For years, tourists have discovered the hidden gem that is Baja, Mexico. The skinny strip of land south of California’s border offered an escape from busy city life with its laid-back atmosphere, pristine waters, and authentic Mexican cuisine.
In the beginning, uncrowded beaches, small restaurants, and dirt roads played into its rustic charm. But, things started to change.
Soon, tourists from all walks of life were coming to Baja, specifically Cabo San Lucas. The area transformed into a tourist mecca, with beaches, shops, resorts, restaurants, and nightclubs.
Today, East Cape, a small, luxurious resort community is what Cabo once was. East Cape sits just 40 minutes from Cabo, but it’s as if they’re worlds apart. East Cape is largely undeveloped land, with quiet beaches, impressive views, and yes, even dirt roads.
It’s Baja’s newest best-kept secret. And, it’s dining options are one of the many features that lure tourists to the area.
If you’re planning a trip to East Cape, here’s what you should know about your upcoming culinary experience.
What to know about dining in East Cape
Before venturing out of your East Cape resort for a meal, you should know the following:
1. Be prepared for diversity
The restaurants in East Cape are as diverse as the foods. You’ll find upscale restaurants tucked inside luxurious resorts and authentic, outdoor restaurants scattered along the coast. No matter what you’re up for, be it a five-course meal at a fancy restaurant or a laid-back night featuring local seafood – you can find it in East Cape.
2. Expect fresh
Whether you grab a bite to eat from a street vendor or a luxury resort, many of the chefs in the area use fresh, local ingredients. From homegrown veggies to fresh seafood pulled straight from the sea, you can’t beat the freshness of dining in East Cape.
3. Lunch is bigger than dinner
In Mexico, lunch is usually the biggest meal of the day. In fact, only about half of Mexicans eat dinner. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a restaurant serving dinner, but it’s good to know that this meal takes a back seat to lunch.
4. Dinner is usually a little later
Many Mexicans eat dinner around 8pm, which is different than the 5pm-6pm hour that Americans typically dine at. This usually works in favor of tourists as restaurants aren’t busy when they’re hungry for dinner.
5. Corn tortillas trump flour
Which tortilla do you prefer, corn or flour? Most Americans opt for flour tortillas, but the preferred choice in Mexico is corn (maize) tortillas. If you’re a fan of flour over corn, you should specify it when you order.
6. Apples and papaya are popular
The most common fruits you’ll find on Baja’s menus are apples and papayas, which both grow well in the area.
What to eat while visiting East Cape
Wondering what foods to try while you soak up the sun in Baja’s East Cape? Here’s a list of staples to try:
Spiny lobster is fried with rice and beans and served with fresh garlic butter on the side. This particular recipe is said to date back to the early 1950s when fishermen brought home lobster to eat. Often times they didn’t have fancy fixings to go with it, so rice and beans were added.
While every chef prepares them a little differently, you can’t leave without trying fish tacos.
Think of a Seafood Tostada as a Mexican ceviche. It’s a flat tortilla piled high with raw seafood.
Forget bacon. Machaca is way better. This dried, shredded beef is often added to eggs in Baja to make a hearty addition to your breakfast.
A traditional Mexican dessert, flan is a jiggly, Jello-like treat that’s served after your meal. While it’s not everyone’s favorite, it’s definitely worth a try.
Legend has it that the first margarita was invented and poured in a Baja restaurant in 1941. Now, margaritas are made in bars across the world, but there’s nothing like drinking one in Mexico where the original ingredients (tequila, lime, and salt) are still used.
Restaurants to try in East Cape
There are dozens of amazing restaurants in and around East Cape. The most unique choices are tucked in small towns or housed in prestigious resorts like Costa Palmas. Here’s a snapshot of restaurants, which vary widely in both cuisine and atmosphere, to try during your trip:
Tito’s Restaurant & Bar
East Cape is home to Cabo Pulmo National Park, one of the most sought-after snorkel and diving spots in the world. The living reefs below the sapphire water host thousands of aquatic animals. Near the park is Tito’s. It’s an old-school, down-home bar and restaurant that locals and tourists love. When you go, try the pescado and camarones with butter and garlic.
Restaurante Dona Pame
Travel inland to Dona Pame for a truly authentic experience. Everything is outside. You’ll eat outside on a wooden table under a thatched roof while cooks prepare your food in a rustic outdoor kitchen. The food is rave-worthy, with fans giving the restaurant 4.5 stars out of 5.
Casa de Brasa
After a day on the sea, let the chefs at Casa de Brasa cook up your fresh fish. This poolside restaurant inside Four Seasons Resort will season and serve your catch to perfection and add fresh salad or a signature side.
This globally-known seafood restaurant run by renowned chef Costas Spiliadis has a location in East Cape. Choose your seafood from a 230-square-foot display or try the raw bar; either way you won’t leave disappointed.
East Cape is a wealth of amazing dining experiences. To plot your course, you can also read our East Cape Food Tour. Of course, the dining options are just one piece of East Cape’s charm. The area offers unparalleled resorts, sea excursions, renowned fishing, and stunning beaches. To learn more about East Cape and its accommodations, visit the Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos to check availability and rates.