Destination Dining: The Best Restaurants in Los Cabos
Although seafood remains the once and future king of the Cabo culinary landscape—something that should come as no surprise in an area long heralded for its world-class fishing—the increased profile and popularity of the peninsula’s Baja Med cuisine, as well as the world-class wines now being produced in Valle de Guadalupe outside of Ensenada, have helped attract an influx of talented and creative chefs to the region, spearheading the development of what is quickly becoming one of Mexico’s most fertile culinary hotbeds.
These days, Los Cabos can claim as rich and diverse a dining scene as any area in Baja California, with top restaurants in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo featuring everything from Baja Med and regional Mexican cuisine to creative fusions and gourmet twists on international comfort food favorites like pastas and pizzas.
Many of the most renowned restaurants occupy privileged real estate at top area luxury resorts, of course, but visitors interested in exploring and experiencing the full spectrum of Los Cabos’ thriving dining scene will find first-class food and drink at a variety of price points, in locales as diverse as farm fields and rooftop aeries, and amidst atmospheres that range from button-down to barefoot casual.
Here are a few of our current favorites:
Los Cabos’ finest farm-to-table dining experience can be found in the middle of a 10-acre organic field in the rolling foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna, just outside of San Jose del Cabo. That’s where Flora’s Field Kitchen serves up a memorable array of delicious dishes made from freshly-picked produce, and cured meats and eggs from the neighboring ranch. Did I mention they also bake their own breads (and incredible gourmet pizzas) in a wood-fired oven? Locals and discerning visitors alike flock to this bucolic eatery to feast on fresh seasonal fare, and to sip Farmaritas (margaritas made with heirloom carrots) and other fresh juices and cocktails at the adjoining Farm Bar.
Find your vacation bliss to the sound of cascading waterfalls and rustling palm fronds combined with the savory delights of signature dishes like roasted chicken with chocolate and “Paris on your plate.” Chef Loïc Tenoux’s innovative Mexican-Euro fusion cuisine is the main attraction at Mi Cocina, a San Jose del Cabo fine dining fixture that boasts a lovely courtyard setting at the boutique hotel Casa Natalia. But the serene setting and outstanding service certainly contribute to the restaurant’s sterling reputation locally, as do the masterfully mixed martinis and impressive array of blanco, reposado and anejo tequilas.
The lobster burritos are justifiably famous, but Cordon Bleu trained Chef Roberto Valle’s menu offers a range of eclectic “Haute Mexican” cuisine, as well as a romantic courtyard setting at Plaza Paulina in San Jose del Cabo’s historic Art District, amidst the crumbling remains of a 19th century hacienda. For the signature Voila experience, stop by on a Friday evening for live jazz, and pair your lobster burrito or quiche Lorraine with a Voila martini, an addictive cosmo/sex on the beach style sipper made with vodka, peach liqueur, Cointreau, and cranberry juice.
The hippest hangout on Cabo San Lucas’ Medano Beach may be Bar Esquina, an upscale eatery located just off the lobby at the boutique Bahia Hotel and Beach Club. Gourmet pizzas, Mediterranean fusions and fine dining standards like lamb chops and prime rib headline the offerings from the restaurant’s open kitchen, and are ably complemented by creative, hand-crafted cocktails from Esquina’s talented bar staff. The bests seats in the house aren’t at the chic 17-seat marble bar, however, but in the patio dining area, where groups like the Spanish-flavored Mala Rumba provide some of the area’s best live music.
Although Baja Sur’s first microbrewery started out in San Jose del Cabo’s historic Art District, in recent years the company has branched out with scenic restaurants/brew pubs on the Marina and Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas. For the perfect introduction to the this local institution, sample the suds and delicious dining options at BBC’s rooftop location at Cabo Villas on Medano Beach. Food options range from gourmet burgers and pizzas to a coffee dusted filet mignon that pairs perfectly with the rich German-style schwarzbier Escorpion Negro. Bottled highlights include the brewery’s signature Cabotella blonde ale (now available in five U.S. states: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas).
Looking for the best views in Cabo San Lucas? Try the scenically situated Hacienda Cocina y Cantina. Not only does this signature restaurant at the luxurious Hacienda Beach Club and Residences offer some of the best traditional Mexican cuisine in Los Cabos, it also offers diners incredible views of Land’s End and Bahia San Lucas from a privileged perch on Medano Beach near the entrance to the city’s marina. Regional Mexican dishes from culinary hotbeds like Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla and Vera Cruz are the specialties of the house, with extensive pairing options available from Hacienda’s internationally representative wine list and superb collection of top-shelf tequilas.
Planning a trip to Los Cabos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.
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Photos courtesy of Flora Farm, Casa Natalia, Voila Bistro and Catering, Bahia Hotel and Beach Club, Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, and Baja Brewing Company.