In this section, best doesn't necessarily mean most luxurious. Although some of the restaurants listed here are fancy affairs, others are simple places to get fine, authentic Mexican cuisine.
- Mi Cocina (San José del Cabo): Is it the creative menu, the captivating garden setting, or the hibiscus-infused martinis? Whatever the reason, Mi Cocina, at Casa Natalia, is one of the best dining experiences in Los Cabos.
- Café Santa Fe (Todos Santos): Excellent northern Italian cuisine prepared in the exhibition kitchen of this gracious cafe has drawn people to Todos Santos over the past decade. Enjoying lunch here in the flower-filled courtyard is a particularly wonderful way to pass an afternoon.
- Ristorante Tre Galline (Todos Santos; tel. 612/145-0274): The most authentic Northern Italian country cooking anywhere will have you seeing stars. Handmade everything from pasta to bresaola and cheeses imported from Italy are as old-world as it comes.
- Napoli Pizzeria (Pescadero): This ordinary-looking roadside taco shack isn't a taco shack at all — it's a wood-oven pizzeria, serving Baja's best crispy, Italian-style pizza.
- La Picazón (Loreto): Between the cacti and the sea at the end of a half-hour of dirt-road driving is this beachside gem, Loreto's favorite place to watch the sun go down over a plate of fresh-caught fish. Bring your boat and make a day of it.
- Mision 19 (Tijuana): One of the most important and exciting restaurants in Mexico is just a stone's throw from the border, taking advantage of markets and growers from San Diego to the Valle de Guadalupe for its inventive locavore menus and top-notch cocktails.
- Manzanilla (Ensenada): Arguably the leader of the Baja Med culinary revolution, bad-boy chef Benito Molina breaks the rules every day. His flagship is one of Mexico's very best, where local meets creative meets out of this world.
- Laja (Valle de Guadalupe): This lovely adobe-and-stone sustainable gourmet restaurant has become a reason in and of itself to visit Mexico's wine country. A daily fixed menu of four to eight courses draws daily crowds, and consistently wins accolades.