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  • Writer's pictureKayla Brock

4 Favorite Restaurants of the Year

Welcome back to my 2021 rewind countdown. If you haven't read my article highlighting my top 5 experiences of 2021 you can do so here. To continue on with the countdown I'm sharing my top 4 restaurants of 2021 that I've personally eaten at. Now I eat a lot (lol) mainly because I love trying new restaurants and also the atmosphere of going out for dinner. However, throughout the year there have definitely been some restaurants that I just can't seem to get out of my head.

Lola’s is an authentic Mexican Taqueria in the heart of Aruba's Palm Beach. It's an easy walk from the majority of the big hotels. I had their lobster taco which has Hennesy infused butter, roasted garlic cream, and pico de gallo. I also tried their panko-fried shrimp taco and deep-fried octopus taco. The lobster was my absolute favorite! It was juicy, flavorful, and fresh. I could’ve had a hundred of them. My friend and I also ordered their fries, chips and guacamole for the table. I don't even like avocados so I don't eat guacamole often, but I went back there twice just to get their guacamole for our days on the beach. The service was great, but the drinks were kind of weak.

Price range: 10-15 USD

Only using local and seasonal products, Mimo Vegan Bistro in Malaga, Spain offers organic vegan options. All gluten-free and healthy, I stopped by at the last minute and was able to keep a table but I recommended making sure to make a reservation because it's a small space. The bistro opened in 2019 and just celebrated its two-year anniversary. Sample dishes include chili jackfruit stuffed potato, raw rainbow pad thai, tarts and cakes. I had their Ornigirazu sandwich which is a Japanese sushi sandwich wrapped with a nori sheet, filled with rice, tofu, fermented spicy tuna, papaya, avocado and sesame mayo sauce. I normally don't like spicy food but this wasn't too overwhelming although it does have a kick! The restaurant was so cute and I got to chat with the staff about how they made their mark in Spain. Everything felt so personable and the sushi sandwich was absolutely delicious. Prices were also fair!

Price range: 9-15 euros

Slightly north of San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, tucked in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains, you'll find Flora Farms. Flora Farms is a 25-acre organic working farm home to a restaurant, bar, grocery store and spa. Flora's Field Kitchen where I spent most of my time, offers farm-to-table ingredients. Handmade food that is fresh and delicious. Their menu is seasonal, with some permanent classics and I was able to head there for a Sunday brunch. The restaurant is gorgeous! Beautiful palm trees are sealed inside of the space. You have family-style picnic tables as well as an outdoor space with lawn chairs. They had a cute birthday sign waiting for my mother and the table placemats map out the grounds and share some history about the farm. I had a lavender martini that I will never get out of my head as well as a simple egg, potatoes and toast dish. My mother was raving about the french toast she had! Another thing I loved about the farm is that they really focus on sustainability.

Price range: 15-35 USD (They take USD or MX$)

Casa Martin

Enjoy contemporary cuisine that highlights Baja products thanks to Chef Roger, sitting in a large outdoor space (courtyard-like) while listening to some beautiful Spanish music. Casa Martin in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico was absolutely gorgeous. You walked through this giant barn door into a colorful courtyard. You feel like you're truly about to have a Mexican-tasting experience. The staff was great and put together a sweet tribute for my mother's birthday which was even a surprise to me! They came over and sang to her (in English and Spanish) and brought us dessert to share. I had the lobster risotto and it tasted like heaven. The portion size was so good and there was plenty of meat to make it feel like you actually ordered a seafood dish. Only thing is that the bathrooms are a little small. The drinks were also delicious and strong.

Price range: MX$150 – MX$850

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