Best Mexican Restaurants In Cabo San Lucas

Because Los Cabos has become one of the country's major resort destinations, the area is now home to a diverse population, and there are numerous restaurants representing the culinary styles and traditional dishes from many regions of México. At smaller, family-owned establishments, the bill of fare typically showcases specialties from the owner or family's place of origin (Acapulco or Mazatlán, for example). Larger restaurants, however, particularly those located in tourist areas or at local resorts, will often offer a representative sampling of regional specialty dishes from throughout the country.

Los Tres Gallos is a bit off the beaten tourist track, but this charming eatery in downtown Cabo San Lucas definitely falls into the latter category, offering visitors a delicious introduction to some of Mexico's most traditional regional cuisine. It may be the best restaurant in Los Cabos, with the memorable meals complemented by terrific service and a lovely courtyard dining area.

Hacienda El Coyote, a restaurant operated by the Solmar hotel group, and Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, the signature onsite dining establishment at Hacienda Beach Club and Residences, are also excellent options for those seeking a sampling of country's traditional favorites, which can range from Mole Poblano and lobster a la Puerto Nuevo to Yucatán style Cochinita Pibil.

10 Palomar Restaurant
People come to Santiago to see the nearby waterfalls, or to visit the zoo, and Palomar, located just off the main plaza, is a popular stopping place for food and refreshments. The restaurant and hotel - there are six double-rooms ringed around the courtyard dining area - has been around forever, or what feels like forever in Baja California Sur. Hollywood stars like John Wayne and Bing Crosby used to fly in for the world-class white-winged dove hunting, and co-owner Sergio Gomez is happy to show visitors pictures of his Mom with Bing Crosby, or photos of other celebrities who have eaten at Palomar over the years. The menu mainly features seafood and Mexican cuisine. The pescado mojo de ajo (catch of the day cooked in garlic butter) is excellent, as are the combination plates with Mexican favorites like enchiladas and chile rellenos (stuffed chiles). The hamburgers are pretty good, too. ((624) 130-2019)

9 El Coral Restaurant
El Coral is the oldest restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, and has been around since the days before the Marina was dredged. Although the restaurant was devastated by Hurricane Odile in 2014, it has fully recovered and is once again dishing up mesquite grilled seafood and Mexican specialty dishes, as well as homestyle favorites like BBQ pork ribs, lobster tail platters, and giant wet burritos with pork and chile colorado sauce. The restaurant is located in the heart of San Lucas, and features bright murals and festive furnishings. Owner and chef Roberto Real's signature dish is grilled red snapper with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. ((624) 143-0150)

8 Pancho's Restaurant & Tequila Bar
Pancho's is one of the best Mexican restaurants in downtown San Lucas, and specializes in regional dishes such as Puebla-style chicken mole, Sonoran-style carne asada, and Oaxacan-style tamales wrapped in banana leaves. They also claim to have the largest tequila selection in the world, with over 500 separate producers represented. Whether this is the world's largest collection is debatable, but there is no question that the tequila and mezcal menus are enormous, with many labels you'll likely never see anywhere else. And it that weren't enough to pique your interest, the atmosphere is likewise exceptional, bright and airy, with traditional decor and accents, and live music nightly. (624-143-0973)

7 Girasoles de la Hacienda
Of all the great restaurants at Sheraton's Hacienda Del Mar, Girasoles de la Hacienda may be the most underrated. This standout eatery offers delicious and authentic regional Mexican specialties, as well as gorgeous terrace views of Punta Ballena, the Cabo del Sol Ocean Course, and of course the azure waters of the Sea of Cortez. Tacos, burritos, fajitas and other Mexican staples headline the menu selections, but there is always a slight twist to keep things interesting. The roasted duck tacos, for instance, are served with spring onion and green tomato sauce, offering a fresh take on a familiar favorite. Daily specials are served up throughout the week, and include molcajetes on Tuesday, and surf and turf combos on Wednesday. ((624) 145-8000, ext.)

6 Hacienda Cocina y Cantina
Choose among al fresco dining on the terrazzo, open air indoor dining or the ever popular "tables in the sand" at this casual yet stylish bar and restaurant at Médano Beach luxury lodging Hacienda Beach Club and Residences. Highlights at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina include stunning views of the iconic rock formations of Land's End, as well as an excellent traditional Mexican menu created by famed Chef Andrea Blanco and executed by Chef Octavio Hernandez. Start with margaritas or mojitos at the scenic bar, then progress to tropical or verde style ceviche, crab flautas with mango baja slaw and hibiscus sauce, and Oaxaca style beef medallions with ancho chile and peanut mole. Platters served family-style for the whole table are also available, with choices such as marinated grilled skirt steak, slow roasted pork or sea bass with garlic-chile sauce. (624-163-3144, 415-259-4170)

5 Miguel's Restaurant
Miguel's chile rellenos may not be the best in all of Baja, as an enthusiastic reviewer from the New York Times once claimed, but they are amazing. The stuffed chiles - available with lobster, shrimp, cheese and in vegetarian form - are certainly the signature dish at Miguels, the top stop in Todos Santos for traditional Mexican comfort food. Tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and chicken mole are also on the menu, and this is a congenial pit stop for ice cold beers and tropical cocktails. The atmosphere is very casual and laid-back, perfect for whiling away a lazy afternoon. Miguel's has a second location at the Hotelito Los Cardones in Cerrritos. ((612) 145-0733)

4 Campestre Restaurant and Bar
Campestre is a bit off the beaten tourist track, and can be a bit difficult to find without a local tour guide or taxi service. Despite its out-of-the way location, however, this is one of the finest purveyors of traditional Mexican food in Cabo San Lucas, and well worth a visit. Campestre draws large local crowds for its "comida corrida," a budget-friendly afternoon meal that includes a soup and agua fresca of the day, and a choice of entree options. The best lunch or dinner option for tourists is the Mexican combination plate, which includes flautas, quesadillas, chile rellenos, and delicious guacamole. Mexican coffee and dessert options like fried bananas are also available. ((624) 143-8830)

3 Edith's Restaurante
Owner Edith Jiménez is originally from the state of Guerrero, and her restaurant, a fine dining fixture in Cabo San Lucas for close to two decades, features a mixture of Baja and Guerreran cuisines, as well as generous helpings of fresh local seafood. The restaurant is located just a block from Médano Beach, has a comfortably yet upscale Mexican atmosphere, and operates the finest mesquite grill in town, as well as an air-conditioned wine cellar. Signature offerings include the Coqueta salad, the "Wally Special" with grilled lobster, garlic shrimp, and mesquite grilled catch of the day, and the Pancho Villa with grilled chicken breast, stuffed poblano pepper and chicken enchilada. ((624) 143-0801)

2 Baja Maria
This local favorite used to draw its biggest crowds on Sundays for barbacoa (pit-roasted lamb), but following a change in ownership is now best known for Mexico City style menu items like quesadillas chilangas (fried quesadillas), sopa de médula (cow spine soup), and tacos à la Villamelón (tacos campechanos from the recipe made famous by Taqueria El Villamelón, a landmark eatery located near the bullfighting ring in Mexico City). The décor is casual, but enlivened by vividly colored paintings of classic Mexican movie stars and celebrities like María Félix and Pedro Infante. For the maximum amount of local color, drop by to watch the dominoes games on Tuesday and Thursday nights. ((624) 129-4346)

1 Los Tres Gallos
Named for three legendary actors from the golden age of Mexican cinema — Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete and Javier Solís were collectively known as Los Tres Gallos (The Three Roosters) — this charming and unpretentious downtown dining spot may be the best restaurant in Cabo San Lucas. Everything on the menu is delicious, but the mole dishes, in particular, are spectacular. Tables are set in a romantic courtyard dining area, and the service, like the food and atmosphere, is absolutely first-class. Best of all, Tres Gallos is very affordable, with all but one item on the menu save escamole, a seasonal dish made from ant eggs, available for $20 U.S. or less. Los Tres Gallos is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. ((624) 130-7709)

Chris Sands writes about food, wine and travel for, Fodor's, Los Cabos Magazine, 10Best, Tripology and USA Today. He lives in Cabo San Lucas.

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Maps and Directions

Palomar Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: Outside the city
El Coral Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Family Friendly
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: Cabo San Lucas
COST: $$$$
Pancho's Restaurant & Tequila Bar 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Family Friendly
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: Cabo San Lucas
Girasoles de la Hacienda 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican, Seafood
Neighborhood: Corridor
Hacienda Cocina y Cantina 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Smoking (outdoor area), Take Out
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: Cabo San Lucas
COST: $$$$
Miguel's Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: Todos Santos
Campestre Restaurant and Bar 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: Cabo San Lucas
Edith's Restaurante 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican, Seafood
Neighborhood: Medano Beach
COST: $$$
Baja Maria 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: Downtown
Los Tres Gallos 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$
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