Todos Santos was once a sleepy fishing village with a handful of residents and seasonal surfers. It’s now an international mecca for the bohemian set looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy good food, good weather and good times. That good food is getting better every year, and here are our ten current favorite places for where to eat in Todos Santos.
Tucked behind the Todos Santos Gallery, an intimate patio dinner awaits at Michael’s at the Gallery. With a flare for the artistic, the plates are as pretty as they are tasty. Michael’s pan Asian menu is succinct and simple, but not ordinary or forgettable. Try the filet with shitake cream sauce, the Vietnamese crab cakes, or scallops with a creamy Thai red curry. They are only open 2 nights a week (Friday and Saturday) during the tourist season (November to June) and are very popular, so making a reservation is a must. Don’t worry about the scant hours, they don’t rush customers through dinner just to turn over tables.
Cafe Santa Fe gets rave reviews as one of the city’s oldest running establishments and one of the top places for Italian – not just in the city but throughout the Baja peninsula. Carpaccio, lobster ravioli, pizzas, salads, fish and more feature on the menu with Italian owner/chef Enzo behind the line and his partner Paula out front assuring quality service. The restaurant is housed in a beautifully restored 1850s building in downtown Todos Santos and is a complete dining experience.
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Los Adobes is a Todos Santos staple, with a long history in the area and a great reputation from locals and visitors alike. Their menu focuses on Mexican classics created from local, organic produce and seafood. A few unusual items stand out, like the gazpacho with mango, grilled shrimp with mango and basil salsa and chile de arbol and the fish filet smothered in ameretto liquer. They have a lovely setting with tables out under the trees behind their 100-year-old-adobe kitchen.
Inside the new and oh-so-chic Hotel San Cristobal, Benno is a combination of all things Baja – Mediterranean, Mexican and an international touch. They focus on farm-to-table dining, sourcing as much as they can from locals and in season foods (think the freshest seafood and locally grow strawberries and onions). Their wines focus on sustainability and biodynamics, with options from Mexico and other parts of the globe. Benno also has a list of killer cocktails and a great beachside location.
A farm-to-table experience in a stunning setting, with a backdrop of the Sierra Laguna mountains and the ambiance of the Rancho Pescadero organic gardens. This restaurant focuses on what’s in season and fresh, with Mexican influence but an international appeal. Part of the barefoot luxury of the Beachside Pescadero Hotel and Resort, you will find the Garden restaurant both relaxing and delicious.
With lots of salads and garden-inspired main dishes, this is a great place for vegetarians in Todos Santos. The restaurant itself is set among the leaves and flowers, assuring diners their meals come straight from the dirt – talk about a low carbon footprint! Try the roasted beet salad with pumpkin seeds or the roasted carrot and local ricotta cheese raviolis and don’t forget a piece of banana cheesecake for dessert. Just remember they are closed all of September.
Owners Magda Valpiani and Angelo Dal Bon selectively chose ingredients – both local and what they import directly from Italy – to create elegant flavor combinations on the plate. Pasta is made in house and the care with which meals are prepared shines through in their presentation. Real authentic recipes like spinach raviolis in spinach soup, and eggplant stuffed with creamy burrata cheese bring anyone eating in Tre Galline a taste of the old country. This restaurant is definitely one of Todos Santos gastronomic superstars.
Carnitas Barajas is one of Todos Santos’ most popular fish taco and carnitas stands. The food is simple, tasty, prepared quickly and with a smile. This stand is up late (until about 12 every night) and its menu consists of fish tacos, carnitas, grilled beef tacos, stuffed potatoes and shrimp tacos. They’ve been making locals happy since 1995 and have a good reputation for being a clean, delicious spot.
Another Todos Santos classic, Miguel’s has a menu that includes all of your favorite traditional Mexican dishes. They are said to have the best chiles rellenos in Baja and they make a mean margarita. Affordable and laid-back, this restaurant has been a longstanding favorite for locals and visitors.
Always a favorite for breakfast, this quirky little spot in downtown Todos Santos is now owned by the same folks who own Tre Galline. There are several great eating areas depending on how much privacy you want and lots of local art on the walls. They have a hefty menu of salads, soups and sandwiches, including bagels. They also serve Mexican classics with a twist – flautas in coconut milk with a hint of curry – and now have some Italian-inspired dishes on the menu thanks to their new owners. Oh, and the coffee and muffins are great!