Cafe Roma has good pizza but doesn't seem overly Mexican or Vallarta-ish in my opinion. Pipi's is overly touristy in many ways but has that "Mexican Movie" feel with fajitas, giant margaritas, sombreros and loud Mariachi music which people love and it does make you feel like you are in Mexico.
Hard to chose I am sure!
What area are you staying in? Here for more than one day? What time of day are you planning on dining?
Thanks for the heads up on Pipis being touristy- not our thing
Cafe Roma gets my vote.
Cafe Roma, hands down over Chata
I love Cafe Roma! The pizza is quite good, excellent thin crust. The owner and his staff couldn't be nicer. I usually drink my margaritas on the rocks, but the blended mango and raspberry margaritas are delicious on a hot day. I like the location, too. It's right next to the Cuale River, not too far off the beaten track.
La Chata has pretty good Mexican food. I've eaten there a couple of times with friends who wouldn't eat the vendor food I so love on Sunday nights. It's a great location for people watching.
Pipi's food is like the chain restaurants we have in California. I agree with Bzy1 about the atmosphere. It's what people who've never been to Mexico think of as "Mexican". The food isn't bad, the margaritas are fine, it's just not my cup of tea.
We have been to Cafe Roma, but not to La Chata or Pipis. We've heard good things about La Chata, but we would not even consider Pipis -- to us, it's a place you can hear and 'feel' from blocks away - no thanks to that!!
Cafe Roma offers a friendly and casual environment, with inexpensive & good food and drink -- with the bonus of viewing large iguanas in the nearby trees!! It would definitely be our pick of the three.
Fajitas and a lot of what Fajita Republic serves are Tex-Mex. That said we have enjoyed every meal we've had there over the years.
Have been to Pipis once and the folks that like it don't wouldn't want to hear our opinion. And the food at Cafe de Olla reminds me of the chain food Mexican restaurants here in the states.