Everyone told me, if you come to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, you have to go to Maro’s Shrimp House for the lobster, steak, and famous Bulldog drink. At first glance, the restaurant seemed like an overpriced tourist trap. But with great reviews on both TripAdvisor and Yelp, I decided to ignore my preconceptions and see what the fuss was all about.
If you are looking for more information about Cabo San Lucas, I highly recommend you pick up a guidebook such as Moon Los Cabos: With La Paz & Todos Santos
Maro’s Shrimp House is a hole in the wall seafood restaurant. From the outside, the restaurant looked like a shack. There is no other way to put it, but this isn’t always a bad thing.
The open air interior was quite unique to say the least. On each side of the restaurant were bright yellow walls decorated with Sharpie markings from past guests along with photos of important patrons. Hanging from the ceiling was an assortment of college sports banners, many with the same markings. The tables and interior of the restaurant were clean, but being open air, they had a problem with flies.
Also printed on the bright walls were the names of the those holding the record for drinking the most Bulldog drinks. Maro’s is famous for their Bulldog cocktail, which is a mixture of Clamato (spicy tomato juice), tequila, beer, lemon Juice, Tabasco, and Worcester sauce. When a Bulldog was ordered, the server would do a special “naughty” dance at the table. Everyone seemed to laugh and enjoy it, but your kids might want to look away. I passed on the Bulldog, but I heard they were great.
The environment was lively and fun. The restaurant was casual and loud with people having a great time drinking and eating. Mexican music playing in the background, employees singing happy birthday, mariachis groups on the guitar, and that Bulldog dance. Touristy, but fun if you know what to expect. This was not the place to come for a romantic and quiet date. You come here for a cold beer and cheap seafood.
Even though Maro’s Shrimp House catered to tourists, the place still felt like it was hidden and off beaten path. With that said, Maro’s is always busy so reservations, at least for dinner, are highly recommended.
The menu at Maro’s Shrimp House was pretty basic. You had your appetizers, combinations of seafood and steak, a few specials, and some generic Mexican dishes.
Almost everyone ordered one the combinations of either steak, lobster, and seafood (lobster, shrimp, and fish). Just take a look at the bright yellow “daily specials” sign out front of the restaurant. Everything you want to order was on that sign. Just pick what you like and you won’t be disappointed.
For an appetizer, I decided to go with the Tortilla Soup ($6.95).
Packed inside the small bowl were big chunks of fresh avocados, a generous amount of shredded white cheese, and strips of tortillas.
My first bite of the deep brown broth was lighter than I was expecting. It tasted watery and less rich than you would expect with a tortilla soup. Luckily, as I made my way towards the bottom of the bowl, the broth seemed to thicken up more to my liking.
Another thing that caught my attention were the flavors of the broth. The broth tasted sweet and sour instead of salty and savory. On the menu, the tortilla soup was described as being Tarasco style. Was this what Tarasco style meant? Luckily, the gooey white cheese and tortilla chips added a much needed salty flavor to the soup.
The chips, which were crispy on the outside and slightly soft on the inside, added a crunchy texture to each bite.
Lobster, Steak, and Shrimp
The choice was simple for me: Lobster, Steak, and Shrimp ($16.95). Where else can you get all of this food for less than $20?
First to arrive was the large New York steak. Even before cutting into the steak, I knew it was overdone. The presentation of the steak, still sizzling hot on a cast iron skillet, looked amazing. The big problem with the steak was that it continued to cook when removed from the oven. Even though I ordered it medium rare, what I received was something closer to well, well done. Since the food took over 30 minutes to arrive, and I was starving, I decided not to mention anything to the server.
While overcooked, I was surprised how delicious and flavorful the steak was. The sear on the outside of the steak was crispy from being seasoned well.
Each bite of the overcooked meat was somehow still flavorful, tender, and buttery. Just the right amount of fat seemed to melt in my mouth. With such a high quality New York streak, I can almost forgive how well done the steak was.
On a separate plate from the steak was a lobster tail and few pieces of shrimp.
With the name Maro’s Shrimp House, you expect the shrimp to be the star of the dish. While cooked well, the shrimp was quite simple. Sometimes that’s all you need. The large pieces of shrimp, butterflied with tails still on, was flavorful and cooked until tender. For some extra flavor, I recommend you dip each shrimp in either the cocktail sauce or melted butter. Simple and delicious.
The real star of the dish had to be the lobster, at least for the price. Back home in California, I cant’ think of any restaurants serving a lobster dish for less than $20. Even if this wasn’t the best lobster I have ever had, how can I complain when sitting in front of me was a large lobster tail along with steak and shrimp.
Just as with the shrimp, the lobster might have seemed simple at first, but it’s all in how it’s cooked.
The bright white chunk of lobster tail was cooked quite well. Each bite of the think meat was velvety and tender, a sign that the tail was not overcooked. The simple meat had a slight salty ocean flavor, proving the lobster was fresh. I was in heaven after a quick dip of the lobster into the melted and bubbling butter.
For $16.95, I had no complaints. The steak was a high quality cut, though overcooked, and the lobster and shrimp were cooked to perfection. Though it took 30 minutes to receive my food, it was worth the wait.
There service at Maro’s was a little all over the place. Both good and bad.
Without a doubt, all the servers and hosts were great. The servers were laughing, singing, dancing, and made sure that guests were having a great time. It was just a fun environment.
The problem I did have was with the speed of service. Other then when first arriving, the service was all around slow.
It took some effort to get the attention of a server to order. After ordering, it took about 30 minutes for the food to arrive. Luckily, with a few drinks in hand, the time seemed to pass by quicker. Finally, waiting on the check to be delivered to the table was another long wait.
Since I wasn’t in any sort of rush, this wasn’t a big deal but this is something you should know.
For such a touristy place, I had a great time at Maro’s. I now understand why everyone recommended a stop here when visiting Cabo San Lucas.
Sure the interior was a little unusual and the service was slow, but all can be forgotten by the quality and price of the fresh and delicious steak and seafood.
Now I am the one doing the recommending. If you are looking for a fun and cheap restaurant with cold beers, great food, and a lively atmosphere, then I recommend you check out Maro’s Shrimp House.
- Cheap, fresh, and delicious seafood
- Lively ambiance
- Friendly employees
- Credit cards were accepted (Visa and Mastercard)
- Slow service
- College like interior
Open daily from 12:00PM to 10:00PM
Calle Miguel Hidalgo s/n, Centro, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico
GPS Coordinates: 22.881974,-109.913700