Looking for some of the best fish tacos in Cabo San Lucas? Then add Tacos Gardenias to the top of your list. Other than shrimp and fish tacos, Tacos Gardenias is popular with both locals and tourists for their home-style Mexican food including shrimp molcajete, fish ceviche, tortilla soup, and grilled fish salad.
The history of Tacos Gardenias stretches back over 30 years. When the taqueria was first established in 1980, it featured plastic tables and chairs on a cement floor. While they have since moved to a new location, the quality of food and time-tested family recipes remains the same.
Though located only a few minutes by foot from the marina and Puerto Paraiso mall, this humble taqueria feels far away from the crowds and mega resorts. So, if you are looking for some of the best fish tacos in Cabo along with affordable yet authentic Mexican dishes, then a visit to Tacos Gardenia is a must.
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
The one thing I love about Cabo San Lucas is the weather. It’s always sunny and warm. Not surprisingly, many restaurants in Cabo, such as Tacos Gardenias, feature open-air dining rooms. Even though it was a hot day, the breeze flowing through the narrow dining room, along with the ceiling fans, made the temperature quite comfortable.
I enjoyed the simple yet modern design of the restaurant. The spot felt like a hole-in-the-wall but with a modern twist. While the space was clean and comfortable, the décor was quite modest with tile floors and a few decorations on the concrete walls. The space was beautiful and inviting, not something I would necessarily associate with a taqueria.
Stretching along one side of the dining room was an open kitchen busy with workers preparing dishes, chopping vegetables, cooking meats, and frying seafood. At the far end of the kitchen was a woman preparing fresh tortillas, a must for any real taqueria in Mexico.
Tacos Gardenias Menu
On the first side of the Tacos Gardenias menu were tacos, quesadillas, and drinks including sodas, lemonade, beer, margaritas, and liquor.
Most people visit Tacos Gardenias for their tacos, specifically the fried fish or shrimp tacos served on a homemade corn tortilla. Other taco options included tuna, octopus, steak, pork, and a variety of stewed meats.
The other side of the menu surprised me. There were so many great options to choose from other than tacos. This included seafood dishes, salads, molcajetes, soups, burritos, and sides. Whether you are in the mood for tacos or something else, you are sure to find something delicious on the menu.
Like many taquerias across Mexico, when you order tacos, you will receive them “naked” or without any toppings. This was no different at Tacos Gardenias. Now comes the fun part as you get to customize your tacos exactly as you want with the supplied condiments. Think of it as a blank canvas and you are the artist.
The colorful condiments at Tacos Gardenias included sliced cabbage, red onions, lime wedges, pico de gallo, red salsa, guacamole, and a white sauce labeled as mayonnaise. There was everything you needed to create the perfect taco.
Pescado (Fried Battered Fish) Taco
I ordered the two most popular items on the menu. The first was the Pescado (Fried Battered Fish) Taco (40 pesos or about $1.94). As mentioned before, tacos were served naked with no toppings. It was up to me to finish the taco by adding the condiments of my choice.
On the tortilla were two simple pieces of fried fish. The first thing that caught my attention was the color of the breading. It was golden brown and looked delicious. I was hoping it tasted as great as it looked. And, it did. The golden fried breading was thin, light, and airy with a rich, slightly salty flavor. It wasn’t overly crunchy nor was it soggy, but just right. With the breading so thin, I could taste the freshness of the fish inside. I found the fish to be cooked well and moist. The contrasting textures between the crispy breading and soft fish really elevated this taco.
Just as impressive was the homemade corn tortilla. I could tell by its taste, texture, and flavor that it was made by hand. The thin tortilla was charred on the outside yet chewy and moist on the inside. The char added a distinct smoky flavor which I enjoyed.
As for the condiments, I added a little bit of everything. This included shredded cabbage for a crunchy texture, pico de gallo for a pop of flavor, creamy guacamole and white sauce, spicy and smoky salsa, and a squeeze of lime.
Camarón (Fried Battered Shrimp) Taco
Next up was the Camarón (Fried Battered Shrimp) Taco (45 pesos or about $2.18). Everything about this taco was the same as the fish taco, except for the shrimp.
This taco featured three large pieces of breaded and fried shrimp. Each plump piece of shrimp was cooked to perfection, moist on the inside with a bouncy texture on the outside. When I bit into each flavorful shrimp, I was rewarded with a pop of sweetness followed by a salty, ocean flavor.
While the fish taco was great, to my surprise, I preferred the shrimp taco over the fish taco. You could really taste the fresh flavors of the shrimp. It was perfect.
The service at Tacos Gardenias was fantastic. All the workers and servers were welcoming and friendly to both locals and tourists such as myself. My server was friendly and prompt. He seemed to always be around when needed him but let me eat in peace.
On top of the friendly service, I found the restaurant to be immaculately clean, which wasn’t something I would expect at an open-air taqueria. When the workers and servers weren’t helping guests, they always seemed to be cleaning the restaurant and wiping down the tables. I could tell that they took pride in their restaurant.
To my surprise, Tacos Gardenias did not serve the best fish taco in Cabo but the best shrimp taco in Cabo. While the fish taco was great, the shrimp taco was better with its plump, moist, flavorful, and fresh shrimp. Add in a homemade tortilla and an assortment of colorful condiments, and you had something special.
With an extensive menu of both tacos and Mexican dishes, friendly services, and a clean restaurant, I highly recommend a visit to Tacos Gardenias on your next visit to Cabo San Lucas.
If you are looking for another great taco restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, then you can always check out Taqueria El Paisa for their delicious tacos al pastor.
- The fish taco was great but the shrimp taco was better
- Extensive menu featuring not only tacos but home-style Mexican dishes
- Friendly staff
- The restaurant was very clean
Paseo de La Marina 3, El Medano Ejidal, Marina, 23479 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico
GPS Coordinates: 22.889594,-109.90818