Baja California Sur’s capital of La Paz, lives up to its name meaning peace. Although this capital city is busy with activity, it’s the perfect destination to slow down and enjoy one-of-kind sunsets and a relaxing waterfront. But what really sets La Paz apart is its culinary scene.
Its location on Sea of Cortez offers an abundance of fresh seafood and fish tacos around every corner. However, La Paz isn’t just about seafood. Like so many other Mexican cities, La Paz embraces diversity and boasts a variety of restaurants serving everything from southern barbeque to classic Italian and much more. Deciding where to eat in La Paz can be challenging so start with these suggestions.
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Where to Eat in La Paz
Not to be confused with Cabo San Lucas, La Paz is located a couple hours north of Cabo on the opposite side of the Baja Peninsula. Surrounded by gorgeous desert landscapes and the most stunning beaches, La Paz is a top destination for water activities.
In particular, it’s one of the best places in North America to swim with gentle whale sharks that come to feed in the area every October through April. Travelers from all over flock to La Paz for this amazing phenomenon.
Another one of the most popular things to do in La Paz is strolling the city’s malecón – La Paz’s 3 mile long waterfront boardwalk. The malecón is a favorite activity of tourists and locals so it’s no surprise that many of the these restaurants where to eat in La Paz can be found close to the malecón.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I just don’t want it to be super early breakfast when I’m on vacation. So, when I find breakfast all day restaurants, I go back again and again. That’s one of the many reasons Maria California is at the top of my where to eat in La Paz list.
Serving traditional breakfast and Mexican favorites like chilaquiles, my favorite dish at Maria California is rajas con crema. Rajas are strips of roasted poblano peppers simmered with onions and cream. It might not sound like what you want with breakfast but trust me, with eggs and refried beans, it’s the chef’s kiss.
And coffee lovers will fall in love with the Maria California’s “lechero”. Originating in Veracruz, a lechero is a steamy delicious coffee drink. Actually, it’s not just the actual coffee drink that makes it worth ordering but also it’s tableside preparation and showmanship.
First, instead of a coffee mug, the waiter uses a tall glass for the piping hot black coffee. Next, from high above, he pours steaming milk directly into the coffee. As soon as that milk hits the coffee, the heat of it and the height from which it’s poured, creates a frothy, bubbly mixture that makes the most perfect coffee mix. Sweeten however you like and enjoy.
For the non-coffee drinkers Maria California prepares freshly squeezed juices or jugos in Spanish. My favorite on the menu is a “salvavidas” or a – life saving – green juice. Made with celery, lime, cucumber and fresh orange juice, it’s delicious and very healthy.
Lic. Benito Juárez 105, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Giulietta E Romeo Heladeria
I found Giulietta E Romeo Heladeria on my very first trip to La Paz and I always go back to every time I’m in town. Specializing in artisanal, small batch ice cream with interesting flavors such as matcha, coconut and my favorite flavor, coffee, they also serve sandwiches, pastries and Italian coffee.
Perfectly located near the malecón, it’s easy to grab a coffee and a grilled cheese before a tour or on your way out of the city. And don’t forget the ice cream. Strolling the malecón after dinner, with ice cream is a favorite pastime in La Paz.
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 and La Paz is no exception. Three of my my favorite breakfast and lunch restaurants closed their doors in 2020. However, I’m happy to see Docecuarenta alive and kicking. The actually have locations in Todos Santos and Cabo now, too.
One of reasons I like them so much is that they brew Mexican coffee, working directly with local farmers to introduce the best products to the customer. They even roast their own beans and have developed a cold brew that’s famous all over Baja.
Just a couple of blocks from the malecón, Docecuarenta is open all day, and pretty late, serving coffee, of course, but they also have sandwiches, salads and sweets on the menu. Plus, beer and cocktails. The shop also sells the cutest coffee themed items and mugs. Enjoy the good WI-FI while you sip your beverage.
Francisco I. Madero 1240, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
A visit to La Paz isn’t complete until you eat at one of the oldest restaurants in the city. Bismarkcito has been serving food in La Paz since 1968 and specializes in fresh caught seafood, oysters and other fish dishes prepared to your liking.
My dish of choice is the mahi mahi, a la plancha con ajo, or grilled in a garlic chile sauce with a salad on the side. The menu also includes some pretty good tacos and other traditional Mexican dishes.
Their laidback palapa bar is the best place to wait out the afternoon heat with a margarita and some chips and their unique salsa. Plus they have a non-alcoholic refreshing cucumber drink ideal on a hot humid day.
Paseo Alvaro Obregon entre Constitucion e Hidalgo, Zona Comercial, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Harker Board Co
When it comes to where to eat in La Paz, another can’t miss restaurant is Harker Board Co. Located directly across the street from the malecón, they’ve taken full advantage of the view looking out at the Sea of Cortez.
The restaurant has several levels of rooftops that are a great vantage spot for watching the famous La Paz sunsets with a cocktail in hand. Sip the evening away while watching the sun go down.
Harker Board’s menu is a variety of bar and pub food including tacos, burgers, wings, pizza and even salads. They offer a wide selection of domestic beers and beer on tap, plus the tasty cocktails I mentioned.
In addition to the views and food, don’t miss Harker Board’s murals on the building. They have some of the best ones in all of La Paz.
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 – as a southerner -finding good barbecue in La Paz, Mexico. 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, instead of staying in town, I stayed at Costa Baja Resort. And while I 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, a golf course and several restaurants on site. Azul Marino is my favorite one.
Azul Marino features fresh seafood but they also serve delicious salads and wood fired pizza. Yes pizza. I told you that you could get anything in La Paz.
In fact, pizza in Mexico is one of my favorite things to look for because it’s so common to find wood fired pizzas – which in my opinion are the tastiest.
Another helpful thing Azul Marino does is they will prepare and cook your fish if you go deep sea fishing and don’t want to ship your fish home. We learned about this helpful service after an unplanned fishing trip landed us several mahi mahi.
The restaurant cleaned the fish and cooked it – to our liking – right on site at the restaurant. It was the best meals we had in La Paz and hands down one of the best ever.
Carretera a Pichilingue km 7.5, Local 41 Playa del, Palmira, 23060 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Where to Eat in La Paz Round-Up
When it comes down to choosing a restaurant in La Paz, you have plenty of choices. Besides my favorite restaurants listed here – there are plenty of other places to eat. From upscale restaurants to street tacos and even television worthy fish tacos from the famous Taco Fish, that appeared on Netflix’s Taco Chronicles series.
Also, don’t miss the chance to try regional specialties like fresh lobster – different from cold water lobster – and a exotic chocolate clams. Choosing where to eat in La Paz won’t be easy but I just know you’ll whatever you decide. Buen provecho!
See you on the road!