The number and variety of restaurants in Los Barriles is multiplying every season. Today’s menus feature grilled fish and meats, traditional Mexican platos, pasta, sushi, pizza, sandwiches, soups, espresso, and, of course, mouthwatering tacos.
A favorite among locals for dinner, El Barrilito (20 de Noviembre, tel. 624/121-5856, elbarrilito [at] hotmail [dot] com, lunch and dinner daily, mains US$6–15) serves large portions of fresh seafood under a large palapa at the bend in the road heading out toward Pescadero. Ceviche is a standout. In a smaller palapa next door, the same owners have opened Kenichi Sushi & Bar (no tel., lunch and dinner daily) with à la carte dishes and all-you-can-eat specials for US$20.
More sushi can be found at Yako’s Sushi-Bar (tel. 624/141-0050, noon–7 P.M. daily, mains US$10–20) in the Hotel Palmas de Cortez, on the beach at the end of Calle Los Barriles.
If you don’t have your own fish to smoke, stop by Smokey’s Bar and Grill (20 de Noviembre at Calle Don Pepe, tel. 624/141-0294, www.bajapapas.com, 9 A.M.–6 P.M. daily) to enjoy someone else’s fresh catch. The bar has four flat-screen TVs and serves beer, sandwiches and, of course, smoked fish.
Run by the same owners as the once-famous Restaurant Balandra in Cabo San Lucas, which closed more than 30 years ago, Campestre Triny (20 de Noviembre at La Laguna, across from the East Cape Smokehouse, tel. 624/124-8067, campestre_triny [at] hotmail [dot] com, noon–10 P.M. daily, mains US$9–20) offers freshly prepared traditional Mexican fare, including specialties of huachinango frito (whole fried red snapper), paella, and imperial shrimp. High-quality ingredients and a somewhat upscale presentation are reflected in menu prices. This is also one of the few places in town that serves Negro Modelo beer. You can dine family style under a canopy of trees behind the main house or at your own table on the porch. Check out the collection of arrowheads hanging on the wall while you’re there.
Tío Pablo’s (20 de Noviembre, Los Barriles, tel. 612/142-1214, 11 A.M.–10 P.M. daily, mains US$7–20) is popular among gringos for pizzas and does orders to go. Look for the restaurant on the west side of the main north–south street through town.
An Italian chef bakes pizzas in a wood-heated oven at La Pizzeria di Don Roberto (at the south-end entrance to town on Highway 1, tel. 624/141-0303, noon–9 P.M. Tues.–Sun.), open since early 2008. Variations include the simple Margarita (US$10) and a Calzone Classico (US$17). Foodies rave about the quality of the food and level of service here. It’s an unusual find in this part of the peninsula.
The Bay View Bar & Grill (tel. 624/141-0050, toll-free U.S. tel. 877/777-8862, www.vanwormerresorts.com, 11 A.M.–10 P.M. daily) is open to the public for dinner. It offers a menu of pasta, fish, and seafood dishes prepared in an Italian style.
In a strip mall just off Mexico 1 on the access road to Los Barriles, Buzzard Bay Sports Cantina (Plaza del Pueblo 21, Calle Los Barriles, Los Barriles, no tel., lunch and dinner daily, mains US$7–15) makes burgers, sandwiches, and pub fare, with tables inside and on a small sidewalk patio that adjoins the parking lot.
Martin Verdugo’s Restaurant (20 de Noviembre, approximately one block north of Calle Los Barriles, tel. 612/141-0054, 6 A.M.–noon daily, mains US$4–7) is a third-story restaurant that serves Americanized breakfast fare. Chilaquiles arrive smothered in melted cheese but without the signature queso fresco on top. Omelets come with seasoned hash browns and a choice of toast or tortillas. Sea views and air-conditioning are the main draw. Service is friendly, though slow even by Mexican standards.
Also on 20 de Noviembre, Otra Vez (tel. 612/141-0249, 5–10 P.M. Mon.–Sat., mains US$8–20) is popular with local gringos, and the menu includes freshly prepared parrot fish, burgers, steaks, fresh salads, and pasta dishes.
Antojitos and Fast Food
During American football season, you’re likely to find a number of tourists watching the game at Taquería El Viejo (20 de Noviembre, near El Oasis Coffee and Baja Land Deals, tel. 624/141-0826, breakfast and lunch daily). The restaurant has about a dozen shaded outdoor tables where you can enjoy a breakfast of eggs, omelets, or chilaquiles for US$5–6, tacos for US$1–2, and burgers for US$5. Lunch specials vary daily (US$7–8).
Taquería Los Barriles (no tel., breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily), at the junction with the beach road, is packed all afternoon and evening for the great seafood and carne asada tacos; the breakfasts are cheap. The enormous super burros at La Palma Taquería (no tel., dinner daily) are a great value, too. Look for the sign on a surfboard just off 20 de Noviembre near Tío Pablo’s.
Across the street from El Barrilito, on the inside of the bend that turns to Pescadero, Karina’s Hamburguesas (no tel., dinner daily) serves carne asada (US$4), papas rellenas (US$5), and other quick meals from a restaurant cart.
Back on Mexico 1, heading toward La Paz, Baja Cactus (north of the Pemex, no tel.) serves good Mexican food at reasonable prices.
Oasis Coffee Bar (20 de Noviembre, past The Office, tel. 624/141-0711, daily) serves coffee for US$2 as well as hot and cold espresso drinks and smoothies for US$2–4. It shares the space with Baja Land Deals, so you can browse pictures of real estate for sale while you wait for your drink. High-speed wireless Internet service is free, and there are a few shaded tables outside.
Roadrunner Café (Plaza del Pueblo 5, no tel., 7 A.M.–4:30 P.M. Mon.–Fri., 7 A.M.–2 P.M. Sat.–Sun.) has very good coffee and espresso (US$2) and eggs any style (US$3.50–6) served at tables inside or on the patio. Free wireless Internet is a plus. Caffe Paradise (20 de Noviembre, across the street from Campestre Triny, no tel., 7:30 A.M.–3:30 P.M. Wed.–Mon.) has the best smoothies (US$3–5) in town, as well as coffee, espresso, sandwiches, burgers, and eggs.
On Calle Los Barriles, the main access road from Mexico 1, between Plaza del Pueblo and 20 de Noviembre, Supermercado Chapito’s (7:30 A.M.–10 P.M. daily) is the largest grocery store in town (or anywhere on the bay, for that matter), and it has a separate pharmacy inside. Newer Tienda Popular (7 A.M.–10 P.M. daily), west of 20 de Noviembre, about one block north of the intersection with Calle Los Barriles, has opened just up the hill from Tío Pablo’s.
Supermercado Fayla (8 A.M.–6 P.M. Mon.–Sat.), on 20 de Noviembre just past the Hotel Los Barriles, has basic food supplies as well as souvenirs, videos, and U.S. newspapers on Fridays. During the peak winter season, a bakery truck from La Paz visits town on Fridays and a fresh produce vendor comes on Saturday mornings.
Buy frozen or smoked fish or have yours prepared and vacuum-packed at the Baja Papa’s East Cape Smokehouse (20 de Noviembre at Calle Don Pepe, tel. 624/141-0294, www.bajapapas.com, 9 A.M.–6 P.M. daily). Allow 48 hours turnaround time.
For a sugar fix, head to Charlie’s Chocolates (Calle Los Barriles, across from AmeriMed, no tel.) for a box of strawberries dipped in chocolate and topped with nuts.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition