Great Food, Great Chefs, Great Atmosphere and Beautiful Garden Settings: An Insider’s Guide to the Restaurants of Todos Santos

By Todos Santos Eco Adventures

For a town of just a few thousand people Todos Santos boasts a remarkable assembly of chefs and cooks from throughout Mexico and the world who have been inspired by the town to stay and make their contributions to Baja cuisine. The result is an incredible selection of restaurants that range from funky roadside taco carts to elegant garden dining rooms, serving everything from traditional Mexican fare to exotic Asian cuisine. No matter your tastes or budget, the Todos Santos restaurant community has something to tempt your taste buds and please your palate.

This guide is divided into 7 categories, with restaurants presented in alphabetical order within each category. The sample menus shown with each restaurant are literally just a snapshot from our last visit; menu options and prices may naturally evolve over time.

Presented here:

Category One – Great Food, Great Chefs, Great Atmosphere 

Category Two – Wonderful Food in a Beautiful Garden Setting

© Copyright Sergio and Bryan Jauregui, Casa Payaso S de RL de CV, 2014

Check our blog for our other categories including: Killer Local Joints and Taco Stands; Charming Cafes with Great Breakfasts and More; Fun Spots with Live Music/Live Theater/Live TV; Healthy Fare, Pizza and Burgers.


Category One: Great Food, Great Chefs, Great Atmosphere

Café Santa Fe 

  • Overview: The Café Santa Fe is consistently hailed as one of the best restaurants in Baja and truly, every meal there is wonderful. The secret seems to be the dynamic teaming of fabulously fresh Baja ingredients, Chef Ezio Colombo’s Italian sensibilities, and co-owner Paula Colombo’s New York savvy. Lovely atmosphere with both inside and garden dining. The Café Santa Fe was created by Ezio and Paula in 1990.
  • To Die For: Tuna carpaccio, lobster ravioli, caprese salad with buffalo mozarella
  • Service. Wonderful. Most of the staff has been working there since they were teenagers and take great pride in the restaurant and in their work. English spoken.
  • Rating: Fabulous! It’s one of our favorite spots for celebrations, and we always recommend it to our guests.
  • Hours: Open 12:00 to 9:00 PM, every day but Tuesday. Closed September 1-October 31, 2014.
  • Contact: Tel: 612-145-0340  Location: No. 47 on Journal del Pacifico Map
  • Cafe Santa Fe Menu

 La Casita Tapas and Bar

  • Overview. Mazatlan native Chef Sergio Rivera gave up a career as executive chef on the yachts of the rich and famous to establish La Casita in Todos Santos in 2011 – and now we all get to dine like wealthy yacht owners!  Chef Sergio started out serving tapas (little Spanish-style dishes) but quickly moved into entrees that feature the wonderful ingredients of Baja and his native Sinaloa. Sergio’s seafood dishes are spectacular and he now has a sushi chef who prepares a beautiful line of sushi entrees. He’s branching out into a wider variety of meats and always features fresh organic produce from local farms. Very relaxed, very charming atmosphere.

    Chef Sergio of La Casita

  • To Die For: Ahi Tuna Tartar Tower, Coconut Shrimp, Pork Ribs. Just ask him to feed you if you can’t make a decision!
  • Service: Sergio and his darling Aury are almost always on hand to greet guests and their wait staff is very helpful and attentive.
  • Rating: Incredible! We include a meal at La Casita in almost every Todos Santos Eco Adventures week that we offer and we often have our own family and corporate celebrations here.
  • Hours: 12:00 to 10:00 PM every day but Monday. Sunday hours 4-10 PM.
  • Contact: Tel: 612-145-0192  Location: No. 115 on Journal del Pacifico Map
  • La Casita Tapas & Wine Bar Menu

Michael’s at the Gallery

  • Overview: Todos Santos artist and sculptor Michael Cope puts on his chef hat each weekend and what a fantastic treat for the town it is! He specializes in Asian-fusion cuisine, with some recipes coming from the family of his Japanese-American wife Pat. Everything that Michael prepares is indescribably delicious, and he cooks it up with love and flair in the open air kitchen where guests can observe. Dinner is served in the lovely sculpture garden, with numerous firepits around to keep off any chill night air. Michael’s is only open on Fridays and Saturdays and reservations are strongly suggested as the restaurant is very popular with the local community. Michael’s has  been open since 2006.

    Erick and Michael of           Michael’s at the Gallery

  • To Die For: Vietnamese Crab Cakes, Seared Tuna with Wasabi/Butter, and Filet Mignon with Shiitake Cream Sauce. And everything else on the menu. Seriously.
  • Service: Michael’s wife Pat and his fellow artist Erick Ochoa take excellent care of all the guests, and Michael comes out to greet people and chat as much as his cooking demands allow. It’s a lovely experience.
  • Rating: Fantabulous! We include a farewell dinner at Michael’s at the Gallery with many of our Todos Santos Eco Adventures gtrips, and often go there ourselves for meals with friends and family celebrations.
  • Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 6-9 PM. Closed during some months in the summer.
  • Contact: Tel: 612-145-0500  
  • Michael’s at the Gallery Menu

Santo Vino Eclectic Bistro and Wine Bar

  • Overview: Santo Vino is Hotel California Executive Chef Dany Lamote’s love letter to Baja. Chef Dany, a Congo-raised Belgian chef who came to Baja via Canada, is a long-time proponent of the slow food movement and prepares truly inspired and delicious Mexican dishes featuring the wonderful produce of Baja. Meals are best enjoyed when you ask him to pair each course with his terrific selection of Baja wines, tequilas and beers. Santo Vino dining is not just a gift to the palate but a feast for the eyes as well, with each dish beautifully presented. Housed in the same building as the Hotel California but in a completely separate space, the atmosphere of Santo Vino is warm and charming. Chef Dany is the author of The Hotel California Tequila Cookbook and also has his own line of flavoured sea salts.

    Chef Dany of SantoVino

  • To Die For: Avocado Tequila Milkshake, whatever Dany recommends. Menu changes regularly so just chat with Chef Dany about what he suggests during your stay. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Service: Very attentive, knowledgeable and helpful.
  • Rating: Magnifico! We include a meal at Santo Vino in many of our Todos Santos Eco Adventures trips and go there regularly for meals.
  • Hours: 7 days a week, 5-10 PM. Closed June 15-October 31, 2014.
  • Contact: Tel: 612-145-0792  Location: No. 63 on Journal del Pacifico Map
  • Santo Vino Menu

Tre Galline at Caffe Todos Santos

  • Overview: Italian Chef Angelo Dalbon and his wife Magda opened Tre Galline in 2003 and have been serving favorites from the old country to travelers seeking an alternative to Mexican fare ever since. They bought Caffe Todos Santos in 2012 and have now consolidated the two restaurants into the Caffe Todos Santos space, serving the Tre Galline menu at dinner. The place has a wonderful atmosphere with both indoor and garden dining. A nice wine list makes it all the more enjoyable.
  • To Die For: Spinach Ravioli with Cheese and Butter Sauce, Mediterranean-Style Fish
  • Service: Angelo and Magda make a special point of making every visitor feel welcome and well looked after.
  • Rating: Favoloso! We don’t get to Tre Galline as often as we’d like, but thoroughly enjoy it when we do.
  • Hours: 12:00 – 10:00 PM daily except Sunday
  • Contact: Tel: 612-145-0274  Location: No. 30 on Journal del Pacifico Map
  • Tres Galline Menu

Category Two: Wonderful Food in a Beautiful Garden Setting

El Gusto! at Posada La Poza

  • Overview: El Gusto! is definitely one of the most elegant dining venues in Todos Santos. The restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, essentially placing diners in the spectacular gardens that the owners created from scratch a decade ago. Beyond the garden you see the beautiful freshwater lagoon and its attendant bird life, as well as the ocean. Truly lovely. There is also a wonderful roof-top bar overlooking the lagoon that is perfect for a sunset margarita (great margaritas!). Swiss owner Juerg Wiesendanger mans the kitchen with Mexican and German sous chefs, producing a delightful “Swissmex” cuisine that combines the Italian, French and German sensibilities of Swiss cooking, with the ingredients and culinary concepts of Mexico.  A very pleasing result for all!
  • What Will Make You Happy: Shrimp Al Gusto, Arrachera Steak, Zuri Geschnetzeltes (a pork favorite from the old country)
  • Rating: Lovely!
  • Hours: 11:30 AM – 9 PM daily. Closed Thursdays. Reservations only.
  • Contact: Tel: 612-145-0400  Location: No. 156 on Journal del Pacifico Map
  • El Gusto Menu

El Mirador

  • Overview: Absolutely spectacular views so always best to plan your visit with time to enjoy the sunset. There is a very limited dinner menu each evening, but the food is generally quite good. There is frequently live music.
  • Overview: Absolutely spectacular views so always best to plan your visit with time to enjoy the sunset. There is a very limited dinner menu each evening, but the food is generally quite good. There is frequently live music.
  • Hours: Daily 3:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Contact: Tel: 612-175-0800

Landi’s  Restaurant 

  • Overview: Owner/cook Landi Ortega serves up truly delectable home-style Mexican cuisine in the laidback but beautifully elegant restaurant just off the town square. There are lovely views out over the palm oasis and if you time it right you can catch a sunset on the horizon. Landi’s father, Benito Ortega, is a famous local sculptor and some of his wonderful work is on display at the restaurant. Landi’s is a quick walk from the Sky Deck at the Guaycura Hotel, a lovely place to have a drink before or after dinner.
  • What Will Make You Happy: Ensalada de Nopales, Cochinita Pibil, Ataxcon, Chicken with Mole
  • Service: Friendly and efficient.
  • Rating: Delicious! We include a meal at Landi’s in most of our Todos Santos Eco Adventures weeks and often recommend it to our guests.
  • Hours: 9 AM – 9 PM daily. Closed Sundays. 
  • Contact: Tel: 612-176-1275  
  • Landi’s Menu

Los Adobes

  • Overview: Los Adobes serves high Mexican cuisine in a lovely desert garden setting.

    Los Adobes Restaurant

  • What Will Make You Happy: Chiles en Nogada
  • Service: Friendly and efficient.
  • Rating: Very nice dining experience.
  • Hours: 11 AM – 9 PM daily. Closed Sundays.
  • Contact: Tel: 612-145-0203  Location: No. 43 on Journal del Pacifico Map
  • Los Adobes Menu

© Copyright Sergio and Bryan Jauregui, Casa Payaso S de RL de CV, 2014

The Saints of Todos Santos: La Casita Chef Sergio Rivera

by Todos Santos Eco Adventures

You may have noticed a certain remarkable phenomenon that occurs when you take visitors to dine at La Casita Tapas and Wine Bar in Todos Santos: Chef Sergio comes over to greet you; he politely inquires where your guests are from; then, seemingly no matter what place your guests claim as home, Chef Sergio tells them how much he enjoyed his time in their city. And in more cases then not, he’ll tell them about the time he lived in their city, describing neighborhoods, restaurants and, claro, girls he dated.  We’ve heard this happen with visitors from all points of the compass in the USA: from Phoenix, AZ to St. Paul, MN; from New York, NY to San Francisco, CA. Never fails! But how could such a thing be? How could a poor boy from Mazatlan have visited – let alone lived in – so many places on and around the American continent? Surely it must be some sort of charming restauranteur’s parlor trick? Some sort of travel magazine savant’s tomfoolery?

Turns out it’s no trick at all. “The boats I worked on got progressively larger. I started off on an 87-footer, then moved to a 95-footer, a 106-footer and finally a 180-foot yacht. That thing had a $40,000 stove. When I finished the contract they gave me a week on St. Martin, a week in Panama, a week in the Dominican Republic and a week in Mexico City. Very nice people.”

And that’s just the last four years before he moved to Todos Santos. Sergio Antonio Rivera Velazquez has been cooking up one side of the Americas, down the other and at points in between for years. And like many a Todos Santeño before him, the drive to ride the waves was behind his choice of careers. “My main goal when I was in high school was to be a doctor. But then I did the entrance exam for medical school, and let’s just say that the results indicated that I was far better suited to traveling and surfing than practicing medicine.  And the only industry I had skills in that would let me do that was the restaurant business.”

So in 1990 the 20-year old left his home in Mazatlan and headed to Cabo where he landed a job at the Hotel Cabo San Lucas – the kind of place where guests arrived in their private jets. He’d surf El Tule each morning then go to work each afternoon. Nice joint, but couldn’t stick around long. He returned to Mazatlan where he met an American family from Bend, Oregon. He took them up on their invitation to come visit for a while. A year and many great memories later, they finally decided to drive him back down to Mazatlan – stopping in Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and many other points of interest along the way. Once back in Mazatlan he promptly met a girl in a restaurant and moved with her to St. Paul, Minnesota where he worked, naturally enough, in an Irish pub. A year and many great memories later, the Bend, Oregon family decided to move to Cabo so Sergio joined them. He surfed in the morning and worked in the evening at a restaurant called the Giggling Marlin. A year and many great memories later he returned to Mazatlan where he met a girl – but stayed in Mazatlan anyway.

The years in New York left Sergio a die hard   Yankees fan

Now when Sergio was a kid growing up in Mazatlan his mother ran a small restaurant on the weekends and he had always enjoyed helping around the kitchen and entertaining the customers.  So when he returned to Mazatlan in 1996 he’d literally spent a lifetime working in and around restaurants, but he’d never actually learned to cook. He decided that needed to change. He was working in a restaurant called Jungle Juice, and asked the owner/chef to teach him to cook on the job – for no pay. It was an offer the owner couldn’t refuse and Sergio was put in charge of the outdoor barbeque. His skills improved so dramatically that before long an entrepreneur visiting from New York invited him to move to the U.S. to design, build and manage a Mexican restaurant. So at the age of 27 Sergio moved to Suffern, NY and Olé! was born. He ran the kitchen for 6 years and loved the work, but he missed the spirituality of being close to the ocean. So when friends from Santa Cruz, CA invited him out, he bid good-bye to New York and moved to California, where he surfed in the morning and worked in the evening at the Paradise Beach Bar and Grill. Stints in Arizona, Iowa, Mazatlan and New York (again) followed until 2004 when a friend started introducing him to the 1%, many of whom – you won’t be surprised to learn – own remarkable yachts. A four-year career as the private chef on some incredible boats ensued, with Sergio running the kitchen on boats such as the Flying Dutchman, the Adventure More, the Illegal and the Boardwalk, all while exploring ports of call throughout Mexico, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Aruba, Curacao, the Dominican Republic… a much broader education than medical school could ever have provided!

Sergio and Aury with Baby on the Way

In 2008 Sergio was vacationing in La Paz when he met a woman named Kim Gianotti-Keltto who had a dream of opening a restaurant in Todos Santos. Todos Santos – a surfer’s paradise, a food lover’s haven. In short, heaven for a surfin’ chef like Sergio.  Sergio and Kim pooled their resources and on November 23, 2010 La Casita Tapas and Wine Bar opened and began serving up the fabulous food for which it has won a truly devoted following. In fact, almost every Todos Santos Eco Adventures adventure week includes a meal at La Casita. And seemingly no matter where our guests are from, Chef Sergio has spent some time in their town…

When Sergio leased the building for La Casita everyone told him that the place was cursed and that he no doubt would be too.  If this is what being cursed looks like then Sergio is ready for more.  He bought Kim’s share of the business when she decided to return to the States, so at the age of 42 the peripatetic boy from Mazatlan finds himself the owner of a thriving business, stepfather to a beautiful 4-year old girl, and father to a son to be born in October. “I’m living such a happy life here, and can’t imagine a better place to be. The tranquility, the weather, the spirituality of Todos Santos. I am so thankful to the community of Todos Santos for showing such great support and loyalty to us. It really is heaven here.” Another little slice of magic in our pueblo magico.

© Copyright Sergio and Bryan Jauregui, Casa Payaso S de RL de CV, 2012