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Five-Star Food and Service: Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Los Cabos



Many of the best fine dining options in Los Cabos are found along the tourist corridor that connects Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Manta, the premier restaurant at the recently opened The Cape: A Thompson Hotel, has quickly earned a reputation for outstanding food, wine and service. The first Baja California peninsula based project for Enrique Olvera, acclaimed chef of Pujol in México City and Cosme in New York City, Manta specializes in seafood focused Pacific Rim fusion cuisine. And the sunset views of Land's End from Manta's location overlooking Monuments Beach are absolutely breathtaking. 

Benchmark local luxury resorts like One & Only Palmilla and Sheraton Hacienda del Mar also feature excellent onsite restaurants, with spectacular views ably complemented by delicious dishes and impeccable service. SEARED and Agua by Larbi at One&Only Palmilla are each helmed by their own celebrated chefs–Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Larbi Dahrouch, respectively–while Asian fusions and fine wine distinguish Volker Romeike's menus at Pitayahas, the signature eatery at Sheraton's Hacienda del Mar.

Cabo San Lucas' exclusive The Resort at Pedregal is also home to several superb fine dining establishments: most notably, El Farallón, which not only showcases fresh and local market-style seafood, but also a stunning cliffside aerie overlooking crashing Pacific Ocean waves. 

Don Sanchez is the fine dining locale of choice in San José del Cabo. Restaurateur and chef Tadd Chapman has created a culinary oasis in the heart of the downtown area, with elegantly plated seafood, steaks and tapas, expansive terrace and courtyard dining areas, and the best wine selection in Los Cabos. 

 


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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 Fine Dining because: Pitahayas offers gorgeous al fresco Sea of Cortés views and superb Asian cuisine.

Chris's expert tip: Romantic dinners for two may be arranged in the wine cellar.

Read more about Pitahayas Restaurant →


Owner Edith Jiménez is originally from the state of Guerrero, and her restaurant serves up 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, where it has been a fine dining fixture for over two decades. The mesquite grill and upscale Mexican ambiance are prime attractions, with the air-conditioned wine cellar drawing considerable interest during the hot summer months. Popular 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.

Read more about Edith's Restaurante →




Ultra-luxury resort One&Only Palmilla boasts the best collection of onsite restaurants in Los Cabos, including one each from celebrity chefs Larbi Dahrouch and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The former was a protégé of 3-star Michelin awarded chef Jean Louis Palladin, while the latter is an acclaimed international chef with his own Guide Michelin credentials. Vongerichten's 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 amber chandeliers and Aztec geometric marble floors, and fresco dining is offered along with Sea of Cortés views on the restaurant's expansive terrace.

Recommended for Fine Dining because: SEARED is a boutique steakhouse concept from celebrated French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Chris's expert tip: SEARED is open for dinner only.

Read more about SEARED by Jean-Georges Vongerichten →


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Not only is Lorenzillo's the premier lobster house in Los Cabos, it is one of the area's top stops for traditional fine dining. Lorenzillo's is 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 Veracruz during the late 1970s, but relocated to Cancún 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 sidewalk café 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 México, Spain and Argentina.

Recommended for Fine Dining because: Lorenzillo's is the best live lobster house in Los Cabos, and offers one of the area's most traditional fine dining experiences.

Chris's expert tip: Order one of their flaming coffee cocktails featuring Xtabentun, an excellent Mayan liqueur.

Read more about Lorenzillo's Live Lobster House →




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, as well as house specialties like tempura oysters curry yaki, blue fin tuna sashimi, and beef filet serranito. Lobster lovers may choose from an embarrassment of riches that includes clear lobster rolls, lobster angel sautéed in mustard sauce, fried lobster curry, and lobster sambal marinated in saki, soy sauce, ginger and garlic, and bathed in sweet and sour chile sauces. In addition to the Cabo San Lucas location, there is also a restaurant at Las Tiendas de Palmilla (The Shoppes at Palmilla).

Recommended for Fine Dining because: Nick-San is the premier 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.

Read more about Nick-San →




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 Fine Dining because: This is one of the world's most romantic restaurants, and premium purveyor of dishes featuring the fresh local seafood.

Chris's expert tip: It can get pretty chilly after dark during the winter months. Sweaters or light jackets are recommended.

Read more about Sunset MonaLisa →




"Contemporary Baja fusion" is the focus at chef and restaurateur Tadd Chapman's acclaimed downtown dining fixture, Don Sanchez; where daily tasting menus showcase the freshest local and seasonal ingredients. Chapman sources organic produce from his own local farm, Sánchez Orgánico, and grass and grain-fed beef that are wet-aged and seasoned with natural un-iodized sea salt from Guerrero Negro. The wine program here is the best in Los Cabos, with a sommelier on hand for advice on pairing options from the list of 300 plus wines, or sales from the carry-out wine shop. Wine themed events are hosted on a monthly basis, and live entertainment is also a big draw, with the outdoor courtyard hosting a stage and spacious dance floor.

Recommended for Fine Dining because: Don Sanchez is the top fine dining restaurant in San José del Cabo.

Chris's expert tip: Wines are a big focus at the new look Don Sanchez. There are over 300 labels available, with modest corkage fees. Carry out sales are permissible until 11 p.m.

Read more about Don Sanchez →




A perennially popular draw at benchmark ultra-luxury resort One&Only Palmilla, this elegant seaside eatery from Moroccan born and Jean-Louis Palladin mentored chef Larbi Dahrouch is distinguished by its superb food, impeccable service, and romantic candle and moonlit views of the Sea of Cortés. Dahrouch and his staff serve up exquisite Mexican cuisine featuring Mediterranean influences - call it "Mexiterranean" - with menus that change seasonally (and sometimes daily) to reflect the finest available ingredients. 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 Fine Dining because: Gorgeous views and delicious "Mexiterranean" cuisine are highlights at this premier Tourist Corridor fine dining establishment.

Chris's expert tip: Agua has an excellent selection of wines from México's premier wine producing region, Valle de Guadalupe.

Read more about Agua →




El Farallón's wow-factor asset is a breathtaking cliffside setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the exclusive Resort at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas. The restaurant pairs fresh local seafood with its romantic atmosphere, adding rustic elegant touches like lanterns and hand-crafted furniture and accents to its spectacular views. The fish is fresh daily, and diners pick their 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 with an array of fresh chilies. 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 Fine Dining because: El Farallón features some of the most incredible views in Los Cabos, and is also one of the area's best seafood restaurants.

Chris's expert tip: Sample the restaurant's signature margaritas.

Read more about El Farallon →




Set at retro chic The Cape: A Thompson Hotel, Manta is helmed by acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera, whose Mexico City based Pujol and New York City restaurant Cosme are currently 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's rotating menu focuses on Pacific Rim cuisine and fresh local seafood, with 15 - 18 dishes available on a nightly basis. 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 Fine Dining because: Manta is the first Los Cabos project for acclaimed Mexican chef Enrique Olvera.

Chris's expert tip: 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.

Read more about Manta →


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Meet Chris Sands

Chris Sands is co-founder of CaboVivo, co-writer of Fodor's Los Cabos travel guidebook, and a contributor to 10Best at USA Today, as well as other websites and publications. His specialty is...  More About Chris

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