Puerto Vallarta Live Music

by Rick Hepting
Updated April 27, 2010

Music is a way of life here in Puerto Vallarta. It’s everywhere, from the gas delivery trucks and local bus serenades, to the finest clubs and restaurants.

Listed here are the small clubs, bars and restaurants (along with a few larger venues) where live music can be found generally without a cover price or expensive dinners charges.

I’m not including establishments that are primarily restaurants that have live “background” music or occasional expensive concerts. …Or the dance clubs with DJ music.

Encino #287, Centro Puerto Vallarta. Cafe Roma is a rather small venue with about 12 tables and it has live music of one type or another from Monday to Friday. This can be a live band or karaoke or Open Mic. The music usually starts at 6 or 7 pm and Cafe Roma closes at 10 pm. Generally the music ranges from Old Rock to Country Western (the owner is a country western singer). The prices for food (mainly pizza and other Italian fare) and drinks are very reasonable. There is a live webcam online at all times.

On the Malecón, The Los Arcos Ampitheater, sometimes called Teatro Aquiles Serdan, is the premier open seating venue in Centro Puerto Vallarta for Free Shows and Cultural Events of all types sponsored the the City of Puerto Vallarta. Frequent concerts, shows and even fireworks will be found there. Past musical shows have included Opera, Jazz, Cumbia, Folk, and Experimental. Determining the scheduling is difficult and I recommend checking our PVScene Calendar for the latest information. Since Monday is the traditional day off for people working in this city, there are often very traditional and interesting concerts on Monday evenings, usually starting at 8 pm. Other nights will feature other activities from major performing artists to kid’s clowns.

Basilio Badillo #180. Nacho Daddy opened in the fall of 2009 in a central location in Old Town, Puerto Vallarta. It is a large venue, open 7 days a week, with reasonably priced drinks and food (styled: Mex/Tex). Several of the owners are musicians so naturally music is a main ingredient in the cuisine of Nacho Daddy. There is live music generally from Thursday evenings to Saturday and there is room to dance. Mostly Old Rock.

Basilio Badillo #284, Old Town. A venue that is part of the Club Manaña group. In the high season, the pianist, Ron Pass, is at the 88’s from 9 pm until 1 am, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 2 for 1 Happy Hour is from 6 to 9 pm. Ron sings and plays all of the old standards (by whose standards you may ask…). He’s good.

There is no cover charge but the prices are a little stiff; you definitely get what you pay for here.

Closed for the summer.

Aquiles Serdan # 625, a bit east of Old Town. This is a neighborhood bar slightly removed from the action of Old Town but still a walkable distance (of course buses and taxis are available). It has reasonable food and drink prices and is large enough for whatever happens. There is plenty of room for dancing. Qué?Pasa has been hosting live bands for years and this is their specialty. Live music, mostly Old Rock, usually starts at 8 pm Wednesdays thru Saturdays, but it’s always best to check first if the music is important.

Malecón Street #177 on Los Muertos Beach. Ritmos is actually two stages and restaurants in one, with a beach venue and an upstairs, more formal dining and performance stage. The prices are moderate and the food is wide-ranging, from beach snacks to full gourmet dinners. Ritmos is open 7 days a week from morning til late at night. Music performances can be at either state and start at 2pm and sometimes are as late as 11pm. The music ranges from Old Rock to, more often, Jazz and Latin.

Ignacio L. Vallarta #217, Old TownIt offers a spicy international menu of musical acts.” The house band fills in whenever there is a gap in schedule and there are jam sessions from about 10 pm to 1 am (usually starts and runs late). This is a 21 year old thru 70 year old club – i.e. All ages. Reasonable drink prices.

The club is open from about 8 pm to 6 am. Blues, rock, samba, salsa, reggae and jazz are played. The line up changes frequently, so check at the club to find out what is on and when. It’s always loud.

There is no cover charge and it is located about two blocks south of the Rio Cuale Bridge.