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  • Q'ero

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Q'ero Details

  • 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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Heard so much about you and now we know why. Fabulous."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Don't be afraid to try this place. Sure, Peruvian sounds exotic, but it is crazy good for even the most skeptical/skittish eaters. They have pulled chicken or beef empanadas (basically little pot pies filled with beef, spices and goodness). The beet salad (Beteraba) is tasty as are the Amici greens with oranges and pepitas (I had to look that up, they are toasted and spiced pumpkin seeds). We shared a vegetarian empanada with lentils spinach and sweet potatoes which was tasty. The Lunch Boxes are a great special where you get an entree paired with one of the salads. I enjoyed the chicken empanada and tasted my friend's Quinoa crusted chicken which was quite good. Dessert menu is unique and we enjoyed the Tulum. Service is excellent."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We dined there last Friday with 2 friends from Germany and Netherlands. 4 of us in total. They said this is the best meal they've had during their 3 weeks in the states, this is coming from foodies who've been dining at recommended places in SD and Chicago. This was our 2nd visit. The pork shank was incredible, and they ordered the 2 evening specials: Halibut, Duck. All tasty. The apps were good too, we ordered both empanadas and the ceviche. The food is different, remarkable and delicious. Service is good and we don't feel rushed. The space is small -good for 2-4 person party and those seeking intimate dining. The food is a bit pricey but well deserving of it. With 2 bottles of wine the bill is expensive. Going again soon for my b-day :)"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "I have heard so much regarding Q'ero and I wasn't disappointed. Our dinner was fantastic! Can't wait tot return."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Food was dry and bland and super noisy. I couldn't even hear the person next to me. My wife had the duck special and it was not special at all. I don't know why everyone raves over this place."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "A few meals in life are truly memorable, and this was one of them. My husband and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary, so we had it all. Appetizers of crusted scallops (with a chili bite!) and incredibly special ceviche. We split a warm spinach salad with local beets, goat cheese and walnuts, and then moved on to splitting the duck breast special, with a fabulous sauce and an array of beautifully presented veggies. The wine was a yummy malbec blend, big enough to support this dinner, all the way to the dessert I can't spell or pronounce, a cheesy filling between two chocolate crusts. Good thing we had to walk home. Q'ero is my new fav special occasion family-owned restaurant."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Q'ero has a unique and interesting menu. The atmosphere is cozy and warm and the food is amazing!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Exquisite food, great service! Encinitas Gem. I've been going to Qero for a long time and it's still my favorite place to dine. I take everyone who comes from out of town."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Great food and wine as always. But service has slipped. Too long to get food out. Lots of smoke from the kitchen. Wine glasses sitting empty on table, etc. Its a shame because this was one of our favorite restaurants in North County. It was always worth putting up with the tight squeeze for seating, and overcrowded pathways in the past, but not so sure now."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "My husband and I went to Q'ero for his birthday and what a wonderful find! We thought how much we would love it if Q'ero was in our neighborhood. We would be there all the time. Excellent food! Ambience! Service!"
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Consistently wonderful place to eat. Amazes me how many people who live in the area have never been to Q'ero. But that's okay because it's hard enough to get a reservation!"
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Each dish that we had was delicious. The special ceviche, Peruvian style, was fabulous. I can't wait to come back for my birthday next month!!"
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "I've only ever had seafood here, because I'm a seafood junkie, and it is always excellent: very fresh and perfectly prepared. The ceviche is to die for... some of the best I've had."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "Food was unusual and delicious. Our waiter was excellent in helping us navigate the menu, but service was a little slow. The restaurant is VERY small, and VERY noisy when we got there at 8:00. It was touted as a date spot, but I think it was way too loud for that."
    Dined on 5/27/2014
  • "The food and overall experience was delightful. We 'd highly recommend it. Due to the small size of the restaurant it fills up on most nights so reservations are necessary to get a table."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Q'ero was a great surprise! My husband and I decided to try something new and Q'ero did not disappoint! I ordered a stewed chicken dish and my husband had the short ribs- delish! I could have dined on their appetizers alone. We will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "What can I say? Q'ero never fails....that's why there will be Case de Q'ero soon!! Yipppeee!"
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Love this restaurant - especially after traveling to South America! The food is wonderful! Need to make a reservation as it is small and fills up!"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "traditional peruvian plates are awesome as well as more modern dishes. the quality of food is excellent and the desserts are a dream. highly recommended "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Man it is really noisy in the restaurant. My old ears where failing me thinks. I enjoyed everything! The decor is amazing and we came in and simply sat at our table. Some how I knew it was ours. What a feeling. And our sever was very accommodating. My daughter was late from a business meeting. But the entire dinner went very well, Thanks Alexis ! Will be back asap after NZ!! May Q'ero remain the most amazing restaurant always. :)"
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "A group of 4 of us went here on a Friday night. It was busy, but the place isn't big at all so the problems that we had with service were unnecessary. We had a reservation at 8, but it took 15 minutes for anyone to acknowledge us. Once we sat down all 4 of us ordered drinks, only 3 came out. I had to ask another server for my drink. I ordered the lamb & even though the dish did not have mushrooms I told him I had a mushroom allergy so please be mindful of that. The dish that he brought to me was not only not the lamb, but it was a dish that HAD mushrooms. Finally the right food came out & it was delicious. Then there was the charges on our check. Overcharged for drinks that were not ordered & food. I dont recall his name he was older tho."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "This was a great place for lunch. We were a party of six. Service was attentive and the food was wonderful. Dining location was near Coaster station which was for good my wife and I as we came up from San Diego on the train."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "I love the food and ambience at Q'ero. I'm not sure whether I'm enjoying Peruvian food, or the preparation of Peruvian food at Q'ero, but regardless, it's a great place. It's very small, and you generally need a reservation, but that of course is what OpenTable is for! Service is good, but perhaps just a notch down from the food and ambience. It can also be loud at Q'ero so be prepared. Enjoy!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "I have been eating at this restaurant since Monica and Michael opened it several years ago under the name "Amici". It has been and remains my favorite restaurant in North County. The food is always distinctive, inventive and delicious. The room is beautifully decorated and is warm and and intimate. The service is always excellent. My recent visit was my first in over a year and it did not disappoint!"
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "Have you been to Q'ero? It's a must try. That simple. "
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "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