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 / Brunch

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, 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 and 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.
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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 smoothie also made the cut. Oh, and we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that our readers vote Chasite owners, Sofia and Daniel, as “the best hosts… ever!”
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La Piña Loca Restaurante
Guayabitos

La Pina 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; and several readers mentioned 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

Winner
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Hinde y Jaime’s Bar & Restaurant
La Peñita

Locals have been raving about Hinde y Jaime’s fish and shrimp tacos for years. Our readers voted for them because they are tasty, they like the addition of the pickled onions… and well, the fact that they are a mere $10 pesos a piece. These tacos start with homemade corn tortillas, a dollop of mayo, your choice of fried fish or shrimp, topped with shredded cabbage, and served with a side of Hinde’s fabulous tomatillo salsa.
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2nd Place
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Don Porfirio Restaurant & Bar
Guayabitos

Our readers didn’t say which of their tacos they liked best. They offer both fried fish or shrimp tacos (3 per order), as well as their very tasty Tacos Don Porfirio filled with grilled shrimp and a knock out chipotle sauce.
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Close 3rd Place
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Pelican Restaurant & Bar
Guayabitos

These fish tacos are definitely worth the drive (to the very south end of the beach). The fresh flour tortillas are filled with large pieces of fresh fish with a crispy, well seasoned batter and topped with shredded cabbage and chipotle crema.
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Runners Up
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Amigos Restaurant
La Peñita

One of our readers claims that their fish tacos are “no doubt the best fish tacos in town.” If you haven’t tried them, they use local farm-raised tilapia, grill them to perfection and top them with crema and pico de gallo salsa.
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La Casita de Irma
La Peñita

Our readers didn’t say why they voted for their fish and shrimp tacos, and unfortunately we’ve never tried them… but we’ll be going soon.
(no webpage available)

Worth Mentioning

Since everyone seems to be enamored with fish and shrimp tacos, here are the other restaurants voted for…

  • Baja Takeria, San Pancho
  • Bichos, Sayulita
  • Juan’s Place, Guayabitos
  • La Perla, San Pancho
  • Las Brisas, La Peñita
  • Chef Fred’s Tacos at Marina Azul, Guayabitos

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 (with fresh tomato sauce, cheese, prosciutto, portobello mushrooms and parmesan), the Mamma Mia (fresh tomato sauce, cheese, ham, spinach, gorgonzola cheese, parmesan and cream) and Mares y Montes (fresh tomato sauce, cheese, bacon, shrimp, olives, onion and mushrooms). They also serve five white pizzas including the Il Gamberi Verde with pesto, 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, that you’ll remember more as “old Mexico,” than Italian. Often times, they’ll serve their pizzas with a side of chimichurri sauce (see Best Kick Ass Salsa for details).
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3rd Place
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El Delfin Pizza & Coffee
Guayabitos

They offer a variety of homemade thin crust pizzas. From the Margarita and Hawaiian, to their specialty pizzas including the Greek (with feta cheese, fresh tomato, black olives, green pepper and onion) and the Di Mare (with shrimp, onion, green pepper and tomato).
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recommendation-buttonBEST Kick Ass Salsa

Winner
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Don Porfirio Restaurant & Bar
Guayabitos

If you haven’t already tried their chipotle salsa (which makes their Tacos Don Porfirio so darn tasty) or their chimichurri salsa (which they serve with their pizzas), you’re missing out. For those of you that don’t know, chimichurri is a garlicy and slightly spicy sauce or marinade made with cilantro, olive oil and dried crushed red pepper flakes.
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2nd Place
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La Piña Loca Restaurante
Guayabitos

Our readers voted their rich and spicy ?? salsa their favorite. Because of the flavor and intense heat, it is best when served with their fajitas and other meat dishes.
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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

Our readers have noticed their creative Barmacia menu. Both the Diego Rivera (made with fresh mint, strawberries, orange and cranberry juice and strawberries and tequila) and Don Porfirio Soul (a mojito with cucumber) were mentioned in this poll. 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, latte, frappe, 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. And while you’re there, why not order one of their famous BLTs.
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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

Don Porfirio won for the Most Creative Menu, Best Kick Ass Salsa, 2nd Best Tacos, 2nd Best Pizza and 2nd Best Margaritas. In addition, our readers voted for them 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.
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2nd Place
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Teriyaki Alex
Guayabitos

Teriyaki Alex made it to the top because our readers think their food is consistently good, they have great service and it’s the cleanest restaurant around. They also won Best Breakfast, 2nd Best Specialty Drink and Runner Up for Most Creative Menu.
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3rd Place

La Piña Loca Restaurante
Guayabitos

Reader’s voted for La Piña Loca because of their fabulous fajitas, large menu and their consistently good food. They also topped the poll with the 2nd Best Breakfast, 2nd Best Kick Ass Salsa, 3rd Best Margarita and Runner Up for Best Place to Celebrate a Special Occasion.
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recommendation-buttonBEST Tianguis Market

Winner
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Tianguis Market in La Peñita

This is one of the largest and most well-known open-air markets in the area, and people come from miles around to attend. From local artists displaying silver and handmade jewelry, glassware, Talavera pottery, beautiful Oaxacan wool rugs and the famous Huichol Indian beaded artwork – to vendors with carts of ceviche and jumbo shrimp, homemakers selling fresh pastries and linens, and pickup trucks overflowing with poblano peppers and watermelons – you name it, they’ve got it here. Held in the La Peñita Plaza every Thursday.

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

2nd Place (tie)

La Cruz Market

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 200-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 Guayabitos and La Peñita, as well as 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
Learn more

Close 3rd Place

Lo de Marcos
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Los Ayala
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recommendation-buttonBEST Town / Place 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.
Learn more

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. Friendly people and good music scene.
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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.