guide to sayulita, mexico

When we returned from our vacation – bronzed and so relaxed – and everyone asked us how the trip was, I always responded with, “It was absolutely wonderful. Sayulita is kind of like LA, but in Mexico.” And I really do mean this in the nicest of ways. At times, I felt like there was more Mexican culture in LA, which was then confirmed by three things:

  • a recent trip to East LA
  • the churro man in Sayulita who told us he spoke more español in LA than he does in Sayulita
  • and the “market” with its organic greens and small batch kombucha, all complete with post-yoga lululemon ladies, coffee and yoga mat in hand

But in all truthfulness, we loved it. Richie and I would go back again (it was an easy three-hour flight from LAX) but I’m not sure the rest of my family would – they appreciate a more authentic experience. Though no matter what kind of vacation you’re looking for, I think it would be nearly impossible to have a bad time in Sayulita. Here are our favorite spots!

Sayulita Mexico | A Nutritionist Eats

Where to Eat in Sayulita: Let’s start with the food, shall we? We ate really, REALLY well in Sayulita.

Where to Eat in Sayulita | Guide to Sayulita, Mexico

ChocoBanana: A popular coffee and breakfast spot. I wasn’t blown away by the food, but grabbing a coffee before heading to the beach to watch the morning waves is recommended. (The chocobanana-flavored coffee drinks are good but sweet!)

Panino’s: A french-ish artisan bakery and cafe that’s a great spot for breakfast or lunch. (Also where I fell in love with mollettes!) They offer delicious coffee drinks and a wide array of breakfast sandwiches and baked goods.

Tacos y Mariscos: These fish tacos were some of the best I’ve ever had (shown left). This lunch spot served mostly seafood…I think, there aren’t really menus.

Cheyo’s Tacos: Tacos y Mariscos turns into Cheyo’s Tacos at night and are both worth a visit. We ordered rounds and rounds of tacos and they’ll grab you cold drinks from the neighboring store which I find absolutely charming.

Sayulita Mexico | A Nutritionist Eats

Burrito Revolution: Often described as “Gringo Burritos” I had read that this place was the place to go for burritos – gringo or not. And while the gringo description was spot-on, the burritos were amazing and everyone was a fan. We went twice during our trip.

Mary’s: This was one of my favorite spots for dinners – so good we went twice! The fish is fresh, flavorful and reasonably priced (around 120 pesos) for a large serving. Order the ajo (garlic) filet or the whole hauchinango, shown right.

Where to Drink in Sayulita: There was a great mix of bars for the spring break-type scene and more upscale spots with mixologist-type drinks and decent wine lists. Something for everyone!

Sayulita Mexico | A Nutritionist Eats

Bar Isla: This beach-side gem was a favorite of ours. It’s tiny and unassuming but they made a great margarita and there are plenty of hammocks for lounging. (By far my husband’s favorite!) It’s hidden in the trees!

Sayulita Public House: A cozy bar with a rooftop (and a great view of the “river”) that is just begging you to play corn hole or cards against humanity during happy hour.

Hostel: Is it legal to say that I love a hookah bar? I’m not sure. The restaurant/bar section of this hostel (literally named hostel) had kitschy decorations and tons of hookah options and the breakfast we had there was pretty good too! You’ll know just what I’m talking about when you walk by.

Hotel Hafa: This wine and margarita bar is connected to a hotel and I loved the vibe. They offer inventive and homemade margaritas that feature flavors like cucumber, chiles and fresh fruit and wine options that go beyond vino blanco o rojo.

Escondido: Another evening/more upscale place that had a great list of cocktails and decent wine selection. It’s perched on a corner of the main square. Competing bands from the bars down the street playing at the same time was our only complaint.

What to Do in Sayulita:

What To Do in Sayulita | A Nutritionist Eats

Playa de los Muertos: A smaller and less-popular beach that is just behind the cemetery (hence the name) and it’s quite stunning. It gets busy on the weekend with locals, so go during the week! The fish and shrimp skewers by a local vendor are amazing.

Yoga: Sayulita is a yoga-haven and you’ll be able to easily find classes offered. The studio at Hotelito Los Sueños was beautiful and they offer a lot of classes.

 Sayulita, Mexico | A Nutritionist Eats

Marieta Islands: You MUST do this! There are a few options on getting there, we went with a fishing boat instead of the catamaran option and I’m so glad we did. We saw a LOT sea life (stingrays, whales) on the way to the island and we were so close to the humpback whales that I was getting a little nervous. (Have you seen Blackfish?!) But then we made it to the protected island – which you have to swim to because the boats have to stay back – and it was just amazing. There are caves and a private beach. Go in the afternoon when it isn’t as busy with the big boats from Puerto Vallarta. Oh, and don’t be scared when you’re on the way home and the swells are so big you think the boat is going to capsize. Sip on some Pacifico and hold on tight.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding/Surfing: We made a big mistake and waited until our last full day to go stand-up paddle boarding and the waves were so big that the beach wasn’t safe for swimming so we weren’t able to go out. Now we’ll have to go in Marina Del Ray and pretend we’re in Sayulita. I’ve heard from others that the SUP-ing is awesome and its a great place to learn how to surf.

Sayulita Mexico | A Nutritionist Eats

Cooking Class: Since I’m obsessed with food, I tracked down Chef Daniel at Mexotik and we had an incredible time cooking, drinking and eating. We made Aztec Soup with Corn Dumplings, Mahi Mahi in Achiote Sauce with a Papaya Chutney, and an Avocado and Chocolate Mousse. All was absolutely delicious. 

Friday Market: If you love farmers markets, it’s worth checking out and if you’ve ever been to one in California, you’ll know what to expect. As “annoyed” as I was, we picked up some food for lunch (from the four locals with stands) and it was great. It was also a hilarious experience for me that makes it into most conversations about Sayulita.

Circo: The circus just happened to be in town during our stay, so obviously we had to go. It was a mix of slightly sad and slightly horrifying…but I’m glad we went.

Where to Shop in Sayulita: There are a ton of cute shops in Sayulita. I was on a mission to find revolucion del sueño but other than that, didn’t do much shopping other than the window variety.

Where to Shop in Sayulita | Guide to Sayulita, Mexico

Revolucion del Sueño: A really cool store. The vibe, the style, the white walls and bright colors – I loved it. They had a little something for everyone and we came home with some postcards, necklace and t-shirt. (You can buy online!)

Gypsy Galeria: This store also had a lot of eclectic Mexican folk-art and is a great place to pick up some inexpensive keepsakes and gifts.

Where to Stay in Sayulita: We stayed at an AirBnB house (which we heard there are lots of airbnb places) but there are a number of hotels, resorts, campgrounds and hostels. The house/AirBnB route was really nice because there were six of us and we had access to a kitchen (good for coffee and ceviche-making), wifi and a home base.


lately i’ve been…xvii

photo 1

attending the Torrey Pines Golf Tournament in San Diego.

reading: Americanah – so good! Then I have no less than a million books already downloaded to read next. By the way, have you used AmazonSmile? You can designate your favorite charity and then 0.5% of your purchase will be donated to the charity of your choice. (I obviously chose MAZON!)

alma restaurant

celebrating Valentine’s Day early at Alma, the 2013 Best New Restaurant by Bon Appétit. (Shown above: homemade english muffin + buratta + uni + caviar) 

house of cards. still obsessed.

making these amazing almond flour muffins from elana’s pantry. I eat them in the morning with my smoothie/juice!

Lately I've Been... | A Nutritionist Eats

spending a glorious week in Mexico. Lazy, beach vacations are the best, especially when they involve family. (post coming soon on Sayulita!)

Lately I've Been... | A Nutritionist Eats

making fresh ceviche in Mexico. I worried a few times about the fish not being kept cold enough, the little friend who was stabbing the fish with a stick, and keeping it in the fridge for a day. But my brother quickly shut me down, reminding me that I’ve never had fish that fresh. Ok then.

not attending Expo West this year. It’s the first year in seven that I haven’t attended and I’m kind of depressed about it/I feel really out of the loop.

starting to kind of run again. By kind of I mean, walking for a while and running for a while. I don’t hate it.

Lately I've Been... | A Nutritionist Eats

still eating my favorite lunch on a weekly basis: qrunch burger + goat cheese + avocado + some turkey slices with more avocado + carrots. It’s satisfying, delicious and requires NO prep.

using four elements golden crown botanical elixir – for mature skin. Because as you know, I’m freaking out about wrinkles. I’ve also started getting serious about using products that are as natural as possible. This line is as good as it gets and I love supporting businesses that I know and believe in (everything is made in my home town).

testing out a ton of new recipes (a lot of them were inspired by our Mexico trip and many will be coming soon!).  

What have you been up to lately?

daily eats: 1.22.14

So since we’ve last talked, there have been two major things going on. One: Richie and I got nike fuel bands and we love them SO much. Mainly because they motivate me to be more active throughout the day instead of just working out and then being sedentary for the remainder of the day. Two: I tried taking new head shots (sooooo overdue) and instead of getting a good photo, I discovered that I have wrinkles. Around my eyes. Real. Live. Wrinkles. It’s concerning. Now I’m on the lookout for a big, floppy beach hat for our trip to Mexico next month. Where do I find a cute one?

workout: 5 min elliptical warm-up + 33 minutes (whole thing was 45 but I didn’t have time) of the “ultimate hollywood” workout from the Nike Training app. It was a fun fusion of yoga, kickboxing, pilates and sculpting meaning I looked a tad crazy at the gym and I will be very sore. I was getting bored with the elliptical so it was time to switch things up and I think I’ll incorporate more of these Nike workouts into my workout routine.

beverages: coffee + 1/2 & 1/2

breakfast: green smoothie: spinach + banana + pineapple + tera’s whey goat protein + almond milk along with a handful of almonds (I had so much smoothie that I needed two containers…I think I need a bigger smoothie bottle!)

breakfast | a nutritionist eats

(Shortly after the almond picture, I freaked out over my messy desk.)

lunch: sprouted bread + slice of goat cheese + avocado + maldon sea salt flakes is my favorite lunch right now. I keep things simple (and without much prep work) by eating it with some carrot/celery sticks + some deli chicken meat for an extra protein-boost. Normally I use 1/2 an avocado, but we have a ton of avocados to use right now so I used the whole thing. :)

lunch | a nutritionist eats

snack/treat: today was a birthday celebration in our office and while I was hoping that the yellow cupcake + chocolate frosting would be gone by the time I got to them (so I wouldn’t be tempted)…there were plenty. Obviously I ate one and enjoyed every bite.

dinner: I didn’t really have a dinner planned for tonight, I’m still not sure why…so Richie picked up Chipotle. I realize that I had Chipotle for dinner on a recent daily eats post so I apologize, I swear I don’t eat it every day! My standard Chipotle order is: salad (no dressing) + chicken + fajita veggies + black beans + medium salsa + sour cream + extra lettuce along with some chips + guacamole. Dinner also included wine + water + laptop while watching the Badger vs. Gopher game.

dinner | a nutritionist eats

approximate nutrition stats: 2,144 calories, 110 grams fat (47%), 170 grams carbohydrates (32%), 47 grams fiber, 66 grams sugar, 106 grams protein (20%)

thoughts: the calories are on the higher side, but nothing I’m concerned about and  to be expected when you eat an entire avocado+ and have a cupcake in one day!

daily eats: 9.22.13 {weekend edition}

If you were to solely read my daily eats posts, you might think I eat really healthy. All the time.

But it’s not necessarily the whole story. Sure, I love kale, salads and green juice but I also LOVE and I mean LOVE cheeseburgers. And pizza. And ramen. And obviously cheese. (If you follow me on instagram you might see some of these fun meals!) So my typical “daily eats” posts might not necessarily be so typical. It’s also worth noting that they are usually done on Mondays, which is usually a pretty “healthy” day for me in terms of meals and exercise – but not all days are that “healthy.”

So for this daily eats post, I wanted to give you a glimpse of a not-so-healthy day. A day where I may have had too much wine the night before. A day where I don’t exercise. A day where the only vegetable I eat might be a pickle. A lovely, lazy day. :)

workout: uhhh, what?! Saturday night was a late (and ahem, fun) night at my cousin’s 50th Birthday Party. But yeah, working out was not on the agenda. By the way, I think they say 50 is the new 40, but I think 50 is the new 30.

breakfast: coffee + 1/2 & 1/2 with a side of napping and the Packers game. DD has a new “bakery line” and while I didn’t care for the caramel coffee cake (or whatever flavor it was) the old fashioned donut is pretty good. Love Dunkin.

snack: amy’s nacho snacks + salsa. I told Richie these would be better if they were smothered in cheese and dipped in beans. The fillings were seriously lacking.

late lunch: mexican coke + an IPA + a pickle plate + truffle fries + cheesy tots + burgers at Umami Burger. We roamed around The Grove after lunch to find new covers for our phones with no luck. Where do you buy iphone covers?

dinner: fresh spring rolls + steak bun. I needed summer rolls on Sunday night (I’ve told you before that when I get a craving, nothing else will satisfy) so we grabbed some Vietnamese in our neighborhood for dinner. Yes, I’m addicted to eating out. Please send help.

So there you have it. Sometimes those “lazy” days are just what you need…and I actually got a few vegetables in!