Cabo Port-of-Call Picks: The 10 Best Restaurants for Cruise Ship Visitors



Generally speaking, the best restaurants for cruise ship visitors to Cabos San Lucas are those that meet three main criteria: they’re conveniently situated along, or just off, the traditional tourist track, which begins at the cruise ship terminal and winds around the marina boardwalk to Médano Beach; they’re open in the afternoon, since many cruise ship passengers have to be back aboard by dinner time; and they offer quality, regionally representative cuisine, albeit with enough menu flexibility to satisfy children and those with specific dietary needs.

Fresh local seafood and Mexican specialty dishes are featured at most of the restaurants bordering the Cabo San Lucas Marina, although many, in deference to cruise ship passengers and other tourist visitors, also offer American comfort food favorites like burgers and pizza. Solomon's Landing is a good example. The scenic and centrally located eatery offers some of the best food in Los Cabos, with enough menu options to satisfy everyone in the family (the restaurant showcases separate breakfast, lunch, bar, sushi, dinner and kids menus).

Médano Beach, meanwhile, is home to several excellent barefoot dining establishments, most notably Mango Deck and The Office on the Beach, where cruise passengers can also enjoy cold beer, fresh local seafood, and gorgeous views of Land’s End and their ship lying at anchor.



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The Office on the Beach


 

Ready for a not so tough day at The Office? This palapa-topped bar and restaurant is packed all-day, every day, and boasts both a full bar and a large array of menu items, from breakfast omelets to seafood and steaks. It's a bit pricey, but not only are patrons served up fine food and drink in a beautiful beachfront setting, they also enjoy festive entertainment and colorful atmosphere. Live music is showcased nightly, but the best time to visit is on Thursday evenings between 7:30 and 9 p.m., when The Office hosts its Gran Fiesta Mexicana featuring pre-Colombian folk dancing, waiters' shows, audience participation, piñatas, candy for children, free tequila shooters and other treats.


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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.


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Bar Esquina is one of the signature charms of the boutique Bahia Hotel & Beach Club, offering 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 like Oaxaca and Chiapas.


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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.


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Not only is Lorenzillo's the premier lobster house in Los Cabos, it is also 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.


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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.


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Baja California Sur's first brewery has three locations - the original in San José del Cabo, a rooftop aerie on the ninth floor of Cachet Beach Club, and an air-conditioned oasis overlooking the Cabo San Lucas Marina - all of which have proved exceedingly popular with tourists and locals alike. Fine food is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with menu options ranging from hamburgers and gourmet pizzas to filet mignon and other high-end entrées. The beers are excellent, either in a bottle or on tap, and you can order flights of the draft beer for a sudsy overview of their offerings. If you can only visit one of their locations, check out the rooftop brew pub at Cachet, which offers gorgeous views of Playa El Médano and the spectacular granite monuments at Land's End.


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Cabo Wabo has come a long way in 28 years...in regards its surroundings and its business, which has spun off a tequila brand and several U.S. locations. Originally opened in 1990 by Sammy Hagar and his then Van Halen bandmates - who can forget the eponymous song, off the OU812 album? - Cabo Wabo has since become a mandatory stop for just about everyone who visits Cabo San Lucas, even those who only come ashore for a few hours. Live music and "waboritas", the house version of the margarita, are the premier attractions, but snacks are also available from the cantina (shrimp and ceviche platters) and the patio grill (burgers, wings and chicken fingers). The best time to visit is during October, when Hagar hosts his annual birthday bashes with plenty of big-name guests


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Every day feels like Spring Break at Mango Deck. Looking for a place with bikini contests? Sex position contests? Banana eating contests? A mustachioed Pancho Villa lookalike named Big Johnson who carries holsters filled with tequila bottles, and crisscrossed bandoliers packed with shot glasses? Check, check, check and check. Order a bucket of ice cold Coronas and settle in for a memorable visit at Cabo's most iconic beachfront party spot. Heck, you can even rent a wave runner here, although most are content to work on their tans, with occasional "beer ballast" from the full restaurant menu. The fare is mostly Mexican, but the kitchen dishes up everything from pastas and fresh local seafood to bbq, burgers and other typical pub grub.


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Solomon's Landing
Photo courtesy of Solomon´s Landing Los Cabos


 

What started as a taco stand is now a fixture of the Marina dining scene, with a corner location on the waterfront, just behind Tesoro Los Cabos Resort. Solomon's Landing is popular with both locals and tourists thanks to a combination of first-rate food, first-class service and affordable prices. The menu covers a lot of ground, but Chef Brian Solomon specializes in seafood. Like most area restaurants, there is a "you hook it, we'll cook it policy," and whether you've brought your own catch or are sampling from the menu offerings, the kitchen staff will prepare your choice of fish any way you like it, including a la Veracruz, Rockefeller, and many other styles. There is also an onsite sushi bar, and plenty of great happy hour deals from the island bar. The bar has its own menu, with more casual fare, and more budget-oriented prices.


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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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