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  • Q'ero

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Q'ero Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.qerorestaurant.com
  • Email: info@qerorestaurant.com
  • Phone: (760) 753-9050
  • Hours of Operation: Monday: Closed
    Tuesday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m
    Friday & Saturday: 11:30 a.m - 10:00 p.m
    Sunday: 11:00 a.m - 4:30 p.m
  • 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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "The food is mostly locally sourced and excellent. The kitchen gladly accomodated my dairy allergy. The place is loud, with tables one on top of the other, and with harsh acoustics. Our waitress was knowledgeable about the food and efficient. The wine list contains mostly South American vintages, with which we were unfamiliar. The prices varied widely; and the waitress was clearly pushing the high end without seeming to be that familiar with them. Next time we'd throw a dart at the low end for comparison."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Probably one of my 2 favorite restaurants in North County."
    Dined on 1/7/2014
  • "My boyfriend's birthday is on Valentine's Day and we usually book a table at Qero for the occasion. They offer a set prix fixe menu usually on Valentine's but they definitely don't skimp on the amount of food you're getting for the price. Three courses per person plus a dessert trio. We ended up having to take home some leftovers as we didn't want to stuff ourselves. Everything was delicious as always: calamari, ceviche, the fish special and short ribs were the standouts of the meal, however the salads we had were excellent as well! The staff is very friendly and professional, they remembered it was a birthday and were sure to bring out a candle as well. Wonderful restaurant!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This was our second trip to Q'ero in about 6 months and it didn't disappoint...Again!! Patrick our server was perfect, his recommendations were great. My wife and I both loved our meals. I had grouper and my wife had lamb. My wife loves lamb and absolutely loves Q'ero lamb. We'll be back!!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We have dined at Q'ero many times for both lunch & dinner. The food is excellent Peruvian fare. The Sangria is outstanding, housemade!! If you want unique food this is the place. Be prepared for a slow dining experience, the food does not come out quickly from the kitchen. Small, intimate restaurant with outside dining as well."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I prefer to choose a restaurant that offers a cultural eating adventure, which Q'ero certainly does. Q'ero is a small, somewhat dark space, and the tables are crowded in. The restaurant was 3/4 full and the two servers seemed rushed and unclear as to whom was responsible for which tables. For the most part, the food was interesting and quite good. I forgot to ask about the degree of chile spice and found the Empanatas to have more kick than I am comfortable with. I chose the calamari and mushrooms for my entree and was very pleased. The plantains were delicious - I'd go back just for them! In general the prices were within reason and portions appropriate. I intend to return and would recommend Q'ero as a welcome change of pace."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Once again Q'ero did not disappoint. Took friends and they are now fans too. The food is always great and so is the service. This is a relatively exotic menu but the staff is more than happy to explain what things are and recommend things that would be to your taste."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "We had not been to Q'ero in a very long time and needed our Peruvian fix! We traveled in Peru last year and Q'ero is the real deal! Food is authentic and absolutely wonderful! Will be back sooner than later and would highly recommend to everyone loving Peruvian food!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "The food is excellent, the service is good, not outstanding, the noise level is to high, two of the four people in our party had problems hearing the conversation. We did have a problem with the owner trying to turn our table before we were ready to leave, it was a busy Friday night and people were standing in line, overbooking should not cause a problem for patrons"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Was curious about Peruvian food; read a review of Q'ero in a local paper/mag last year. Seating very crowded; Very noisy. Most entrees overpriced for both the amount and the ingredients. Warm quinoa salad was delicious but highly over-priced at $14 (for a grain dish?). Wait staff was pleasant and efficient. Found nothing to tempt us to return. Over all impression....eh."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "For several years my husband and I would walk downtown Encinitas and stop at Q'ero to see if we could catch dinner. In the beginning one had to make a reservation weeks in advance. They've since added to their hours and you can now make a weekday reservation several days in advance. If you would like a weekend reservation call way in advance! It's worth every minute. If you're not looking to have one of their marvelous pisco sours or a glass of wine, perhaps you might get lucky with one of the few outside tables. My husband and I have spent time in South America and have become very fond of the pisco sour which usually is not authentic in restaurants in the U.S. Q'ero gets it right with only the best of ingredients. The food is awesome."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "If you are looking for something new and different, you should try this Peruvian restaurant. It is a bit pricey, but authentic and nicely prepared food. The duck was delicious and perfect for a ladies lunch. The potato dish with ground meat inside was also ver good."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "After reading positive reviews, I went to this place with high expectation. However, I encountered the worst treatment and service. We waited for an hour, asked the status of my order (since other customers that arrived after me were served), I was told that my food was next. The waitress not only brought the wrong dish, but argued that it was the dish I ordered. And to prove her point, she brought out an order list that belongs to other table. She went to the extreme of shoving the food on my face and kept insisting it was my order regardless of the fact that the correct 2 entrees were not prepared. We left this place completely disappointed, hungry and upset!! With service by waitress like that, I will never recommend this place to anyone"
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • ""I love the decor of Q'ero. It's like being in a fine restaurant in Cuzco. It is VERY authentic and I will definitely return to try more dishes. Service was well-timed and friendly. We loved the Peruvian drinks, both hot and cold. We are so very fortunate to have this fine, fine restaurant in our neighborhood.""
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Rarely does a restaurant leave such a positive impression. On my mind for weeks. Returned with family and friends who were thoroughly impressed. Absolutely delicious. Everyone enjoyed their selections. Would lick the plate if it was socially acceptable. Reservations highly suggested; easy to make online. Bon apetit!"
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Excellent service and food at Quero. In a world where so much food tastes the same it's nice to go to some place that is unique. I also love that it is small and cozy. The Peruvian art is a great touch."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "This is a restaurant when you want to experience something different, delicious, fun, something you probably can't make at home. Though unique, it's not a menu that you need feel intimidated by. I am not a brave chili eater and found a perfectly acceptable level of spice (along with a delectable combination of citrus, soy, and something else I can't name) in the empanada appetizer. The short rib was tender and combined with mashed sweet potato and a corn that tasted a bit like popcorn, made a wonderful combination (and not spicy at all). The mushroom entrée was fabulous. Be sure to order it with the quinoa! A nice list of South American wines as well."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "Went there for a romantic dinner and wasn't disappointed. We don't eat meat, but found plenty of seafood and veggie options. The calamari appetizer is great. Not the typical breaded rings, but calamari in a mildly spicy sauce with mushrooms, excellent. We both had the sea bass special and it was great too. Can be a bit noisy if full due to the small size of the place. Got quieter as the evening went on."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "Dining at Q'ero is always a treat. The food is served hot and delicious and the unique south american flavors never disappoint. Q'ero is the perfect place for a special evening out, cozy and warm and vibrant."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "It was my friend's birthday and I thought that having a new experience would be a great way to start a new year. Neither of us had eaten at this restaurant before. And, we had never eaten Peruvian food before, either. So, we went for lunch earlier this week. The food was delicious. The atmosphere was inviting and unique. The staff was very friendly. In short, it was a great way to launch a year of new experiences. And, we both said this is one that we'll be repeating."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Small Peruvian restaurant with great food, service and ambiance."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "El Q'ero is the gem in Encinitas. It is the perfect restaurant... outstanding food and wonderful atmosphere. The skirt steak is always amazing and the specials are most interesting. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "Q'ero is my favorite restaurant in North County. The food is delicious and the service is excellent. We are looking forward to the new location."
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "This is our second time dining at Q'ero and our first time dining there for dinner. I ordered three items off the sampler menu - all delicious and extremely filling. When they first brought the plate out, it was neatly arranged but I thought the portions would be way too small and I'd still be hungry - wrong! I barely could finish, it's much heartier than it looks. My husband had the special, which was quail, and literally picked every morsel of meat off the bones. We finished with two desserts, both amazing, and the Chicha Morada drink was to die for. Definitely will be going back! It is a small place though so make a reservation!"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Never had Peruvian food before so this was a first and it did not disappoint. We had a sampler so we were all able to try the different dishes. All the flavors, my mouth popped with excitement at each bite. thank you Q'ero. I will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "We have been to Q'ero several times now, and it has been a consistently delightful experience. The Peruvian food is delicious, and very accessible to an inexperienced palate, with meat, fish, vegetarian and gluten free options. The service is warm without being intrusive, and the ambiance is colorful and very pretty. It is small and intimate, and inviting. Families are made to feel welcome, too. We love the empanadas, arepas and the maduras (plantains), as well as the chicha morada which is a delicious drink made with blue corn that is fruity and like sangria but without the alcohol. It is especially tasty served hot."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Great little place that feels like another country"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "We went here for my mom's birthday and had a great time. The restaurant is quaint and the decorations are vibrant and cute (but not in a tacky way). I ordered the Lomo Saltado with quinoa. It was so yummy! The only bad thing was it was super garlicky, so I wouldn't recommend eating this on a date or during lunch if you have to go back to work. My mom and husband both ordered some sort of shredded and curried chicken. Their dishes were good, but not as good as the Lomo Saltado dish. We also ordered the sangria which was very good. It's a little more mild than I've had before, but the flavors were excellent! Overall I would definitely be back to try other dishes. Possibly during lunch though as their dinner was a little pricey."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "First of all, authentic, high quality ethnic restaurants aren't common in San Diego, especially North County - and that's one thing that makes Q'ero stand out. We shared the calamari and mushroom and empanada appetizers as well the delicious slow cooked lamb shanks and the Aji de Hongos - sautéed shiitake and oyster mushrooms in an aji amarillo-roasted walnut cream sauce, served with toasted kiwicha (amaranth cake) and sautéed greens All were delicious, not just very good, but delicious. Q'ero is not inexpensive. Our meal with 3 glasses of sangria (spicy and tasty) was $99, so this isn't just an average weekday night meal for us. But we'd go back for another delicious meal again - it's that good. A keeper~"
    Dined on 1/9/2014
  • "Always awesome. Nothing like it in north county San Diego."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "It was my wife's birthday so we wanted to go to someplace nice and different. My wife had the lamb which she thoroughly enjoyed. I had the braised ribs which were nice and tender. We didn’t love the ceviche as it had too many onions. The Tres Leches dessert was an excellent choice to finish our dinner. Place is small inside and can feel a bit cramped. There is outside eating in the front, but not what I want for January evening."
    Dined on 1/2/2014
  • "Amici, now Q'ero, has been through many changes over the years but has always remained a gem in the North County dining scene. Small, intimate, Monica always makes you feel like family: from the warm welcome when you arrive to the small plates of "something to try" diners are treated like an honored guest at her table. The dishes are superb! The service is always excellent. A rare treat not to be missed if you are in the So Cal area."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "Incredibly delicious food from empinatas to unusually prepared steak and fish. Wonderful sauces make this restaurant a favorite. Great So. American wine lest and super service. This is a rare gem of a restaurant that delivers every time.. Don't miss it if you are into great food.."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "We hadn't been back in a while and had as good of a meal as ever. Always like going back here."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "The small, neighborhood gem is packed to the gills -- and with good reason. Each dish is interesting, with layers of a flavor, all cooked to perfection. It's a keeper for sure."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "This is the place we take our very special guests, or for a very special occasion. It's quite expensive, but the food is unique and extraordinary, both in content and preparation. Another plus is that the atmosphere is ethnic (Andean),- and for some it might be a minus that it's quite small - 12 tables. Reservations are necessary."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "Great food and ambience made this North County hideaway a true dining find. Picking two entrees along with five of their tapas-style plates proved to be plenty of food for the four of us. All of it was delicious, with different types of plantain and rice dishes, along with the lamb and beef entrees. The tres leche cake was also delicious. The place was packed, a party at almost every table. Expensive, but well worth it. Looking forward to returning!"
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "Wonderful food. Everything interesting and delicious. Service was only so-so, but food was so good I forgave him."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "We have been to Q'ero twice before and, each time, have enjoyed it. It's very small so reservations are a must, probably even for lunch. The restaurant is full of things we saw in Peru, the tablecloths, the paintings, retablos, etc. so that is fun. The food is always very good. I warn about the calamari though. Unless you like "very spicy" food, this appetizer is not for you. It is good and it is flavorful but it is very spicy. We went through a lot of water while sharing this. We were happy to get our salads so that we could cool down (the house salad is very good). I had the lamb shank and my husband had the pork shank. Both were excellent and larger portions than either of us could finish so we took the remainder home."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "Wonderful Peruvian cuisine at very reasonable prices. Restaurant is small and cosy but at peak times it can be very noisy so best to go early or late."
    Dined on 12/12/2013