How to dine like a prince on a pauper’s budget
by Chris Sands
Los Cabos’ thriving dining scene offers a wealth of culinary pleasures, but one needn’t be rich to feast at many of the region’s finest restaurants. By taking advantage of value-oriented meal specials and seasonal deals and discounts, it’s possible for discerning travelers to enjoy what the best area chefs have to offer at prices that won’t strain the vacation budget.
For starters, many of the Los Cabos region’s premier dining destinations not only offer affordable pricing as a matter of course, but they also feature daily menu deals to help defray costs. The Asian fusion spot Los Barriles Restaurant & Bar (624-143-1619), for example, is home to the best breakfast special in Cabo San Lucas: a gringo-friendly eggs and bacon plate available for just about $3 U.S.
And at Alcaravea Gourmet (www.alcaraveagourmet.com), chef Enrique Diaz’s Mediterranean-style expertise is shown off to great advantage in his daily lunch special: a three-course meal with soup or salad, an entrée with pasta or veggies, plus dessert and drink—all for only $10 U.S. For a few dollars more, you can add a glass of fine wine to your prix fixe feast.
Daily drink deals are another way to save liquid assets. Once you lessen half of the food and beverage equation, the final tally becomes much easier to swallow. Fresh local seafood meccas The Shrimp Factory (624-156-3456) and Baja Cantina Beach (www.bajacantinabeachclub.com) each offer happy hour specials that will have guests grinning from ear to ear. At the former it’s two-for-one margaritas and buckets of six beers for $10 U.S. At the latter, happy hour lasts all day. So dig your toes in the golden sands of Médano Beach and pair the catch of the day with cheap ice-cold cervezas. Sister restaurant Baja Cantina Marina (www.bajacantinamarina.com) also serves up sipping savings, augmenting delicious comfort food favorites with free drinks for the fairer sex during Ladies Night every Friday.
But the best way to enjoy fine food at budget-
friendly prices is by taking advantage of the Los Cabos Magazine prepaid voucher program. Here’s how it works: Call the office for availability (624-143-1346, toll free 800-208-3924, or Vonage 619-793-4973), then stop by to purchase (or arrange for delivery of) discounted prepaid vouchers that may be redeemed at full value at participating area businesses.
If, for example, you want to take your family for dinner at Dos Mares, one of the most popular local restaurants, you can buy $200 U.S. worth of vouchers at a 50 percent discount. In other words, you’d pay only $100 U.S. for a $200 U.S. meal. It’s that simple.
Here are a few of the top deals available at press time:
35 Percent Off
Chef Brian Solomon’s specialty may be seafood, but Solomon’s Landing (www.solomonslandingcabo.com) offers an enormous selection of mouthwatering dishes including breakfast, lunch, kids, sushi, dinner, dessert, and bar bills of fare. Factor in the superb service, the scenic perch overlooking the Cabo San Lucas Marina, and of course the 35 percent savings, and you’re guaranteed one of the area’s most memorable—not to mention cost-efficient—dining experiences.
Deep discounts are also on tap at Invita Bistro (www.invitabistro.com), a charming downtown eatery that features home-style Italian cuisine—several of chef Antonello Lauri’s recipes were passed down from his grandmother—and an international selection of wines that would make any sommelier proud. Savor appetizers, antipasti, fresh focaccia, and signature entrée’s such as eggplant Parmesan, and take in a bit of local color courtesy of the expansive picture window that looks out across Cabo San Lucas’s festively lit town square.
Despite the casual atmosphere—visitors can relax on comfortable couches or snuggle up on the observation deck outside—the wine and pizza lounge at Sunset Point (www.sunsetmonalisa.com/sunset-point) absolutely drips romance. The Land’s End vistas are so spectacular that weddings and renewal of vows ceremonies are nearly as popular as pairing trios of custom mini-pizzas with premium options from the generous wine list. Want to impress that special someone? This is the place. Just make sure you arrive before the sun goes down. Sunsets here are the best show in town.
50 Percent Off
The seafood specialties at Dos Mares Marina Grill & Bar (624-143-0582) are a bargain at any price, but at half off they’re a virtual steal. The fresh local tuna dishes, in particular, are amazing. Talented young chef Juan Manuel Sánchez excels at everything, from pastas and steaks to gourmet pizzas. The chic aquarium-accented dining area is perfect for aperitifs, but you can also pick a prime spot on the deck that juts out over the Cabo San Lucas Marina. In addition to up-close looks at million-dollar yachts, dockside sights include evening crowds spilling out of the Puerto Paraiso and Luxury Avenue shopping centers. Go ahead and feel superior. With deals like these, you’re surely the savviest diner in Los Cabos.
There are a few rules for redeeming vouchers, but they’re pretty simple: 1) Let your server, or the business representative, know beforehand that you intend to pay with vouchers; 2) Sign the vouchers before paying with them; 3) Remember, tips are not included, and you cannot get cash back. For instance, if the bill is $98 U.S. and you pay with $100 U.S. in vouchers, you will not receive change. Otherwise, the vouchers work exactly the same as U.S. currency.