The Best Restaurants In Cabo guide image

CABOGuide

The Best Restaurants In Cabo

A restaurant where you can eat with your toes in the sand, Japanese-Mexican food, and a couple spots in San José del Cabo.

There are three unofficial ways to do Baja. The first is all about luxury—five-star resorts, infinity pools that overlook the Pacific, and fresh lobster dinners at oceanside locations. The second moves at a slower speed (think running around with bare feet and eating cheap tacos out the back of a pick-up) and the third is a glamping-style hybrid of the two.

Cabo San Lucas, the most well-known city in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, is the rare place where jet setters and backpackers are equally at home. Plus, you’re only about 30 minutes away from San José del Cabo, whose beaches, breweries, and farm-to-table spots are worth exploring too.

Cabo isn’t just for laying on the beach, though, and eating one’s way through a coastal city might be one of the best ways to take it all in. In this guide, you’ll find fish tacos drenched in lime, Japanese dishes made with Mexican flavors, and a bunch of restaurants that grow their own fruits and vegetables right on their property. Here are all the best restaurants in Cabo San Lucas and nearby San José del Cabo.



GREAT SIT-DOWN DINNER SPOTS


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El Huerto

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There are so many things we love about farm-to-table spot El Huerto, which, with its grand archways, vast gardens, and rustic accents, was designed to resemble a 19th-century hacienda. The romantic setting is nothing compared to the food, though—the tomato salad with basil pesto and the roasted pineapple dessert are two of our favorites. But what we love the most are El Huerto’s colorful cocktails, such as a hot pink Ruby Sunset, a spicy maroon mezcal, and the two-toned Bees and Flowers made with chamomile, mezcal, and cucumber.


Built on a cliff overlooking the ocean, El Farallon in the Waldorf Astoria feels more like a movie set than real life. Seafood is brought in daily and the menu is designed around what’s caught. Try a bit of everything by ordering the “Baja bounty,” a mixed grill selection of sea bass, red snapper, yellowfin tuna, jumbo shrimp, and lobster (if you want to pay extra). You’ll probably need to make a reservation well in advance, but regardless of whether you snag a spot for a fresh lunch or a candle-lit dinner at the restaurant’s elegant cliffside terrace, El Farallon always delivers.


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These days, it’s almost impossible to talk about modern Mexican dining without mentioning Enrique Olvera, the owner and head chef of Pujol in Mexico City. At Manta, inside The Cape hotel, Olvera continues to highlight Mexican ingredients in gourmet, beautifully plated dishes. Seafood is the star of the show, particularly the tempura fish tacos and shrimp, octopus, and scallop aguachile, but it’s worth noting that the menu is very vegetarian-friendly, too. What’s more, the floor-to-ceiling windows show off a spectacular view of the rock formations of Land’s End, the turquoise-hued point where the Pacific Ocean meets the Gulf of California.


An underrated part about visiting Baja is trying the Japanese-Mexican food scene, and Nicksan is the place to do that. Don’t let its comparatively modest downtown exterior and bare-bones dining room fool you: Nicksan makes the best sushi in Cabo and has been a local favorite since it first opened in 1994. Order a spread of plates, like the minced tuna tostadas topped with slices of avocado and pickled red onion, and some yellowtail and black and white tuna sashimi. 


EAT SOME TACOS

photo credit: Alicia Vera

La Lupita Taco & Mezcal review image

La Lupita Taco & Mezcal

If you come to Mexico and don’t eat tacos, did you even come to Mexico? To prevent that from happening, head to La Lupita for a Baja fish taco wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. This place feels like a casual backyard party, with live music that starts just as the sun goes down. Sip on some local mezcal with your duck tacos, and make sure you get the dried grasshopper appetizer. 


Fine dining in Cabo is becoming more of a thing, but it’s really the casual seafood spots that the area is known (and loved) for. Tacos Gardenias, a small mom-and-pop restaurant with kitschy gamefish mounted on the walls, has been a local favorite for 30 years and is famous for serving quintessential Baja dishes. Go for things like the fish and shrimp tacos (either breaded or grilled, doused in lime and wrapped in a warm flour tortilla), ceviche, seafood soup, and the shrimp molcajete: a house specialty red stew of shrimp, peppers, cheese, and onion served in a Mexican mortar and pestle. 


SOMETHING CASUAL


It doesn’t get more Cabo than The Office, where you can sit on the beach, watch the waves come in at Medano Bay, and enjoy the menu consisting mainly of classic Mexican dishes. Local legend has it that The Office was started by an expat who came to Cabo in the 1970s when tourists were basically nonexistent. These days, it's one of the most well-known places in the area, perfect for a meal fueled by burritos, fried fish, hamburgers, and fruity cocktails, all of which taste that much better with your toes in the sand.


There’s a lot to love about Edith’s, but the flan might be top of the list. But before you get to dessert, there’s a menu of excellent options, like caesar salad prepared tableside, jumbo shrimp pasta, and a catch of the day served Veracruz-style. Enjoy it all under a thatched roof in an atmosphere that’s lovely and laid back.


Although Los Tres Gallos has you covered when you’re in the mood for Mexican staples like pozole, stuffed green peppers, or mole enchiladas, the homemade churros will probably be the highlight of your entire vacation. Located in an open-air courtyard with twinkling Christmas lights, Los Tres Gallos is our favorite spot in the area for an excellent but simple Mexican meal in a casual setting.


WTF Burger Bar is, not surprisingly, in the business of making burgers. Really good, American-style burgers, in fact. Even if you didn’t come to Mexico to eat a burger, this is the perfect casual spot to kick back, enjoy the beautiful marina views, and people-watch. They also have some solid vegan and vegetarian options, too.


A COUPLE SAN JOSÉ DEL CABO SPOTS

With a spacious and elegant interior illuminated by large candelabras, Seared’s menu sticks to traditional high-end steakhouse offerings, like wagyu and kobe available by the ounce and à la carte rib eyes and tenderloins, with some special add-ons, like caviar. But the best thing at Seared might not even be a steak, but rather the roasted corn soufflé dessert that comes with caramelized popcorn and a flavor-packed chipotle ice cream.


For a standout seafood-heavy lunch, try Taqueria Rossy, a casual spot that’s been run by the same family for 25 years. Taqueria Rossy, with its half a dozen tables and blue and white checkered tablecloths, isn’t the type of place you go for the view or the décor, but the food is good enough that you’ll probably want to visit twice during your trip. The chocolate clams (named that for their shell color) for which Baja is known are one of the few things that are mandatory to try while you’re there. So are the gobernadores tacos, the essential Baja taco that feature shrimp wrapped in a warm flour tortilla with lettuce and a dash of melted cheese.


Baja Brewing Co. in San José del Cabo’s historic art district is the number one spot in town to hang out with a beer. Once a small project run by a father-son duo who moved here from Colorado, Baja Brewing Co. has helped put the area on the map for craft beers. The bar pours IPAs, lagers, and seasonal beers, there’s a kitchen that makes burgers, wood-fired pizzas, and burritos, and on most nights you’ll even find a live classic rock band, too.


It doesn’t get much more farm-to-table than Flora Farms, a bushy garden of flowers and palm trees where all the vegetables and herbs on your plate are grown on site, and the chicken and pork are raised humanely on a ranch nearby. In order to be as environmentally friendly as possible, the menu rotates seasonally, but reliably includes excellent Neapolitan-style pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven, a Bloody Mary made with heirloom tomato water, and very good ice cream. The restaurant includes both indoor and outdoor spaces, but we’re partial to the patio seating that’s right along patches of lanky sunflowers.

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