Updated for 2021 – La Paz is one of my favorite destinations in Baja California Sur. Gorgeous sunsets, beautiful beaches and a tranquil tourist area that’s easy to get around, are just a few of the reasons it’s become so popular. The city, thanks to its location right on the Sea of Cortez, has the freshest seafood and amazing fish tacos. However, it’s not just about seafood. You can find anything your heart desires at a wide variety of restaurants in La Paz – for any budget. Here’s my suggestions for where to eat in La Paz near the Malecón.
Please note: Baja Sur is once again listed as critical level or orange, in Mexico’s pandemic stoplight system because of current Covid-19 cases. This area has the highest amount of hospitalized cases since the pandemic began. There are restrictions and closures in place for many of the beaches. Restaurants and other businesses are operating at a reduced capacity. Masks are mandatory. Please reconsider travel at this time.
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Breakfast + Coffee Spots in La Paz
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’m okay with that, I just don’t want it to be an early breakfast. So when I discover brunch or breakfast all day restaurants, I’m really happy. Bonus points if they serve good coffee too. Here’s a a few of my favorite breakfast spots in La Paz.
At the top of my where to eat in La Paz list is Maria California, a charming palapa style restaurant a couple of blocks from the Malecón. Their breakfast is so good, I try to eat there every time I’m La Paz.
My first time there, I tried a dish called rajas con crema. I’ve been to Mexico a lot but this dish was new to me and I had to try it. Rajas are strips of roasted poblano peppers. After roasting the peppers are cooked with onions and then simmered in cream. It might not sound like a breakfast dish but served with beans and eggs, trust me, it’s amazing.
Coffee lovers will fall in love with the “lechero” they serve at Maria California. A lechero originated in the Mexican state of Veracruz – where they grow lots of coffee. The coffee drink is not only delicious but the way it’s prepared, is a show in itself.
First, the waiter pours black coffee into a tall glass, not a normal short coffee mug. Next, he takes really hot, steaming milk, and holds it high above the glass and pours the milk into the black coffee. When the milk hits the coffee, the heat of it and the height from which it’s poured, makes a frothy, bubbly mixture that’s the perfect coffee. Sweeten – if you like – and enjoy!
For non-coffee drinkers, don’t miss one of Maria California’s freshly prepared juices or jugos. My favorite, from their huge list, is a “salvavidas” or a – life saving – green juice. Made with celery, lime, cucumber and fresh orange juice, it’s delicious and healthy.
Lic. Benito Juárez 105, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Giulietta E Romeo Heladeria
Strolling the Malecón after dinner – or any time – with ice cream is a favorite pastime in La Paz and I’ll admit I’ve tried several shops but Giulietta E Romeo Heladeria continues to be my favorite.
Giulietta E Romeo Heladeria is a coffee and ice cream shop, that serves pastries and sandwiches. I discovered it way back when, on my very first trip to La Paz and it’s still my go-to for morning coffee, a grilled cheese or that after dinner dessert. They specialize in creamy, artisanal, small batch ice cream with interesting flavors such as matcha and coconut. My favorite is coffee though.
The restaurant is in the perfect location, near the Malecón, so it’s easy to grab your coffee and food before a tour or on your way out of the city or linger a while at the tables they have outside on the sidewalk.
GIULIETTA E ROMEO HELADERIA
Agustin Arreola 25, Centro, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Docecuarenta Casa de Cafe
The pandemic hit the restaurant industry hard. La Paz is no exception. Three of my my favorite coffee shops closed their doors in 2020. However, I’m happy to see Docecuarenta alive and kicking.
One of reasons I like them so much is they use only Mexican coffee. Makes sense right? Mexico grows coffee. You’re in Mexico so your coffee should come from Mexico. Docecuarenta works directly with farmers to get the best product to the customer. They roast their own coffee beans and they’ve developed a cold brew that’s famous all over Baja.
Just a couple of blacks from the Malecón, Docecuarenta is open all day, serving, of course, coffee but they also have pastries, sandwiches, salads, beer and cocktails. Stop by early or late. They have something for anytime of the day and they have the cutest selection of coffee related items for purchase.
Francisco I. Madero 1240, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Lunch + Dinner in La Paz
The variety of restaurants along the Malecón makes picking where to eat in La Paz a difficult task. You’ll find everything from traditional Mexican food to Southern barbeque and everything in between. Here’s some of the places I like the most.
You can’t come to La Paz and not eat at one of the oldest restaurants in town. Bismarkcito has been serving food in La Paz since 1968. The specialty is seafood – serving oysters and fresh fish prepared to your liking from the palapa bar they added a couple of years ago. My preferred catch is mahi mahi, a la plancha with ajo – grilled with garlic. The shady bar is a pleasant place to wait out the afternoon heat with margarita and some chips served with their unique salsa.
Paseo Alvaro Obregon entre Constitucion e Hidalgo, Zona Comercial, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Harker Board Co
Harker Board Co has made the best of their the prime location on the Malecón. A rooftop, perfect for watching those famous La Paz sunsets, is just one reason to stop by for dinner. The food and drink is another.
The menu is a variety of bar and pub food with delicious tacos, burgers, wings, pizza and salads. They mix incredible cocktails and have a wide selection of domestic beer and beer on tap. In addition to great views and food, Harker Board has managed to get some of the best murals in the city on their buildings.
HARKER BOARD CO
Paseo Alvaro Obregon 299, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
J + R Ribs
Can a lover of southern food from Montana and two Mexicans open a barbecue restaurant in La Paz and call it soul food with a touch of Mexican? Turns out they can. Imagine my surprise finding good barbecue in La Paz. J&R Ribs grills their ribs until they are perfectly tender, serving them with unique, savory sauces. Even the sides – macaroni and cheese and cole slaw – would make any Southern cook proud.
J +R RIBS
Calle. 5 de Mayo, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
The first time I traveled to La Paz, I stayed at Costa Baja. And while I usually prefer to stay on the Malecón, Costa Baja, approximately 15 minutes from downtown, is worth the drive out of the city center. The resort is in a gorgeous setting right on the water with a marina, golf course and several restaurants on site. Azul Marino is one of my favorites.
Azul Marino features seafood from the Sea of Cortez but they also serve delicious salads and pizza. Yes pizza. I told you that you could get anything in La Paz.
Another unique feature the restaurant offers is preparing your fresh catch. If you take advantage of La Paz’s proximity on the Sea of Cortez – and go fishing while visiting and aren’t planning on shipping your fish home, you can have it prepared and enjoy it, right on site in the restaurant.
We learned about this helpful detail after an unplanned fishing trip landed us a lot of mahi mahi. The restaurant takes your fish, cleans it and prepares it to your liking. The chef prepared ours with garlic and pasta on the side and it was the best meals we had the entire time in La Paz.
Where to Eat in La Paz
Choosing where to eat in La Paz won’t be easy. Besides my favorite restaurants, there are plenty of other places for street food and tacos, including television worthy fish tacos at Taco Fish, that recently appeared on Netflix’s Taco Chronicles series. If you are a seafood lover, don’t miss the chance to try other La Paz specialties like lobster and chocolate clams. Buen provecho!