I have been coming to La Palapa for over 15 years, and it is still my absolute favorite restaurant in the entire world… and that says a lot because I am a travel blogger who travels and eats for a living!
This restaurant is absolutely magical. It’s a landmark in Puerto Vallarta for good reason; it has been here for decades, surviving hurricanes and tropical storms and time itself. In fact, while the restaurant itself has been in the family for generations, the current structure was rebuilt after a hurricane leveled the previous one (except for the boat perched atop a pole in the sand) and was designed by the owner’s brother- a well-respected and talented architect.
La Palapa is located in old town, or “zona romantica” right on the beach, where you can’t help but be drawn in from the golden glowing lights that embrace each carefully placed wood column. The ambiance here is what still draws me… it is simply my favorite place to dress up in upscale yet beauty attire, drink martinis and listen to live latin jazz and the sound of crashing waves in the background. The owner himself, Mr. Perez, plays here weekly, while each other night of the week, the house band plays and is just a divine way to add the perfect soundtrack to the famous puerto vallarta sunset.
I highly recommend ordering a flaming coffee for the experience alone. While I’ve seen countless flaming coffee performances, this one is above and beyond if you get the right server. They do it with flare in addition to flames… with a cute finale that I won’t spoil for you. Mexican coffees are my favorite (and my dad’s) but they also have phenomenal Spanish coffees and even a Sexy Coffee as twists for that coffee cocktail treat.
The food… omg the food… each and every bite is a tasteful, unique flavor explosion. I have never, in all my years of coming here, been disappointed. The menu changes pretty frequently, with new experiments from talented and celebrated international chefs. The desserts however… the profiteroles drizzled with a unique sauce is certainly a treat I cannot forego.
I could go on and on about all the things I love at La Palapa, but instead, I will leave you with just enough to know it should not be missed. La Palapa is just so much more than a fine restaurant really… it’s the Puerto Vallarta experience.