Expert Tips


Best Romantic Dining in Cabo San Lucas

Romance, Cabo Style: The 10 Most Romantic Restaurants in Los Cabos

Los Cabos has been one of the world's premier locations for destination weddings, honeymoons and renewal of vows ceremonies for well over three decades; basically, since Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards married supermodel Patti Hansen at Hotel Finisterra in Cabo San Lucas in 1983, with bandmate Mick Jagger serving as best man.

Now that the region's spectacular natural advantages and gorgeous year-round climate have been paired with an influx of talented young chefs and an emergent world-class cuisine, Los Cabos has also become a popular destination for romantic wining and dining.

Two of the area’s most celebrated resorts, The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal and One&Only Palmilla, are home to muy romántico dining spots perfect for Valentine’s Day dinners or other special occasions. El Farallón at the Waldorf Astoria showcases fresh market style seafood with a magnificent cliffside setting perched above crashing Pacific Ocean waves, while Sunset MonaLisa–not to be outdone–serves up its fine fare to diners entranced by breathtaking sunset views of the evocative granite monuments and aptly named beach (Playa del Amor) that comprise the half-mile Land's End promontory at the southernmost point of the Baja California peninsula.

Perhaps the most singular of Los Cabos’ romantic dinner experiences, however, is the sunset cruise aboard the luxury catamaran Caborey. Not only are couples treated to a multi-course sit-down dinner with a choice of signature entrées, but a postprandial La Vegas style floorshow headlined by a passionate Argentine tango.


Hotel Hacienda was the first hotel ever to open in Cabo San Lucas in 1963, although there's a world of difference between that modest property, built by pioneer developer Rod Rodriguez (of Palmilla fame), and the luxurious Hacienda Beach Club & Residences developed on the same magnificent site – at the juncture of the Marina and Médano Beach – by another pioneer developer, Don Koll, in the early 2000s. The latter is among the most exclusive, expensive and spectacular properties in the region, although anyone who is either curious or hungry is welcome to dine at the superb onsite restaurant, Hacienda Cocina y Cantina. Traditional Mexican cuisine and an elegant barefoot-friendly setting distinguish the beachfront eatery, which looks out across the bay to Land's End. Tortilla soup, chicken mole, and shrimp chile rellenos are among the many house specialties.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Hacienda Cocina y Cantina is set at the foot of Médano Beach and features superb views of Land's End and Cabo San Lucas Bay.

Chris's expert tip: The resort is private so reservations are required to access the restaurant.

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Flora's pioneered the farm-to-table dining scene in San José del Cabo and remains a mandatory stop for visiting foodies. Foodies have apparently taken the "mandatory" exhortation seriously, as the restaurant is packed on a nightly basis, despite its abundant seating capacity and out-of-the-way location. The Field Kitchen 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 both local and sustainable, not to mention altogether delightful. The food is superb and ranges from gourmet pizzas to farm-raised pork (try the pork chops) or homemade pasta. Sunday brunch is especially popular, although reservations are a necessity 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 yet another attraction.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Flora's Field Kitchen is al fresco dining at its finest.

Chris's expert tip: Good luck finding this place without directions. Luckily, they're available for download on the restaurant's website.

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The culinary fashion in Los Cabos has shifted in recent years 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, with tables arranged 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. It received a Wine Spectator Award in 2015.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Pitahayas offers one of the most romantic settings in Los Cabos, with candlelit tables, fine wine and moonlight views of the Sea of Cortés.

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

Read more about Pitahayas Restaurant →


A perennially popular draw at benchmark ultra-luxury resort One&Only Palmilla, this elegant seaside eatery was originally made notable by Moroccan born and Jean-Louis Palladin mentored chef Larbi Dahrouch,. Since his departure, the high level has been maintained by Chef Bladimir García and staff, and the restaurant is distinguished by its superb food, impeccable service, and romantic candle and moonlit views of the Sea of Cortés. Menus change seasonally (and sometimes daily) to reflect the finest available ingredients, which are shown to best advantage in García's traditonally inspired Mexican dishes. 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 Romantic Dining because: Set at the area's most luxurious resort, Agua offers superb fare, first-class service, and incredible seaside views.

Chris's expert tip: There are several "sharing" options for couples, the best being a Baja Grilled Seafood Platter featuring lobster, scallops, catch of the day, and more.

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There are two artists on prominent display at LaFrida, the signature fine dining establishment at Pueblo Bonito's elegant Sunset Beach resort. The first is legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, examples of whose work and wardrobe adorn the walls of the restaurant's sumptuously appointed dining room. The second is Chef Carlos Contreras Sánchez, who learned to cook at his grandmother's knee as a child in Oaxaca, and has since mastered the techniques and recipes of traditional Mexican cuisine, albeit with a few fresh twists of his own devising. The chef has a particularly deft touch with seafood focused fare like the Baja style Abalone Taco, although meat lovers may prefer the suckling pig or Jojutla style Barbacoa Lamb Shank, baked in maguey leaf from a pre-Hispanic recipe. For an extra dollop of tropical romance, dine on the al fresco terrace for stunning sunset views set against a gorgeous Pacific Ocean backdrop.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: First class fare and romantic terrace-based sunset views distinguish LaFrida as one of the region's finest restaurants, as does its sumptuously appointed interior dining room.

Chris's expert tip: Check the daily sunset time to optimize your terrace dining experience.

Read more about LaFrida Restaurant →


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 Romantic Dining because: The best cocktails in Los Cabos and breathtaking Sea of Cortés views headline the romantic attractions at COMAL.

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.

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The 144' luxury catamaran Caborey is the premier cruise ship in Los Cabos, best known for its popular margarita and dinner cruises. The premier sunset dinner and show cruise is one of the great local dining experiences, particularly for those who are in town for a short time and want to get a feel for the local landscape, culture and cuisine. Enjoy romantic sunset views of Cabo San Lucas Bay, Médano and Lovers' Beaches, and the unique rock formations such as El Arco that stretch out towards Land's End. There are two below-deck areas for dinner, depending upon your ticket preference. There is a buffet on the middle deck, and a sit-down dinner on the lower deck with a choice of entrées. After the sit-down dinner, there is a rousing Las Vegas-style floor show featuring Mexican and Latin American singing and folk dances, headlined by a passionately romantic Argentine style tango.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Caborey's romantic dinner cruise offers fine dining and drinks, and a romantic floorshow featuring Latin American singers and dancers.

Chris's expert tip: When passengers are jockeying for prime rail position for photos at Land's End, know that the captain is going to turn the boat around. Thus, the opposite rail will eventually become prime photo territory itself.

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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 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 Romantic Dining because: The views of Land's End are incredible, and the food and the service are absolutely first-class at this restaurant from acclaimed 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.

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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 Romantic Dining because: El Farallón drips romance, with tables set on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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

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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 popular 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 Romantic Dining because: Sunset da Mona Lisa boasts the most romantic setting 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.

Read more about Sunset MonaLisa →


Meet Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the Cabo San Lucas local expert for the USA Today travel website 10 Best, writer of Fodor's Los Cabos travel guidebook, and a contributor to numerous websites and publications,...  More About Chris