Set a few miles outside Cabo San Lucas, Puerta Vieja offers an excellent fine dining atmosphere, with quality food and wines, gorgeous seaside views of Land's End and El Arco, and terrific live music courtesy of singer Rosalia de Cuba, who performs with her band on Cuban Nights (Friday and Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m.).The steaks are very good here, as are seafood offerings like jumbo shrimp, clam chowder, seafood soup (with octopus, squid, shrimp, lobster, and crab Guerrero-style), fish filet, steamed lobster tail and lobster thermidor. Surf and turf lovers will want to sample the Puerta Vieja special with lamb chops, jumbo shrimp and lobster tail.
Recommended for Corridor's Best Restaurants because: Puerta Vieja is one of the best steak and seafood restaurants in the Tourist Corridor.
Chris's expert tip: Live music is offered on Friday and Saturday nights.
A mesquite grill and more terrace seating have been added in recent years, upgrading what was already the signature restaurant at colorful Tourist Corridor resort, Hacienda Encantada. The terrace views are quite spectacular - tables are perched high above the glittering blue waters of the Sea of Cortés - and the colonial-style dining room is also impressive, with original artwork and authentic furnishings. Gourmet Mexican fare is the focus of the menu, with dinner highlights like Acapulco Style Ceviche and Platos Mexicanos with enchiladas and chile rellenos. The expansive wine list features plenty of excellent options from Baja's Valle de Guadalupe, as well as Argentina, Chile and the U.S.
Recommended for Corridor's Best Restaurants because: This is the signature restaurant at Hacienda Encantada, one of the corridor's most popular resorts.
Chris's expert tip: Las Marías is open for breakfast and dinner, but not for lunch.
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 the Sea of Cort–s. 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.
Recommended for Corridor's Best Restaurants because: Girasoles is the best traditional Mexican restaurant in the Tourist Corridor.
Chris's expert tip: Pork lovers should sample the Chamorro de Puerco, with roasted pork shank marinated in Ancho chile, and accompanied potatoes, sweet tamal, and bacon-wrapped green beans.
Villa Serena more than lives up to its name. Set near a trailer park in the Tourist Corridor, the restaurant is one of the area's hidden gems, with palapa-shaded patios that descend on a hillside overlooking over the Sea of Cort–s. It's an extraordinarily beautiful setting, and a perfect spot for tropical cocktails or a romantic dinner. The food is very good, if unpretentious, with a focus on traditional Mexican specialties and fresh local seafood. Lobster tail is one of the more popular options, but the clam chowder, oysters Rockefeller, whole red snapper, and seafood enchiladas are all excellent. The Villa Serena surf and turf special is also tasty, and includes shrimp, lobster and lamb chops.
Recommended for Corridor's Best Restaurants because: Villa Serena features excellent lobster tail specials, as well as spectacular views of the Sea of Cort–s.
Chris's expert tip: Try the whole red snapper, served with rice, beans, and steamed vegetables.
Chef Manuel De Luca is responsible for the first-class cuisine at De Cortez Grill and Restaurant, one of the many excellent fine dining establishments at Sheraton's Hacienda Del Mar Golf & Spa Resort. De Cortez boasts all the candlelight romance and seaside ambiance one could ask for, with cool jazz, gently lapping waves and gorgeous Sea of Cort–s views. The menu focus is on creative fusions of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine - reflecting the peninsula's influential Baja Med movement - but De Cortez is perhaps best known as a mecca for visiting steak lovers. The restaurant has twice been awarded the prestigious Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.
Recommended for Corridor's Best Restaurants because: De Cortez is the signature restaurant at Sheraton's Hacienda del Mar.
Chris's expert tip: De Cortez is only open for dinner, and reservations are recommended.
Ultra-luxury resort One&Only Palmilla boasts the best collection of onsite restaurants in Los Cabos, including one from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Jean-Georges' latest fine dining concept at Palmilla is SEARED, an elegant steakhouse that showcases custom cuts of meat – top chops are displayed in a glass-covered curing room – as well as dishes made from fresh local seafood. The indoor dining area features gorgeous design accents like Aztec geometric marble floors, and al fresco dining is offered, along with Sea of Cortés views, on the restaurant's expansive terrace. Wine selection and service here is among the best in the area, thanks to the onsite sommelier and an impressive wine list that includes large format bottles from several benchmark producers.
Recommended for Corridor's Best Restaurants because: SEARED is a fine dining showcase for the culinary concepts of celebrated French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Chris's expert tip: The glass-walled curing room displays 15 of the choicest cuts of meat from around the world.
In recent years the culinary fashion in Los Cabos has shifted from Baja Med to Pan-Pacific fusions that draw heavily on Mexican, Peruvian and Japanese influences. Such fusions may be fashionable now, but they–'re old hat to Pitahayas Chef Volker Romeike, who for over two decades has been creating unique dishes from an eclectic mix of Pacific influences that range from México and Hawaii to Japan, China, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. Romeike–'s Pitahayas is the signature restaurant at Sheraton–'s colonial style Hacienda del Mar, a Tourist Corridor based resort known for its elegant seaside dining options. The dining area is gorgeous, particularly at dusk, with tables arrange in concentric circles that fan out from an enormous palapa, and colorful tree-wrapped lights and ornament foregrounding the glittering blue waters of the Sea of Cortés. In addition to the stellar food and views, the wine cellar at Pitahayas, La Cava de Santiago, is one of the best in Baja California Sur, with over 400 labels from premier domestic and international producers.
Recommended for Corridor's Best Restaurants because: Pitahayas offers excellent Pacific Rim cuisine, and one of the areas' best wine lists.
Chris's expert tip: Romantic dinners for two may be arranged in the wine cellar.
Since its inception in 1994, Nicksan has been one of the most popular local sushi restaurants, with Chefs Ángel Carbajal and Masayuki Nikura crafting a creative and innovative fusion of Japanese cuisine with traditional Mexican ingredients. This sort of fusion has since become quite common among area restaurants, but Nicksan was the first and remains the best. Sample their extensive menu of rolls, as well as house specialties like tuna tostada (featuring yellowfin tuna belly with avocado, habanero, infused red onion and sesame seeds on a rice cracker tostada), and sashimi serranito (spotlighting fresh catch of the day with serrano chile sauce and thinly sliced serrano chiles). Lobster lovers may choose from an embarrassment of riches that includes clear lobster rolls, fried lobster curry (with shiitake, habanero and chives), and lobster sambal marinated in sake with soy sauce, ginger and garlic. In addition to the Cabo San Lucas location, there is also a restaurant at Las Tiendas de Palmilla (The Shoppes at Palmilla).
Recommended for Corridor's Best Restaurants because: Nicksan is the best sushi restaurant in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: 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 in the Tourist Corridor.
This is one of the most picturesque restaurants you will find anywhere, with tables perched seemingly atop the Sea of Cortés and breathtaking views of Land's End. Pastas and fresh local seafood are the specialties - the place has its own fishing boats, and will cook up your catch for dinner - but there is also an upstairs bar and pizza lounge, and a newly installed Taittinger Terrace Champagne and Oyster Bar. Considering the magnificence of the setting, it is perhaps not surprising that they have wedding services available. Both the food and the drinks here are excellent, but it is the majestic, awe-inspiring atmosphere that makes any visit to Sunset MonaLisa a memorable experience. Reservations are recommended year round, and are an absolute necessity for sunset dining during the tourist season (Oct. - May.).
Recommended for Corridor's Best Restaurants because: Sunset da Mona Lisa boasts the most romantic dining atmosphere in all of Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: It can get pretty chilly after dark during the winter months. Sweaters or light jackets are recommended.
A perennially popular draw at benchmark ultra-luxury resort One&Only Palmilla, this elegant seaside eatery was originally made notable by Moroccan born and Jean-Louis Palladin mentored chef Larbi Dahrouch,. Since his departure, the high level has been maintained by Chef Bladimir García and staff, and the restaurant is distinguished by its superb food, impeccable service, and romantic candle and moonlit views of the Sea of Cortés. Menus change seasonally (and sometimes daily) to reflect the finest available ingredients, which are shown to best advantage in García's traditonally inspired Mexican dishes. Many specialties are made tableside, including handmade tortillas, guacamoles, ceviches and moles. Start at the bar for sunset cocktails, framed between an infinity pool and a dramatic meeting of sea and sky.
Recommended for Corridor's Best Restaurants because: Agua is one of the premier fine dining restaurants in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: There are several "sharing" options for couples, the best being a Baja Grilled Seafood Platter featuring lobster, scallops, catch of the day, and more.