing essentials), a Hydro Flask to keep your water cold while exploring in the sun, headphones for the beach or palapa (I listened to several books on tape while in Sayulita), a quick-dry sweat-wicking towel (for yoga, the ocean or pool time), some charcoal pills (in case you happen to catch a food-sickness while in Mexico), and powered electrolytes to help keep you hydrated and healthy.

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