By Ashley Alvarado, Wendy Atkinson, Sandra A. Berry, Fátima Martínez, David Mendoza Romero, Cynthia Merkley, Fernando Rodriguez, and Chris Sands
Diners enter through a lovely vine and flower garlanded facade and into Alcaravea Gourmet’s charming, intimate dining area with surreal paintings, a wood-beamed ceiling, bistro tables bearing freshly cut flowers, and the sort of Parisian-style bar that makes you want to drink exotic-sounding French aperitifs. Chef-owner Enrique Diaz specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, and his menu complements the evocative European atmosphere. The French-influenced Champiñones a la Provenzal starter (mushrooms stuffed with dried tomatoes, Parmesan, olives, artichoke hearts, and a touch of béchamel sauce) is an excellent way to begin a meal. All entrées, which include several pastas and Italian specialties, come with salad and pasta courses, so enjoy your Caprese and carbonara before feasting on the fresh catch of the day “a la Siciliana” in a lemon sauce with tapenade, shallots, and roasted eggplant or the Filete Mignon a la Marzala, topped with mushroom and marsala sauce. In addition to its dinner delights, Alcaravea Gourmet offers one of the best lunch specials in Los Cabos: soup or salad, an entrée accompanied by pasta or veggies, plus dessert and drink, all for $10 U.S. The specials menu changes daily and is available from noon until 4:30 p.m. Avenida 16 de Septiembre and Ignacio Zaragoza, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-3730, www.alcaraveagourmet.com. Mon.–Sat. noon–11 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ C.S.
Los Cabos has a reputation: This is a good-time destination, and Grupo Mango has played a key role in developing that notoriety with its popular trio of Cabo San Lucas hotspots. The restaurant and beach club Mango Deck on Médano Beach keeps the spring break vibe alive all year, and its surprisingly sophisticated menu has earned legions of fans—local and foreign—all its own. The sports bar and restaurant Mango Cantina showcases practically every sport imaginable, and its perch on the Cabo San Lucas Marina is ideal for people watching as guests dine on sports-themed burgers, traditional Mexican, and other pub favorites. Relative newcomer Arre Mango has found its niche as a karaoke bar, restaurant, and nightclub. You don’t want to miss the nightly promotions, which include three-for-one deals on domestic beers Tuesdays and two-for-one hamburgers every Thursday. Then, on Fridays, you can celebrate the rich tradition of Mexican mariachi music and legends like Vicente Fernández. Come any night to belt out one of the thousands of available song options in English or Spanish. Valet parking available. Boulevard Lázaro Cárdenas, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 144-4300, www.arremango.com. Sun. 8 p.m.–3 a.m., Tues.–Thurs. 8 p.m.–3 a.m., Fri.–Sat. 8 p.m.–5 a.m. AmEx, MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $–$$ A.A
Baja Cantina Beach
Perennial Cabo San Lucas favorite Baja Cantina Beach daily demonstrates a versatility unmatched by any other Los Cabos restaurant. By day, guests can enjoy beach club services while they soak up the sun on Médano Beach—the most swimmable stretch of sand in town—and nosh on burgers, sushi, pizza, or traditional Mexican seafood like ceviche. Come nightfall, the space transforms into one of the area’s most romantic scenes. Opt for the Baja Cantina Beach “canoa,” a canoe filled with ice and topped with selections from the sea (lobster, shrimp, fish, and scallops) as well as the finest in meat cuts for the chef to prepare to order. Baja Cantina has recreated a culinary tradition that started centuries ago by bringing the freshest ingredients to you. The swing bar is a fun spot—day or night. There are potent cocktails, all your favorite beers, and plenty of happy hour specials. Every Wednesday night, Baja Cantina Beach invites peole to join them for a Fiesta Mexicana, featuring performances of traditional music and dances as well as fireworks over the Sea of Cortés. The location is so lovely that it isn’t any wonder Baja Cantina Beach is becoming an increasingly popular wedding venue. Médano Beach, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-1111, www.bajacantinabeachclub.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 8 a.m.–11 p.m. MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ A.A.
Baja Cantina Marina
Corporate chef Manuel Arredondo and chef Yacer Soriano have debuted a new vegetarian menu at Baja Cantina Marina that will thrill vegans and even non-vegans. Various natural juices have been added to the breakfast menu, including papaya and honey, red beet, and the chef’s special green juice with spinach. Breakfast options include tofu tacos served with avocado, crispy portobello tacos, and whole wheat blueberry pancakes. For lunch and dinner, the menu dances with garden vegetables with items such as kabobs made with zucchini and mushrooms and grilled polenta medallions topped with cherry tomato compote. My favorite on this list is the spinach-and-mushroom enchiladas made with fresh spinach, then topped with Monterey Jack cheese and served with rice and black beans. Don’t miss the fresh, house-made pasta, the poblano pepper stuffed with squash blossoms and fresh cheese, or the artichoke-and-spinach quesadillas. The new menu is a great addition to Baja Cantina favorites like coconut shrimp, ceviche served in a coconut shell, salads, Mexican specialties, steak, fish, clam chowder in a bread bowl, burgers, pizza and, of course, the restaurant’s famous desserts. Live music nightly except Sunday, when a DJ takes over. Friday night is Ladies Night when ladies drink free from 9:30 pm to 11:30 p.m. Watch all major sporting events on flat-screen TVs and people watch as folks stroll along the malecón and first-class yachts bob in the water. Cabo San Lucas Marina, behind the Wyndham Cabo San Lucas Resort, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-9772, www.bajacantinamarina.com. Daily 7 a.m.–midnight. AmEx, MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ S.A.B.
Baja Lobster Co.
There’s no mystery about the specialty of the house at this elegant seaside eatery, located in the Marina Golden Zone near Luxury Avenue. Top billing goes to the king of seafood—“Lobster” is its middle name, after all—which is served in a wide variety of delicious dishes. Start with a hearty bowl of lobster bisque; lobster salad served with arugula, lettuce, and yellow pepper, and drizzled with an aromatic cilantro dressing; or an order of lobster tacos cooked with tomato and basil, then artfully presented in a banana leaf. Then tuck in your bib and ready your cracker and long, tiny tined fork for more lobster—prepared grilled, steamed, or garlic—and served in signature styles like traditional lobster Thermidor (a fin-de-siècle favorite of several legendary French chefs) and Lobster San Lucas, an original recipe executed to perfection by on-site chef Eliseo A. Arbez. Lukewarm on lobster? Fear not. There are several excellent entrée alternatives, including a lovely lemon chicken marinated in lemon, honey, and parsley as well as a prime cut of filet mignon topped with mushroom sauce. Wine pairing options are available by the glass or bottle, with many selections from premium producers in Napa Valley and Baja’s wine country, Valle de Guadalupe. Baja Lobster Co. is part of the Marina Fiesta all-inclusive dining family, but an à la carte menu featuring all of the above items is available for walk-in guests. Marina Golden Zone, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-6011, www.goldenzonecabo.com. Daily 11 a.m.–11 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$ C.S.
Cabo Wabo Cantina
This is not just a rock ’n’ roll bar! The local icon serves a delightful meal worthy of any upscale restaurant in Los Cabos. Although small in size—there are only 44 seats on the upper level dining terrace and 74 seats on the patio, compared with the up-to-700-person capacity in the nightclub—the restaurant offers outstanding dishes for lunch and dinner. Start with the world-famous signature Caborita, rock legend Sammy Hagar’s take on a margarita, or the I Can’t Drive 55, which was named for one of his songs and made with a blend of five fruit beverages and five white liquors. Then dig into the menu, beginning with the vampiros: grilled corn tortillas topped with refried black beans, Oaxaca cheese, and grilled beef fillet bits. For lunch, you cannot go wrong with the tortilla soup, probably the best on the planet. Still hungry? Opt for the cilantro shrimp (grilled jumbo shrimp glazed with cilantro honey) or the chipotle rib-eye. For a delicious dessert, choose from a chocolate-and-caramel tart, lemon tart with fresh fruit, bread pudding, and crème brûlée. Snack options include nachos, cheeseburgers, and great buffalo chicken wings served with blue cheese dressing. Kids can enjoy fish or chicken fingers and fries. Yes, families are welcome in the dining room; in fact, it’s a great spot for children’s birthday parties. Vincente Guerro and Lázaro Cárdenas, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-1188, www.cabowabocantina.com. Restaurant: Daily 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Patio bar: Daily 8 a.m.–1 a.m. Club: Nightly 8 p.m.–1 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. $$–$$$ S.A.B.
Captain Tony’s Bar & Grill
Going fishing? Stop by Captain Tony’s on the Cabo San Lucas Marina as early as 6 a.m. to pick up a box lunch for your day on the water. Have a cup of java and a light breakfast before your trip, then bring your fish back and let the chef cook up your catch for only $7 U.S. per person. (Captain Tony’s is owned by the award-winning Pisces Sportfishing Group.) The open-air restaurant is located next to the “World’s Largest Marlin” statue on the marina, so you can’t miss the hubbub of activity with its misters and ceiling fans keeping patrons comfortable while imbibing on libations like fruit margaritas and a long list of appetizers that includes sashimi, shrimp cocktails, and chicken wings. This is one of the most popular places for pizzas—there are more than 15 choices baked in a wood-fired oven—but also a great stop for favorites such as tacos, lasagna, spaghetti, deli sandwiches, soups, and salads. Molcajetes made with chicken, beef, shrimp, or mixed are favorites, too. Ask for the daily special, which includes soup or salad, a main course, dessert, and a glass of wine or beer. Hosting a party? Order a tray of appetizers (it also offers catering services). Park in the lot next to the cultural center. Cabo San Lucas Marina, between Wyndham Cabo San Lucas Resort and Cabo Dolphins swim center, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-6797. Daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m. MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ S.A.B.
Leave behind urban dissonance and enter this place of tranquility to enjoy an authentic Japanese dining experience. At Daikoku, you will find natural elements the owners have used to create a beautiful Japanese garden; there’s a wooden garden bridge over a fish pond topped with lily pads as well as a moving water wheel with the soothing whoosh of water amid bamboo. Partake of your creative lunch or dinner either alfresco in this lovely ambience or choose the air-conditioned dining area where you will walk over a Zen garden created three feet below the glass-bottom floor. A square-shaped sushi bar offers 60 choices, while the dinner menu is filled with all manner of delectable items from the Land of the Rising Sun. From noon till 6 p.m. on weekdays, enjoy a lunch box: a beautiful lacquered lunch box that might include tempura, fried baby squid, dumplings, or noodles accompanied with a bowl of soup and fried rice. Japanese-born chef Taka’s dinner menu becomes available at 6 p.m. Myriad soups, salads, fried rice, noodles, beef, chicken, seafood, and fresh fish await the hungry palate. Try the tempura of shrimp, squid, fish, or veggies—or a mixture of all. Other items include baby squid filled with crab pâté and red chile pepper, as well as thick and thin slices of sashimi. There is a full bar, plus a wine cellar with a variety of international wines, plus Japanese beers and a selection of sake, including sparkling. No dinner is complete without a sweet ending: Try tempura ice cream or the Japanese version of flan. Plaza Nautica, Blvd. Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-4038, www.daikoku.com.mx. Daily noon–11:30 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted. $$–$$$ S.A.B.
De Cortez Mesquite Grill
This quintessential beachfront restaurant is about as close as you can get to the sea without getting wet. Diners can enjoy a spectacular view from either the terrace or the enclosed
dining room. With its casually elegant ambience, the restaurant provides creative dishes that take diners on a culinary escapade. Our enchanted evening of food and wine tasting started with sea bass ceviche and avocado with an emulsion of chipotle paired with a Casa Madero chardonnay, followed by cream of clam soup and Casa del Bosque sauvignon blanc. Entrée selections included ribs of lamb served with eggplant and asparagus puree in port wine sauce and braised beef short ribs served with truffled mashed potatoes and a pasilla chile sauce, both dishes paired with Fussione cabernet merlot, duck breast, New York steak, or the catch of the day. Vegetarians will enjoy a risotto with red beets that pairs nicely with Anakena pinot noir. When requested, headwaiter and sommelier Adolfo Vidaca attentively pairs the dishes with a nice selection of wines from California, Chile, and Northern Baja. He also conducts weekly wine tastings Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Dessert offerings include a terrine of apples baked nine hours and served with brown sugar cream as well as a dark chocolate dome drizzled with hot chocolate sauce. Live music nightly. Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, km 10, Tourist Corridor, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-8000, ext. 4087, www.decortezrestaurant.com. Nightly 5 p.m.–10:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $$–$$$$ S.A.B.