For some reason, there are some really good Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas.
Best Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas
If you’re cravin’ pasta in this Mexican resort destination (or some other Italian dish), the following three trattorias hit the mark.
Every time we visit Cabo, which has become almost like our second home, we make sure to pop into at least one of these for a tummy-filling meal:
1. La Dolce
You could order the healthy fresh catch of the day (maybe lightly seared tuna) served with steamed veggies. But then you’d miss the home-made pastas. And that would be a shame. Because the pastas at La Dolce are sinfully yummy.
Maybe go for the tortellini? Stuffed with your choice of beef or spinach and cheese, it comes nestled in a rich cream sauce of bacon, porcini mushrooms, garlic, sundried tomatoes, sage, rosemary and parmesan cheese.
Or try one of the thin-crust pizzas baked in their wood-burning brick oven – perhaps the chicken, pinenut, mushroom and arugula creation?
Bowls of freshly grated parmesan on the tables attest to the trattoria’s authenticity.
Owner Stefano Miotto, who hails from Treviso, Italy, opened this Cabo location in 2001 after the success of his La Dolce Vita in Puerto Vallarta. He’s very hands-on, and is often seen greeting diners and checking up on meals.
Website: La Dolce
Tip: This Italian restaurant is a feel-good place, popular with large parties (can be noisy), so make sure you have a reservation.
Location: Ave. Hidalgo
2. Doc Wine Bar
When we first walked into Doc Wine Bar several years ago, the blackboard read: “No martini, no pina colada, no margaritas, we are a wine bar.”
Now the blackboard displays the daily house-made pastas, but the message from before still rings true here. This is a place with over 100 labels of Italian and Mexican wines available for your sipping pleasure.
And its Italian food is quite delectable too.
Proprietor Pietro Gioco worked extensively in his native Italy before opening Doc Wine Bar in 2009. He’s now joined by Chef Apolinar Gomez, who’s the culinary genius in the kitchen.
They run this cool, classy little wine bar-cum-eatery with just the right amount of Italianissimo verve – candles, a big wine fridge, old Italian posters and a handful of wooden tables and chairs scattered about two small, air-conditioned rooms with burgundy walls, arched windows and concrete floors.
Outside, a narrow sidewalk patio overlooks Cabo’s central plaza.
The food is all fresh (no frozen or pre-made items), and the pastas (between $10 and $20 USD) and even the mozzarella are made in-house.
Mussels are a specialty. They’re offered three ways on the menu. Order them in a creamy gorgonzola and rosemary sauce, and you’ll be in shellfish heaven! (Don’t forget to sop up the remaining sauce with the home-made bread.)
Another must-try is the fresh catch of the day (yellowtail, if in season) in a red wine sauce – light and melt-in-your-mouth tender.
For pasta, the spicy penne pepperoni with garlic and red pepper is cooked to al dente perfection. And the DOC pasta, if you can handle the spice (it’s made with habanero and pork belly), is a delicious, fiery and unusual take on pasta carbonara.
And what about la dolce vita? We’ve tried the tiramisu – light and lovely. We also hear the parmesan cheese crème brulee with a berry compote is amazing. At the end of your meal, you’ll likely be served a glass of cold limoncello – a nice way to finish off the evening.
Website: Doc Wine Bar
Tip: Doc Wine Bar is a great place to sample some really good Mexican wine from the wine-growing region around Ensenada. The food is also more inventive than at La Dolce (above) and Salvatore’s (below).
Location: Across from Plaza Amelia Wilkes
There’s a reason Salvatores is so popular – gigantic servings of good Italian food. (It used to be cheap too, but we noticed a price increase on our most recent December, 2016 visit.)
Salvatore’s is known for its fall-off-the-bone Osso Bucco and Italian sausage-and-spinach lasagne.
But you should start with the “Italian Torta” appetizer. Layers of seasoned cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and roasted garlic snuggle up to mixed greens, antipasti and crostini (sinfully delicious!).
Just go hungry. Portions are huge – big enough for three people to share.
(Of course, you can take your leftovers with you, and if you’re staying in a condo-style unit like one at the Pueblo Bonito resorts, any food you can’t eat makes for a nice reheated lunch or dinner the next day.)
The best tables are outside by the little pool on the ground floor. Overhanging terracotta roofs, potted palms and cherubic statues are very atmospheric. Upstairs is okay, but not really where you want to be (though it’s sometimes quieter upstairs and may be easier to talk).
Service can be on the slow side, especially if you’re with a large group. And you might have to wait a bit, even if you have a reservation (and reservations are essential if you have a hope of squeezing in).
This place is lively, noisy and fun. Most people leave stuffed and happy. And it’s consistently recommended by hotel concierges as one of the best Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas.
Tip: If you bring your own bottle of wine, the corkage fee is $15.
Location: In the Siesta Suites hotel on Calle Emiliano Zapata, between Guerrero and Hidalgo
Note: We first wrote about these three best Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas on “Sand In My Suitcase” back in October, 2013. After our most recent December, 2016 visit to Cabo – where we again slurped pasta and drank Italian wine at our fave Italian dining haunts – we updated the information here. So now this is a fresh, shiny and (almost) brand new post.