Best of Explore Nayarit 2015:
The Winners

Hundreds of our readers, home and business owners, locals and visitors clicked to vote for their favorite area restaurants, towns, beaches, activities and more in the Best of Explore Nayarit 2015 Readers’ Poll.

The competition was neck and neck, and we’d like to thank everyone who participated and made this a fun and friendly competition.

Our team has painstakingly sorted and tallied all your votes and without further adieu… (drum roll please…)

Congratulations to all the winners!

The Best of Nayarit 2015 poll ran from January 13-27, 2016; and the winners were announced in the February 3rd issue of our newsletter. 

recommendation-buttonBEST Breakfast

Winners (tie)
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Amigos Restaurant
La Peñita

Amigos Restaurant offers a variety of specialty breakfast items including homemade breads and pastries, eggs benedict, omelettes and their soon-to-be famous ketonic eggs made with spinach, sliced avocado and drizzled with crema. Our readers also raved about their gluten-free products, bottomless cup of really good coffee and delicious homemade mango-ginger jam.
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Teriyaki Alex
Guayabitos

While Teriyaki Alex is typically known for their asian dishes made with super fresh ingredients, their breakfast items are also winning people over. Both their ham and egg omelet and Dandy Nandy (a french toast sandwich with ham, Monterey jack cheese and a fried egg) were our readers clear favorites. And with their recent expansion, they can accommodate even more market-going regulars on Monday mornings.
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2nd Place (tie)
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Chasite Coffee House
La Peñita

This charming little coffee shop is tucked off the beaten path in La Peñita. Our readers say they serve up the best BLT around, in part because of their “great” bacon. Their coffee drinks and mango smoothies also made the cut. Oh, and we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that our readers say Chasite owners, Sofia and Daniel, are “the best hosts… ever!”
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La Piña Loca Restaurante
Guayabitos

La Piña Loca is known for their consistently good Mexican dishes, but you might not know they also serve a delicious breakfast. Our readers love their ham and bacon omelet with hash browns; the yogurt with fresh fruit, granola and honey; as well as their homemade pineapple jam.
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3rd Place (tie)
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El Delfin Pizza & Coffee
Guayabitos

El Delfin serves up omelettes, pancakes, combo platters, a large selection of coffee drinks and more. Our readers like their Mexican eggs with tomato, onion and jalapeño and the fruit waffle topped with fresh seasonal fruit, whipped cream and pecans.
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La Casita de Irma
La Peñita

No matter what you call it – Irma’s, Irma’s Place or La Casita – people go because the food is just plain good. Their shrimp omelet, chilaquiles and burritos were some of the breakfast favorites mentioned.
(no webpage available)

recommendation-buttonBEST Fish or Shrimp Tacos

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Based on the number of votes in this category, it’s pretty darn obvious that everyone has their favorite fish and shrimp tacos up and down the Nayarit coast. So… watch for an article about all the restaurants mentioned and our readers’ comments in an upcoming issue of our newsletter.

Winner

Hinde y Jaime’s Bar & Restaurant, La Peñita
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2nd Place

Don Porfirio Restaurant & Bar, Guayabitos
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Close 3rd Place

Pelican Restaurant & BarGuayabitos
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recommendation-buttonBEST Pizza

Winner
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El Gigio Italian Pizzeria
La Peñita

The owner of El Gigio comes from southern Italy, and he stays true to his roots with his flavors, ingredients and thin crust. He offers a large section of specialty pizzas including Gigio’s (made with prosciutto, portobello mushrooms and fresh tomato sauce), the Mamma Mia (ham, spinach, gorgonzola and cream) and Mares y Montes (bacon, shrimp, olives, onion and mushrooms). They also serve five white pizzas including the Il Gamberi Verde (bacon, shrimp, garlic, pesto cream, olives and mozzarella), as well as calzones and homemade pasta specials.
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2nd Place
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Don Porfirio Restaurant & Bar
Guayabitos

Their thin crust pizzas are made in their wood-fired brick oven, and they pride themselves on using traditional Mexican flavors rather than Italian. Try their La Llorona “Mariscos” (with shrimp, onion and bell pepper) or the Pancho Villa (salchicha, ham, chorizo, tomato, onion and green pepper). Be sure to ask for a side of their chimichurri sauce (see Best Kick Ass Salsa for details).
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3rd Place
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El Delfin Pizza & Coffee
Guayabitos

El Delfin offers a variety of homemade thin crust pizzas – from the traditional Margarita and Hawaiian, to their specialty pizzas like the Greek (with feta cheese, black olives, green pepper, fresh tomatoes and onion) and the Di Mare (with shrimp, onion and green pepper).
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recommendation-buttonBEST Burger & Ribs

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Oops! Somehow this question missed our original poll… so here are the new results.

Winner
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Wanda’s Burgers & Ribs
Guayabitos

Our readers say Wanda’s pork spare ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and delicious. They offer a large burger selection – beef, chicken, fish and pork – and they say their burgers are consistently good quality, made with excellent beef and served hot off the grill with all the fixings. Their Bubba’s Como Comes (with double meat, bacon and cheese) and Chicken Ranch Burger (with chicken breast, ranch, bacon and cheese) were the clear favorites.
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2nd Place
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Juan’s Place
Guayabitos

Juan’s Place made it to the top because of their awesome flavor and portion size. Our readers love the unique Mexican flavor of their ribs, and the fact that they make their burgers with fresh ground beef, sautéed peppers, onions, pineapple and cheese, and serve them with a homemade caesar and to-die-for garlic fries.
(no webpage available)

Runners Up

Mr. Ribs Restaurant, Guayabitos
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Mario’s Tortas, La Penita
(no webpage available)

Don Porfirio Restaurant & Bar, Guayabitos
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recommendation-buttonBEST Kick Ass Salsa

Winner
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Don Porfirio Restaurant & Bar
Guayabitos

According to our readers, you’re missing out if you haven’t tried their not-too-spicy Chipotle Salsa (which makes their Tacos Don Porfirio so darn tasty), the mild green Don Porfirio Salsa (used in their shrimp tacos and fajitas) and the Chimichurri Salsa (which they serve alongside their pizzas). For those of you who don’t know, chimichurri is a popular sauce or marinade made with any number of herbs, olive oil and vinegar, and it can range from mild to very spicy.
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2nd Place
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La Piña Loca Restaurante
Guayabitos

Our readers voted for their rich and muy picante Salsa Chimichurri. They use the perfect combination of chile de arbol, oil and vinegar – and because of its intense flavor and heat, it is best served with their fajitas and other meat dishes. Our readers also love their traditional Salsa Mexicana, made with diced tomatoes, onion, serrano or jalapeño chiles, cilantro and fresh lime juice.
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Runners Up

Los Compadres Restaurant, La Peñita
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La Torta Movil, La Penita
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Hinde y Jaime’s Bar & Restaurant, La Penita
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recommendation-buttonBEST Margarita

Winner

Hinde y Jaime’s Bar & Restaurant, La Peñita
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2nd Place

Don Porfirio Restaurant & BarGuayabitos
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3rd Place

La Piña Loca Restaurante & Bar, Guayabitos
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recommendation-buttonBEST Signature Drink

Winner (tie)
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Don Porfirio Restaurant & Bar
Guayabitos

Don Porfirio’s creative “Barmacia” menu includes the Diego Rivera (made with fresh mint, strawberries, orange and cranberry juice and tequila) and Don Porfirio Soul (a mojito with muddled mint and cucumber). We should also mention that they serve their own private label tequila, when they can keep it in stock.
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Chasite Coffee House
La Peñita

Their cappuccino and mango smoothie tops our readers’ favorites, but they also serve a bevy of other drinks, including espresso, lattes, frappes, hot and cold tea and their strawberry or blackberry smoothies. Drinks are made with your choice of soy, rice, almond, coconut, lactose-free milk or regular milk. 
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2nd Place (tie)

Villanueva Restaurante, Guayabitos
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Teriyaki Alex, Guayabitos
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Xaltemba Restaurant Bar, La Peñita
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recommendation-buttonMOST Creative Menu

Winner

Don Porfirio Restaurant & Bar, Guayabitos
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2nd Place

Xaltemba Restaurant & Bar, La Peñita
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Runners Up

Teriyaki Alex, Guayabitos
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Vista Guayabitos, Guayabitos
(no webpage available)

recommendation-buttonBEST Place to Celebrate a Special Occasion

Winner

Vista Guayabitos Restaurant, Guayabitos
(no webpage available)

2nd Place

Xaltemba Restaurant & Bar, La Peñita
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Runners Up

Los Compadres Restaurant, La Peñita
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Hinde y Jaime’s Bar & Restaurant, La Peñita
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La Piña Loca Restaurante & Bar, Guayabitos
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Hanami Sushi & Bar, La Peñita
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Don Porfirio Restaurant & Bar, Guayabitos
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recommendation-buttonBEST Overall Restaurant

Winner
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Don Porfirio Restaurant & Bar
Guayabitos

Our readers voted for Don Porfirio for Best Overall Restaurant because they offer lots of food and drink choices, the atmosphere is fun, the new location is lively and overlooks the town, and because of their friendly staff. They also topped the poll for:

  • Winner – Most Creative Menu
  • Winner – Best Kick Ass Salsa
  • Winner – Best Signagure Drink
  • 2nd Place – Best Fish & Shrimp Tacos
  • 2nd Place – Best Pizza
  • 2nd Place – Best Margaritas

2nd Place
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Teriyaki Alex
Guayabitos

Teriyaki Alex made it to the top because our readers agree that their food is consistently good, they have great service and it’s the cleanest restaurant around. They also won:

  • Winner (tie) – Best Breakfast
  • 2nd Place (tie) – Best Specialty Drink
  • Runner Up – Most Creative Menu

3rd Place
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La Piña Loca Restaurante
Guayabitos

Reader’s voted for La Piña Loca because of their fabulous fajitas, large menu, their consistently good food… and because of the following:

  • 2nd Place (tie) – Best Breakfast
  • 2nd Place – Best Kick Ass Salsa
  • 3rd Place – Best Margarita
  • Runner Up – Best Place to Celebrate a Special Occasion

recommendation-buttonBEST Tianguis Market

Winner

Tianguis Market in La Peñita

Click here to learn about all the local farmers markets, artisan markets and co-op markets.

2nd Place

La Cruz Market

3rd Place

Tianguis Market in Guayabitos

recommendation-buttonBEST Afternoon Activity, Tour or Guide

Winner
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Cinema Guayabitos
Rincon de Guayabitos

Our readers think this brand new movie theatre is a great place to spend the afternoon. They show English, 3D and family-friendly movies in all three 120-seat theaters. Plus, they have a refreshment area with popcorn, candy and soft drinks. See you at the movies!
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2nd Place

Day Trip to Isla Coral, Guayabitos
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Runners Up (tie)

Jaltemba Transport, La Peñita
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Sergio’s Tours, La Peñita
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Field of Dreams Golf Club, El Monteón
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recommendation-buttonBEST Place to Take a Class

Winner
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Glassworks Studio
La Peñita

Glassworks Studio is a creative workspace for many of the residents and visitors of Guayabitios, La Peñita and the surrounding towns. Owner, Jo Lorimer, offers classes in stained glass mosaics, fused glass techniques, stepping stones, clay and dichroic jewelry. Students, from beginners to advanced, are encouraged to make whatever their creative minds can conjure up.
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2nd Place

CIENI Language Schools, La Peñita
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recommendation-buttonBEST Town to Live In

Winner

Rincón de Guayabitos
Learn more

2nd Place

La Peñita
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Close 3rd Place

Lo de Marcos
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Los Ayala
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recommendation-buttonBEST Town to Visit or Vacation

Winner

Rincón de Guayabitos
Reader’s Comments: Strolling and enjoying the beach, great restaurants and nightlife, and the Monday Tianguis market.
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2nd Place

Chacala
Reader’s Comments: Still has the charm of a very small fishing village. Clean, safe and quiet swimming beach. Great for boogie boarding. Great day trip for lunch.
Learn more

3rd Place

San Pancho
Reader’s Comments: Quiet and smaller than other towns along the coast. Lots of great shops and restaurants. La Patrona Polo Club is a great afternoon outing. Friendly people and good music scene.
Learn more

Runners Up

Lo de Marcos
Reader’s Comments: Quiet and friendly with a pristine beach. Just enough restaurants, shops and things to do.
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Sayulita
Reader’s Comments: Trendy and artsy shopping, great restaurants and surfing.
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Los Ayala
Reader’s Comments: Beautiful beach, friendly people and great dining and accommodations.
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La Peñita
Reader’s Comments: Friendly people. Lots of local restaurants, shops and businesses, including the Tianguis market on Thursday. Wandering the streets and window shopping.
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Playa Las Tortugas
Reader’s Comments: Incredible beach, good surfing, turtle camp and beautiful homes.
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Platanitos
No comments listed
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San Blas
Reader’s Comments: The best birding and sacred Huichol area.

Bucerias
Reader’s Comments: Visiting the small shops and going to the beachfront restaurants to listen to bands.

recommendation-buttonWhy WE  Nayarit, Mexico

We received 38 written entries describing “Why YOU ♥ Nayarit, Mexico” and 9 photos from our readers during this year’s poll. We will share them in upcoming issues of the Explore Nayarit Newsletter. If you’re not already signed up, you can do so now.