When it comes to planning a visit to Mexico’s lovely beaches, travelers naturally turn to some of the country’s most well-known Caribbean and Pacific Coast destinations. Places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas are used to receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, all looking to take advantage of the country’s impeccable beach views, crystal-clear waters, fascinating tours, and thrilling water activities. However, what is truly unique to Mexico’s oceanside destinations aren’t just the views or entertainment, but the stellar local cuisine.
That’s right – Mexico has quickly become a top vacation destination for food junkies around the globe, and what better place to enjoy the country’s diverse and rich gastronomy than at one of its many coastal utopias? Access to fresh seafood, abundant spices, and a mix of cultures make Mexico’s coastal cuisine both unique and flavorful, ranging from street tacos and traditional mexican dishes, to Italitan, French, Thai, and Argentinian cuisine. Whether you look to spend only a few bucks or a few hundred – exploring local culinary expeditions always pays off.
One Baja Californian town, however, offers guests an incredible food scene among some of the region’s most calm and stunning beach views. Welcome to the town of Todos Santos, Mexico. Deemed one of Mexico’s 111 Pueblos Magicos (Magic Towns), this modest town of 5,000 residents is becoming quite the word on the street. Often referred to as the second Tulum, Todos Santos has gained fame for its smaller crowds, friendlier prices, and equally gorgeous landscapes as Mexico’s most well known beach destinations. Combined with its colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, upscale shops, and creative art galleries, Todos Santos may be modest in size, but the list exclusive experiences it has to offer guests is anything but limited – including its local flavor, or sazon.
Once a sleepy fishing village with a handful of residents and seasonal surfers, Todos Santos is now an international mecca for those looking to get away, relax, and recharge. Situated right along Pacific Coast, this oceanside town has seen a substantial increase in local excursions, including birding tours, hiking in Todos Santos, and even Sea of Cortez tours, in which guests can experience what is known as the “world’s aquarium”. However, along with the rising numbers of visitors to its shores each year, Todos Santos hasn’t only witnessed substantial growth in local activities, but in its local gastronomy scene – both in numbers of new food joints and diversity of cuisine.
Of course, when you visit any Mexican destination you surely desire to explore and eat, well, Mexican cuisine of course! As a town steeped in local Mexican culture, Todos Santos has some of the best traditional Mexican dining establishments in the region. While the best restaurants in Todos Santos range in both cuisine and price, below are a few special places to be sure to check out during your stay. One of those places – Los Adobes.
Revered as a Todos Santos staple, Los Adobes has a long history in the area and a great reputation among locals and visitors alike. With a menu rich in Mexican classics created from local, organic produce and seafood, Los Adobes exposes guests to the plethora of spice and flavor common to Mexican cuisine. Enjoy the gazpacho with mango, grilled shrimp with mango and basil salsa and chile de arbol, or the fish filet smothered in ameretto liquer. Either way, you’re tastebuds will thank you as you enjoy a fantastic meal prepared in its 100-year-old-adobe kitchen. ¡Provecho!
Other traditional spots include the town’s classic Miguel’s restaurant – a Mexican food joint that offers a menu based on favorite traditional Mexican dishes. Said to have the best chiles rellenos in Baja California and a mean margarita, this is a great starting point for those new to Mexican cuisine. For those looking to enjoy a bit of ocean-originated flavors, Carnitas Barajas is the place to be. One of Todos Santos’ most popular fish taco and carnitas stands, this modest establishment offers food that is simple, tasty, and prepared quickly. Open up until midnight almost every day of the week, locals and visitors are guaranteed a quick and delicious bite regardless of the hour. Enjoy their unbelievably fantastic fish tacos, carnitas, grilled beef tacos, stuffed potatoes and shrimp tacos.
As previously mentioned, the food scene has not only grown in the number of new dinning establishments, but in the diversity of the cuisine itself. Now home to restaurants offering guests impeccable Italinn, Thai, Argentinian, and French cuisine (to name a few), Todos Santos has become an international culinary hotspot.
Check out the pan Asian menu offered by Michael’s at the Gallery – an intimate patio dining experience centered on artistic flare and plates as pretty as they are delicious. Try the fillet with shitake cream sauce, the Vietnamese crab cakes, or scallops with a creamy Thai red curry. Only open 2 nights a week (Friday and Saturday) during the tourist season (November to June) making a reservation at this popular restaurant is a must. Trust us – it’s well worth it.
If Asian cuisine isn’t your thing, try Cafe Santa Fe – one of the city’s oldest running establishments and one of the top Italian food joints. Famous throughout Todos Santos and the entire Baja California region, Cafe Santa Fe offers amazing dishes such as carpaccio, lobster ravioli, pizzas, salads, fish and more.
Simply put, regardless of your pallet, Todos Santos offers guests an incredibly diverse food scene sure to soothe your culinary cravings. So, when asked about things to do in Todos Santos, the answer is simple – get out and experience the local food scene at its finest. Afterall, traveling is all about experiencing the new, not the familiar. With an ideal location, unforgettable views, and top-notch regional and international cuisine, Todos Santos is the perfect place to expand one’s pallet and cultural awareness.