Los Cabos has quickly climbed the charts of fan-favorite destinations. A few decades ago, only fishing enthusiasts headed to the tip of the Baja peninsula, but that’s all changed today. Los Cabos, which emcompasses the two popular cities on the southernmost horn of Baja, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, offers sprawling beaches, natural attractions, adrenaline-pumping watersports, and authentic Mexican cuisine that’s impossible to mimic at home.
From high-end restaurants with exotic menus to food trucks serving hundred-year-old recipes, the food alone is enough to keep visitors coming back.
If you’re planning a trip to Los Cabos, here’s a great cheat sheet to taste the best dishes that the area has to offer.
Dubbed one of the most “spectacular fine dining experiences in Cabo,” Sunset Monalisa should be on your must-visit list. The high-end restaurant looks as though it’s floating in the Sea of Cortez. With waves lapping below, and no walls to block the natural landscape, visitors have an unprecedented view of the sea and mountains.
The view alone is worth a visit, but Chef Jacob Ramos creates 3, 5, or 7 course meals that fuse Mediterranean food flavors with Mexican favorites.
Make a reservation for sunset and the view and the food will wow you.
Los Deseos Restaurant
This popular restaurant located in the heart of Cabo San Lucas has 1500+ reviews and a 4.5 out 5 rating on TripAdvisor. Visitors rave about the food, service, and atmosphere, so it should definitely make your itinerary. It’s a twist on a traditional Mexican restaurant that has authentic architecture but combines vintage and modern tastes in its cuisine.
The restaurant sits in what’s known as The Golden Zone Marina, a happening part of town that’s right next to the water; a fun spot in Los Cabos for sure.
Casa de Brasa
Many of the resorts offer crowd-pleasing dishes too. That’s the case at Casa de Brasa, a poolside cafe and bar located inside the Four Seasons Resort in East Cape. Have some homemade guacamole and a margarita as an afternoon treat or order the grilled shrimp tacos for lunch – you won’t be sorry.
Are you a fan of breakfast? If so, start your morning at Roadrunner Cafe. Grab a seat outdoors amid the climbing vines and flowers and devour one of their famous breakfast burritos. This spot has a 1950s-vibe to it that makes it a fun atmosphere to enjoy a meal in.
If you’re planning to sleep in, you can stop by for lunch and enjoy a cervasa in the beer garden.
If you’re ready to get dressed up or celebrate a special occasion, Estiatorio Milos is the place to go. It’s located in the Costa Palmas Resort, a luxurious community in East Cape that combines high-end residences with luxurious visitor experiences – one of which is an elegant restaurant.
If the name Estiatorio Milos sounds familiar it’s because the renowned chef Costas Spiliadis opened a handful of these elegant restaurants across the world, one of which is northeast of San Jose del Cabo.
For authentic Mexican food, look no further than Mi Casa. This restaurant is a twenty-year veteran in the Cabo food scene. It’s growth sparked a recent expansion, so visitors can find locations in Cabo and neighboring town, San Jose del Cabo.
This vibrant, hacienda-style restaurant serves all of the traditional meals, from enchiladas mole to chimichangas. The atmosphere is fun, large murals cover the wall, and service is top-notch, according to hundreds of TripAdvisor reviews.
If you have a hankering for Italian food, set your GPS to La Forchetta in San Jose del Cabo. Visitors describe this posh spot as a “local gem.” The menu has some staples like risotto, but you’ll also find some surprises like Melanzane alla Parmigiana (fried eggplant) and Polpo Piccante (roasted octopus) too. Don’t let the menu scare you, the staff is more than happy to provide recommendations and explanations.
After your meal, be sure to walk around the city. San Jose del Cabo is calmer than Cabo with cobblestone streets, a walkable downtown area, and boutique shops and galleries scattered about.
Taste seafood like you’ve never had before at El Matador, a charming, upscale restaurant in San Jose del Cabo. With multiple rooms and intimate dining options, the restaurant was designed to offer a unique experience. The experience is only enhanced by flavorful dishes, all created at the hands of a mator.
Pablo Velez, the owner, is a former matador, who does a match or two in the bull ring each year. His memorabilia decorates the building, singers grace the open-air terrace, and dishes of rack of lamb, chile relleno, and sea bass are served with elegance.
Tips to enjoy authentic food in Los Cabos
While the list of restaurants provides a great foundation for mouthwatering meals, here are a few extra tips to make sure you get the most out of your dining experience:
Talk to the locals
While this list highlights some of the most well-known spots in Los Cabos, there are many unadvertised spots that offer unparalleled food. To find them, ask locals for suggestions. You’ll find that many residents are happy to point you in the direction of a mom-and-pop restaurant that they frequent or an off-the-beaten-path bar that’s less touristy than many of the locales in Cabo.
Ease into the cuisine
If you’re not used to eating Mexican food, you need to ease into it; just as you would with anything new. When you first arrive, try smaller meals with less kick and work your way up to larger, spicier dishes.
Between long flights and Baja temperatures, it’s vital to stay hydrated. It’s not uncommon for travelers to feel nauseous and blame it on food as opposed to the real culprit: Dehydration. Drink plenty of bottled water during your trip to help maintain your health.
American restaurants tend to have a faster pace than those in Mexico. Eating a meal in Los Cabos is meant to be an experience. It’s not uncommon to order, eat, have dessert, enjoy a coffee, and listen to a local singer, for example. The pace of the meal is often much slower.
Some restaurants in Cabo, especially along the Tourist Corridor, have adopted the American pace, but many smaller restaurants have not. Be patient.
There are hundreds of restaurants in Los Cabos, so it’s hard for visitors to narrow down which ones to try. This list of restaurants and tips will help find amazing meals set in one of Mexico’s most iconic locations.