Long the lunch and dinner place du jour for local artists and expatriates - it opened in 1990 - Café Santa Fe remains one of Todos Santos' benchmark dining spots, and is a mandatory stop for first time visitors. Located just across from the town square and historic theater in a restored 19th century building, this authentic Italian eatery specializes in homemade pastas and sauces, albeit with plentiful helpings of fresh local seafood. Start with a creamy soup or seafood salad before moving on to main courses like the superb lobster ravioli. Indoor dining is available, but the courtyard is the place to see and be seen.
Recommended for Italian because: This is the best Italian restaurant in Todos Santos, a popular day trip destination one hour north of Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays, and during the months of September and October.
Wicked is perhaps the best of the downtown pizza parlors, and boasts an excellent late night location next to El Squid Roe, Cabo's liveliest nightspot. The name is a nod to the place's Boston heritage, and the pies are made East Coast Italian style with thin crusts, hand-tossed dough, and homemade tomato sauce. Wicked offers great specialty pizzas - including Hawaiian, Meat Lover, and Veggie options - and the house pie is topped with Italian sausage, meatballs, mushrooms, onions, pepperoni and roasted peppers. Flat-screen televisions showcase the latest Mexican and American sporting events, and this is the only pizza parlor in town with a full bar. Wicked also offers free delivery.
Recommended for Italian because: Wicked makes the best pizzas in downtown Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: This is the only pizza parlor in town with a full bar.
Pan di Bacco is a Neapolitan-style bakery, deli, restaurant, wine bar and coffee shop that opened in downtown Cabo San Lucas early in 2013. Pan di Bacco specializes in locally sourced, artisanal ingredients, and as one might imagine, the culinary pleasures here are legion. Fresh breads, egg-based dishes, salads and paninis highlight the breakfast and lunch menu, while dinner delights include antipasti, gourmet pizzas, mix and match croquettes, soups, pastas, custom cutting board options and decadent desserts. Wines are offered in small or full pours, with the former perfect for tastings and small plate pairings. Excellent beers and coffee drinks are also available, as are take-out breads, cakes and cookies from the onsite bakery.
Recommended for Italian because: Pan di Bacco is the best Italian style bakery and coffee shop in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: Free parking is available upon presentation of a restaurant receipt at the "Misiones" lot on Calle Ninos Heroes, between Calles Melchor Ocampo and Ignacio Zaragosa.
Old world Italian-style décor and cuisine are the hallmarks at this popular Cabo San Lucas based eatery, owned and operated by the Solmar hotel and restaurant group, and set at the foot of the city's exclusive Pedregal neighborhood. Chef Matias Forte's menu covers a lot of ground, from antipasti and world-class Caesar salads - hand tossed tableside - to homemade pastas, chicken and veal dishes. Fresh local seafood specialties are also available, notably the Tonno in Crosta (tuna fillet grilled with a crust of sesame and herbs, and accompanied by fettucine and artichoke) and Gamberi e Pancetta (gorgonzola stuffed shrimp wrapped in pancetta, and served on broccoli rosettes). Those with less refined palates can nosh on delicious pizzas made in a mesquite wood-fired oven. Romeo y Julieta has ample seating indoors and out, and can easily handle large groups.
Recommended for Italian because: Romeo y Julieta has been around for decades, and remains one of the best Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: The house pizza is made with ham, mushroom, salami, green pepper, and onion.
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 Italian because: Sunset da Mona Lisa offers the best Italian food in the Tourist Corridor, and is the most romantic restaurant 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.
Chef Stefano Miotto was born in Northern Italy, and his menus - the popular restaurant has two locations, in the downtown areas of both Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo - reflect that heritage, offering an array of homemade pastas, pizzas and specialty dishes. The thin-crust pizzas are superb, and range from Italian standards like the Margherita (mozzarella, tomato and basil), Diavola (sausage, mushroom, onion and pepper) and Quattro Formaggi (four cheese: mozzarella, gorgonzola, provolone and parmesan) to more creative compositions. Meal cappers include gelato, tiramisu and flan Napolitano, as well as espressos and flaming coffees in the Mexican style.
Recommended for Italian because: La Dolce offers excellent Italian food at locations in Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo.
Chris's expert tip: The mesquite-grilled pizzas are excellent, particularly the quattro formaggi.
Cabo San Lucas is blessed with a host of great Italian restaurants, and Il Cuore Di Napoli is one of the best. Formerly known as Capo San Giovanni, this trattoria remains a popular stop for authentic pastas, despite the name change and several recent moves. Following Hurricane Odile in 2014, the restaurant moved from its long-time downtown location to a more scenic setting in Pedregal, overlooking the city and Bahía Cabo San Lucas from Cabo Viejo Luxury Estates and Spa. Now, under its new name, is can be found at Plaza Copan near City Club. Chef Gianfranco Zappalà's menu, however, is still rich in traditional southern Italian dishes, from Linguine Portofino to Gnocchi Alla Sorrento; and the wine list is still international in scope, with quality selections from Italy, México, Chile, Argentina and France poured by sommelier Hildy Rivera.
Recommended for Italian because: Il Cuore Di Napoli serves up the most authentic southern Italian cuisine in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: Seafood lovers will want to sample the superb Linguine Portofino with shrimp, scallops and freshly chopped tomatoes in a white wine sauce.
Under the guidance of Chef Enrique Díaz, Alcaravea Gourmet has evolved over the past decade from a small eatery into one of the benchmark fine dining restaurants in all of Los Cabos. Guests enter through trellised vines and flowers into a casually upscale dining room, with an atmosphere perfect for romantic dinners, family outings and special events. The menu features Italian cuisine with Mediterranean accents, and is complemented by warm Mexican service from the well-trained staff. All entrées include salad, pasta and bread courses, and wines are available by the bottle or glass from their international wine list. Alcaravea also offers the best lunch deal in Los Cabos: soup or salad, entrée with veggies or pasta, plus dessert and drink, all for $10.
Recommended for Italian because: Alcaravea Gourmet is one of the best Mediterranean restaurants in Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: Tasty starters include bruschetta and the antipasto de la casa.
Family recipes, an excellent temperature-controlled wine selection, and picturesque views are the highlights at Invita Bistro, a popular Italian themed eatery located across from the town square in Cabo San Lucas. Several of co-owner and chef Antonello Lauri's dishes, including the delicious eggplant parmesan, are made from recipes passed down from his grandmother. And the homemade focaccia breads, a complimentary tableside touch, are to die for. In addition to culinary delights from Rome native Lauri, the bistro features a warm, intimate atmosphere with an open kitchen and old-fashioned bar framed by an enormous ode to Bacchus from local painter Yandi Monardo. Temperature controlled wine selections are touted on the barfront blackboard, and an expansive picture window looks out across the town square, Plaza Amelia Wilkes. Al fresco dining is available.
Recommended for Italian because: Invita serves up the best Rome style Italian dishes in Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: Start with the Tocho Morocho, the chef's choice of five signature appetizers.
Salvatore G's has a stellar reputation with locals and return visitors, and the reason is pretty simple: there is no better combination of quality and quantity anywhere in Cabo San Lucas. The food is delicious yet unpretentious, the prices are affordable, and the portions are absolutley enormous. The lasagna alone could feed a small village. Everything here is consistently excellent, however, and consistently satisfying: Italian porketta, lamb ravioli, shrimp and sausage diablo, fettucine Alfredo, to name but a few popular entrées. For dessert, pair a shot of espresso with the fantastic tiramasu.
Recommended for Italian because: Salvatore G's offers a great combination of quality and quantity. Portion sizes are very large.
Chris's expert tip: Salvatore G's is located in the courtyard of Siesta Suites, whose penthouse is one of the best accommodation bargains in Cabo San Lucas, checking in at under $100 nightly for wraparound city views.