Restaurants specializing in traditional Mexican cuisine are not exactly rare in Los Cabos, but few area eateries can match the winning combination of delicious regional dishes, colorful costumes and world-class tequila collection offered by Hacienda El Coyote. This highly regarded fixture of the local fine dining scene is managed by the Solmar Group, and boasts a privileged location near the entrance to Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas' most exclusive neighborhood.
Hacienda El Coyote specializes in old-world charm and traditional Mexican cuisine — Photo courtesy of Hacienda El Coyote
The history of the Solmar Group dates back to the early days of tourism in Cabo San Lucas. Group founder Don Luis Bulnes was manager of the local cannery in the 1950s - back when that was the town's only notable business - before partnering with Luis Coppola to complete the landmark Pedregal resort Finisterra (Spanish for "Land's End") in 1972. He opened his own Pedregal lodging, Solmar Suites, two years later.
Although Bulnes died in 2011, the company he founded continues to flourish. The Solmar Group owns several local hotels - Grand Solmar, Playa Grande, Ridge Luxury Villas, Solmar Resort and Quinta del Sol - and over a dozen restaurants, including The Brigantine, Calima and Puerto San Lucas.
But Hacienda El Coyote may be the most singularly impressive of the group's restaurant collection. It opened in 2009, and the eatery has since built a devoted following by specializing in traditional regional cuisine from many of Mexico's 32 states.
Mexico's rich culinary heritage includes a number of regionally distinct dishes and cooking styles, and Hacienda El Coyote honors this heritage with a menu featuring many of the country's finest regional specialties, including Ceviche Acapulco Style, Tamales Oaxaqueños, Yucatan favorite Cochinita Pibil and Baja California's Puerto Nuevo-style lobster. The traditional cuisine is ably complemented by the old-world atmosphere in the restaurant's dining room, and served by staff wearing traditional Mexican dress.
The Tequila Lounge bar boasts over 200 varieties of tequila and mezcal — Photo courtesy of Hacienda El Coyote
In addition to the dining room delights, Hacienda El Coyote also hosts an exceedingly well-stocked bar in its Tequila Lounge. Guests may choose from over 200 varieties of tequila and mezcal, as well as an excellent selection of tropical cocktails. Once you've got your drink in hand, take a moment to peruse some evocative photographs from Mexico's second revolutionary period (1910-1920), including great portraits of Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa.
The Tequila Lounge bar is manned by the aptly nicknamed "Champion," a moniker bestowed after the talented mix master took first prize at a prestigious drink making competition in Acapulco. His award-winning entry was the Partida El Coyote cocktail, a sweet and sour martini whose main ingredient - outside premium Familia Partida tequila, of course - is jamaica, or hibiscus flower.
Champion spends four hours weekly preparing his ingredients for the signature cocktail, which include a powder made from salt, sugar and hibiscus that is used to coat the rim of the martini glass. Although the remainder of the concoction's constituent parts remain a closely guarded secret, the finished product is a rich purple color with a creamy center (Champion blends a few ounces of the drink to make it last longer.), topped with a lovely hibiscus flower garnish.