Authored by Stuart Gustafson
Set on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, and an easy two hour flight from Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas has long been the destination of choice for a classic Mexican beach vacation.
With white beaches, spectacular arching stone cliffs, and a location where golden desert meets the shimmering sea, Cabo is firm favorite among surfers, divers and hikers. But with a coastline that stretches from the Sea of Cortez to the Pacific Ocean, Los Cabos is tempting a new type of traveler: the foodie.
It’s said that the only word you need to learn to eat well in Los Cabos is mariscos (Spanish for seafood), thanks to the incredible catch that comes straight from the bountiful waters.
Spending two weeks in Cabo San Lucas this past February led me to some truly amazing restaurants. But when it comes to highlighting my favorites, I have to recommend these three.
Three Amazing Restaurants to Visit in Cabo San Lucas, México
Sunset MonaLisa is about three miles out of town on the way to San José del Cabo. Its prime location above the rocks with a stunning view of the tip of Cabo, the famous Arch, and the coming together of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean make this restaurant the best for combining food, ambiance, location, and view!
Our evening began as we sipped a glass of champagne and watched surfers navigate their way through the rocks to the shore. But were we there for the food or for the view? Both, of course!
The Sunset View
An Incredible Tasting Menu
Served by an incredible staff, our evening consisted of a “Tasting Menu,” and the carefully prepared flavors were delicate yet noticeable. We started with a Tuna Tartare prepared with a chipotle and basil vinaigrette, served with cauliflower cream and crispy polenta.
As the sun continued to work its way down to the Pacific Ocean, we enjoyed a Truffle Tagliatelle, homemade pasta sauteed with 24-month aged Parmiggiano cheese. The brilliant sky overlooking the hilly contours of Cabo was too irresistible to not do “just one more video”.
As the sun sank lower, the serenading voices of three gentlemen began to fill the quiet air. If I hadn’t looked, I would have thought it was Il Divo; their voices were exquisite as they moved their serenade through the tables. Adding even more class to the evening were the wine pairings that came with each dish we were served; in a word, Delicioso!
Our entrée of a lightly Braised Alaska Salmon with broccoli puree, fennel confit, and lemon grass foam was sufficient yet not too much. Our final course was a dessert of a Bitter Chocolate Sphere stuffed with mandarin sorbet and peppermint with a flaming liqueur poured on top.
Follow Them on Intagram:
Nick-San Japanese Cuisine
Marina Boulvard in Cabo is the home of famed chef Ángel Carbajal, who fell into the restaurant business almost accidentally. Intrepid, enthusiastic, visionary and creative are the qualities of this genuine chef, which has made his name an icon in the cuisine of Los Cabos.
Chef Ángel uses 70% local products as he develops and prepares his amazing creations. Even though he’s not always able to go out fishing every morning, he does it as often as he can to fish for the “Catch of the Day.” Talk about fresh fish; there’s nothing fresher than what the chef has personally caught that morning!
He likes to incorporate mango with local fish and seafood, vegetables such as jicama, and serrano peppers. He also uses Sesame Oil, something I love to use as a base when I’m making a stir-fry at home.
From Their Feed:
The Nick-San Experience
“It’s something for everyone,” the charismatic owner and master chef said when I asked him to describe what he wants people to remember about their Nick-San experience.
If “A picture is worth a thousand words,” let me present 8,000 “words” to you.
You will clearly find more than one thing you’ll love when you come to Nick-San Japanese Cuisine in the heart of Cabo San Lucas. Whether it’s Ángel or one of his excellently trained chefs who is preparing your food, it will be a wonderful experience that you will remember and share with your friends.
Follow Them on Instagram:
El Squid Roe
El Squid Roe is right in the middle of Cabo San Lucas, and despite its location, it’s actually not the noisiest of restaurants on a busy evening. Its reputation as a party place is well-deserved, but it also serves some really great food.
I knew that I was in for a special evening as I was greeted at the entrance (there’s not really much of a “door”) and escorted to my private table at the front of the restaurant where I had an unobstructed view of all the activities.
While El Squid Roe has the atmosphere of a house party, as far as the restaurant is concerned, it is well known for its several table-side experiences.
Several Table-Side Experiences
Who doesn’t like fresh Mexican salsa? Not the dancing (though there is a lot of dancing at El Squid Roe); the kind you dip a crispy chip into and savor all those flavors that melt in your mouth.
As I sipped a nice cool beverage, I was treated to the first of several table-side experiences, the making of fresh salsa! In this video Luis first describes the ingredients and then prepares the most amazing salsa. Chef Manny then rolled over with a two-burner gas grill.
I couldn’t help but grin when he asked if I liked shrimp. Marinated in Chardonnay from the Guadalupe Valley (about an hour’s drive south of the U.S. border near San Diego) and spices, grilled to perfection, and then served standing like soldiers, they were devoured quickly.
While my primary focus was the shrimp, I know that my mother would have been proud as I also ate the al-dente vegetables that accompanied the entree.
Chef Manny once again put his excellent culinary skills on display as he rolled the grill back to my table and prepared a pineapple (in Grand Marnier) with strawberries and ice cream.
OUR FAVORITE MEXICO GUIDES. CLICK TO LOOK INSIDE↓
SPREAD THE WORD! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓
Thank you Stuart, I have been to all 3 and can vouch for your selections.
Thanks, Barry Clark!
Great job on the review Stuart!! Looks like an amazing place to dine.
Thanks, Marie — we certainly enjoyed the evenings!
Nice article Stuart.
Thanks, Sharon — you’ve been with us; you know how hard it is to go to those restaurants, eat, and write an article about them. It’s hard work! Right?
@StuartGustafson Hard – maybe but lovely and satisfying!
I notice u go to a lot of high end expensive places. Which is great But maybe a blog on different price points and flavors wud be be great too. A big part of your reviews go to already reviewed spots. lke los claros and sardinia cantina and Jasmins and Habaneros and Zippers etc ? i know uv been there! Just more San Jose or at least little mention. Have u tried CJs new York Deli or El Herraduro or TEO GREAT JOB THO!
Good points. These restaurants sponsored our dinners in exchange for inclusion in an article. I typically will do a blog post on places I go, but that wasn’t the focus of my articles from February trip.
I do write a TripAdvisor review for EVERY place I eat or visit, which is why I am the #1 reviewer in Idaho. These two weeks I am primarily at Koral Center (where I’m working) so I’m not getting to many places outside of here…. this time.
I know. just a fyi for future blogs :)
Understand and agree! Thanks
Looks like some wonderful eats here Stuart. Love that sunset shot up top too. Cabo is on the travel list for sure.
Glad you enjoyed the pot Ryan! The sunset shot is my favorite too – looking forward to getting to Cabo now!
Of course if you hate Seafood with a passion when you’re screwed like me.
Lots of options that aren’t seafood, but yes, that’s what Cabo has become known for :)
Enyoed your article and agree on all , specially the huge change and improvements done at Billy’s Kitchen at Squid Roe , I have also eaten there and it was truly a fine dinning experience. The iconic Squid Roe gets even better. Best, Tony
Glad you enjoyed the post Tony! And that you’re also a big fan of Squid Roe – I’m looking forward to getting there now after having published Stuart’s post :)
I’ve already been in one of the restaurants cited above as well and really loved the local cuisine. I also recommend:)
So glad you enjoyed your time in Cabo Leonardo :) Perhaps on your return trip you can stop by the other two restaurants to try :)
hi its a awesome article, thanks for sharing it
Thanks Sukhdev. Glad you enjoyed the post :)