The Culinary Scene in Los Cabos
Todos Santos and Los Cabos are two regions in Mexico quickly becoming known for their culinary scenes. From farm-to-table dining to seafood restaurants and taco stands, there is something for every foodie in these regions. In this article, we’ll explore the unique aspects of the Todos Santos and Los Cabos culinary scene, including some of our favorite restaurants, the focus on locally-sourced ingredients, and the variety of authentic Mexican cuisine. You’ll discover sand-floor cantinas with some of Mexico’s top tacos, bakeries with delectable pastries, cafes ideal for brunch or coworking, and fine dining establishments with lovely outside settings.
The Magical town of Todos Santos
Todos Santos is a little desert town about an hour’s drive north of those tourist-heavy cities, and the dazzling lights and opulent resorts of Los Cabos look like they are in another world. Todos Santos still lacks even one stop light, despite the opening of the opulent Paradero Hotel and the fact that many people came to the town for the first time during the pandemic. The area’s dusty desert roads offer plenty to discover, from secluded eateries with sizable gardens and mango orchards to nearshore bars serving excellent cocktails made with agave and tostadas topped with fresh fish caught in the nearby Ocean.
Although you could easily stay in Todos Santos’s downtown, driving about and checking out places like Pescadero and Las Tunas is worthwhile. You’ll find all kinds of delectable seafood down dirt roads (and perhaps after a few false turns), from velvety chocolata clams to buttery scallop aguachile.
Mexican Cuisine in Todos Santos and Los Cabos
Mexican cuisine is a staple in both Todos Santos and Los Cabos. However, the regions have their unique twists on classic dishes. In Todos Santos, for example, you’ll find a focus on traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist. On the other hand, Los Cabos is known for its fusion of Mexican and international flavors. Both regions use locally-sourced ingredients, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to create unique and delicious dishes.
Farm-to-table dining is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular in both Todos Santos and Los Cabos. The focus is on using locally-sourced ingredients and supporting local farmers and producers. Restaurants in the region are committed to using fresh, seasonal produce, and many have on-site gardens. Farm-to-table dining in Todos Santos and Los Cabos offers a unique and sustainable culinary experience using ingredients that harmonize with the seasons and the environment.
With the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean at their doorstep, Todos Santos and Los Cabos have an abundance of fresh seafood available. From shrimp to octopus, fish to clams, there is no shortage of delicious seafood options in the region. Seafood restaurants in the area offer a wide variety of dishes, from ceviche to grilled fish, all highlighting the flavors of the sea.
Tacos and Margaritas
Every trip to Mexico is complete with sampling some tacos and margaritas, and Todos Santos and Los Cabos offer some of the best. Tacos can be found on almost every street corner, ranging from traditional beef or chicken to more unique options like shrimp or cactus. Margaritas, made with fresh-squeezed lime juice and high-quality tequila, complement any taco perfectly. From street vendors to high-end restaurants, the options for tacos and margaritas are endless.
Chef-Driven Culinary Experience
The culinary scene in Todos Santos and Los Cabos is driven by talented and creative chefs bringing unique styles and flavors to the region. Many of these chefs have worked in some of the world’s top restaurants and have chosen to make their mark in Mexico. With a focus on using locally-sourced ingredients and creating dishes that showcase the region’s flavors, these chefs are at the forefront of the culinary scene in Todos Santos and Los Cabos.
Our Guide to Culinary Treats in Todos Santos and Los Cabos
With so many excellent restaurants in Todos Santos and Los Cabos, it can take time to figure out where to start. Here are some of the restaurants that we recommend.
Surfers gather at Barracuda Cantina to refuel after riding the waves at Los Cerritos Beach, and whether you can stand up on a board or not, you should join them. The term “celebrate” refers to presenting one’s work to others. It’s best to go for lunch and remain until after sunset—the pub frequently has live music and a changing schedule of visiting breweries.
Hierbabuena, located along a dusty desert road near a mango orchard in Pescadero, is the most fantastic place to have dinner outside. Because this restaurant has its organic garden and ample picnic-style seating, you’ll find food plucked fresh from the vine in practically every dish on their rotating menu. The open-air space is excellent for dining with a large group of friends and enjoying a garden salad combined with wood-fired pies, ranging from traditional margherita pizzas to ones topped with smoked fish, capers, and jalapenos.
Taller 17 resembles a West Village cafe and has served excellent brews and pour-overs for decades. Locals of Todos Santos consider Taller 17 to make the best coffee in town. It is a modest establishment with a surprising variety of beverages and freshly baked pastries. The coffee and espresso are robust, the Mexican hot chocolate has the ideal cinnamon flavor, and the handmade kombucha is right. Also available is a range of milk alternatives, such as soy and almond milk, suitable for pastry lovers seeking breakfast or brunch.
Noah is a sushi restaurant mixes several culinary traditions with a passion for fresh, high-quality fish. Noah, a hidden favorite of local cooks in the Pescadero / Todos Santos area, serves Japanese cuisine based on the ultra-fresh seafood you’d expect to find in this region. Here you will discover all of your usual sushi favorites, and the roll menu fuses traditional Japanese sushi and sashimi with Mexican influences.
Mariscos El Compa Chava is a locally-owned restaurant that has served real Mexican food for years. El Compa Chava is a homemade roadside eatery with a dirt floor and straw roof that serves ceviche to locals and domestic tourists. Select from a range of ceviches, such as octopus, raw shrimp, and fish, and ceviches served in giant chocolate clams (a Baja specialty) or a molcajete.
The country restaurant Jazamango is in the enchanted town of Todos Santos, Baja California Sur. Chef Javier Plascencia utilizes organically grown locally sourced ingredients. If you’re seeking contemporary Mexican food in Los Cabos, the Jazamango is the place to go. Its open indoor-outdoor configuration is appealing without being pretentious, as it is situated in a low-slung modern property attached to a big vegetable garden. Simultaneously, its arid landscape and sunflower field are beautifully lovely.
The Paradero Todos Santos restaurant in the Paradero Hotel is renowned for its desert-like atmosphere and worldwide cuisine with Mexican accents. Although Paradero is officially a resort, it’s worth staying there for the restaurant’s all-outdoor setting and enticing mint and lavender garden. It is one of the most recommended eateries. The menu at Paradero consists of Mexican classics mixed with Chinese, Japanese, and Southeast Asian flavors and prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
The little coastal community of Todos Santos has a classic oyster bar with a modern twist that serves the best regional cuisine. It provides a distinctive experience centered around food, art, music, and culture and is well-known as a meeting place for local artists. Inside its historical setting, the town’s oldest sugar mill enjoys combining traditional and modern sea delicacies with a bottle of champagne. It immediately established itself as a clear representation of the spirit of Southern Baja, attracting culinary influences from both the sea and the countryside.
Dum, run by Chef Aurelien Legeay, is located in the center of Todos Santos, a town known for its charm, in a similarly beautiful palm grove (Maitres Cuisinier of France). A high-end gourmet proposition delivers one-of-a-kind and never-before-seen experiences through a tasting menu that delights even the pickiest customers at New Moon.
The community receives dairy products and produce from Agricole Cooperative. A journey to Baja is worthwhile just for the strawberries at Agricole, a farm and the hippest grocery shop with a limited assortment of prepared foods. Proprietor Lis Ibarra grows all the produce organically on a piece of land behind the store. The freshness, color, and juiciness of the berries reveal her love of agriculture.
Outside of San José del Cabo, Las Tamarindos is a farm-to-table restaurant built on a sugarcane property from the 1800s. The restaurant, housed in a stone building from 1888, serves fresh, locally produced fare. There is nothing quite like savoring a lunch while overlooking a 17-acre organic farm that provides the supplies. The restaurant’s meat and fish dishes are both mindful of seasonality and freshness; the fish is caught daily by a local fisherman and hand-selected by the chefs, while the chicken comes from the restaurant’s flock of Cornish hens. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the highest-rated restaurants in Los Cabos.
Comal serves South American-inspired food with a distinctively modern twist, complemented by breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez. The Comal restaurant in the opulent Chileno Bay Resort and Residences preserves the resort’s longstanding reputation for quality. The restaurant is consistently considered among the finest supper establishments in Los Cabos. Latin American-inspired dishes with a contemporary style are included on the menu of Comal, which maintains true to its name.
Acre is a 25-acre oasis with opulent treehouses, organic farms, private event spaces, and an award-winning restaurant and bar. Enjoy fresh seafood, healthful salads, Italian pasta, and duck dishes inspired by French cuisine at one of the best restaurants in Los Cabos. Acre, which promises a luxurious dining experience amid the Sierra de la Laguna highlands, is now a must-visit for foodies and culinary enthusiasts visiting Los Cabos.
Cocina de Autor is more than a restaurant; it is a Grand Velas concept, a sensorineural dining experience of sophisticated gastronomy guided by two Michelin-star Dutch chefs Sidney Schutte. Cocina de Autor translates to “signature cuisine,” which is often a dish representing the chef’s personality. Cocina De Autor’s reputation as one of the top restaurants in Los Cabos for inventive cuisine is cemented by the restaurant’s dramatic lighting, dazzling gold accents, and Mexican artwork, in addition to the mesmerizing ocean views.
Manta is a restaurant directed by Chef Abisai Sanchez and created by JSA Arquitectura and Enrique Olvera. Manta’s spectacular views on a private beach and elegant decor perfectly fit its menu and will deliver you the best lunch in Los Cabos. Enrique Olvera, the restaurant’s head chef, has concocted an array of unique flavor combinations, such as sweetcorn ice cream mochi.
High-end seafood restaurant El Farallon offers outdoor tables beneath a cliff for romantic dining and sea views. El Farallon at the Waldorf Astoria boasts a picture-perfect location tucked into a rocky seashore where visitors can take in orange sunsets. It’s one of the most pleasant neighborhood eateries around you to try out because the fish comes in fresh every morning, and the menu varies every day.
The popular restaurant El Tres Gallos serves traditional Mexican fare and beverages on a spacious terrace lighted by fairy lights. If you’re looking for traditional Mexican food, one of the few casual restaurants, head to Los 3 Gallos. With its surrounding vegetation, the patio is a pleasant place to have at least one dessert, such as flan, churros, or the tres leches cake made with tequila.
In the upscale bistro-gourmet Café des Artistes Los Cabos, the finest Mexican flavors are paired with sophisticated French techniques. Have a meal at one of the few top-notch eateries in Los Cabos that is unlike anything you’ve ever had. While taking in the breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez, indulge in the sumptuous cuisine Los Cabos offers.
One of the city’s most extensive wine collections may be found at the fine dining institution La Casona. La Casona at Villa La Estancia Los Cabos is an elegant restaurant with an extraordinarily romantic vibe. It boasts an excellent design, a stunning open-air setting, and an attractive interior. The quality cuts will give your evening more flavor, and one of the most incredible restaurants in downtown Los Cabos will provide you with outstanding exquisite dining.
The El Huerto Farm to Table Restaurant is in a stunning Cabo San Lucas area, surrounded by beautiful gardens, orchards, and fruit trees. Our dishes, which resemble an old Baja hacienda, are motivated by the distinctive products of Baja California, from land to sea, creating a creative menu that combines Mediterranean and Asian influences and will change and adapt to local produce growing seasons and what is currently being harvested on site.
For more than 40 years, WTF Burger Bar has offered the neighborhood’s favorite burgers. WTF Bar is regarded as one of the most incredible restaurants in Los Cabos when offering delectable meals because of its devoted patrons and tourists. Everyone adores their cuisine, and it is vegan-friendly as well!
Ready for your culinary journey?
Todos Santos and Los Cabos offer a unique culinary experience. There are many intriguing places to eat and drink in and around Cerritos’ magical neighborhoods. From farm-to-table dining to seafood restaurants, tacos and margaritas, and chef-driven concepts, there is something for every foodie in the region. Check out some of the best restaurants in the area to truly experience the local flavors and cuisine.