First things first: Happy New Year! 2017 has been an especially colorful year for yours truly, and one of the things I’m looking forward to is the New Years’ celebration in downtown Puerto Vallarta.
From what I can remember of last year’s festivities, the entire central corridor is shut down in favor of a massive amorphous street party that brings locals from every corner of the city, swallows bars whole, and treats everyone lucky enough to find themselves on the Banderas Bay to kick off a new year with a fireworks display lasting several hours.
Virtually no one is productive for a solid week afterward.
As you can imagine, a fair amount of the drink is typically involved–particularly when you party in a professional capacity–and so countermeasures like aggressive hydration and responsible munchie management go a long way toward ensuring one greets the Sun still enjoying life.
Los Guapos Food Park has been my salvation on more than a few full shifts in Centro, and while I don’t know much about what I’ll be doing New Years’ Eve since the most enjoyble evenings are almost never planned, a stop at this late night fueling station is just about written in stone.
The Vibe: Sure, Los Guapos could have creatively arranged a few frieght containers in a vacant lot on one of the busiest streets in town, paved it with decorative cobbles, added a big screen and some pop art-style decor, and christened it a food park…and come to think of it, that’s pretty much what they did.
That’s not at all an insult, I can dig it. Watch as I continue to dig it.
This trio of streetside fast food joints, located at Ignacio L. Vallarta 278, is placed conveniently within 2 blocks of several popular bars and is open until 4am. These factors make Los Guapos a natural point of interest for experienced social drinkers, who understand that appropriate food choices could determine whether you have a fully functioning human body in the morning.
The Vices: I’m sure my more keenly observant readers can divine what would bring a overgrown fat kid like myself to a food park well after midnight…it ain’t fruit parfaits.
Many of the classic late night elements including cheese, salt, crunch and spice are well represented onsite, with my personal favorites being the pepperoni and bacon-crowned 3 Quesos burger and the chili dog, which needs no introduction to those in the know. Both come with fries because Los Guapos apparently believes in a just world.
Los Guapos is also home to a burrito stand, a pizza oven, and even a fully stocked bar serving up liter drafts of Modelo Negro for 50 pesos. I didn’t call home and tell my mother about the thin-crust, but I didn’t drunk dial my ex or wake up dead either, and that’s the indispensable service that proper snacking practices during a drinking binge can provide.
The Verdict: Los Guapos Food Park fills an important position in a city with a vibrant nightlife scene: that of the late night junk foodery. Many a night has ended–or continued–with a visit to one of the stands, and with ample seating in a split-level street facing arrangement, it’s compelling perch for people watching as well as as the ideal outdoor space for a group to regroup. Maybe I’ll catch you there this New Years’ Eve.