The pre-game. It is a critical component to any epic night out. But in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico’s top party destination, the pre-game is its own full-fledged fiesta that you can’t miss.
PV Nightlife’s pre-game gurus have explored every nook and cranny of our beautiful city to bring you the best places to munch, sip, and groove when the night is still young.
Mexican party culture runs deep in Puerto Vallarta, meaning the nightlight doesn’t get going until after 11pm.
Sure, you could empty out that expensive mini bar in your hotel or stop at OXXO or Kiosko convenience store to grab some bottles and pre-game in your hotel room, but that’s not living the Puerto Vallarta party dream to the fullest.
Our list of the best pre-game spots in Puerto Vallarta has you covered no matter what you’re looking for: awesome restaurants, gay-friendly cocktail bars, hip lounges, great happy hours and more.
Get ready, because any seasoned night-lifer knows that the pre-game is just as important as the game itself!
Dinner and Drinks
Get the mojo flowing for the night ahead with 2×1 Mojitos at Joe Jack’s Fish Shack every day of the week with their 7-hour Happy Hour running from 12pm to 7pm daily?
One of the most popular restaurants for locals and tourists alike, this is a great place for a casual dinner and drinks before a killer night out in Puerto Vallarta.
The can’t-miss dish? Grab one of their famous bacon cheeseburgers for some sure-fire hangover prevention for the next day.
Don Chava Taqueria Cantina
Don Chava Taqueria Cantina in Old Town Puerto Vallarta is a fun, relaxed hangout for good friends, good food and good drinks—perfect for pre-game or post-game action.
Tacos, tequila, and beer are the specialties, with big screens to catch a game before heading out.
Grab a couple tacos pastor and one of their incredible specialty Margaritas… we love the Picante Margarita with Don Julio Blanco, serrano chile, and agave as well as the Mezcal Margarita with Mezcal Union, Cointreau and Persian lime juice.
Bonito Kitchen is our super-secret, off-the-beaten-track hot spot for wickedly good cocktails and the best Asian fusion food in Puerto Vallarta.
Bonito Kitchen is subtly located in the Gaviotas neighborhood less than one kilometer away from the nightclubs of the Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone.
A funky, casual space bringing Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese flavors to Vallarta, Bonito also mixes some of the best cocktails in town. If you love classic cocktails with a twist, this is your jam.
Alquimista Cocktail Room
This cool space feels like an urban speakeasy with steampunk styling, and it’s got a vintage-hipster playlist to set the atmosphere.
Alquimista Cocktail Room focuses on taking those Vegas-style Rat Pack classic cocktails and updating them with fresh, local ingredients, bringing a modern Mexican twist to classic mixology.
A perfect pre-game location for Nuevo Vallarta, the kitchen has a great little menu of appetizers and mains featuring fresh Banderas Bay seafood and other updated Mexican dishes.
La Federal Cocina Tradicional
A hotspot in the hip Marina Vallarta district, La Federal is a trendy take on the traditional Mexican cantina.
A great menu of updated Mexican traditional dishes gets you ready for a long night of Vallarta partying. Get your camera ready, because La Federal’s cocktails are famously Insta-worthy.
Your drink may come served with anything from a traditional Mezcal presentation to a small botanical garden—the presentation is always a spectacle to behold.
Signature Lounge and Skybar at Residences
Located at Pinnacle Resorts in Old Town, take your choice of locations and decide for yourself which is the best Happy Hour in Puerto Vallarta: either the beautiful Signature Lounge Lobby Bar or the top floor at SkyBar at Residences.
Both offer incredible sunset views and both feature the locals’ favorite Happy Hour—all cocktails, beers, top-shelf alcohol and wine at 2×1!
Los Muertos Brewing Company
The first craft brewery in Puerto Vallarta, Los Muertos Brewing Company has been turning out good beers and good times for over 7 years.
This Puerto Vallarta brewpub features a daily Cerveza Happy Hour from 4pm to 6pm with all their craft beers discounted to just 35 pesos: Mexican Rubia (a light-bodied ale), El JefeWiezen (summer wheat beer), Anillo de Fuego (spicy wheat ale), Revenge (high hops IPA), and the local favorite, Agave Maria (American style amber).
Extra bonus? Los Muertos Brewing Company fires up some of the best pizza in town at super affordable prices, making this a pre-game winner.
Monzón Brewing Co.
Another awesome brewpub in Puerto Vallarta, Monzón Brewing Co. literally has a mission to “save you from boring beer,” and it stays true to its word with some of the most creative craft brewing in Mexico.
With a super laid-back atmosphere, friendly staff, and a menu of affordable eats, this is a great place to start a night out in downtown Puerto Vallarta.
Pre-gaming at Abolengo will make heading to the club go as smoothly as tequila and lime. This hip, open-air cocktail lounge is located next door to one of the best nightclubs in Puerto Vallarta, La Santa. Dress to impress because this is where the pretty people gather before hitting the club until dawn.
Grab dinner in La Madelena, one of Puerto Vallarta’s coolest restaurants conveniently located next to two of the hottest nightclubs, Strana and The Black Room.
Not only does this contemporary steakhouse feature indoor and outdoor seating and the largest television screen in Puerto Vallarta for catching a game but it has a floor-to-ceiling wall of Tequila accessed by high-wire “Tequila Angels.”
If tequila isn’t your style, ask about the nightly cocktail selection, hand-mixed at tableside from the traveling bar cart.
Bar La Playa
This tiny hidden gem just steps away from Los Muertos Beach is one of the best spots in town for custom cocktails. Amazing mixologist and owner/bartender Alex takes classic cocktails like Moscow Mules and Old Fashioneds and puts a modern twist on them.
With an awesome and ever-changing assortment of tequila, mezcal, and raicilla recipes served up with creative flair, every drink that comes out of Bar La Playa is truly Instagram-worthy. Make sure to hit Alex up for his late-night tips and hidden secrets… he’s a Puerto Vallarta Nightlife expert!
Pregaming on a budget, Sea Monkey has you covered with some of the cheapest drinks in town, daily 2×1 specials, buckets of beer, and a fantastic ocean view.
Even better, its location near Bar M and Mandala make it easy to hop to the clubs. This the ultimate in peso-friendly pre-clubbing in Puerto Vallarta.
Cerveceria Chapultepec Vallarta
First opened in Guadalajara in 2015, Cerveceria Chapultepec has opened several locations throughout Mexico and has now brought this amazing pre-game location to Puerto Vallarta.
Its huge menu of Baja-California inspired cuisine, American favorites, cocktails, beers and more can all be had for… wait for it… JUST 19 PESOS EACH. That’s right. Everything on the menu is 19 pesos.
To help you with the math, that’s about $1 USD. You can’t beat that for budget pre-gaming! By the way, just because the prices are great doesn’t mean the room isn’t filled with a lively (and sexy) crowd; everyone loves the low prices and the great atmosphere here!
Party on, Party Smart
No matter how you pregame in Puerto Vallarta, before going out to enjoy an amazing night of clubbing in one of the best cities in the world for partying, make sure that part of your pre-game routine is planning for a safe night ahead.
Make a “night out checklist” before you head out: a fully charged phone with Uber ready to go, small bills for taxis, and both a credit card and cash (credit cards are not as widely accepted in Puerto Vallarta as in other places).
Don’t forget to write down the address of your accommodation in case of cocktail forgetfulness.
The PV classics on our list of the best pre-game spots in Puerto Vallarta are perfect for lounging, grooving, indulging, and meeting that special someone to take to the club.