When the sun goes down over Banderas Bay it is time to make your plans to enjoy a delicious meal and listen to outstanding music. There are several venues that I particularly like because they offer music by my favorites.
My very favorite is definitely Cuates Y Cuetes located next to the pier or muelle in the Zona Romantica. The owners here are great music fans and recruit the best groups on a nightly basis and often in the daytime too. Doña Ester organizes a marvelous jazz festival every year that is held on the beach and attracts wonderful musicians from all over the area who perform on stage on the beach all afternoon and into the evening. It is held on their anniversary the 21st of March every year.
Groups like Tatewari, Media Luna and Moruno are regulars at this venue. It is a friendly and active setting where people go to see the sunset as well as listen to the music and people watch. They serve tasty food at reasonable prices as well. Tatewari performs Wednesday nights at 9:00PM and Moruno on Sunday and Tuesday nights at 9:00 PM. Media Luna plays Tuesday evenings at 6:00 and Thursdays at 9:00 until the end of April after which they plan to be in Canada for several months.
Incanto located on the River Cuale hosts a plethora of musical acts in both their Piano Bar (no cover) and in their cabaret (300 or 400 pesos cover). Media Luna has been featured there in the cabaret on Friday nights (8:00 PM) this past season.
The River Cafe is not only a great restaurant in a very scenic spot overlooking the Rio Cuale but offers nightly music including Raul Simental year round on Thursdays with Bob Tansen and on Fridays at 7:30. Media Luna performed there on Sunday evenings last season too. Hopefully they will return in the Fall.
Babel Bar also on the River Cuale at the end of the island near the cultural center is a very cool, outdoor bar/restaurant overlooking the river with comfy hammocks and spacious outdoor seating. They have great food and drinks and have been hosting very talented artists for your afternoon entertainment. They provide a wonderful opportunity for people who don't like to stay out late to hear the great sounds of Vallarta and there is no cover. Saturdays have included Moruno, Santiago Martin, Zoe Wood and Eduardo Leon, Dani Choy and others. This is a friendly, fun loving group!
Of course, you must not miss the Bambinos at their own establishment Los Bambinos Trattoria located on Aguacate and Carranza! They perform Monday through Saturday in high season and their show is definitely worthwhile. The food is delicious Italian cuisine.
If you are up the coast, I highly recommend Jardin del Pulpo or Octopus' Garden in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a picturesque courtyard setting with friendly owners and an intimate atmosphere. Tatewari frequently performs there as well as other renowned entertainers from the Puerto Vallarta area.