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No Mi Casa: the real scoop on Cabo eating.

I've been living in Cabo San Lucas for some time now, and I can assure you that Mi Casa, Ediths, and the rest of the frequently-named restaurants referred to on this board are sure to disappoint (while breaking the bank, too).

It's hard, but not impossible, to find fantastic deals in Cabo.

For authentic mainland Mexican fare (albeit in a corporate-owned restaurant), La Fonda is a better bet than Mi Casa. Mi Casa is a far cry from authentic. La Fonda is fabulous. Try their sopes with chorizo and potatoes and any of their soups.

Avoid Pancho's. I keep reading recommendations for Pancho's. Aside from serving top notch margaritas (IF you pay for the good tequila), the food is pretty subpar. American-owned-- what more do you need to know?

Salvatore's (which will change location soon, this summer '08) is an excellent choice for homestyle American Italian. The only choice, actually. Go on Friday and have the lasagna. And be prepared to head to the ER afterward. It's not "authentic" Italian, it's authentic Italian-American. And the ambience is great. We'll miss it when it changes locations. The entrance is on a side street off Hidalgo inside the hotel (which you can see above the street) that's painted blue and pink. But its grounds are separate from the hotel. it leases its space. It's not stunning, it's just a bite of home (for an East Coaster like me).

For truly authentic Mexican, try any of the taco joints downtown (we like La Taquiza on Leona Vicario for their al pastor, or their next door neighbor's caldo de frijoles, 4 blocks up from the mall). There is also a tiny, bright green restaurant with palapa roof on a dirt road near the Cruz Roja in Cabo. (Enter the parking lot for the delegacion and community center. In fact, park there, and cross the street on the side of the lot away from the Todos Santos highway light. Hang a left on the tiny dirt road. It's the only restaurant there.) Serving unbelievably good, cheap, fresh mexican breakfasts and lunches. the chilaquiles here are unreal, as are the egg scrambles (all come with fresh regional cheese, frijoles, and fresh bread). No english menus, though.

For non-Mex dinner options, try La Bodega in San Jose. Steak and starters are delicious and well-priced (relatively speaking). USDA prime, perfectly cooked to your specs. Baja Brewing Co, a new restaurant, has so-so "upscale pub" fare, but great curly fries and good home-brewed beer -- for those of you tired of Pacifico, Corona, Modelo, et al.

For a truly outstanding mind-blowing meal, you absolutely must visit Los barriles on the East Cape (about 45 minutes north of San Jose). beautiful quaint little town. But the killer is the Italian restaurant, La Taberna di Don Roberto, on the waterfront in front of the new Van Wormer property, Villas de Cortez. (Next to the flagship hotel, Palmas de Cortez.) Dinner only, kitchen hours 5 to 10, closed Mondays. A real cheese course unlike any I've ever had in Baja, unbelievably educated wine selection, and ridiculously good (and well-priced) entrees and first plates, too. The pea soup was stunning, the beef tenderloin to die for, and the service, unbeatable. Let Fabrizio guide you or design a menu for you. You won't be sorry. The chefs are straight out of Parma (literally). This is "real" Italian. On a strip of beach best known for sport fishing. let's hope it can stay in business. (This couple also opened a pizzeria, which I've yet to try, with Naples pizza chefs.)

Avoid the marina restaurants. They stink, pretty much across the board, although Solomon's has decent grub.

I've got more, just ask. ;)

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  1. Good information. My wife and I are heading down to Cabo san Lucas May 31. We love food and wine, but not at the expense of quality, character and value. We live in Manhattan and love to discover non-touristy spots where the food is excellent, the wine and drink selection reasonably varied and the price great. I'm not suggesting we'll find that kind of variety or choice in Cabo san Lucas, however I don't want to end up at Edith's paying a high price to eat mediocre food in a tourist trap (the impression I'm getting from other posts).

    So, here are some questions:
    - What's good for a local? Price is not as important as is value, authenticity and quality
    - Is it worth renting a car for the week we'll be there, and drive to various areas around the peninsula?
    - Are there any BYOBs (we can bring our own wine, and save on the 3x or so markup)
    Any other advice is appreciated.
    - If we had to choose 1 exceptional dining experience while there, what would it be?

    Off topic: Any advice on getting a good deal on a round of golf (on top of twighlight tee times)?

    Thanks in advance...

    11 Replies
    1. re: imkosmic

      Excellent report linzercabo!

      My fav's in Cabo are Romeo & Julieta's for some of the best Italian and they do the best tableside caesar..great all around and cheap too..it's at the foot of Pedregal next to the Marina..
      The Office is a restaurant set right on the sand with views of the arches and it is one of those places that is a must even if it is for marg's/drinks..food is good but pricey.
      Trailer Park..the original up on the hill is traditon and fab but pricey..it is a must..it really is in a trailer park..very popular and l cannot say how many good times I have had there.
      Soloman's landing right on the Marina has some great fish tacos and cold Pacifico's for super cheap with the misters..love this place.
      I would bring your own mask and snorkel..Lover's Beach and towards the arch if conditions are right has some great snorkeling.
      I would only rent a car for a day or two and drive up to Todos Santos..the Cafe Santa Fe is a classic in design and in food..
      I use a panga/boat to get where I need to go..my same guy has been on the dock since the 80's..
      I have played Cabo Real and Cabo San Lucas Country Club and no deal on CR but I believe we got a twilight rate for CSLCR..google golf courses in Cabo and see what you get...some great golf courses in Cabo...
      If you take the shuttle bus down from the Airport of San Jose, make sure your driver stops at the first liquor store to have some cold beers on the way down..it's usually a tradition and a good start to your vacation.
      I have never brought my own booze to the restaurants but of course to my room.
      Have a great time imkosmic..it will be hot but a helluva a good time!

      1. re: imkosmic

        Definitely get a car..... as a Mexican I can say this... Cabo is a dump.... there is nothing there but resorts & makeshift infrastructure & public services for the tourist employees who are all from other restort towns like Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan & Acapulco. With the car you should take advantage of checking out Todos Santos & La Paz... as well as the Cave Paintings & some sea faring.

        1. re: imkosmic

          Hi Imkosmic,

          I would certainly rent a car, although beware getting pulled over for a mordida (bribe). I would spend a day driving up to Todos Santos, as others suggested, and perhaps another day driving up to the East Cape area -- La Ribera, Los Barriles, Spa Buena Vista. The East Cape is being developed as we speak. Enjoy its quiet while you can, and go to Taberna di Don Roberto as I suggested on the waterfront for an unbelievable meal. Even by Manhattan standards. (I moved here from NYC, so I have an idea of what you mean!)

          Call and ask about BYOB. Buy a good bottle at La Europea, a chain gourmet food and wine shop that's got a few locations -- in the mall, and a few on the corridor, one in San Jose, too.

          Eat Nopal's suggestion that Cabo is a "dump" is a little disheartening, and I'm sure locals would disagree. It's no "authentic" Mexican experience, but it is authentically Cabo: unlike any other place. An equal mix of charming, dirty, lively and frustrating. I live there -- not in fancy digs, but a humble casita. It is in some ways, but you can still find local color if you look in the right spots. The so-called "barrio" a few blocks up from the main drag is very colorful at night. Churro stands, hot dog stands, taco joints in parking lots -- it's good fun. Of course, the real barrio is dreadful. The poverty in Cabo is disturbing, of the tar paper shack variety. Lots of do-gooders here try to "help" with handouts. Didn't work in Manhattan, won't work here, either.

          One exceptional dining experience? Hmm. I would argue for La taberna. Cafe Santa Fe is very good, in Todos Santos, but a little overrated in my humble opinion. Depends what you want in "exceptional".

          And yes, Mocambos and Nick San are up there, too. Nick San -- the original, in cabo, not at the Palmilla stores.

          But for sure, rent a car and get outta town! Cabo is mostly a tourist trap. The good stuff's around the bend. Pescadero is quaint, too, on the way to Todos Santos. And La Paz may be worth a trip too to stroll along its malecon, walk its well-planned streets (a real grid!), watch the sunset on the bay, and eat at Buffalo's. Meat cooked to perfection right in front of you and some salads and sides that are to die for. Humble little joint about three blocks up from the malecon with killer grub. Ask for it, someone will point you there.

          1. re: linzercabo

            We were in Cabo the week of Dec 2nd. Followed many of the suggestions in this thread - some hits, some not so hot. Biggest disappointment:? NickSan in Cabo (not at the Palmilla). I believe the tab for 4 of us came to over $300 US and we left hungry... did we order wrong? Maybe, but we are all experienced sushi eaters. Service was impersonal and we left just feeling that we'd been ripped off.

            El Chilar was ok... Innovative and interesting but some of the ingredients were less than fresh (one piece of fish tasted like it should have hit the trash can before it got on our plate).

            The really sad thing was our traveling companions were not adventurous so I couldn't get them to try any of the interesting barrio shacks...

            1. re: RWCFoodie

              Nick San.. was it poor quality, service, creativity(lack of)?

              We're going next week and I know some of the fish is local(no excuse for poor quality), some imported.

              I've enjoyed in the past but can skip if it's on a downhill.

              1. re: 9lives

                I don't want to sound harsh, but it seemed like all of the above. While some dishes showed creativity, we felt that in general we received poor value for the price. Service was perfunctory and disinterested. When we asked questions about where the fish was from we didn't get much info. and the servers just seemed like they wanted to drop the plates and flee...

                1. re: RWCFoodie

                  That's disapppointing to hear. No excuse for that kind of meal.

                  1. re: 9lives

                    Yes, we were very disappointed and so were our friends...

          2. re: imkosmic

            Here's my recomendation. I was in Cabo 4 times last year and I can guarantee you that most of the restaurants are over priced for what you get. We were a group of 8 and with drinks and wine we averaged $150 - 200 per dinner. YES IN MEXICO.

            I recommend going to San Jose Del Cabo and eat at Morgan's. They own two restaurants. Morgan is the female owner who is an interior designer. Her boyfriend is a chef from Toronto. FANTASTIC food and ambience. In the range of $100 -200 with drinks and wine.

            For inexpensive eats that are local, head to Palapala on a back street behind Cabo Wabo. For our group we had the most memorable evening of good local food. We actually hired a street musician to come in and play songs for us all night.

            Baja Cantina has good food too if your in the harbor. Pricey for what I would say you get at your local mexican restaurant.

            I found Ediths to be ridiculously expensive and demanding of reservations even if they are empty!

            Mi Casa is not as good as it use to be. They expanded and their food went down hill.

            For breakfast...Mama's Royal Cafe. Wonderful stuffed french toast and an extensive american and authentic mexican menu. Only open for breakfast.

            As for bringing your own wine. We brought our own wine to Ediths and they charged us a $50 per bottle corkage fee...Hi-way robbery.

            The Office is great for eating right on the beach in the sand. The food we had there was good.

            The Trailer Park has great ambience and good food. Just be careful not to order too much food. The dinner is more than adequate so you won't need an appitizer or salad. It's pricey but as I said great ambiance.

            Rent a car and head to San Jose del Cabo. There's a really interesting bronze gallery there with some world class art (that's if you like what kind of sculpture they have)and there is also a great Pastry shop in town. This town has a real traditional Mexican Plaza.

            You could head to Todos Santos and have lunch at the Hotel California.

            As for Golf...their all expensive. The only way to get away cheap is to go on a time share tour and believe me paying for golf would be cheaper than a tour if you catch my drift. Be careful of the time share people. They are EVERYWHERE and out to get you. You have to be very direct in saying no to get them off your back. You will be accosted as soon as you come out of customs at the airport.

            As for exceptional dining in Cabo...for the price I haven 't experienced it yet.

            Have a great time. It's got beautiful beaches and resorts. Outside of the resorts it can be quite dirty!! I've been there at New Years, Spring Break, and September and it's always dusty and dirty. Cindy

            1. re: jmp7020

              I insist try La Frida in Pueblo Bonito Sunset....

              1. re: jmp7020

                Hi. We are going to San Jose in 1 week. Have had recommendations from friends for Morgan's. Is there a difference between the 2 restaurants? If so, would you recommend one over the other? Also, do you know if they have a website? Thank you.

            2. A great post that I wish I had before my recent trip. Ediths was a joke, the 'Office' smelled like a latrine and I think the Mi Casa 'maragritas' were made with limeade. We did have nice meals at La Fonda, Mocambos and Nik-San.

              1. What kind of food is La Fonda and Mocambos and where are they?

                We like to eat in San Jose. How about The orginal trailer park and lennys?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Loradio

                  There is a little place next to the airport called Mariscos Evaristo where I've had one of the best Aguachiles of my life (I've been cooking profesionally for + - 20 yrs.) both with shrimp and scalops only locals with norteño music fantastic place, the ceviche de camaron tostada is so big you could make about four normal ones . Don Emiliano In San Jose has a fantastic chicharron soup and the chef there now was the chef at the famous Aguila y Sol in D.F. I havent't been there since he got there but I'm pretty sure It must be good. Esperanza for the high end places was my favorite in Cabo. La Frida is run by a very good chef from Mexicali who worked in Boston for many years he is doing a great interpretation of modern Mexican food I think It's in Pueblo Amigo or Bonito I don't remember.
                  In Todos Santos Santa Fe Cafe Is very good great fresh pasta , fish carpaccio.
                  La Paz Buffalo for great meat, Tanino has a good selection of Mexican wines and Biskmarcito for smoked marlin tacos.
                  Cabo is not a dump just need to know wher to look !

                  1. re: bigotes

                    Muchas gracias, Maestro! This helps alot.

                2. Thanks for the tip about La Taberna di Don Roberto! Where else should we be eating in and around Los Barrile?

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: not the bad Steve

                    Just have to chime in here. I totally agree with the assessment of The Office and Edith's. They are basically the same food (same owners) and equally bad, equally over-priced although I must say the Ceasar Salad prepared table-side at Edith's is very, very good except that you only get about three lettuce leaves!

                    I beg to differ regarding the comment about Esperanza. The food is really bad, portions are tiny and the pricing is outlandish - shocking even ... what nerve they have to charge the prices they do. The service is so over-wrought, they mean well but seem to be quite awkward. I've eaten at all their restaurants multiple times and am always disappointed. It's too bad because the setting is absolutely stunning - even the pool restaurant has a lovely ambiance.

                    1. re: seabreezer

                      ok now I am stressing. We are arriving Friday nite and my hope was to never leave the Esparanza. With no transport, where should we eat? I divide my time between NY/LA/TX so I don't have a need for touristy Mexican food. Should I bring some balance bars give up?

                      1. re: carfreeinla

                        It's very easy to get a taxi and go to either Cabo or San Jose. We'll actually be there this weekend, too and we're planning to eat at El Chilar and Nick-San. We're staying in and cooking one night and we'll brave one of the Esperanza restaurants just one night to see if things have changed at all.

                        1. re: seabreezer

                          well for your sake and ours, hopefully they have! I could happily live off great tacos for the few days that I am in town ( would feel like home...)

                          1. re: carfreeinla

                            Now that I'm back from Cabo I wanted to add my thoughts about El Chilar and Nick-San. I have to agree with all the positive posts about these two restaurants. El Chilar is just lovely. The decor and ambiance are perfect, the service and friendliness of the staff are super and best of all the food is inventive, generously portioned and prepared. What a delight .. we'll be back. Nick-San in Cabo was also a pleasant surprise. My husband kept asking why we were going to have sushi in Mexico. Well, he realized why with the first bite of the Tuna Tostada and Black and White Ahi. The least interesting items were in fact the traditional sushi's. They were not actually all that well prepared - a little sloppy and the rice was not quite right but all the fish was incredibly fresh, even on a Sunday night. Service was great and friendly. And then the letdown was dinner at Esperanza at the Palapa restaurant... skimpy portions, bland and just plain medicocre. Service, however, has improved markedly.

                            1. re: seabreezer

                              The chef at Esperanza when I did my previous post Flynt Payne has now left the resort I think he went to Oregon . I haven't been there since he left I'm sorry to hear that because I had there a huitalcoche lasgna that was fantastic.
                              Try la Frida in Pueblo Bonito Sunset you will not be desapointed I was there a couple of weeks ago and it was very good . He does Gorditas de Bacalao en salsa verde that are really good
                              I also ate at Fellinis In Pueblo Bonito Rose very nice Italian both restaurants are runned by the same chef he also runs las Palomas wich is the restaurant next to the pool in the same hotel the food there was consulted with Ricardo Muños Zurita who is the chef for Azul y Oro in UNAM in Mexico city a very important reasercher of traditional Mexican food. I would strongly recomend to try it. The other thing I heard was that Charly Trotter's C restaurant in Palmilla is not there any more and that Jean Georges wil be taking it over. I also went to Evaristos and the Aguachile is still to kill for .

                              1. re: bigotes

                                Just came back from a few days at Esparanza. If we had not committed to stay at the resort, I would have gladly eaten somewhere else. We wound up eating breakfast- which was great- and dinner. Prices were way out of line, food was just ok and service was usually fine.

                                1. re: carfreeinla

                                  we're at esperanza as i write this...and i'll agree about the food. portions shockingly small for the price--i hate when people write that, always assume i'm dealing with some enormous person who eats too much, but this was ridiculous. a *tiny* portion of not very good fish ceviche and four beers for $61 dollars?! really? it was room service, but...still.

                                  breakfast is included in our rate, and we're very happy with it (love, love, LOVE 'the tower' which is part of the meal; it's fruits and well-done pastries and breads and cheese, plus really tasty fruit juice concoctions,) but are very happy to have rented a car for the stay for other meals.

                                  we've found the service at esperanza to still be exemplary, fyi...but the food isn't what it once was, and at the price point i'm wondering what the business model is.

                                  in cabo san lucas, so far we've had amazing meals at carnitas michoacan, terrific tacos at las paisas and a wonderful ceviche and lobster at mariscos mazatlan. we also spent a few days at both the sheraton and the westin, and were surprised and pleased by the food quality at the sheraton, both the ceviche/guacamole by the pool, and the lovely dinner we had at pitayas.

                                  1. re: karenkay

                                    Wish that we had also rented a car. I would say shockingly small portions for the price- but I would rather say shocking prices. If they offer the banana and basil smoothie ( yes!) go for it.

                                    1. re: carfreeinla

                                      I'm not sure about driving distances but has anyone ever tried Don Emiliano restaurant in San Jose del Cabo?
                                      With Chef Margarita de Salinas as chef owner this restaurant has so much going for it including its recent 'Award of Excellence' from Wine Spectator magazine . Take a look at this link

                                      and then get back to me!

                                      1. re: Ruth in Condechi

                                        Just in case anyone reads this post from 2008, Don Emiliano closed several years ago.

                                        Chef Margarita Carrillo viuda de Salinas has moved back to Mexico City and opened a different restaurant, Turtux.


                                        1. re: cristina

                                          Loved Don Emiliano's and really sad to hear it closed. Any similar restaurants out there? Any idea what went into the same space? Was hoping to revisit Don Emiliano's this week but will have to find something else!

                                      2. re: carfreeinla

                                        that smoothie was awesome, you're right, carfreeinla...there was another one one morning that was mint, mango and something else...very, very sabrosa!

                    2. Nice report. I'll give some a try. There's an awful lot of poor and overpriced food in Cabo. We've been going down for a number of years..and have some favorites; if I don't catch a fish or cook at home.

                      Here's a photoset of a few of our favorites..I'll add Tacos Los Claros..for seafood tacos..Tacos el Paisa for beef and there's a few taco stands whose names I don't remember..good rule is to get OFF the main streets.

                      Solomon's is an old fave cuz I remember when he first opened and I enjoyed the Super Bowl there last year..very much..:) Avoid the rest of the marina side places. The "beach places," Office, Biilygans, Mango Deck have steadily gone down in quality and up in price..but they're a fun day if you have a lot of time there and want a party atmosphere. If I want sushi out, I go to Nik San; but I usually catch my own..:)

                      Hope you enjoy the pics as much as i enjoyed taking them. We'll be back down early next year.



                      1 Reply
                      1. re: 9lives

                        loved your pictures they made me hungry! the pics help.. gonna find some of those places when we go down after christmas! that goat looked so good i think i am gonna try it.

                      2. Best fish tacos I have ever had. Gardenias! Located behind the fire/police station back on a side street a few blocks down and behind the mall. Excellent fish tacos!

                        1. Just got back from Cabo yesterday. La Fonda is, hands down, the best of the best. Authentic Mexican cuisine. Super sopes, the crema poblano soup with pumpkin blossoms is beyond words, and the house mole is fantastic. Superior service. Nice wine list. It's off the beaten path (about ten blocks up from the marina), but well worth the walk or cab ride. There was a rumor going around that it had closed since our last trip in 2007, but, thankfully, that isn't true. Visit this gem while you can -- and do try that soup.

                          1. What's the best fine dining option in Cabo? I want someplace phenomenal to take my girlfriend on valentine's day. I'm considering Javier's at Cabo Azul, The Restaurant at las Ventanas and the new Jean Georges restaurant at Palmilla. Any recommendations?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: kevhollywood

                              We stayed at Cabo Azul the first week of December. While Javier's is attractive, I personally wouldn't consider it "fine dining". It's certainly not bad but IMHO it doesn't fit the criteria you're looking for.

                              Attached is a photo of a dinner plate I had on our last night: Quite delicious prawns, attractively placed on the plate. Service is courteous but if they are busy, as they were that night, it's perfunctory at best.

                              1. re: RWCFoodie

                                Thanks RWCFoodie. I think I'm going to French Rivera at Club Ninety Six. I'll let you know how it is.

                            2. I got a reply from the O&O regarding C closing--it's true:
                              contract? charlie must not have liked it there tha much--or wasn't doing well-- big names in swanky areas don't just leave because of a contract expiring--heres the email:

                              Thank you for your interest in One&Only Palmilla.

                              The contract with Charlie Trotter has expired. We now have a brand new restaurant by Chef Jean Georges called Market and also one called Suviche. I have attached sample menus for you to browse.

                              If you are not staying at the resort , you must call the resort directly at 52-624-146-7000 to make reservations.

                              One&Only Travel Specialist

                              1. My boyfriend and I are headed down tomorrow. I haven't been to Cabo for more than 10 years. Thanks to everyone's advice we'll probably save a little cash and have some really great meals. We're going to try to avoid Ediths even though several of our fellow world-travelers say it is their favorite restaurant ever. Other than that, we'll try to get to as many places as our 6 days will allow.

                                We have one recommendation for the margaritas "in a bar at the entrance of a souvenier shop at the very end of a block of shops along the main drag". Does that ring anyone's bell? We'll look for it.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: TravelVal


                                  Las Quesadilla's makes great margaritas; can't speak about the food. We got back from Cabo last week. Say hello to Julian from the couple from Boston...:


                                  All of my above recs are still good..this year and past.

                                  I took the advice of someone here and tried La Fonda; great for a nicer meal and still reasonably priced. The poblano crema soup is great.

                                  If you're looking to save cash, be sure to avoid the marina restaurants and other tourist oriented places and go to the seafood or tacqueria places off the main street. I was eating great lunches for $2-3 pp and gorgeous fish (El Pescador and Mariscos Mazatlan) for $10-12 pp. If you're coming from the US your $ goes a long way..14+ pesos. Supermercado downtown Cabo has great beef if you're cooking and I posted below about the "fish market."

                                  Enjoy, you'll see lots of changes from 10 years ago.


                                  1. re: 9lives

                                    Thanks 9lives for the great photo spread... when we were there in early Dec. we were traveling with another couple who have a very low tolerance for getting off the tourist track; no way would they think about the kinds of places you show.... So frustrating to me... I would have loved to be with you guys! I wanted a street fish taco so bad and never got one... did get some good shrimp ceviche from one of the places right in the marina but that was about it...

                                    1. re: RWCFoodie

                                      Thanks. I also want to mention that someone can enjoy the side street places without speaking fluent Spanish and that the area is safe to wander around; day or night...though watch your step at night because some of the sidewalks are pretty beaten up.

                                      The people are very gracious and friendly and we never experienced any stomach problems from any of the local stands.

                                      1. re: 9lives

                                        I know - that's what made it even more frustrating...

                                    2. re: 9lives

                                      We recently returned from Cabo and we took everyone's advice to avoid the marina restaurants, but we ran short of time to get to all the places we wanted to. Our favorite breakfast was at Mesa Pablano - full of locals, very inexpensive and wonderful mole, mexican coffee and chilaquiles. We ate there twice. We also enjoyed breakfast at French Riviera in San Jose del Cabo on our way back to the airport. Great pastries. Lunch was fun at Gordo LeLe's on our first day, very entertaining. Good tacos. We got roped into eating at MiCasa one night. The food wasn't great, but it was a fun atmosphere. We should have gone to La Fonda as planned.

                                      We had a very expensive but fantastic meal at La Frida at the Sunset one night. We had the pork chops. The piano player was outstanding and so was the service.

                                      We made it to Art & Beer for mango margaritas on our way to Todo Santos on a day trip. Would do that again in a minute. Crazy place. Our best meal was probably at Cafe Santa Fe in Todo Santos. We had sashimi, buffalo caprese, lobster ravioli and ice cream w/fresh strawberries. Sit in the garden!

                                      I'd like to make Cabo an annual trip - at least until I can eat at all the good restaurants! Thanks everyone for all your advice.

                                      1. re: 9lives

                                        Where is Los Claros located? Looks GREAT! Where is Gordo Lele's?

                                        Thanks for the photos - they speak a thousand words- yum!

                                        1. re: Jaxthecat2

                                          Los Claros is on Zaragoza. It's the street leading away from the marina that is next to the supermercado in downtown. You'll also walk by the birria stan, a fruit vendor and a cute little place with a few older women making delicious food.

                                          Gordon Lele's is a few blocks away..same general area. North of the big new mall, Vincente Guerroro St

                                    3. linzercabo,
                                      Thank you for sharing your experiences and great suggestions. My husband and I have been going to Cabo for several years and discovered Gardenias and the Crazy Lobster. We would welcome any other suggestions you have that are great values. We avoid the big hotel restaurants and like the places that locals eat at and enjoy. We appreciate the authentic food and would welcome your suggestions.
                                      Thanks for sharing.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: BambiM

                                        I've been going to Los Cabos annually for over a decade and am slightly embarassed to say that we almost always do the breakfast condo sales the first morning we arrive. The reason? To find out the new best places to eat in town. My favorite finds are: El Chilar (have run into Lance Armstrong here, twice); Hangman's-funky outdoor (one of my favorite Mexican style restaurants) with a variety of things hanging from the ceiling with amazing tacos at fifty cents apiece; Papagallo's also outdoors with great pastor (you can watch the guy carve it right in front of you-my teenaged nephew thought this place was "the bomb"; and lastly our first stop on our way in from the airport is ALWAYS Zipper's for a fish sandwich and a beer, looking out at the ocean, watching surfers. The food isn't gourmet level by any stretch of the imagination but Tony is a great guy and it was one of the first restaurants we discovered on our own over 10 years ago.

                                        1. re: MangiaSophiaMangia

                                          I would love to try out your suggestions; how do we find them, where are they located?
                                          You stated that you do the breakfast condo sales, do the sales reps share this info with you? Which has been your best source?

                                      2. My husband and I just returned from a trip in late March to Cabo. Wanted to thank everyone for their great suggestions, which I culled from this board. We’d been before, but wanted to incorporate some new places and had many phenomenal meals. Here’s a rundown of our eating activities. Sorry for the length of this post.

                                        Lorenzillo’s Oyster Bar – Food was okay, but not great. We only ordered apps, not lobster, so I’m sure that was our mistake

                                        Nick San (near the marina) – Phenomenal, but expensive. We eat sushi often at home, but wanted to come here due to the rave recommendations. While the bill for two was shocking ($225), my husband and I agreed that the preparations we had were inventive and unique. Two that stood out were the lobster tempura spicy handroll (I could eat one every day) and the lime roll. I cannot recall the full name of the lime roll, but it was an explosion of flavors, including cumin, strangely enough. Very inventive and tasty.

                                        The Office – Many people do not like this place b/c they think it is too expensive and touristy. It is definitely both of those; however, it is also fun. We’ve been there many times over the years and have always had friendly waiters and great food. The location directly on the sand, looking at the ocean is great and quite unique. The chilaquiles in verde sauce with a side of chorizo is truly one of my favorite breakfasts in the world. (I’m also lucky enough to have a neighborhood place in Chicago that is also great for this.) While many do not like the Office, I would continue to recommend it for a fun, laid back vacation breakfast on the beach.

                                        Mocambo’s – Good place for lunch. We had the fish snack appetizer, plus grilled shrimp and oysters in mojo de ajo (garlic sauce).

                                        La Fonda – Phenomenal Mexican food. The crèma poblano soup is to die for and the pork in achiote sauce, plus the lamb shank were delicious as well. A great place for dinner.

                                        Gordo Lele’s – Stopped in here for some tacos one afternoon. It is a tiny shack where hygiene isn’t the priority. HOWEVER, the tacos were cooked to order and were outstanding, especially the chorizo.

                                        Edith’s – Many people on this board do not recommend Edith’s, but we had been many years ago and had a good experience, so wanted to go back. It also didn’t hurt that we were staying at the Casa Dorada (great hotel!), which is right across the street from Edith’s. While expensive, we had a great meal once again. Our steaks and lobster were cooked perfectly, the service was good, and the atmosphere can’t be beat. Yes, it’s pricey, but many places are. You are paying for the whole package there and, I feel, they deliver.

                                        Mama’s Royal Café – Had breakfast here one morning. What a great place! Friendly service, great food and a lovely outdoor space. Highly recommend this place.

                                        La Golondrina (The Trailer Park) – Had dinner here and absolutely loved it. It is not inexpensive, but they give you a ridiculous amount of food. Too much, I think. The outdoor setting is beautiful and the staff could not be more helpful. My husband had the carne asada and lobster combo, while I had the whole fried snapper with wowy sauce on the side. Both were great, but the whole fried snapper was the absolute best I’ve had anywhere. Truly seafood perfection.

                                        Las Gardenias – A visit to Cabo is not complete without stopping in here for the absolute best fish tacos on the planet. They open at 8 a.m. and close at (I think) 5 p.m. It is a tiny, non-descript place, but is clean and the service is very friendly. We tried a couple of different things, which were all good, but the fish tacos were seriously the best we’ve ever had. Lightly battered and fried halibut, served on fresh corn tortillas. Each table gets a lazy susan with the freshest salsas and avocado, a bowl of shredded cabbage and a bottle of white sauce. Top off the fish tacos with these and you can’t go wrong. Super casual (we were in bathing suits and flip flops) and very inexpensive. When converted into USD, six tacos and two Pacificos totaled about eight dollars with tip.

                                        1. I live in Cabo also, and just wanted to give a shoutout to (Marty's) LA RICAZON. Great cheap eats.

                                          Every meal starts off with a basket of warm bread and 4 salsa/sauces. They are soo good. Salsa Verde, Red Vinegary Hot Sauce, Garlicy Mayo, and a Jalapeno/Vinegar/Soy Sauce concoction, they're even better mixed and matched.

                                          I always get the tacos ($5 for 3 at lunch), the wraps are good, and the guacamole is delicious.

                                          For dinner he also fires up the mesquite grill...yum.

                                          Highly recommend. If you're coming from town, make a right before McDonalds, park in the dirt at the intersection (across from the Baja Adventure stand) and cross the street towards the laundromat, it's about 3 shops down, palapa roof.

                                          Also recommend Gordo Lele's, La Fonda, Taco Cantina, Desperado's, Salvatore's, Maria Corona, and Arriba Tequila Bar for good, live music (upstairs from Las Quesadillas).

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: pizzagurl

                                            Where is this coming from Hacienda del Mar?

                                            Also how about the Trailer Park?

                                          2. Ever tried Mi Sushi or El Chillar?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: johnjoseph

                                              El Chilar has closed.

                                              Above mentioned La Fonda has closed.

                                              Las Quesadillas has closed and been replaced by a casual Italian bakery/restaurant.

                                              1. re: 9lives

                                                What about mi sushi?
                                                Any recommendation for a healthy decent place in san jose del cabo?

                                            2. Just spent 10 days in San Jose del Cabo and used this thread and others to help navigate our restaurant choices. We wanted to avoid the touristy areas as much as possible as that is not our scene right now.

                                              Here were our finds, as of June 2014.

                                              Cabo San Lucas:

                                              * La Gardenia - tacos. Trust the hype. This place is more frequented by tourists as more people have caught on it. We ate here at least 3 times. Tried the fish (grilled and fried), shrimp (grilled and fried), bbq pork and chicken tacos. Heavenly. Each table gets an array of toppings and out-of-this-world hot sauce is on every table. I regret not trying the sopa de mariscos but it's something to look forward to next time.

                                              *El Pollo de Oro - roasted chicken. I was dreaming of the citrus roasted chicken I've had in San Blas. We went here for a meal on a budget. For 120.00 pesos you can get a roasted chicken to-go with salsa, tortillas, rice, etc. They're also known for their pork ribs which were actually quite delicious. However, as a whole everything was just a little too greasy and bland for me. Ambiance was also lacking, so definitely take it to-go. However, it's worth a try as it is a local favorite.

                                              * Restaurant Campestre - local cuisine. If you're looking for a buzzing local scene, this is it. We were the only tourists there. Hearty portions, good 3-course specials that come with complimentary agua de melon, and cheap prices. We got the kid's meal quesadilla (HUGE!), fish with garlic and chicken enchiladas verde. The meal came out to $27 with 2 margaritas. Nice local find...as one person on another thread stated, they really do look at you like, "aha! these tourists finally found a place to eat real food."

                                              *Maro Shrimp House: the famous Bulldog drink (beer, lemonade, tequila, margarita mix) and seafood. University flags of every color and region decorate the inside of the dining room. It's a fun atmosphere, with pictures posted along the walls and sharpie signatures from guests of the past. The seafood was good but not great, sides were lackluster. I ordered the garlic shrimp, which were grilled over a side of white rice and pickled vegetables. My dining partner ordered the lobster and 1/4 shrimp. It was decent, but next time would like to try Mariscos Mazatlan.

                                              As far as San Jose del Cabo, the two nights we went we were sweating buckets and didn't feel like hunting around for a restaurant. We would like to try Voila next time. We are sorry to hear that El Chilar and La Fonda closed, as I've read/seen many great things about both.

                                              Overall...still have some exploring to do! Any suggestions for non-Mexican options? After eating Mexican 3 meals a day for 10 days straight, I start to yearn for some Asian flavors especially. I've heard some good things about some Italian restaurants nearby...but other than that, finding non-Mexican restaurants is a challenge.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: kristinebautista

                                                HI Kristine,
                                                Yes, I agree with you, my husband and I frequent the places you mentioned. You also need to try Gordo Lele's for great tacos. It is quite small only 4 tables but the owner is great and food is cheap. He will sing you Beatle medleys. I am curious to know where Restaurant Campestre is located. We will be in Cabo in October and would like to try it. We also found a GREAT place, with wonderful food just up the street from Maros, call Los Barriles. We enjoyed both breakfast and a wonderful dinner. This place has linen table cloths and napkins too. The dinner we had was their special that night; included lobster tail, grilled shrimp, seabass and steak with all the trimmings for $20. We added a table side casear, which was delicious. Give these guys a try!
                                                You won't regret it!!!!

                                                1. re: BambiM

                                                  Thanks for the head's up! I found Restaurant Campestre on this thread:


                                                  The address is: Salvatierra s/n entre Lopez Mateos y Camino al Faro, 23460 Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico

                                                  We will put both of your recs on the list for next time! Sound right up our alley.

                                                2. re: kristinebautista

                                                  I loved San Jose del Cabo, we did the art walk which was charming, there is so much great art there. Restaurants I recommend there and close by in the corridor are Don Sanchez, Cata Wine Bar, Seven Seas Grill, Villa Valentina and La Galeria. The restaurant at Casa Nathalia was gorgeous with the pool wending its way throughout, unfortunately we didn't eat there but it looked great.