The East Cape of Los Cabos has always been a favored destination for visitors seeking to escape the popular touristy areas of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo for more pristine, sparsely-populated environs. But now, thanks to the Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, the East Cape is also now a favored destination for those seeking upscale wining and dining options. Both Casa de Brasa and Estiatorio Milos are recommended at the resort, but the former's Baja brasserie flair and airy, al fresco setting gives it the slight edge. Chef Tonatiuh Cuevas Manzano's menu is essentially an ode to regional Mexican cuisine, but fresh and abundant Baja seafood - from cabrilla and chocolate clams to tuna and dorado - as well as Baja sourced craft beers, and wines from Baja's Valle de Guadalupe make it evident which region has been given pride of place.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Casa de Brasa is the best restaurant in Los Cabos' gorgeous East Cape region.
Chris's expert tip: Try the artisanal guava cheesecake made with aged local cheese.
One of the newest regional restaurants is also one of the best, that being the Open Kitchen Restaurant at Paradero Todos Santos, which opened in late January 2021. It's not technically in Los Cabos, and requires about a one-hour drive from Cabo San Lucas, but chef Eduardo Rios and the stunning setting more than repay the effort. Rios has an impeccable pedigree, having trained under two of the best chefs in México - Enrique Olvera at Pujol, and Lalo García at Máximo Bistrot and Lalo! (all in Mexico City) - and now gets to work in what amounts to the ultimate farm to table setting, as the boutique Paradero hotel is surrounded by 16 family-owned farms in Pescadero. The menu is modest in size, allowing Rios the freedom to showcase his remarkable ingredients (from fresh local seafood to organic produce) based on what's available and in-season. The beauty of the open kitchen concept, meanwhile, is that diners can watch the chef at work, or simply opt for a picnic style table and enjoy the breathtaking surrounding views of farms, mountains, and enormous cardón cacti.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: The Open Kitchen Restaurant at Paradero is the best regional eatery to open in 2021.
Chris's expert tip: The mezcal and tequila selections here are among the best in the area.
Since its inception in 1994, Nick-San 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 Nick-San 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 Best Restaurants because: Nick-San is the best sushi and Asian fusion restaurant in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: Nick-San also has its own apparel line, Wasabi, with shirts and other clothing available at their two local locations, Plaza de la Danza in Cabo San Lucas, and Las Tiendas de Palmilla in the Tourist Corridor.
El Farallón's wow-factor asset is a breathtaking cliffside setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the exclusive Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas. The restaurant pairs fresh local seafood with its romantic atmosphere, adding rustic elegant touches to chef Gustavo Pinet's market concept. The fish is fresh daily and diners pick their entrée market style from shaved ice, 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 with an array of fresh chiles. Soups and salads are included with all entrées and rib-eye steaks are available for those who want the views without the seafood. This ranks with Sunset MonaLisa as one of the most romantic dining experiences in all of Los Cabos and the addition of a Champagne terrace has only enhanced the romance factor.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: El Farallón is the best restaurant in Pedregal, the most exclusive neighborhood in Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: Take the time to explore the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal's entrance tunnel, which is the longest privately owned tunnel in México, and outfitted with cool features like a chandelier and a private dining niche.
Set at retro-chic The Cape: A Thompson Hotel, Manta is overseen by acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera, whose Mexico City-based Pujol and New York City restaurant Cosme have been ranked among the 100 best in the world. The hotel enjoys a superb location on legendary surf beach Playa Monumentos, and Manta showcases spectacular views - particularly at sunset - of the granite rock formations at Land's End in Cabo San Lucas. Olvera and Chef de Cuisine Abisai Sánchez's menu focuses on Pacific Rim cuisine and fresh local seafood. "Baja has a Pacific influence, so that's why we're playing around with Peruvian and Japanese flavors," Olvera says, noting: "A sashimi, a tiradito, and a Mexican ceviche have a common language. It's fun to combine those things." Multi-course tasting menus are the preferred dinner option, with excellent pairing advice provided courtesy of the onsite sommelier, whose generous wine list includes numerous options from Baja's wine country, Valle de Guadalupe.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Manta is helmed by one of México's most famous chefs and was immediately recognized as one of the area's finest restaurants upon opening in 2015.
Chris's expert tip: Here's some local knowledge to impress your travel companions. The name of the restaurant, Manta, has dual meanings: one, it's the Spanish word for blanket, and thus signifies a commitment to the comfort of guests; and two, as a reference to manta rays, and by extension the restaurant's reliance on fresh local seafood.
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 restaurant has been a shining light of the Cabo San Lucas dining scene since 2010, and is now working the same magic in San José del Cabo thanks to a gorgeous new location in the heart of the city's Distrito del Arte, which officially opened in November 2020. The new restaurant has one of the most remarkable features of any local eatery, since it is essentially designed around a trio of huanacaxtle trees which have grown together into one enormous tree. The focus in both locations, however, is on delicious traditional Mexican cuisine, from mole con pollo to pit-roasted cochinita pibil and much, much more. Michel Zermeño (who owns the restaurants with wife Fabiola Sánchez) is fond of inviting his mother into the kitchen from time to time, to ensure dishes are being made with the requisite love and time-honored methods of cooking and preparation. Chairs and tables are handmade onsite, and reflect Los Tres Gallos' traditional, "old school" oriented sensibility.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Los Tres Gallos is the top stop for traditional Mexican cuisine in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: The mole dishes (mole is a popular Mexican sauce, made in several regional styles) are magical here, particularly the enchiladas de mole.
Acre Baja may be best known now for its boutique treehouse accommodations - the only ones of their kind in Los Cabos - but for locals or visitors staying elsewhere in the cape cities, the primary reason to know and visit this picturesque property is its superb farm-to-table restaurant, Acre Restaurant & Cocktail Bar. Here lies a foodie oasis, with dishes and drinks crafted around ingredients found on the 25-acre property's farm, or sourced from local ranchers and fishermen. Opened in 2016 by Stuart McPherson and Cam Watt, owner of Vancouver's renowned The Keefer Bar, Acre has quickly become one of the leaders of San José's thriving locavore movement. Foodies will note that Larbi Dahrouch is now the chef, replacing Alex Branch. Dahrouch, of course, has a long history in Los Cabos, helming Agua by Larbi for many years at One&Only Palmilla before bringing his culinary mastery to Acre.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Acre is the best restaurant in San José del Cabo.
Chris's expert tip: Try the Ginger Mezcalita, made with Acre's signature mezcal, plus poblano chile liqueur, ginger syrup, and pineapple and lime juices.
The signature restaurant at the Chileno Bay Resort & Residences is certainly a feast for the eyes, with stylish décor from a high-profile Los Angeles-based designer, and a picturesque perch overlooking the Sea of Cortés. The sense most likely to be gratified, however, is taste, thanks to its two top talents: Chef Yvan Mucharraz, formerly Director of Food and Beverage at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal; and Beverage Manager Osvaldo Vázquez, fresh off a notable stint creating the innovative cocktail menu at The Cape. Chef Mucharraz's menu has shifted from its original Latin American orientation towards a more seafood focused Baja style approach, evident in dishes like grilled chocolate clam, totoaba ceviche and Baja mussels with chorizo. Lovers of traditional mainland Mexican cuisine, meanwhile, will also find plenty of favorites, although often in elevated fine dining form (duck carnitas, wagyu barbacoa, etc.). A generous wine list offers plenty of pairing options - including many from Baja California's Valle de Guadalupe - and Vázquez unveils freshly minted cocktail recipes on a regular basis.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: COMAL is the best resort-based restaurant in the Los Cabos tourist corridor.
Chris's expert tip: For further tasting adventures, stop by the Chileno Bay Resort's TnT to sample a range of delicious tacos and tequilas.
Flora's pioneered the farm-to-table dining scene in San José del Cabo and remains a mandatory stop for visiting foodies. The restaurant is set amid a 25-acre organic farm, so close diners can almost reach out and touch the food they'll soon be eating. Well, actually the meat is sourced from a nearby ranch, but you get the picture. This is fine dining at its most intimate. And it is fine dining. The food is superb and ranges from gourmet pizzas to heartier fare like farm-raised pork or homemade pasta. Sunday brunch is especially popular, although reservations are recommended for any visit to the restaurant. The adjacent Farm Bar serves up fresh fruit juices, wine, craft beer and cocktails. In addition to the onsite bar, bakery, pizzeria and organic grocery, the property also includes boutique shops, a spa, and some charming culinary cottages and other residences. Cooking classes are another attraction.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Flora's Field Kitchen offers one of the most intimate farm to table dining experiences in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: Good luck finding this place without directions. Luckily, they're available for download on the restaurant's website at www.flora-farms.com/location.
Anticipation was high for the Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, which premiered in November 2019, not least because of the promise of a Nobu Los Cabos restaurant from celebrated chef and hotel group partner Nobu Matsuhisa. Good news for foodies: Chef Nobu has not disappointed! Famed for his creative integration of Peruvian ingredients into traditional Japanese cuisine, Matsuhisa's Pan-Pacific fusion approach is a seamless fit for the contemporary Los Cabos culinary scene, while the chef's long-standing commitment to quality and presentation elevates the local dining scene as a whole. Set in a stylish interior that showcases sleek Japanese wood and spectacular Pacific Ocean views, the restaurant's bill of fare is divided into hot and cold dishes, with the chef's signature black cod with miso in the former category, the sublime octopus tiradito in the latter. Yes, there are Nobu tacos here, although of course - Nobu being Nobu - they're filled with the finest king crab, lobster and wagyu beef. The wine list is lengthy, and the best in the region by a rather wide margin.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Nobu Los Cabos is the best new restaurant to open in Los Cabos in recent years.
Chris's expert tip: Wagyu connoisseurs will be pleased to note that the top-of-the-line beef is available in several styles, including tataki, hot stone, new style and yakimono.