Vallarta Lifestyles’ Restaurant Week has just revealed a preliminary list of participating restaurants for the 10th anniversary edition of this popular annual event that takes place May 15-31. “We are calling it preliminary, because in past years, there have been a few restaurants that have made a last-minute decision about joining,” explained Paco Ojeda, who oversees the event along with Juan Pablo Hernández. “We anticipate a few additional inquiries between now and the beginning of next week.”

It all started ten years ago, when publisher John Youden proposed bringing to the region an event similar to others with the same name that take place in important tourist destinations around the world. The premise is quite simple: each participating restaurant designs a special, fixed-price menu consisting of three choices of appetizers, main courses and desserts, and offers it at one of two set prices (this year they are $199 and $299 pesos, beverages and tips not included). Based on this, restaurant patrons can build the ideal meal for them based on those choices, exploring restaurants they have not previously enjoyed, or revisiting a favorite one.

Ten years later, Restaurant Week has positioned itself as a not-to-be-missed event in Banderas Bay during the month of May. And surprisingly, it is still the only Restaurant Week event to take place in all of Mexico.

To remain in the minds and hearts of foodies everywhere, Restaurant Week relies on important promotional sponsors that help spread the news, particularly for those that make special travel plans to Puerto Vallarta during the second half of May. This year, Restaurant Week has partnered with Puerto Vallarta’s Tourism Bureau (FIDETUR) and Riviera Nayarit’s Conventions & Visitors Bureau. Both agencies began spreading the good news about Restaurant Week in the many promotional trips they organize around the United States, Canada and the rest of the world. “This is an increasingly important event for us,” remarked Richard Zarkin, who handles Public Relations at Riviera Nayarit. Both agencies are showcasing Restaurant Week in their websites.

CANIRAC Vallarta, the local restaurant chamber, has also partnered with outreach to their restaurant membership through their website and social media outlets. “It takes consistent work to reach out to the community,” commented Ana María Lomelí, Administrative Director for the organization. “But we like the idea that Restaurant Week opens the doors to a broad variety of restaurants that can benefit from the added promotion.”

Another important aid in Restaurant Week’s success has been Bay Vallarta, a bi-monthly, bilingual publication that has consistently featured menu guides and additional food-related content during their May issues in past events. This year, they join Restaurant Week as an official sponsor. “The entire Bay Vallarta team is thrilled to be part of this important event and to help contribute to its ongoing success. Now on its tenth year, it has truly established itself as a landmark celebration in the region,” commented Juan Espinoza, Editor.

Restaurant Week organizers will continue to receive last minute restaurant additions, along with the menus with which they will participate in the next few days. After careful proof-reading and translation revisions, the menus will be available by April 10 at restaurantweek.virtualvallarta.com. (This web address presently features last year’s menu guide, to give you an idea of what to expect!) A menu guide booklet with all the menus will also be available at participating restaurants. For those that choose to browse their offerings on their iPads or tablets, a downloadable version of the menus will also be available online. Here is the preliminary list of restaurants that will participate in Vallarta Lifestyles’ Restaurant Week, Tenth Anniversary Edition. (Last minute restaurants considering participation are welcome to read this for more information, and must contact the organization immediately at restaurantweek@virtualvallarta.com.)