Food. As self-professed foodies, I admit that often our breakfast conversation centers around what to have for dinner that night. And, as much as I love to cook, eating out in Mexico is always a joy. $1 street tacos and amazingly fresh seafood are always at the top of our list. One thing we don’t love so much about Los Barriles is the lack of the less expensive options. Keep in mind~ this is coming from full-time RV’ers living on a limited budget. For anyone on holiday here you’ll think you’re getting a grand bargain anytime you venture out. And so, although inexpensive by US standards, many of the restaurants here are above what we prefer to spend on our budget so it does color our reviews. But hey, our blog, our opinion right?!
Having said that, we couldn’t NOT take advantage of all of the local goodness so we made a point of eating out once or twice a week, and at a different restaurant each time to try as many as we can during our time here. Somehow, in three months in town, we still didn’t manage to come close to trying all available options. What can I say, there are a LOT of restaurants in Los Barriles.
Without further ado~ here is what we did try.
1.Los Barriles Grill~
This restaurant scored rave reviews from others around camp but I’m sad to say on the first go-round we found it just okay. We ordered fish tacos and while the fish was perfectly cooked it was not well seasoned. Chips & Salsa were fine. Beer cold. Overall just a so-so experience. At $19USD for so-so food didn’t put it high on our list however fellow campers declare we must give it another try. We did, in fact, go back and ordered the seafood pasta and somewhat retracted our option. The final verdict? Our first go was a dismal failure but their seafood pasta is the bomb!
El Viejo has been drawing in crowds for years with some good, basic Mexican food and THE best condiment bar in town. Their fish tacos are fantastic and this time we tried out their chilaquiles for breakfast as well. Excellent. On average it is easy to spend under $12-15USD/couple here.
This corner parking lot “restaurant” opened last year and we thoroughly enjoyed that visit. This time around although we were the first order taken we never received our food until Jim went up to ask about it. Turns out they lost the ticket. They then rushed us our plates and the burger and super burro were tasty if delayed. Still a pretty good deal at $9 for two and a fun experience. Having said that, we never ended up going back. What began as a unique pop-up restaurant turned into a gringo-fest we just didn’t love. But they do offer some tasty eats at good prices. We somehow neglected during that loooong wait to get any pictures so here is a sample hot dog pic;)
We loved this little restaurant just down the street from the camp. The papas Relleno al pastor and super burro pollo were both delicious and with two beers the ticket came to $12. And hey, you can’t beat a three-minute walk from camp and friendly staff and this became our favorite go-to spot.
5.Smokey’s Grill & Cantina ~
Smokey’s is…well, it’s Smokey’s. It’s good, but expensive, with Baja Brewing beer on tap. It has burgers, great nachos, and butt stingerz (yes, this is a thing) and is great for watching a football game and having a taste of home. It is not inexpensive, with prices rivaling our local pubs at home, but in general, it’s always a good time. They are well-known for their “events” and we ended up here New Year’s Eve with some camp friends to drink beer and dance a bit to the live bands. The special menu was very limited and not special in any way but filled the belly. Superbowl Sunday worked out much better with a larger menu, smaller crowd, and a big $$ win! Never our first choice for dinner, it is nonetheless always on our agenda at least once or twice during a visit to town.
Our go-to smoothie stop twice a week after yoga. We never did try their food but their smoothies were delicious and a perfect pick me up at $2.50/each.
We stopped at this adorable little coffee shop often. The coffee that was brewed there was absolutely the best in town for me. Upon enquiry, I understood that those guys use the same coffee machine that I once saw here. While the cappuccino’s are well priced he gets me every time with his freshly baked bagels! Two cappuccino’s and a couple of breakfast bagels would run us $11 and the service was often lacking but we still couldn’t stay away.
8.Beans & Rice~
The newest option in town, Beans & Rice opened the end of December. Very friendly staff and a cute restaurant, they start everyone off with a complimentary bowl off their delicious ranch beans, a good start. We had papa relleno al pastor for Jim and a super burro pollo for me and with two beers each it came to $18. The food was fine but nothing to rave about. Camp friends did tell us their enchiladas verde were great so next time through we’ll give them another go.
9.Loncheria Mar y Tierra~
Just on the main drag right across from East Cape RV, this little restaurant is a good lunch stop. The first time I went I asked the staff the name of the restaurant and was told there was no name. Apparently, they decided one was in order because later we noted there is now a sign up:). A lunch of two torta’s and an aqua hibiscus ran only $5 and was delicious.
Very popular for it’s Open Mic night, La Fogata has been around awhile. The food is decent but a bit spendy. One order of ceviche with a shared super burro and 3 beers set us back $21. However, their various events are always fun.
11.La Playa Restaurant & Bar~
La Playa is easily our favorite setting for a restaurant in town. Beachfront, this open-air establishment offers stunning views along with good food. Their pizza is excellent and at 195MX a screaming deal and their chicken alfredo is fantastic… although we consider it way overpriced at 220MX (around $13). Having said that, it’s a great spot for breakfast, Monday salsa night, or any number of live music events. This was our spot for Valentine’s Day dinner and dancing with friends.
Delicious breakfast spot. All of the comforts of home such as biscuits and gravy along with fresh smoothies and juice. An average breakfast for two is nearing $20 but every so often a touch of home is in the cards.
13.Ciao Beppe’s (formerly Joe’s Pizzeria)~
We have ordered pizza delivery from Joe’s for a couple of years now but were shocked at the price this time around. A large pizza came in at nearly $20… that is US prices! It was a tasty pizza but perhaps with their new location and name, it’s a bit out of our league. As much as we love a good pizza delivery, we only splurged the one time and I didn’t photograph the pie, so here is a random pizza shot:)
This new juice bar in town offers up the cold-pressed juice as well as delicious smoothies. Located across the street from the bank it isn’t a location we spent a lot of time near but after our weekly hike up the hill behind town it was a welcome stop to refuel. Their menu always said 95MX per smoothie and yet we were always charged 80MX so a weekly total of around $8USD.
Oh, meat heaven! Mr. Manolo’s is new to town this year and located on highway 1 rather than “in town” and they focus on all things smoked such as brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and ribs. On a tip from a fellow camper, we ignored the meal platter and went right for the sandwiches… a pulled pork for me and a brisket for Jim. BYOB as Jim had run across the street to get us a couple of beers each, the perfect compliment to smoked meat goodness. For a mere 190MX ($9.75 US) we had more than we could finish and both options were delicious.
16. No Name breakfast at Verdugo’s
We must have camped here a couple of times before we even realized there was a breakfast restaurant on-site. With no name and no sign, Verdugo’s does nothing to promote this spot and yet it seems most people know of it. After a 6-mile hike one morning we drug ourselves back to camp too tired to make breakfast so bellied up to the bar an ordered orange juice and breakfast burritos. The pricing on the menu was in USD so I cringed at $20 for breakfast but when questioned for the peso price I was quoted 208MX… which is a little over $10US. Not one to complain about a lower price, I happily forked over that amount and dug into a delicious potato/sausage/ egg and cheese burrito with a view. After that first stop, we managed to have breakfast here a few more times enjoying good food and an ocean view. Win. Win.
17.Hot Dogs Ricos“ across from Banorte
Sadly, there aren’t as many hot dog stands in LB as we’d like. This addition, however, makes a mean hot dog especiale loaded with ground pork, tomatoes, onions, mayo, and cheese. A couple of dogs and aqua hibiscus and we were happy campers for $8USD
18. Loncheria El Paso~
Right next to the taco stand is the long-standing Loncheria El Paso. We finally stopped in for tacos on our final day in town and are kicking ourselves for not visiting earlier and often. The tacos al Pescado were some of the best fish tacos we’ve had in Baja with a nice little condiment tray. Freshly fried up and crispy, we will be back for these and the price tag of 123MX (around $6) for 4 tacos, a mineral water, and a coke is hard to top.
19. El Pirata~
Another restaurant we waited far too long to try. We kept meaning to get here. We heard stories of the amazing food, but also of the plating~ reputed to be the best in town. This little hole-in-the-wall restaurant was much talked about but it took a farewell dinner with some of our besties to experience it for ourselves. WOW. Every plate was amazing AND gorgeously plated as promised. We will absolutely make it a frequent stop next time we’re in town. The prices were not bad as well with my Imperial Shrimp, Jim’s chille relleno, a few beers and happy bellies later our bill was around $18.
When it came to trying every restaurant in town we admit to total failure. We broke our own rules and ended up at several multiple times but in the end this only means we’ll have to come back and try some more!