Buen Provecho – Top Ten La Paz Restaurants
“Don’t judge your taco by its price.”
– Hunter S. Thompson
La Paz Restaurants
Mexico is well-known for its exciting and delicious food, and some of the most diverse culinary creations can be found on the Baja Peninsula. Not only can you find all of the traditional Mexican dishes in La Paz restaurants, but the area also benefits from the bounty of the sea. However, despite strict regulations limiting what and how much can be extracted from the , this bounty is being quickly depleted. The Gulf of California – or Sea of Cortez – .
Bottom-trawling dragnets scrape the sea floor, mostly fishing for shrimp, and destroy everything in their path. Gill-nets indiscriminately catch everything, including the endangered . Illegal fishing using compressed air for hookah or snuba, and fishing at night by light, further devastate the gulf. In fact, ocean resources have been depleted to such an extent here, that some La Paz restaurants have started serving parrotfish on their menus. Other restaurants distinguish themselves by advertising that they .
Although La Paz is a great place to sample local seafood, we are scuba divers and prefer to see our fish in the sea rather than on our plates, and we encourage others to do the same. There is no shortage of excellent vegetarian options on most menus in La Paz, even if the menus focus mostly on meat or fish. Here are our ten favorite La Paz restaurants that offer tasty vegetarian fare, in no particular order.
La Parilla Norteña – Mariano Abasolo (between Sinaloa and Sonora)
This in an authentic Mexican grill popular with locals that serves the standards – gringas, vampiros, burritos, enchiladas pollo con mole, etc. The chili rellenos are excellent. You can expect prompt and friendly service, large portions and great value in this clean restaurant with nice décor and air conditioning. Cheap jugs of “horchata” – a delicious beverage made from almonds, sesame seeds and rice milk are available. It offers a selection of 70 peso “comida del dia” until 4pm.
Esquina del Chef – Indepencia and 18 de Marzo (one block behind the bus station)
This popular spot with locals is often full. It offers huge portions including sandwiches for breakfast. The 3 course “comida del dia” for 70 pesos with bottomless beverage refills is the only option for lunch. It closes at 5pm, so is not open for dinner.
Deli’s – Mutulaismo between 16 de Septiembre and Augustin Arriloa
Along the plaza across from the big La Paz sign on the malecón are several small restaurants offering cheap “comida del dia”. Deli’s has a shaded patio with good service and decent portions. It’s convenient place to stop for lunch when exploring the La Paz’s museums, galleries and churches.
Pizza and Pasta
Mozzarella – Alvaro Obregon (Malecón) and Constitución
This new restaurant has rooftop and street-side patios overlooking the malecón with great views over the water and for people-watching. Here you’ll find friendly and attentive service, and a selection of wood-fired oven pizzas including several vegetarian options. Expect to pay 250 pesos for a pizza for two and a couple of cervezas.
Tiramisu – Guillermo Prieto between 5 de Febrero and Cuauhtemoc
This little hole-in-the-wall is a one-man show. It has one street-side table and a few bar stools next to the kitchen in a converted garage. For 100 pesos, you get fresh bread with a selection of homemade oils and vinegars, an entrée (generally pasta dumplings or noodles with a choice of sauces), side salad, beverage and, of course, tiramisu for dessert. Appetizers are also available. It is open Monday to Saturday from 1:00 to 10:30pm during from October to May. There is no beer or wine available, but you can BYO.
Harker Board Co. – Alvaro Obregon (Malecón) and Constitución
Right across Constitución from Mozzarella, Harker Board Co. offers paddleboard sales, rentals and lessons. It also has a rooftop patio with sweeping views over the bay. Pizzas here rival Mozzarella, but a prices are slightly higher. Drinks aren’t served with plastic straws unless you ask for one – which you shouldn’t.
Organic and Vegetarian
Nomada Organics and Gourmet – Francisco I Madero and Constitución
This small organic market carries in-season vegetables, eggs, yogurt, and an assortment of gluten-free items and grains. It makes vegetarian food to order and has a selection of local handicrafts and artwork for sale. It is conveniently located across the street from the Tuesday and Saturday Organic Street Market. There are two tables inside (which is air-conditioned) and three tables shaded by trees on the sidewalk.
Capuchino – Melchor Ocampo and Nicolas Bravo (one block up from Malecón)
This restaurant has laidback ambiance and service and several vegetarian and vegan options. Breakfast for 50 pesos are tasty but the portions aren’t that big – the refills of strong coffee make up for the portion sizes. Capuchino hosts Cineclub movie nights on Mondays.
Restaurante Gran Sueño – Gran Sueño Beach Resort (end of Highway 286)
This makes for a fantastic day trip, about an hour drive from La Paz. There is a small guard shack on the right just past the highway cattle grate and where the pavement ends. Tell the guard you are eating at the restaurant and he will let you pass. The food here is excellent, the portions are very generous, and the service is attentive and friendly, and the whole experience is a great value. Cool off in the pool and play pinball and video games upstairs beside the huge model train railway. Bahia de los Muertos has spectacular snorkeling along and around the reefs that flank the beautiful beach at the Gran Sueño Resort – especially at the south end.
Michoacana Helado – Alvaro Obregon and 16 de Septiembre
No visit to the La Paz Malecón is complete without enjoying some ice cream while watching local families stroll along the waterfront. Located right across from the main gazebo plaza on the malecón, it’s a great way to relax and cool off after a hot and tiring day seeing the sights La Paz has to offer.
This list is nowhere near exhaustive when it comes to good La Paz restaurants, but they are some of the better ones we have visited with good vegetarian options. There are also several upscale eateries that charge the same prices you would pay at fine dining restaurants back home. However, these ones offer great value and opportunities to interact with La Paz locals. Buen provecho!