Q'ero
Q'ero

Q'ero

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.qerorestaurant.com/
  • Phone: (760) 753-9050
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday: Closed
    Tuesday-Thursday: 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m
    Friday: 11:30 a.m - 10:00 p.m
    Saturday: 12:30 p.m - 10:00 p.m
    Sunday: Closed
  • Payment Options: Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Peruvian, South American, Latin / Spanish
  • Executive Chef: Monica Szepesy
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wine
  • Catering: Catering menus are available upon request.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: D St. / E St.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Q'ero
The enticing aromas that surround you, as you step into the intimate dining room of Q'ero, instantly transport you to the picanterias that you stumble upon while walking the quaint streets of Cusco. Located in the heart of downtown Encinitas on the 101, Q'ero serves authentic, wholesome food inspired by Peruvian cuisine.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Q'ero reviews from OpenTable diners
77 reviews since July 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (55)neighborhood gem (55)special occasion (26)romantic (25)notable wine list (14)great for lunch (9)great for outdoor dining (9)hot spot (8)good for groups (3)late-night find (3)great for brunch (2)scenic view (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Always awesome!
    catitaVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Q'ero is the treasure of downtown Encinitas as far as I'm concerned. Always a favorite and always delicious!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Food-Loud & Crowded
    FoodE
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Tasty and unique menu items from South America, including wines. Enjoyed the food quite a bit, but the ambiance left a lot to be desired. Quite cramped (lots of people in a small space) and warm (A/C couldn't keep up). Hard to have a conversation with my dining partner. Near the end of the meal the ambience was too taxing-couldn't get out fast enough-without desert! Don't know if I'll be back...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love this place!
    BobP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Hadn't been to q'ero in almost a year. Our food was as good as ever! Everything on the menu is nothing shy of delicious. I will be back soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wonderful flavors
    sdtoo
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    everything we had was flavorful and satisfying. enjoyed it all to the very last bite as did the friends we were with. great to find a menu that has items that aren't on every other restaurants menu. highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, however...
    Dtaram
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    I was throughly surprised they don't take Anerican Express. As a business person, I take clients and associates to lunches and dinners often. Paying with my AMEX business card is important to mess well as others. I was embarrassed in front of a client when my card was rejected. Let me be clear, the food was great, the servers were friendly, the restaurant had character, but I'm simply disappointed that in 2014 there's still a restaurant that doesn't take AMEX.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lovefoodandwine
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    The food was wonderful as I had read on other reviews. I had a hard time picking which entre to go with but decided on the pork shoulder. Large portion, moist and flavorful. the ceviche was awesome as an appetizer as well. Would definitely try sitting out side next time, weather permitting as it is a small dining room and can get a little loud.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Great food and wine! Seemed very crowded and loud inside although. And we had to remind our server twice that we ordered wine. Other than that, love the place and definitely going back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loud
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Booked a reservation based off of Tripadvisor. Thought it was just ok...not as great as was expected. Very loud so hard to have a conversation with my husband across the table. Food was just ok. Would not recommend for dinner.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unique, delicious, pleasant dining
    CMCardiff
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Q'ero specializes in Peruvian food. Each dish is delicious and the service friendly and effective.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Peru
    Dennet
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    I am preruvian, and the chef's menu really kept a great balance from traditional to contemporary. divine dining and ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • birthday dinner
    seeker99
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    My sweetheart wanted me to experience the salad with sweet potatoes (and she wanted to try something new from the dinner menu). The sweet potato salad was very good and large enough to split as a satisfying appetizer. Key word: caramelized. For entrees, we tried the pork shank and the beef spare ribs. Both were excellent. Tender and flavorful, and seasoned with spices we don't use at home. The pork was "spicy" in a nice way. It required a little work to remove all of the morsels from the bone but it was worth it.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Appetizing!
    1breakfastlover
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Q'ero is a lovely spot and a unique Encinitas charmer. We like to go for appetizers only -- a generous portion of ceviche combined with empanadas is more than enough food. Wash it down with a glass of sangria. Perfection!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • enthralled
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    This is our 2nd visit to Q'ero. We LOVE everything about it. We realize that being so small, the noise level is high, but no matter. GREAT food and service. Thank you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very cute spot
    HappyguyVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Very good South American food in a very cute space in Encinitas!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner with a Big Side of Attitude
    DaCoda
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    When we walked in we felt like we had just come to a party we weren't invited to. The owner simply pointed to a small table. The table was next to the kitchen, so there was always someone rushing by and I was treated to a beautiful view of the kitchen everytime the door opened. My husband faced toward the window and couldn't see my face because of the huge glare coming in. When we asked to change tables we were initially rudely told no, but after complaining again,were re- seated. Short ribs entree was great, but everything else was just ok, including the scallop appetizer - tasteless, and the empanada was soooo dry! For $120 it was totally overpriced. We could have gone to a nice restaurant, without the attitude or mediocre starters.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    My wife's from Peru so I took her to dinner at Q'ero and I wasn't let down. Everything was delicious from the saltenas, to the main course, and the warm chocolate cake at the end. I would highly recommend this restaurant if you're interested in Peruvian style / South American food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Carlsbad Couple
    carlsbadcouple
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We visited Q'ero on a Saturday night. We had reservations and our table was ready when we arrived. We were greeted by our waitress immediately and offered drinks. Our waitress was very knowledgable about the menu and wine list. We shared a couple appetizers, a salad, and 3 side dishes. The food was delicious - very fresh and the flavors nicely developed. The only criticism I have is that the ceviche did not come with any chips or crackers. We had to order those separately. Other than that, everything was fantastic!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One of my favs
    prhale
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    I love this restaurant! Wonderful unique flavors, family service, special menu. Great for tasting or for a special occasion. Hard not to want to eat everything on the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exquisite Food
    WDG211VIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Try the pork shank (Pernil) and save room for tres leches cake.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not so intimate or authentic
    djptheman
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Hot and loud inside. Tables are too long. Yuca frita arrived as chips.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The food quality is excellent and very well prepared. Very authentic! The staff is very professional & knowledgeable, humble and friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Yes but ...
    Carol
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Yes it is adorable with cute Peruvian artifacts and excellent food and pretty good service. Worth going to, but ... Where are the Peruvians? Don't seem to be in the kitchen. Or waiting tables ... Waitress didn't even seem to speak Spanish or understand what a real Peruvian Pisco sour was compared to the wine version they offer. Hmmm.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Hot Inside!!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Food was great, however, the restaurant is miserably hot. Would have been much better outdoors, but there are only a couple of tables outside. Would go back in the winter months, but never again in the summer. Restaurant needs to invest in air conditioning.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Peruvian at its Best
    ServiceIsTheKey
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I grew up in Peru so have fond memories of the Peruvian cuisine. This restaurant is legit !! Fantastic decor - none of those gaudy woven hangings -very authentic. Nice, unobtrusive service; decent menu (although no anticuchos on the lunch menu which is what I really wanted...) but the empanadas were delicious! I was told the prices were very high - they're not. Do make reservations - it's a fairly small place.....
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    The food was good service was great they had a problem with the AC so it was very hot inside the fans didn't help
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic Peruvian
    GFinEncinitas
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    We love this restaurant, both for the food and the vibrantly colored decor. The food is amazing. It's a very small restaurant so you will need reservations unless you go at lunch or very early in the evening. We love to tell the story about my brother who was so sure he would not like Peruvian food that he went kicking and screaming. It's now one of his favorite places also. Gluten free items are marked on the menu and there is a FG chocolate dessert that's amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Find!
    Ophelia
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The wait staff was very helpful with suggestions for lunch and when our food arrived we were all delighted! I would suggest going a bit early for your reservations as street parking can be an issue.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing
    disappointingVIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    After many months of anticipation to dine here, we found it loud and extremely warm inside. The small venue provides little escape from overcrowding. While the food seemed to taste good and the porrtions were of shareable size, with all the food being warm, eating in an overheated room made me lose my appetite.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Q'ero
    Jess7286
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Q'ero is a wonderful Peruvian restaurant, perfect to go to for dinner. I took my dad here for his birthday and we ordered the Pernil de Chancho (pork shank), Costillas en Jora (beef short ribs), and Bistek a la Trujillana (skirt steak). All three were delicious. My favorite was the pork shank. The meat is succulent, cooked perfectly, tender, and flavorful. For appetizers, I highly recommend the ceviche. Delicious food. Definitely worth the price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderfully flavorful!
    Mardi
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    This is the place to increase your palate and experience a wonderful meal; unique, authentic, incredible flavors, sophisticated and discriminating.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty
    foodyatheart
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Excellent food- nice to be there during a lull on a rainy Saturday. Recommend lunch as not as pricey, and recommend reservations!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never a bad meal
    Mrsnak
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    I'm not sure why we don't make this a Must Dine spot while visiting CA. The food is always fabulous. It's a little warm inside, but if you want to drink, you cannot sit outside to dine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 45 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 27, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 652 reviews are from the Q'ero reviews archive.
  • Must try!
    OBeOne
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    It was really our first time with Peruvian food so we did not know what to expect. Our server Patrick not only explained the menu but he also suggested dishes which were so refreshingly different and tasty. We washed down the vegetarian L-Empanadas, the L-Lomo Saltado Quin and L-Aji de Gallina Quin with a pitcher of Sangria. We were so in love with the red sauce that we bought a bottle of Panca Jar to go. We also enjoyed the Lucuma Mousse Torte for dessert. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we would highly recommend Q'ero.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FromFallbrook
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Food and dessert were outstanding. Service was slow; however, every table was taken. Noise level, loud. Next time, we'll sit outside - weather permitting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great. missed the special occasion.
    breakinbread
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Pros:Service...excellent. The food was extremely tasty and not too $$$. Cons: It was too warm inside. I had included the occasion with the online reservation but there was no candle...:(
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Divine Peruvian Food
    FoodyFooderson
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    This is a great place with great flavor. There are many dishes for the vegetarian and gluten free in the apps and sides sections and a couple of those are a good way to taste a lot of the menu and are very reasonably priced. I'm not a huge ceviche fan but this place's ceviche is to die for and the plantain crisps are delightful with that amazing dipping sauce!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic Peruvian Food
    JDRobin
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Q'ero features creative and delicious Peruvian food. The ceviche is fabulous, and the main courses are equally wonderful. I had the ribs, which were delicious. The service was attentive and quick. It is a small restaurant, but the ambiance is charming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Foodie's Paradise!
    PatyVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Q'ero's is one of my most favorite places to dine. They do the most incredible things with spices and create dishes that will have you coming back over and over again. When I want to impress someone with a new dining experience, I take them to Q'eros. The restaurant is quaint, the staff is very attentive, and of course, the food is out of this world! And while you're there, try their Sangria. It's some of the best I've had!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CalVal76
    CalVal76
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Too noisy and crowded on weekend eves. Would never go again on F/S/S evening again. Lunch yes, dinner no.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • buzzymike
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Have been eying this restaurant for years. The food didn't disappoint. But sadly our server almost ruined the entire experience. We edited on her more than she on us. Took forever to place orders or get refills. And when we did get to place then we were meet with a palpable insincerity. I'd like to say it was us who put her off but no matter how hard my wife and I tried to be overly kind we were meet with the same attitude. Could be they were understaffed for the evening. Food was amazing. Most places put an ethnic twist on an American dish but these were original if not traditional dishes. I can't say I know Bolivian or Peruvian food but everything we tried was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.