Baja California Restaurants
Carretera Transpeninsular, San José del Cabo
SEARED, the One&Only Palmilla steakhouse run by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is where you go if your dream dinner phrase is “Wagyu beef.” The place has fifteen different cuts of the finest meat, vegetable sides best described as “crazy” (in a wonderful way), and views of the Sea of Cortez that will take your breath away. The resort is a quick taxi over from town if you’re staying in San José del Cabo. And while you’re there, take advantage: A post-dinner walk on the winding resort grounds makes a great dessert. (But still: Order dessert.)
Calle Horizonte, Todos Santos
A resident recommended this all-day spot to us for breakfast. A few moments down the Topete road outside town, La Esquina spreads its shady seating (and reliable Wi-Fi) across a plant-packed courtyard. The fresh OJ surpassed any we have ever had, and the breakfast burritos, spicy chilaquiles, and omelets were the perfect start to our day. They also have sandwiches on whole-grain toast, oatmeal, and smoothies packed with organic fruit and veggies grown on the property. Spend a slow morning working through the breakfast menu and people-watching from a cool corner before stopping by the farm stand next door.
La Copa Cocina
Av. Legaspy 33., Todos Santos
La Copa Cocina has stellar fish tacos, citrusy guacamole, and for the more adventurous, crispy fried grasshoppers (actually, they're not half bad). Located in the pretty garden basement terrace of the Todos Santos Inn—ambiance is not a problem here—the restaurant charms. Lights flicker overhead while you tuck into dinner, and the Todos Santos air is naturally perfumed with surrounding flowers. Better yet, the bar upstairs mixes a mean margarita, and the elegance of the open-plan 1870s building will have you checking room availability for your next stay.
Huerta Los Tamarindos
Calle Lás Ánimas s/n, Animas Bajas, San José del Cabo
The garden restaurant at Los Tamarindos is the epitome of farm-to-table dining in that you can literally see the farm that supplied your meal from your table. Minutes from central San Jose del Cabo, this 17-acre working farm is 100% committed to spreading the gospel of sustainable farming techniques, so make sure to sign up for a walking tour before settling in for one of Chef Enrique Silva’s excellent seasonal meals. And don’t leave without popping into the gift shop for traditional Oaxacan textiles and silks or artisan-made clay and tin products. Better yet, take it one step further and sign up for a cooking class. If you’re brave, buy a few jars of habañeros and black mole from the tiny organic market.
Paseo de La Marina, El Medano Ejidal, Cabo San Lucas
This is where the locals go for tacos. Close to 30 years ago the tiny mom-and-pop operation started out serving simple Baja-style shrimp tacos—to this day, it’s still the most popular menu item—and has since broadened its repertoire to include taco versions of nopales, cochinita pibil, grilled cactus, and more. Everything is made using time-honored family recipes and the freshest local ingredients.
Calle Manuel Doblado, Centro, San José del Cabo
There's Baja cuisine, and then there’s Baja Mediterranean cuisine, which splices traditional Mexican ingredients (lots of local fish and veggies) with Mediterranean grilling techniques and liberal use of olive oil. Tequila—set up inside a traditional adobe house with a beautiful tree-shrouded patio—is particularly well equipped for Baja-med cooking, being that the kitchen is supplied with produce from its own certified organic farm and just-caught seafood from local fishermen. As the name suggests, the margaritas here are top notch, as is the extensive wine selection. There’s also a walk-in humidor, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Blvd. Mijares S/N Edificio Eclipse Int 3, San José del Cabo
The official designation for Chef Tadd Chapman’s brand of elevated regional comfort food is "Baja Contemporary"—and it couldn't be more spot-on: Dishes like duck ravioli, chile Wellington, and coconut milk ceviche are prepped using fish sourced from a neighboring fishing town and humanely raised, hormone-free meats from a local farmer. A year ago, they took over Sanchez Organico farm and turned it into the main source for the restaurant's produce, resulting in a rich veggie-centric offering of hibiscus flautas, jicama sashimi, beet mole, and more. The outdoor courtyard—complete with twinkly lights and colorful furniture—is an idyllic spot for working your way through the wine list to a soundtrack of live jazz.
Camino a Playa El Medano S/N, Cabo San Lucas
Here, the tenets of traditional Baja cuisine—lots of fresh seafood marinated in traditional spices and local produce cooked just right so no flavor is lost—translate to perfectly cooked meat and fish dishes and veggie-centric sides (many are prepped table-side, it is a tourist town after all) every time. It’s this respect for local culture—not to mention the lovely outdoor setup and wine cellar stocked with a very respectable selection of both regional and imported wines—that makes Edith’s a favorite for residents and visitors alike. The flan deserves its own special shout out, its that good.
Playa El Medano S/N, El Medano, Cabo San Lucas
While the menu has been thoroughly Americanized (burgers, fries, and the like), and the margaritas come in goblets the size of your head, it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is the quintessential beach cantina experience, thanks in no small part to the unobstructed views of El Arco and deep roots within the community (the owner is Edith, as in Edith's restaurant and La Coyota). What’s more, the Mexican breakfast, sizzling fajitas, and enchiladas, fresh ceviche and pretty much all seafood-centric dishes are legitimately good.
Los Tres Gallos
Calle 20 de Noviembre, Centro, Cabo San Lucas
Named after three beloved local actors, the leafy courtyard-turned-dining room is one of the more romantic settings in town. The food offering—prepped in a beautiful tiled open kitchen (legend has it the elderly owner regularly pops in to cook for guests)—is rife with classics like fresh queso, chile rellenos, and killer mole, which doused over just about anything is a must-try. Finish with the tres leches cake and a cup of their excellent Mexican coffee.