Besides everything you’ll need for your kitchen from
fresh meat and produce to dairy and packaged goods, the
new supermarkets also offer pharmacies, clothing, hardware,
garden supplies, auto parts and supplies, appliances, electronics,
furniture, shoes, and everything else you’ll need
or might have forgotten. We've also got a WalMart, right
next door to the Sam's Club. Most of the stores are on 'the
main road through town', Ave, Francisco Medina Ascencio.
With a street name that long, it's no wonder that everybody
simply calls it 'the main road', 'the main drag', or sometimes
'Las Palmas' due to the proliferation of palm trees along
side and in the boulevards.
The ‘older’ supermarket in the central part
of Puerto Vallarta has some ‘extra’ departments
as well, but are primarily food-oriented, and especially
convenient for anybody staying in or near ‘El Centro’.
"Ley" is just a few blocks North of the end of the malecon.
Ley, is a very typical older Mexican supermarket, that doesn't cater specifically to gringos' tastes. Our experience is that they often have the best prices in town and great 2-for-1 and 3-for-2 specials when they get large shipments at a good price. Another plus for Ley is the free underground parking.
Walking into Ley will likely give
the modern North American tourist a little flashback…small
carts, narrow aisles, crowded shelves. It’s like walking
into a Safeway or A&P about 40 years ago, but they offer
just about anything your kitchen needs, and what they don’t
have, you can probably live without.Ley has an upstairs
level, with a variety of home merchandise and stuff that
just doesn’t fit downstairs.
Store Tradition: In any grocery store big or small, old
or new, that has a youngster (or sometimes an ‘oldster’)
bagging your groceries, it is proper to give a tip (“propina”
– say ‘Proe-Peen-Ah’) for this service.
A couple pesos for one bag, maybe as many as 10 pesos if
you have a LOT of groceries. An additional tip should be
offered if you want them to push the cart out to your car
or taxi, where they will help load your stuff into the trunk
or backseat. Typically these youngsters are working only
for tips and before or after school hours, and although
it is not their style to be overly gracious when receiving
your tip, know that it is probably an important part of
their family’s income or his/her education fund.
From South to North: the big supermarkets
in Puerto Vallarta:
LEY: 362 Juarez Street, between Chile
and Uraguay Streets, in the northern part of 'El Centro'
MEGA: Ave. Francisco Medina Ascencio,
just a couple blocks north of the Sheraton or the Sports
SORIANA: (Formerly "Gigante", and often still referred to as such) The anchor store of the Plaza
Caracol Shopping Center, on Ave. Francisco Medina Ascencio,
across from Los Tules resort, in the 'hotel zone'. There's another one on the opposite side of the same street almost to the Cruise Ship Terminal, and a "Sooper-Dooper" Soriana on Francisco Villa almost to the town of Pitillal
WALMART: On Ave. Francisco Medina Ascencio
directly across the street from the Cruise Ship Terminal.
(Locals like to snicker at cruise ship passengers who get
off the boat for an hour or so to visit Walmart for their
souvenirs and think they've visited Vallarta.)
COMMERCIAL MEXICANA: The anchor store
of the Plaza Marina Shopping Center on Ave. Francisco Medina
Ascencio, just before the airport.
There's also a SAM'S CLUB (right next to Walmart) and a COSTCO on Francisco Villa in Fluvial. Your membership cards from the U.S. or Canada are valid here.
Also of note:
PARADISE PLAZA in Nuevo Vallarta
also has a very nice modern grocery store.