Q'ero

4.5
847 reviews
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$30 and under
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Peruvian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion

Open for lunch and dinner, Q'ero in Encinitas, CA is dedicated to serving the most authentic Peruvian cuisine to the local community. With a rotating menu that changes every week, it is an award-winning restaurant with an inspiring and savory menu.

The seasonal options at Q'ero will always include starters as well as entr�es. Choices include antojitos that are crispy plantain and yucca chips with garlic dip or empanadas made by hand and filled with an array of delicious ingredients. Other options include meat and seafood dishes, a popular ceviche and fresh salads with innovative ingredients like greens, candied pepitas, Valencia orange and goat cheese. Desserts are a must at Q'ero and can include caramel cookies, sponge cake and chocolate or chili tortes.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Peruvian, South American, Latin / Spanish
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Hours of operation
Tue 11:30 am–4:00 pm
Wed–Sat 11:30 am–9:00 pm
Sun 12:00 pm–7:00 pm
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Phone number
(760) 753-9050
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Payment options
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Monica Szepesy
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Private party facilities
El Q'ero, dedicated to tradition, great taste, & cooking as an artisan craft which brings communities together in various ways. Inspired by Peruvian cuisine, Q'ero wishes to convey a feeling of warmth & pride in the food we prepare. Private dining seats up to 36 & up to 45 for tapas & wine.
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Private party contact
Monica Szepesy: (760) 753-9050
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Catering
Catering menus are available upon request.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
D St. / E St.
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Special events & promotions
New Years Eve Dinner Promo for ($65 prix fixe) 12/31/2015
Additional
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wine
What 847 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on all time ratings
4.6
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined on June 7, 2018

There was only one server so service was slow. Then we paid for birthday dessert which is usually a gratuity for special occasion?? Food is always delicious and this was no exception

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2018

Amazing food and service. I would highly recommend all of their food and drinks. One of my favorite places to go in Encinitas, CA

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Amazing, high quality food. Highly recommend.

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3.0Dined on September 2, 2016

I had heard good things about this restaurant and my husband and I decided to try it last week when our son was visiting. Although the main dish was tasty I found the food to be luke warm (both the empanadas and hand pulled chicken and the cerviche was fairly tasteless. We were disappointed.

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5.0Dined on August 27, 2016

Great food. Great service. Not too pricey. I suggest the fried plantons. While we had entrees, there are many other less e pensive choices.

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4.0Dined on August 20, 2016

Pisco sours are great.

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5.0Dined on August 18, 2016

We were there early enough that it wasn't busy so the noise level was down from when it is crowded. It's usually crowded because the food is so good and fresh. My husband loves the shredded spicy chicken. The fried plantain and yucca chips are excellent. The limited beer selection is surprisingly good. And the tres leche cake is amazing.

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5.0Dined on August 12, 2016

Consistently a fantastic special occasion restaurant and A long time favorite restaurant of ours.

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5.0Dined on August 10, 2016

Excellent food and service

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2.0Dined on August 4, 2016

very limited menu.....greasy plantain chips, so so ceviche...not like before, won't go back very disappointed.

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4.0Dined on July 28, 2016

The food was good. Service a bit slow at 1pm but not a major issue. Menu a bit limited but good Big con- dining room was hot. It was 1pm and ceiling fan didn't help things - suggest a stronger, bigger fan. Great ambiance, music. Bought their hot sauce - great stuff. NOTE - it is "modern" Peruvian cooking - snobby Peruvians might not be expecting the new twist to menu. I am Peruvian and I don't mind - it's pretty good -but it (menu) is not your mothers' cooking either. A bit overpriced. But so is all of California - there I finally said it.... the truth hurts.

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4.0Dined on July 14, 2016

Our first visit here; we were not disappointed. Nicely decorated, friendly service, and very good food. We shall most definitely return, next time we're in the neighborhood.

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4.0Dined on July 14, 2016

Interesting, delicious food. Located on Hwy 101, great for people watching.

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3.0Dined on July 9, 2016

The walnut chicken was excellent but had no vegetables. The beef entree was too salty and the beef was too chewy.

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3.0Dined on July 8, 2016

Staff was very pleasant and the food was very good. Sadly, even without all of their tables seated, they didn't seem to be able to keep up with the orders. They forgot two of the three appetizer we ordered, and it took over an hour and a half to get the one they remembered. Getting the check after dinner was equally challenging. If they get their table service in order, this would be a gem.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2016

We had the rib-eye and the special, which was scallops. The rib-eye was almost like a roast, with an amazing sauce and was served with a generous portion of swiss chard and sweet potatoes. The scallops had a rich cream sauce, baby potatoes and fresh green beans. We would definitely go back!

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5.0Dined on May 26, 2016

Awesome food, hard to go wrong with the menu. Everything was of the upmost quality and ignited the taste buds.

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5.0Dined on May 26, 2016

This is the second time we've dined here and had a great experience both times. It's cozy and intimate and the food is wonderful. The ceviche was out of this world. This is a place you want to go and take your time and try a little of everything on the menu.

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4.0Dined on May 25, 2016

Delicious interesting food, nice people. May need to wait, busy.

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2016

My husband and I enjoyed it & we will definitely go back. Great neighborhood restaurant.

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2016

Excellent authentic food in an amazing atmosphere. Truly a wonderful dining experience!

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2016

This was my first time and it was a truely eclectic experience! It is understated in decor but great vibrant Peruvian flavored with a homemade comfort!!

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2016

Unique flavors for the SD area, we've been to Q'ero three times, and every time it's been a flavor-fest! Delicious and tasty food in a Peruvian setting. When you want something a bit different, and fresh, go to Q'ero.

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1.0Dined on May 14, 2016

This review is for Casa de Q'ero in Encinitas and occurred in late June 2016. OpenTable doesn't allow reviews if reservations are cancelled. After giving up our table to customers who didn't have a reservation but were "frequent customers" and therefore more important, we were given 3 options: wait until another table was available, sit at a table that was STILL occupied by customers who went on a smoke break, or eat at the bar. On top of that, we were told with a lot of attitude that we were at fault because we were waiting outside (when we checked in she said it would be 5 minutes so we waited about 5 feet away from the check in table). She claimed to have been the owner - I suspect the daughter of Carmen - and perhaps the most rude & most unapologetic business owner I've ever met. We took the fourth option and left.

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4.0Dined on May 14, 2016

I'm going to Peru! Dinner was delicious. Many of the menu items were new to us but the waiter and the owner described the dishes and everything we ordered was oh so tasty. And - bonus! - many wonderful vegetarian possibilities. Our salads were veggie feasts of sauted swiss chard and mushrooms with roasted sweet potatoes and yam? yucca? Not sure, but it was really good. Corn cakes, amaranth cake, quinoa dishes with so much flavor. My husband had the fish of the day (corvina) and it was in a wonderfully spicy broth with vegetables and fried plantains to accompany. Q'ero is for real - real food, real flavor and really good!

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5.0Dined on April 27, 2016

The food and ambience are great! Delicious empanadas and live the sangria 👍

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4.0Dined on April 16, 2016

I loved the ambiance and food at Q'ero. I believe they've lowered their prices as I found it pretty affordable for a nice restaurant. However, the service was pretty bad. Unenthusiastic, never refilled our waters, never asked how the food was. The woman in charge was nice but they were either understaffed or not trying hard enough. Didn't give a "we're so happy you're here" vibe.

I will definitely go back again but I hope the service gives a more positive feeling.

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2016

One of our favorites! Small family run Peruvian restaurant that knows the word special.

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2016

Everything on the menu is a flavor adventure. Every time we go it is difficult to decide what to have because everything is so flavorful. I personally must have the beet and spinach salad to start. My wife believes the calamari is the best. The staff are so friendly and attentive. Going there takes you into a whole new world to experience.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2016

We come again and again. The atmosphere is so unique. The service is always charming and the food is delicious. It is one of the places we take our out of town friends to have something different. Just love everything about this charming little spot... Make reservations, it can get very crowded/

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2016

Qero's restaurant has always been one of our favorite places to go for lunhc, dinner and now brunch. The menu is like real Peruvian home cooking, delicious! This is always my special place for occassions and to take special friends. Looking forward to my next visit!

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3.0Dined on March 19, 2016

I had been wanting to eat at Qero for years. My parents have gone to the Cardiff location multiple times and love it. I decided to plan a date night with my husband and try the Encinitas location so we could attend happy hour first. We ordered the shrimp skewers , beef heart, corn cakes calamari, beet salad and a chicken dish. The only thing we liked was the chicken dish. And the beet salad.lThe beef heart was a given.... I dint even try that my husband wanted to go out on a limb but the shrimp was very boring, I would have been happier with shrimp cocktail. The calamari was over seasoned and soggy and the corn cakes filled with cheese were just okay. I also had sangri which was very good. Overall I just was not very impressed and to be honest have a hard time understanding all of the rave. We were disappointed :( Maybe we ordered the wrong thing???

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4.0Dined on March 5, 2016

Really good food and service.
Entree prices are a bit pricy but not unreasonable. But add a $40 wine, one appetizer and two desserts, $240 for a party of four, excluding tip, makes for an expensive outing. Bring your wine, order entree only and you'll get a fair exchange of value.

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4.0Dined on March 3, 2016

We both found the food really interesting and delicious. It's a tiny restaurant, but charming.

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5.0Dined on March 2, 2016

Small restaurant with interesting menu. Authentic flavors and great South-American tapas. Try the fired plantains and yucca root or the empanadas! Good lunch salads too.

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4.0Dined on February 26, 2016

Q'ero and it's sister Casa de Q'ero are such favorites of ours. Always feels so personal, authentic and almost like being at your best friend's home who's mom is visiting from Peru with her best recipes.
Love, love it!

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2016

We go to both locations of Q'ero all the time. Encinitas for lunch - Cardiff for dinner. Great food and great atmosphere. One of our favorite places - don't miss the homemade chile sauce - the best!

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4.0Dined on February 13, 2016

The food was authentic and delicious. my husband and I came for the tres leches cake and it absolutely did not disappoint. Had fried plantains with sour tangy sauce that we loved, empanadas that were so flavorful and beautiful ambience. Service was a little slow but it seemed like there was only one server that day for the whole restaurant so they may have been temporarily short staffed. For the food alone, I would come back. Hopefully, service can add additional help because everything else was spectacular.

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5.0Dined on February 6, 2016

Please run to Q'ero. Order a bunch of apps. Order the ceviche. Order any sandwiches or entrees. Also, don't forget to order the tres leches cake. They are all good. Not just good -- BLOW YOUR MIND excellent.

Just don't go there when I'm going. Don't crowd me out, or I will hate you. :)

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3.0Dined on January 28, 2016

Quaint atmosphere. Nice for lunch. Enjoyed the menu selections.

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