Los Cabos has made quite a name for itself among the high-society set. With more luxury resorts than any other category, a marina brimming with million-dollar yachts, and a guest list of international glitterati, it’s considered one of the most exclusive destinations in Mexico.
You’d imagine that dining here would have to be next level – and it is. At the same time, Los Cabos remains committed to its roots as a former fishing village. The chefs who have opened restaurants in Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo are fiercely proud of the land, the sea and the bounty they provide, and the farmers and fishermen who make it all possible. Curating menus that are true to the destination is vitally important to the ethos of the restaurant scene.
The juxtaposition of the two is where Los Cabos shines. Big-name chefs rub elbows with down-home cooks across many different price points and atmospheres, and whether you’re looking for a perfectly poured champagne cocktail at sunset or a simple cerveza to wash down your fish taco, there’s a restaurant to match.
There’s never been a better time to be hungry in Los Cabos. Here is our guide to the best places to eat at the southernmost point of the Baja peninsula.
Best high-end restaurants in Los Cabos
Los Cabos is an epicenter for five-star resorts and yacht culture, so finding high-end cuisine can often be easier than seeking out the holes-in-the-wall. But here are a few superb places to start.
What could possibly be more romantic than a spectacular cliffside Mediterranean-style dinner at sunset, overlooking the iconic Cabo San Lucas arch at Land’s End? Not much, honestly.
Spread across several tiers above the crashing waves of the Pacific, Sunset Monalisa has the market cornered when it comes to deliriously dreamy dinners. Tasting menus are the way to go here – the restaurant offers three that range from $94 to $319. To level up, add on the wine-pairing experience.
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Any experience at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is going to be a cut above, but its El Farallon restaurant raises the bar on an already chic experience. Built directly into the side of a cliff, the tips of waves practically kiss the elegant stone pier on which the restaurant sits.
Start the evening by sampling one of 20 unique champagnes at the restaurant’s Champagne Terrace before moving to the alfresco dining area. The menu changes daily, as it relies heavily on that day’s catch; whatever is on offer, however, is guaranteed to be spectacular, albeit at a very hefty price tag.
The driving force behind Mexico City’s acclaimed fine-dining spot Pujol, Enrique Olvera is legendary in kitchens across the country, and in Los Cabos, he’s flexing his skills over at Manta, the signature restaurant at the Cape Hotel, a Thompson Resort.
With international influences, particularly from Mexico, Peru and Japan, Olvera has created a menu rooted in Baja seafood — but at a much higher price point. The fish tempura tacos, for example, while exceptional, will set you back a hearty US$30.
Best farm-to-table restaurants in Los Cabos
A champion of the farm-to-table movement in Mexico and one of the first destinations in the country to highlight the importance of local producers, the kitchens across Los Cabos have long been committed to supporting their own.
Paradero Todos Santos
Todos Santos is the new “it” town when visiting Los Cabos. Technically it’s a two-hour drive up the coast, but more and more visitors are breaking away from Cabo San Lucas to see what the fuss is about.
Certainly one of the trendsetters is the boho chic Paradero Todos Santos, a property with a luxe desert aesthetic, sweeping views, a gorgeous infinity pool and beautifully appointed suites. But its restaurant is reason enough to visit. The locally sourced menu is designed around freshly caught fish, sustainably raised meat and an onsite organic garden.
Ten minutes from San Jose del Cabo sits a desert oasis that raised the bar on design in Los Cabos. Acre’s treehouse-style bungalow rooms are unique to the area, but what put the resort on the map was its 25-acre organic farm and restaurant.
The majority of the ingredients used were grown right on the property – and if it wasn’t grown here, it was sourced not too far away. The menu changes based on seasonal availability, but if you see cheddar biscuits or duck croquettes, do not pass them up.
El Mirador Oceanview Restaurant
A winding road leads to the top of a hilltop, where a massive palapa sits perched overlooking the Pacific, offering sweeping views of the Punta Lobos coast and the Sierra de la Laguna mountains.
Come to El Mirador Oceanview Restaurant for the views, but stay for the Mediterranean-Mexican fusion cuisine, particularly the exceptional tuna tostada. Organic herbs and vegetables are grown in the kitchen garden, and most of the menu is locally sourced. Book a table on a Sunday to catch the weekly Live Jazz Sunset sessions.
Best seafood restaurants in Los Cabos
Surrounded on all sides by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, the sea and its bounty is one of the most important and vital resources for Los Cabos.
Todos Santos has undergone an evolution, and no better example of that is Oystera. Housed in the bones of a former sugar factory, Oystera is a house of worship to the bounty of Baja, with a sophisticated menu of fresh oysters and crudo that lends itself to perfectly crafted cocktails and chilled glasses of bubbles.
When not sitting in the sun-drenched market-style dining room, you’ll find guests snapping shots for the ‘Gram around the elegant factory shell, which also is home to an art gallery, outdoor gardens, and chic boutiques.
El Marinero Borracho
Taking it back to San José del Cabo’s fishing-village roots, El Marinero Borracho is all about casual, fresh and local seafood, and its menu is packed with shrimp dishes, ceviches and tacos. Sit under the breezy palapa, crack open a Pacifico beer to go with a tangy plate of shrimp aguachile, and cheers to the good ol’ days.
Mariscos El Torito
What started as a wagon under a tree in Mazatlán has grown into a Mexican seafood empire. Back when Mariscos El Torito opened in 1992, not far from the beaches of Mazatlán, they sold cold dishes, cocktails and ceviches. After a mention in the New York Times, the wagon became one of the most popular spots in town, which allowed the owners to expand their business to Cabo San Lucas.
Today it’s a hot spot among locals, who come for the ceviche, fish tacos and grilled fish — all for prices that are really, really hard to find in Cabo San Lucas.
Best Baja-style restaurants in Los Cabos
Mexican food can mean many things around the country, but Baja-style Mexican food is certainly a league of its own, with a focus on seafood, ceviches and grilled meats.
For the best of Baja in Los Cabos, Tacos Gardenias is top of mind. For more than three decades, this taco joint has been slinging the favorites, from ceviche and shrimp cocktail to the unofficial signature dish of the peninsula, fish tacos.
La Panga Antigua
San José del Cabo has the reputation for being the funky, artsy one, and it’s got the restaurants to match. Tucked in a leafy courtyard behind 150-year-old walls, La Panga Antigua is a gem.
The menu here brings traditional Mexican (and Baja-specific) classics to life with an elevated, 21st-century twist, and it changes all the time, as the chef relies on local proteins and produce. But frequently on offer is a wide selection of fabulous surf and turf, plus organic produce from local suppliers.
No frills but all the flavor, Salsitas is a cantina-style restaurant in the heart of San José del Cabo, beloved by locals and those in the know for its laid-back service, colorful ambiance, and really great happy hour. Fish tacos are as good as you could hope for, but Salsitas also specializes in tostadas, enchiladas and gut-stuffing burritos.
Best vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Los Cabos
Entire vegetarian or vegan restaurants are tough to come by in Los Cabos, though many restaurants are well equipped to not only handle vegetarian and vegan customers, but to do so in haute style.
La Rana Vegana
La Rana Vegana was one of the original vegan restaurants to burst onto the Los Cabos scene. The restaurant prides itself on being 100% vegan, serving everything from salads and tacos to pizzas and quesadillas. The quesa birria tacos in particular have even the non-believers hooked.
The beauty of Los Cabos is that because it’s such an international city, you can find almost any cuisine — Indian included. While Namaste India isn’t exclusively vegan or vegetarian, its flavor-packed menu offers a dizzying array of options for those who are going meat-free. Try the mixed-veg jalfrezi, which comes in a rich and creamy sauce made from cashews and savory spices.
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