A number of good restaurants serve Bucerías ’s cadre of discriminating diners. Most of the restaurants lie between the cross streets of Galeana and Morelos, along Calle Lázaro Cárdenas, the street that runs parallel to the beach, beginning just south of the town-center Puente de los Besos (Bridge of the Kisses).
The two best and most popular restaurants are probably Sandrina’s and oceanview Claudio’s Meson Bay. Find Sandrina’s (btwn. Galeana and Morelos, tel. 329/298-0273, 3–10:30 p.m. Wed.–Mon.), just south of Hotel Palmera. The labor of love of Victoria, B.C., expatriates Andrew and Sandra Neumann, they serve a varied late-lunch and dinner Mediterranean fusion menu with lots of Greek specialties (antipastos, salads, souvlaki, lasagna) and exquisite mahimahi fish fillet dinners ($8–15) in an inviting inside-outside garden setting.
Especially popular and equally enjoyable for lunch or dinner, Claudio’s Meson Bay (tel. 329/298-1634, 2–10 p.m. daily) is a block farther north on the beach side. Here the welcoming owner has everything in place in his large airy beachfront palapa, perfect for happy-hour sunsets. Offerings include super-fresh catch-of-the-day fish, lobster, prawns, clams, and oysters ($8–14), plus a bountiful meat barbecue ($8–18) and a generous salad bar ($5). This all climaxes every Wednesday night with an overflowing all-you-can-eat barbecue ($15).
After trying the above, you might also check out a number of other reliably recommended restaurants in the same neighborhood. Moving south to north, first comes Karen’s Place (corner of Lázaro Cárdenas and Juárez, tel. 329/298-1499, 8:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Sun., $5–12), in the big Costa Dorada condo complex, serving breakfast, lunch, early dinner, and Sunday champagne brunch.
Continue north a block to gourmet Expressions (across Lázaro Cárdenas from Hotel Palmera, $12–14) with light Asian-continental fusion cuisine, such as sesame chicken and veal piccata; next door comes the Red Apple (corner of Morelos, tel. 329/298-1235, 8:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun.), an upstairs oceanview palapa specializing in garlic shrimp, fajitas, and hearty ranchero breakfasts ($5–15).
For more options, check out Café Magna (just north of Morelos) sports bar serving finger-lickin’ ribs and fish-and-chips. For more popcorn-and-beer camaraderie, try the Gecko Pub (half a block east on Morelos).
Even if you’re only passing through Bucerías, don’t miss Pie in the Sky (tel. 322/298-0838, toll-free Mex. tel. 01-800/849-2339, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. daily), the little bakery that’s developed a thriving business soothing the collective sweet tooth of Puerto Vallarta ’s expatriate and retiree colony. Their chocolate-nut cookies have to be tasted to be believed. Watch for the sign on the inland side of the highway just south of town.