Restaurants in Cabo San Lucas have become more sophisticated and cosmopolitan in recent years, with a new breed of creative chefs crafting innovative menus that fuse traditional Mexican cuisine with a variety of international accents. But despite the influx of talented chefs and their increased commitment to locally sourced ingredients and organic produce, the single defining aspect of the Los Cabos dining scene remains the reliance of restaurants on the region's incredibly abundant and diverse seafood. Nearly every restaurant in Los Cabos offers seafood dishes, and many devote the majority of their menu space to dishes featuring fresh local seafood.
Cabo San Lucas has a wealth of great seafood restaurants, but none better than El Farallon, which offers succulent market-style seafood and an unforgettable cliffside dining experience. Although El Farallon is the premier seafood stop in Pedregal, each of Cabo's neighborhoods have their treasures. The lobster house Lorenzillo's and the high-end sushi restaurant Nick-San are two of the best seafood eateries in the Marina district, while Edith's and Baja Cantina Beach Club are the top spots on Medano Beach, the two mile stretch of golden sand that hosts most of the city's luxury resorts. For more affordable options, try local favorites like Mariscos Mocambo, which is located near the downtown shopping area, and Mariscos El Torito, an off-the-beaten-path restaurant popular with local families. Other seafood spots of note include the marisqerías Tres Islas and Siete Mares.
10 Mariscos Mocambo
Mariscos Mocambo specializes in seafood done in traditional Mexican style, especially a la Veracruz, and is a favorite with tourists and locals alike. Enjoy shrimp, lobster, crab and octopus done in a variety of ways, sample some of their excellent ceviches, or share one of their enormous seafood platters with clams, sea snails, shrimp, and lobster. There are a number of tequilas worth trying, and the wine list is international in flavor, with selections from Argentina, Chile, the United States, and red and white options (Cabernet Sauvignon and a Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc blend) from San Lorenzo in Mexico's Valle de Parras. (624-143-2122)
9 Edith's Restaurante
Owner Edith Jimenez 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 California Sur and Guerrero cuisines, as well as generous helpings of fresh local seafood. The restaurant is located just a block from Playa El Medano, has a comfortably yet upscale Mexican atmosphere, and operates the finest mesquite grill in town. The vegetables are organic and locally grown, everything from the grill is superb, and there are some excellent soups and desserts, particularly the Aztec soup and the house flan. ((624) 143-0801)
8 7 Seas Seafood Grille
Located at the hip Cabo Surf Hotel on Acapulquito Beach, just outside of San Jose del Cabo, 7 Seas enjoys a gorgeous palapa-shaded setting that offers beautiful views of the incoming surf from the Sea of Cortez. As you might expect of a seaside restaurant, fresh seafood is the focus, although 7 Seas showcases some traditional Mexican dishes, and a large selection of delicious desserts. Highlights include the blue crab tostadas, shrimp ravioli and baked lobster tail. The restaurant also features an excellent internationally representative wine list, and serves gourmet Mexican coffees from Chiapas and Oaxaca. All produce is organic. (624-142-2666)
7 Mariscos El Torito
This place is a bit off the beaten tourist track, but it's a favorite of locals, and a popular spot for family dinners and celebrations. The menu features great ceviches, fish tacos, and other seafood specialties, with the pescado zarandeado being of particular note. An entire fish (often snook, or robalo as it is known locally) is laid out on tin foil, brushed with chile sauce, layered with onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers, and then placed in a wire basket and smoked over a charcoal grill. It is one of the best local delicacies, and usually weighs out at close to a kilogram, meaning it can easily feed three or four people. (01 624 144 4682)
6 Sunset da Mona Lisa
This is one of the most romantic restaurants you will find anywhere, with tables perched seemingly atop the Sea of Cortez. Fresh local seafood is a specialty - the restaurant has its own fishing boats, and will cook up your catch for dinner - but there is also a bar and pizza lounge with plenty of Italian-style offerings located above the restaurant. Considering the magnificence of the setting, it is perhaps not surprising that they have wedding services available. Both the food and the service here are outstanding, but it is the romantic and awe-inspiring atmosphere that makes dinner at Sunset da Mona Lisa such an incredible experience. Reservations are a must for sunset dining. (624-145-8160, 624-145-8166)
5 Solomon's Landing
What started as a taco stand is now a fixture of the Marina dining scene, with a corner location on the waterfront, just behind Wyndham Los Cabos. Solomon's Landing is popular with both locals and tourists, and features a combination of first-rate food, first-class service, and affordable prices. The menu covers a lot of ground, but Chef Brian Solomon specializes in seafood. Like most area restaurants, there is a "you hook it, we'll cook it policy," and whether you've brought your own catch or are sampling from the menu offerings, the kitchen staff will prepare your choice of fish any way you like it, including a la Veracruz, Rockefeller, and many other styles. There is also an onsite sushi bar, and plenty of great happy hour deals from the island bar. The bar has its own menu, with more casual fare, and more budget oriented prices. ((624) 143-3050, (624) 143-7606)
4 Lorenzillo's The Live Lobster House
Lorenzillo's is the premier lobster house in Los Cabos, and is one of the area's top stops for traditional fine dining. It's the sort of place where Oysters Rockefeller and Lobster Thermidor are still menu staples, and wooden drink carts are wheeled around after dinner bearing brandy and coffee cocktails. The original Lorenzillo's was founded in Vera Cruz during the late 1970s, but relocated to Cancun shortly thereafter. The Los Cabos restaurant was opened in 2002, and holds down a privileged corner spot on the Cabo San Lucas Marina. There are three main dining areas: an air-conditioned, nautical-themed indoor dining area; an expansive patio terrace that looks out over the marina towards Luxury Avenue; and a shaded street-level spot on the marina boardwalk, where passing pedestrians can check out the live lobster selection. The wine list is extensive, and features a lot of seafood-friendly whites from Mexico, Spain, and Argentina. ((624) 105-0214)
Since its inception in 1994, Nick-San has been one of the most popular local sushi restaurants, with Chefs Angel Carbajal and Masayuki Nikura crafting a creative and innovative fusion of Japanese cuisine with traditional Mexican ingredients. This sort of fusion has become quite common among area restaurants, but Nick-San was the first, and remains the best. Sample their extensive menu of rolls, and house specialties like tempura oysters curry yaki, blue fin tuna sashimi, and beef filet serranito. There are two locations in Los Cabos, one at the Plaza de la Danza in Cabo San Lucas, and the other at Las Tiendas de Palmilla. Reservations are recommended. (624-144-6262, 624-144-6263)
2 Baja Cantina Beach Club
There's fine dining...and then there's fine dining with your bare feet buried in soft sand, moonlight illuminating the rock formations at Land's End, and the soothing sounds of the Sea of Cortez lapping gently against the shore. Baja Cantina Beach offers the latter, and the romantic setting pairs wonderfully with relaxed yet detail-oriented service and a menu filled with seafood, steaks, and traditional Mexican favorites. Combo platters for two are an excellent option, and specialty menus are offered on Wednesdays when the restaurant hosts its Fiesta Mexicana with margaritas, mariachis, fireworks, and folkloric dances. This is one of two Baja Cantina locations in Cabo San Lucas. There is also a dockside restaurant on the Marina. ((624) 143-1111)
1 El Farallon
El Farallon is located at the luxurious Capella Pedregal, and features a spectacular cliffside setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant pairs fresh local seafood with the romantic atmosphere, as well as decorative touches like lanterns and beautifully crafted wicker chairs, fine linen and polished silver. The fish is fresh daily, and you pick your dinner market style, choosing from a selection of sea bass, red snapper, striped bass, shrimp, tuna, dorado, clams, and lobster. The fish is then weighed and taken to the chef to be grilled for you with an array of fresh chilies. Soup and salad is included with all entrees, and rib-eye steak is available if you want the views without the seafood. ((624) 163-4350)
About Chris Sands
Chris Sands is the author of Bohemia by the Bay, and writes about wine, golf and travel for publications such as Baja.com, Fodor's Travel, Los Cabos Magazine, 10 Best, U-T San Diego and USA Today. He is a full-time resident of Cabo San Lucas.
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