In Melaque, jazz and nouvelle cuisine first arrived at Restaurant Maya (foot of south-side Calle Obregón, 6 p.m.–11 p.m. Tues.–Sat., brunch 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun.), favorite of a loyal cadre of American and Canadian vacationers and expatriates. Its private sheltered beachfront garden and the murmur of the Melaque surf set the stage, while the music and the food provide the shadow and act. For example, start out with a Maya Martini ($4), continue with curried fish cakes ($5), follow up with linguine with pesto, cream, and prawns ($14), and finish off with the chef’s dessert creation of the day ($5). Winter high-season reservations highly recommended.
Besides good breakfasts, longtimers rave about the fish-and-chips ($4) at Pastarama (formerly Bananarama, on Abel Salgado, tel. 315/355-6123, open daily 9 a.m.–9 p.m., $3–5) on the Melaque south side, near the Posada Pablo de Tarso.
Restaurant el Dorado (Calle Gómez Farías 1A, tel. 315/355-5770, 8 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, moderate–expensive), under the big beachside palapa in front of the Hotel Club Náutico, provides a cool, breezy place to enjoy the beach scene during breakfast or lunch. Service is crisp and the specialties are carefully prepared; credit cards are accepted.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition