Your Guide to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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The Tropicana

Three decades after having opened its doors in 1985, the Tropicana remains one of Cabo’s premier places to dine in. I’d even argue it’s among the top restaurants in the entire peninsula. The Tropicana Inn Bar & Grill is situated right in the center of Cabo’s cultural district, San José del Cabo. With a location like that, it’s no wonder why their food is as authentic as the setting they’re prepared in.

The Tropicana Restaurant

The best piña colada I’ve had in a while.

The bar at the Tropicana

Reservations are not always required, but we made one just for reassurance in case they’d be busy. Upon entering for dinner, I was greeted by their friendly staff at the front of the restaurant. They showed us the way to our table and were kind enough to pull our chairs out before dropping cloth napkins onto our laps. The Tropicana boasts two floors of seating and an elegant dining room deeper in the building. There’s also a bar on the first floor near the tables.

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I ordered a piña colada; and I must say, that has got to be the best piña colada I’ve had in a while. The appetizers we ordered were the shrimp and lobster quesadillas. A note on the lobster quesadilla: You won’t find this on the menu anymore because they took it off a few years ago.


Mariachis at the Tropicana Restaurant

Revisiting an Old Dish

Since it’s not on the menu, and it’s been exactly five years since the prior time I visited the Tropicana, I asked whether the same chef still works here. Perhaps, I thought, he could prepare that same lobster quesadilla I had before (if it’s the same cook, of course). Their response was that the current chef has been working at the restaurant for over 20 years! Sure enough, they asked him if he could still do it, and back they came with the best quesadillas in all of Cabo. Since they are made of lobster, four slices cost us $35 US, about double the price of the shrimp quesadillas. Each order came with a dish of guacamole and beans served in crispy cups made of tortilla chips. Yum.

Whole Red Snapper at the Tropicana

Música Maestro

Before I get to the main course, I’d like to point out that there’s a talented mariachi band that performs while you dine. They don’t perform every day though, so we recommend you plan your dinner here when they do: Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays ‑ all at 7:30 PM. They are capable of playing your favorite Mexican classics upon request. We heard them perform various hits such as Abrazame by Julio Iglesias and Si Nos Dejan by Luis Miguel. I personally love restaurants with live entertainment, and the mariachi performers really are the icing on the cake for this restaurant. Be sure to leave tips in their tip jar.

Our Entrées

For the entrée, we had their seafood molcajete (pronounced mol-kah-het-teh) and whole red snapper. The seafood molcajete, or molcajete de mariscos, is a delicious seafood combination served hot in a bowl made of volcanic rock. Price: $600 MX pesos. It includes a lobster tail, shrimps, a fish fillet, and scallops served with roasted cactus leaves, bell peppers, white wine, and their special salsa. The seafood molcajete is good for two people. If you’d like an idea of how it looks like, refer to the picture labeled “The Tropicana” on our Cabo Dining page.

With regard to the whole red snapper, or huachinango entero, it was a good dish but I must admit the flavor lacked the kind of punch I was looking for; If you’d like a great red snapper in Cabo, try the one at Las Mariscadas. In the Tropicana, it comes served with rice and vegetables. I actually enjoyed the vegetables more than the fish, but that’s probably because I’m really picky when it comes to red snapper.


Dessert at the Tropicana

Crepes Tropicana

As we waited for the dessert to arrive, the mariachi band was still performing with no sign of stopping any time soon (a good thing). We ordered the Tropicana Crepes, or Crepes Tropicana. Price: $95 MX pesos. The crepes are among this restaurant’s treasures that differentiate it from the rest. A person came to our table to prepare it right in front of us. I’ve seen many fire shows in Cabo during my last trip, but this time it came with the dessert! The Tropicana Crepes are served with caramel sauce, citrus, Grand Marnier, vanilla ice cream, and walnuts. And it’s prepared with the help of ‑ you guessed it ‑ fire. It’s one of their unique specialties that you can’t leave Cabo without trying.


And once you’ve finished experiencing the Tropicana for yourself, taxis are always lined up in the parking lot ready to take you back to your hotel ‑ whether it’s in San José del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas. The normal fare back to the Cabo center from this restaurant is $35 US and the drive should take about 35 minutes. We were able to get back in about 27 minutes and made it to our hotel around 10:30PM.

Phone: +52 (624) 142.1580
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