3 of the best Italian Restaurants in Cabo San Lucas

In FOOD & WINE, MEXICO by Janice and George5 Comments

best italian restaurants in cabo san lucas

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.

best Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas - La Dolce

Mussels, pasta and wine – photo La Dolce

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.

best italian restaurants in cabo san lucas - la dolce

There are streetside tables at La Dolce

Tomato and mozzarella salad - photo La Dolce

Tomato and mozzarella salad – photo La Dolce

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.

best italian restaurants in cabo san lucas

Some of the wines on display at Doc Wine Bar

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.

The food is a treat - credit Doc Wine Bar

photo Doc Wine Bar

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.

best italian restaurants in cabo san lucas

Inside takes you back to Italy

best italian restaurants in cabo san lucas

It feels quite Italian inside! photo Doc Wine Bar

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.)

Love this mussel dish! credit Doc Wine Bar

Love this mussel dish! credit Doc Wine Bar

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.

A plate full of pasta - credit Doc Wine Bar

A plate full of pasta – photo Doc Wine Bar

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

3.  Salvatore’s

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.)

best italian restaurants in cabo san lucas - salvatore's

Someone once described th lasagne portions as “big as a head” – photo Salvatore’s

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!).

best italian restaurants in cabo san lucas

The Italian torta is a great way to start off – photo Salvatore’s

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).

Poolside seating at Salvatore's - credit Siesta Suites

Poolside seating at Salvatore’s – photo Siesta Suites

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.

best Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas - Salvatore's

The entrance to Salvatore’s

Website:  Salvatore’s

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.


So there you have it – three of the best Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas. Have you been to any of these? Do you have a favorite?

Janice and George Signature

Comments

  1. I’ve never been to Cabo – only made it as far as La Paz but I think I’d enjoy it for the food alone. I’ll pass this along to my neighbours who have just finished building a house down there.

    1. Author

      If your neighbours spend a lot of time in Cabo (which it sounds like they do), they may already know about Salvatore’s – it’s VERY popular. But Doc Wine Bar seems to be less well-known. Anyway, you’re going to have to get yourself to Cabo (maybe stay at your neighbours’ newly built house!) – you’re sure to like Los Cabos :-).

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