Choose among al fresco dining on the terrazzo, open air indoor dining or the ever popular "tables in the sand" at this casual yet stylish bar and restaurant at Médano Beach luxury lodging Hacienda Beach Club and Residences. Highlights at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina include stunning views of the iconic rock formations of Land's End, as well as an excellent traditional Mexican menu created by famed Chef Andrea Blanco and executed by Chef Uziel Torres. Start with margaritas or mojitos at the scenic bar, then progress to verde style ceviche, crab flautas with mango baja slaw and hibiscus sauce, and Oaxacan style beef medallions with red mole sauce. Platters served family-style for the whole table are also available, with choices such as marinated grilled skirt steak, slow roasted pork or sea bass with plantains and pico de gallo.
One of the signature charms of the boutique Bahía Hotel & Beach Club, Bar Esquina offers a hip, upscale atmosphere - including a gorgeous 17-seat marble bar - and some of the best food and drinks in Los Cabos. Chef Rogelio Garcia and his staff work in an open kitchen, so guests can watch their Mexican and Mediterranean style entrées being prepared as they sip custom-crafted cocktails, or snack on the restaurant's excellent selection of gourmet pizzas. Live music is a dinnertime staple in the outdoor dining area, with performers that range from contemporary American country stars to romantic Latin balladeers. The café area behind the kitchen is also a popular afternoon stop for guests and beachgoers, showcasing coffees sourced from beans in premier Mexican growing areas in Oaxaca and Chiapas.
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 Outdoor Dining because: In addition to being the best lobster house in Los Cabos, Lorenzillo's features a lovely outdoor dining area overlooking the Cabo San Lucas Marina.
Chris's expert tip: Try one of their flaming coffee cocktails featuring Xtabentun, an excellent Mayan liqueur.
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 and unpretentious downtown dining spot may be the best restaurant in Cabo San Lucas. All the entrée options are delicious, but the mole dishes, in particular, are spectacular. Tables are set in a romantic courtyard dining area shaded by tangerine, mango, and other fruit trees, and the service, like the food and atmosphere, is absolutely first-class. Best of all, Tres Gallos is very affordable, with everything on the menu save a few American style steaks priced at less than $25. The authenticity is ramped up another notch on Fridays between 9 and 11 p.m., when Los Tres Gallos features its Noche de Mariachi with a live charro-clad band playing Mexican favorites.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Los Tres Gallos is the best restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, and boasts a charming patio dining area framed by tropical fruit trees.
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.
A perennially popular draw at benchmark ultra-luxury resort One&Only Palmilla, this elegant seaside eatery originated by 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. The kitchen serves 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 Outdoor Dining because: Agua's bar and restaurant are among the premier outdoor drinking and dining spots in Los Cabos, with first-class fare and Sea of Cortés views.
Chris's expert tip: Agua has an excellent selection of wines from Mexico's premier wine producing region, Valle de Guadalupe.
"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 Outdoor Dining because: Don Sanchez is the best al fresco dining option 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.
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 Outdoor Dining because: Pitahayas boasts superb Pacific fusions and spectacular seaside views.
Chris's expert tip: Romantic dinners for two may be arranged in the wine cellar.
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 Outdoor Dining because: El Farallón has one of the most spectacular outdoor settings in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: Sample the restaurant's signature margaritas.
Flora's pioneered the farm-to-table dining scene in San José del Cabo, and remains a mandatory stop for visiting foodies. The restaurant looks out over a 10-acre organic field at Flora 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 pastas. 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 and organic grocery, the property also includes boutique shops and some quaint culinary cottages.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Flora Farms offers a unique dining experience, with tables set amid a 10-acre organic field.
Chris's expert tip: Good luck finding this place without directions. Luckily, they're available for download on the restaurant's website.
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 Outdoor Dining because: Sunset da Mona Lisa boasts the best view in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: It can get pretty chilly after dark during the winter months. Sweaters or light jackets are recommended.