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.
Peruvian, South American, Latin / Spanish
Hours of Operation:
Breakfast/Lunch: Tuesdays-Saturdays: 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 PM
Dinner Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Happy Hour Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - Monday: Closed
D St. / E St.
$30 and under
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Catering menus are available upon request.
Beer, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
New Years Eve Dinner Promo for ($65 prix fixe) 12/31/2015
Send a Gift Card
Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.
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.
Q'ero Ratings and Reviews
The food and ambience are great! Delicio ...
The food and ambience are great! Delicious empanadas and live the sangria 👍
Everything perfect except the service
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.
Outstanding food and service. intimate setting.
One of our favorites! Small family run Peruvian restaurant that knows the word special.
Like Being in Peru
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.
An old favorite of ours
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/
Best in north county
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!
The food was "okay"
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???
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.
Food was a delight
We both found the food really interesting and delicious. It's a tiny restaurant, but charming.
Modern take on Peruvian cuisine
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.
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!
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!
Good food. Slow service
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.
Best Peruvian restaurant outside of Portland
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. :)
Great choice for lunch.
Quaint atmosphere. Nice for lunch. Enjoyed the menu selections.
Disappointed on a special occasion
Made a reservation for my anniversary for the Encinitas location on Open Table. I called to tell them we were running late only to find out that they weren't serving dinner on that Friday night at that location via phone recording!!!! Mind you I have a confirmation number from Open Table of my reservation at that location. Not THAT big of a deal if they had our reservation at the Cardiff location. Called over and NOTHING , they had no record of my reservation and couldn't accommodate us except at the bar.....who wants to spend their anniversary dinner at the bar. Bummed. We ended up at Third Corner.
Scrumptious pork shank meat melted off the bone, coupled with Swiss chard entree made a delicious meal for two to share. A few more sweet yams instead of potatoes would have added to the tasty flavors. A glass of Chicha morada was refreshing.
Great Place and Great Food!
Awesome Pisco and great food. A can't lose place to get great Peruvian food and great service.
The Aji de Gallina is delicious, the blu ...
The Aji de Gallina is delicious, the blue corn beverage though is always the highlight of my trip. My only regret was not having enough room for dessert!
Definitely a good idea to show up on a T ...
Definitely a good idea to show up on a Tuesday when out isn't busy. But the food is great and the service good
Food was amazing. The service was equally as wonderful. The restaurant got hot, though.
The Desserts were outstanding.
This was our first time and I was blown away by the food and service. I recommended Qero to at least 10 people at my office the next morning. Keep it up.
Q'ero continues to be my favorite restau ...
Q'ero continues to be my favorite restaurant. Not only do I adore the mixto ceviche and quinoa salad, but I truly adore the wait staff! They are so sweet and kind. It's like visiting family.
Best sangria! A little tight in the rest ...
Best sangria! A little tight in the restaurant and chairs uncomfortable.
go to casa del quero instead
Interesting and extensive menu is no longer available at this location on the coast road, but only available at the new Casa del Quero on Birmingham. Food at the older place is still good, but severely restricted choices (only four entrees available) make it hard to see why go to this one rather than the new one. I don't understand why owners would keep the old place going as well as the new (rather than just moving to the new location outright) if it's going to be in such a reduced format.
Quaint little restaurant
Loved the food here, hearty Peruvian favorites. Place is a bit small inside but they do have tables outside. Service was average but food more than made up for it. Recommend.
WORST MEAL EVER
My husband and I went here for our anniversary dinner: Mistake #1. It is entirely too small for as busy of a place as it is. We felt like we were seated in the server's station - as servers raced passed us. I was at least hopeful about the food. We had the calamari appetizer which only tasted like loads of salt and WAY, WAY TOO much spice. You couldn't even taste the flavor of the calamari. Followed by the worst entree: which was a special of the evening a slow roasted pork. Came out bone dry - hardly any reduction sauce to help the dry piece of meat. We have dined at Q'ero before , but sadly this will be the last. I;m afraid this place has become too busy and has lost sight of what made the restaurant special in the first place.
I brought family while baiting bc it used to be one of my places. Wasn't the same place it used to be. Menu had completely changed...I won't come back.
The food at Q'ero is the best rendition ...
The food at Q'ero is the best rendition of traditional, homestyle Peruvian fare. Start with ceviche and empaadas. Then we ordered the ahi de gallina and lomo saltado. Both were plate cleaners. Ambience is friendly and relaxed and other patrons young and eclectic. A very enjoyable evening.
I've eaten at Q'ero twice and both times I have had enjoyable meals. This is a Peruvian restaurant, so don't expect another spin on Mexican food. The food is simply prepared but with ingredients that are native to Peru and the flavors are a delicious surprise. I enjoyed the Aji de Gallina with the Aji Amarillo sauce and the Ceviche Mixto with the marinade called Leche de Tigre. In both cases the flavors were well balanced combinations of citrus and spice. my husband and I usually don't eat dessert but we split the Tres Leches cake and it was delicious. If you have room for it after dinner , I definitely recommend it. Some people might feel that the inside of the restaurant is cramped and I will admit that the seating is tight. They do have dining outside but it is right on the sidewalk on Coast Highway. You would probably feel less crowded but I'm not sure about the ambiance. The service is friendly and everyone is willing to answer questions about the menu. Reservations are a must since the restaurant is so small.
We were delighted by the colorful Peruvian decor and impressed with the extensive selection of authentic Peruvian dishes on the menu. We shared plates of Fried Plantains and Yucca, a typical Ceviche, warm Beet and Spinach salad, and baked Lentil and Sweet Potato Empanadas which were simply to die for. Everything was prepared perfectly and our delicious lunch made the drive down Highway 101 a special day to remember.
One of my favorites
I used to look forward to going to Q'ero after a long trip in from LA as it is one of my favorite restaurants along the coast from Oceanside to Solana Beach. Though I still enjoyed it there was a sense of disappointment being handed a plastic menu, not exactly a "slow food" look and feel. The good news is that all the food was still delicious. Carmen's desserts are fabulous. I look forward to trying out their new location the next time I am down in that vicinity.
They did not have a full menu, very disappointing.
Waiter mentioned that the full menu is only offered at their new place. Then why bother to have this restaurant open (for left-overs??) Very disappointing. The food quality as well has gone down. Sad. Used to be a excellent restaurant with quality food and their home made drinks which are so watered down. So I am never going back there again. Will find another Peruvian/So. American Restaurant.
great food but loud
inside was noisy but outside tables were great. The food was delicious and the service wonderful
I hadn't been to Q'ero in awhile. The me ...
I hadn't been to Q'ero in awhile. The menu is more limited with their new restaurant down the street, but the good stuff is still there. With so many 'new' restaurants in San Diego Q'ero remains solid and consistent. My meal was among the best I've had in San Diego that I can recall.
The food is fabulous
Very good food. Small place but you could tell they put a lot of pride in their food. Definitely going back!
Pining for the old Qero
We have been going to Qero on the 101 for about 3 years. it was one of our favorites. in fact, I picked it for my birthday dinner last year. Since the chef has opened a 2nd restaurant, however, things have been very disappointing. This time, we hit the wall. The couple we brought with us were ready to leave as soon as we were handed the plastic "Denny's" menu. 4 entrees. No lamb, no pork, nothing we had enjoyed in the past. We complained to Barry, who explained that the former menu was happening in the new restaurant. It apparently has a bigger kitchen that can handle the more expansive menu. But, the menu we relied upon had been handled just fine for over 10 years in the original kitchen. So, it makes no sense. The impression was that the chef didn't care about the old place; was totally invested in the new place. Also, we requested our favorite/regular server, Amy, and of course, she was at the new place. Having said all of that, our server was very pleasant, we all 4 had great dinners and we had a good time. We brought wine so I don't know whether the old wine list was available or not. In summary, I will not go back to that location until and unless they restore the original menu. We will try the new location when we want wonderful Peruvian food, hoping for the best.
Food was not as good as I remember a few ...
Food was not as good as I remember a few years back. Very limitied menu and the meat was very tough that was skewered for an appetizer. Does not offer any substitutions, which is not very accommodating.
different and v. good
So, apparently there are 2 Q'ero's now. This one is smaller and has a limited menu. Not sure why but it does - unfortunately. I don't understand this because when there was just one that one served the full menu to include the acclaimed pork dish - not available at this one anymore - go figure. However, what they did serve was v. good and the service was v. good. If this one is closer to you, go; if the other one is closer, go to it.
This is the best restaurant in North County by far! Have felt this way for years. They never let me down. Delicious!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.