Los Barriles Restaurant Bar
Cosmopolitan Cabo San Lucas has become a melting pot in the very best way: Flavors from around the world have combined to create all types of fusion food, from Pacific Rim to Japanese-Mexican and more. Francisco Zuniga’s Los Barriles offers a vast selection of Mexican, Asian, and innovative fusion dishes. The menu also includes an impressive selection of traditional Mexican dishes, as well as pasta, chicken, seafood, and steaks. Try the hot pot Thai seafood soup with shrimp, scallops, and calamari prepared in coconut milk and a ginger lemongrass broth. The house specialty is a Korean barbecue prepared for two people; it features shrimp, scallops, filet mignon, lobster, and chicken served with an assortment of sauces, grilled veggies, and salads for $46 U.S. Many entrées are prepared at your table; those include the catch of the day, which might be sea bass, tuna, or red snapper. Lobster and shrimp are featured in a variety of ways; you can choose the style of xpreparation and sauce. Live music is performed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings starting at 6:30 p.m. Miguel Hidalgo, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-1619. Daily 7 a.m.–11 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ S.A.B.
A walk down the Marina Golden Zone on the Cabo San Lucas Marina on any early morning will bring you to Los Deseos (“The Desires”), where your wishes for a hearty breakfast will be granted. Start your morning off right with eggs any way you like them, juice, fruit, or a truly Mexican dish such as pork chicharrón with cactus, El Campesino (steak and eggs), or the early bird for two consisting of a large crepe stuffed with eggs, ham, cheese, bacon, and mushrooms. Come lunch or dinner, you can try one of the flavored margaritas such as jalapeño (go on, I dare you to try it; you’ll love it!) and any of the authentic Mexican dishes on the new menu. The organic chipotle mushrooms are a good start served hot in an Italian sauce just perfect for stuffing in a house-made tortilla. Follow it with La Malinche, a dish that, according to legend, was cooked for Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés; chicken breast is stuffed with squash blossoms and cuitlacoche, a delicacy with a smoky sweet flavor that’s a cross between corn and mushroom. Popular Mexican dishes are available as are steaks, fish, and seafood such as traditional Rosarito Beach lobster served with beans, flour tortillas, and guajillo chile sauce. Finish it all off with Mexican ice cream with peanuts covered with caramel sauce or coconut flan (a secret house recipe). Marina Golden Zone, Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-6011, www.marinagoldenzone.com. Daily 7 a.m.–11 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ S.A.B.
The big, bold flavors of Brazil have arrived in Los Cabos, and that is a very, very good thing. Madeira Bistro, a deliciously frill-free Brazilian steak house in downtown Cabo San Lucas, treats guests to $25 U.S. all-you-can-eat dinners that begin with garlicky bread, whipped mashed potatoes, rice, purple cabbage slaw, and chicken wings. Bonhomous servers stroll from table to table, offering up generous servings of rodízio-style top sirloin, rib eyes, barbecued ribs, chorizo sausage, lamb, turkey breast with bacon, arrachera, and New York steak—all cut from impressive-looking skewers. Save room for the sweet and crispy fried banana dessert. Even sweeter news: Madeira participates in the Los Cabos Magazine Prepaid Voucher Program, which is often available for 50 percent off. That means the decadent all-you-can-eat dinner is but $12.50 U.S. Intersection of Calle Vicente Guerrero and Francisco I. Madero (a half block from Cabo Wabo), Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-0273. Nightly 4 p.m.–11 p.m. MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$ A.A.
There are few things more disappointing than arriving in paradise only to realize there’s no place in town to view your alma mater’s biggest game of the year or that all-important Game 7. Fear not, sports fans. Mango Cantina—part of the esteemed Mango Group that also includes Arre Mango and Mango Deck—broadcasts the NHL, NFL, MLB, UFC, NASCAR, NBA, and boxing throughout the week. Watch them on one of 17 HD screens or the supersized 180-inch TV while enjoying selections from an all-star menu of Mexican favorites and pub standards or taking advantage of Mango Cantina’s all-day two-for-one beer specials. Start with Knock Out raw shrimp or a Nascar Salad, sample Heisman Tacos, Touchdown and Super Bowl burgers, and Yankees Chicken, or dig into a collection of combo platters that allow you to mix and match comfort food favorites like Angus flank steak, barbecue baby back ribs, chicken breast, shrimp, and fish filets. The Hole in One lobster is also a popular choice, served with butter, baked potato, and vegetables. Sweet meal cappers include a selection of cakes, ice creams, and homemade brownies. The restaurant was recently awarded the prestigious Distintivo M, a sought-after government certification identifying model, modern businesses with consistently superior quality control. Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-3012, www.mangocantina.com. Mon–Fri. 8 a.m.–11 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 8 a.m.–midnight. AmEx, MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ C.S.
Spring break, Fourth of July, Halloween, or New Year’s: Whatever the holiday or time of year, Mango Deck is the place to be on Médano Beach, the most swimmable stretch of sand in Cabo San Lucas. Beachgoers descend on the now-iconic restaurant, bar, and beach club for its robust menu—there’s fresh seafood and sushi, traditional Mexican dishes and grilled specialties—and fun lineup of risqué party games. Lupe’s Mesquite Grill churns out incredible creations like the delicious barbecued baby back ribs, which are made with Lupe’s secret sauce. I love to come here for breakfast. Stop in for the all-you-can-eat brunch on weekends, or drop in daily for hearty fare like steak and eggs and the renowned Mexican hangover cure: chilaquiles. To learn more about Mango Deck’s appeal with Los Cabos locals, check out “How to Eat Like a Local” on page 56. Médano Beach, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 144-4919, www.mangodeckcabo.com. Daily 8 a.m.–11 p.m. AmEx, MasterCard, and Visa accepted. $–$$$ C.S.
María Corona’s mole recipes date back to the 1900s and the collection of the owner’s grandmother, so you know you are experiencing authentic Mexican fare. One of a variety of soups might be the way to start: Try black bean or poblano cream. Another delicious starter is the sautéed mushroom caps with chile guajillo and garlic butter. Then opt for the catch of the day papillote-style (in this case, wrapped in foil) with citrus juice, butter, and white wine or whole red snapper grilled or deep fried. Don Juan’s Favorite is a filet mignon served with panela cheese, grilled onions, and charro beans. End with flan with mango and strawberry sauce. The restaurant recently introduced family-style Mexican meals such as “build your own tacos” with a selection of fillings in the center of the table. If you want to learn how to prepare Mexican food, sign up for cooking classes where you join two well-known chefs mid-morning in the open white-tiled kitchen. After assembling the menu for that day’s class, enjoy what you’ve cooked for lunch paired with Mexican wine. Choose either the romantic courtyard or the charming air-conditioned dining room. There is ample free parking adjacent to restaurant. Live Mexican band with a contemporary touch Monday through Saturday. 16 de Septiembre (between Morelos and Leona Vicario), Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-1111, www.mariacoronarestaurant.com. Daily noon–11 p.m. MasterCard, Visa and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ S.A.B.
The picture-perfect Mi Casa restaurant—with locations in Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo—has earned a devoted following among locals and return Los Cabos visitors by serving up a winning combination of charm, tradition, and kitchen wizardry. Flowers and lemon trees provide a fragrant backdrop as guests enjoy the ceviche costeño campechano appetizer, which comes loaded with scallops, shrimp, and octopus in this zesty tomato-lime cocktail. Here, the chile en nogada is teeming not only with flavor but also with tradition. A huge poblano pepper is stuffed with meats, seeds, and dried fruit, then topped with a creamy sauce and garnished with pomegranate. To complete the experience, order some homemade mango ice cream infused with tequila. Cabo San Lucas: Avenida Cabo San Lucas S/N, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-8245. San José del Cabo: Alvaro Obregon 19, San José del Cabo,(624)146-9263, www.micasarestaurant.com.mx. Mon.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m.; Sun. 5:30 p.m.–10:30.p.m. MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$ W.A.
Nick-San Cabo San Lucas
The original Nick-San is located in downtown Cabo San Lucas. Since opening in 1994, a lot has changed in terms of the space and décor. Here, you can enjoy a great Japanese lunch or dinner in a more family-friendly, relaxed ambience. Young people gravitate to this location because of its proximity to downtown Cabo’s bars and nightclubs, which are within a short walking distance. We began our dinner by sitting at the sushi bar—you should try this at least once—and chef Edgar “Eddie” Carbajal attended to us right away. We didn’t even have to look at the menu, since he offered to prepare us a dinner designed around our favorite flavors. We started with the famous tuna tostada, a tasty rice tostada with fresh tuna, avocado, red onions, and a bit of spice. Later, we continued with a Salmon Yuzu sashimi, which is made with thin fresh salmon slices that are filled with crab and avocado and served on a yuzu sauce. It was to die for. As we continued our night, we tasted many other dishes. Among them were the Gorgonzola Shrimp, house-made gyozas, a lobster roll, and many other dishes that were suggested by the manager, Jorge “George” Carbajal. These were accompanied by Nick-San’s very own sauvignon blanc, which is produced in the Guadalupe Valley. To end the night, we had a surprise for dessert: The Propina Roll, as the chef calls this roll just for fun, is a tasteful avocado and eel roll. Ask for it on your next visit, and you will not be disappointed. Boulevard Marina L10–L2, Plaza de la Danza, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-2491, www.nicksan.com. Daily 11:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m. (One hour free parking available at adjacent Wyndham resort.) Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$$
Nick-San Palmilla & Nick-San Garden
You’ll find Nick-San Palmilla at the Shoppes at Palmilla, which is located on the Tourist Corridor in San José del Cabo. The recently remodeled location makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere—but with an excellent view of the Palmilla Bay and moonscapes. Compared to the original Cabo San Lucas location, Nick-San Palmilla has a terrace and a garden bar. Enjoy a long and relaxing lunch or dinner, with the advantage of having the same menu and specialties you could expect in Cabo San Lucas but in a more romantic and intimate scenario. That transitions nicely into a chic, casual, and cool soirée, with signature drinks and music at Nick-San Garden Lounge. This is the first champagne bar in Los Cabos; which reopens in November (5 p.m. till midnight). Here you can always enjoy great drinks created especially for you and made from sake and champagne. Its owners also propose you celebrate your especial events (birthdays, weddings, reunions with family or friends) in this beautiful place where you can enjoy the great signature dishes of Nick-San as well as the garden. We started our dinner with a champagne cocktail and then we let ourselves get seduced once again by the chef’s recommendations. We sampled a variety of signature sashimis and futame age as appetizers; these pair perfectly with Nick-San’s house white wine. Then we continued with Saiko Yaki (white seabass glassed with saikyo miso) with Nick-San’s red wine, which is a great Bordeaux that is easy to drink and pair with many of the dishes. We’d suggest the ones we had that night: the Gorgonzola shrimp, crispy lobster tempura, Beef Filet Serranito, a tasty green tea pasta with shrimp and curry, grilled gresh salmon with smoked flavor white rice and truffle oil. During our visit, we chose to skip dessert and instead indulge in Nick-San’s aged tequila. Since Nick-San has its own tequila brand, we figured we’d give it a shot. We were pleasantly surprised to find a well-balanced bouquet. Área privativa Ap-15, Shoppes at Palmilla, San José del Cabo, Phone (624) 144-6264, www.nicksan.com. Daily 12:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$$