I spent 4 days in Sayulita and ate both great and deeply mediocre food. If I don’t write up a few notes now I’ll forget them, so off the top of my head:
Good advice in general in Mexico: “Get tacos at outdoor places with red plastic Coca-Cola chairs”.
(as a side note, I was horrified to see that the top Sayulita restaurants according to Tripadvisor readers are a burger place, a nachos place, and a burrito place)
The very best tacos were at Tacorriendo, about a block North of the town square on the street that Sayulita Fish Tacos is on, on the left (which we nicknamed “dessert taco” from our first after-a-terrible-dinner experience with it), usually filled with Mexican families and not another gringo in sight. Great chicken, roasted jalapenos, and salsa spread:
Next best, though very rich and spicy and not for everyone: birria (goat, probably) tacos at a small shack a short walk North of the town center (across a bridge, then down a few sunken steps to a taqueria with the menu written on the wall). No photo.
The basic meat tacos at Sayulita Tacos (not Sayulita Fish Tacos) were pretty good (especially the chicken mole and adobo chicken), though the fish tacos loaded up with crema were not great:
There was a pair of taco stands side by side (red awning, green awning) across from Taco Corriendo and a little farther North on that street. We never saw them both open at the same time– we heard it was a shared family business. One of them had a pretty good (B+) friend fish taco, the other was also B+ meat tacos.
There were also some terrible tacos (dry fish tacos with french fries at a restaurant right on the beach, across from Don Julio, with a popular big outdoor patio but terrible, terrible food).
Sayulita Fish Tacos (big yellow building on the main square) also had terrible fish tacos I never want to eat again. The attached tequila bar was phenomenal, though.
That’s what I remember. Oh, and there was some non-taco food. Just summarizing a few highlights and lowlights:
An average but serviceable breakfast at Mary’s Cafe (they also have an excellent banana milkshake– and if you get it to go, they pour it into a plastic bag with a straw):
I had low expectations for Don Pedro’s, given their prime beachfront location, their aimed-at-tourists prices, and the lack of Mexican families eating there… but their tuna poke w/ sesame, hot pepper, and avocado was very good– some of the best tuna I’ve had in a long time:
The popsicle stand sort of across from Sayulita Taco and next to the burger place had an impressive variety of fruit popsicles. The tart, flavorful guavabana (which I knew as soursop from SE Asia) was my favorite, but the coconut (with chewy strips of coconut embedded), watermelon, and pineapple were also excellent. The tamarind and lime were good but unremarkable.
An average California-style burrito at Burrito Revolution, for us gringos wanting something familiar. Meh, an okay vegetarian break. I also never saw anyone else eating here (granted, it was low season and the town was fairly empty).
Oh, and El Espresso had the least terrible coffee (americano) of three I tried.
Chocobanana, to end on a crotchety rant: Mediocre food and coffee. Also full of missing-the-point tourists (I saw one couple sitting there during a gorgeous sunny day, him hunched over his ipad and her over her iphone, with him occasionally showing her parts of a movie or online video he was watching on the ipad).