Visiting San Jose del Cabos, True Colors of Cabo
Any trip to Cabo San Lucas should include a visit to San Jose del Cabo. The two towns that make up this piece of the Baja Peninsula could not be more different in what they offer travelers who want to explore all that Los Cabos has to offer. San Jose del Cabo has the artsy spirit coupled with a sense of history, making it a destination on par with Mexico’s quaint Magic Towns for those who want to explore beyond the beach, the bars and the party buzz of the Baja.
For those staying in a villa with Elegant Mexico, as luck would have it, San Jose del Cabo is a short 13 minute drive away making it a convenient place to dine, sip, shop, browse and wander in the lazy afternoon hours.
Things to Do in San Jose del Cabo
Whether you’re looking for some fun in the sun, a place to relax, or everything in between, you’ll never be short on things to do in San Jose del Cabo.
You can’t visit San Jose del Cabo without spending time on the beach, and 350 days of sunshine every year means anytime is an excellent time to visit. The all-inclusive resorts lining Playa Hotelera offer beach loungers perfect for sunbathing or continue south along the coast to Costa Azul Beach for the best waves in town.
Experience the rich wildlife of Los Cabos by visiting the Dolphin Discovery Center to swim with dolphins or encounter numerous endemic birds and plants at the Estero San José.
Treat yourself to an afternoon of play and relaxation. Hopefully, the scenic views overlooking the Sea of Cortez at the world-class Vidanta Golf Course don’t distract you while going for par on the greens.
San Jose del Cabo offers plenty of history as well. Plaza Mijares is a favorite place to meet up, hang out, or simply enjoy people-watching. This historical plaza is home to the iconic Misión San José del Cabo. The church dates back to 1730 and remains a symbol of the town and culture. Visitors are permitted inside to admire the ornate décor and religious-inspired art.
Join a walking tour of the town, starting in Plaza Mijares. Tours wind through cobblestoned streets and colonial buildings with a stop at the San Jose del Cabo town hall — one of San Jose’s historical landmarks. The building took nearly 40 years to construct and was inaugurated finally in 1927 (the clock tower was completed in 1930).
Stop by the colorful “Los Cabos” letter sign, considered a rite of passage for people visiting Los Cabos and an Instagram “must”.
Art and Culture in San Jose del Cabo
As if Mexico isn’t already known for its vibrant and colorful culture, you’re sure to see plenty of it while visiting San Jose del Cabo. It’s a place where art and culture are a regular part of life, and you can experience it from the street vendors to art galleries.
Visiting the Gallery District is one of the top things to do in San Jose del Cabo for browsing the best local talent on the peninsula. Contemporary works in Ivan Guaderrama Art Gallery, peculiar sculptures in the Frank Arnold Gallery, or the fine art adorning the walls of Galeria de Ida Victoria make good places to start.
Plan to spend your Thursday evening at the weekly Art Walk hosted in the Gallery District, where a few blocks are closed off to cars so that locals and visitors alike can enjoy art displayed in the streets along with live music and eats.
Dining in San Jose del Cabo
If you’re ever stuck on what to eat in San Jose del Cabo or where to shop, simply head to Plaza Mijares, and you’ll quickly find tons of options lining the streets of the downtown district.
San Jose del Cabo is a foodie destination where the rich flavors of Mexican cuisine mix with international dishes to appeal to tourists. And you can’t forget about tasting some of the best seafood you’ve ever had, likely caught the same day it’s served.
La Lupita is a favorite taco spot (aside from street tacos) sample taste unique, artisanal-style tacos. Alternatively, delight in the charming setting of Los Tres Gallos for home-cooked-style Mexican favorites.
Jardín Secreto opened recently and gives a cool, minimalist vibe amid firepits and tropical vegetation. Garden-to-table cuisine is on the menu but save room for the Wood-fired pizzas matched with an aromatic Baja wine.
Los Tamarindos is another spot that ranks high on foodie lists. It’s an organic farm and restaurant near the San Jose del Cabo estuary and operates out of a farm house dating back to the 19th Century. Similarly, don’t miss Flora Farms, a 25-acre organic working farm and home to Flora’s Field Kitchen serving locally grown and healthy ingredients in creative and inspired presentations. It’s a family affair with hay rides, tours of 100 percent sustainable living spaces, and shops.
Shopping in San Jose del Cabo
There are many small boutique shops around town where you’ll find unique gifts for yourself (or friends back home). Shop locally-made handicrafts at vendors set up in Plaza Mijares or visit the small boutique shops where the local shop owners love to meet travelers and share interesting facts about items in their stores.
Among the favorites is Shima Shima that specializes in Mexican-made finds. Find neon-colored pom pom necklaces and elaborate weaves from the Tenango Valley of Hidalgo, wide-brimmed beach hats and colorful cotton dresses.
Check out some crazy home goods at Caravane Cabo, a design lover’s paradise that is full of artisanal finds like scoop chairs that look like avocados (another Instagram must). Find an array of handcrafted straw bags adorned with sequined Day of the Dead skulls and brightly colored, wooden folk art sculptures from Oaxaca at Choya Rose.
Nightlife in San Jose del Cabo
When most people think about nightlife in Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas is always at the top of mind. But while Cabo San Lucas is full of international-style clubs and wild parties for dancing until the early morning hours, San Jose del Cabo delivers its own nightlife experiences that might be more of your speed.
San Jose del Cabo has plenty of places to enjoy an evening or night out with friends. In El Centro, near the Gallery district, you can find fun bars like Mixology and 12 Onzas that ser tasty cocktails. Also, if you hang around restaurants like Don Sanchez and Shooters long enough, the tables full of hungry patrons transition into ordering rounds of drinks at the bar.
If you’re looking for the best handcraft drinks in San Jose del Cabo, grab a seat at Dalton Gin Bar or Cuervo’s House and watch the bartender put on a crafty display of drink-making. And right next door to Cuervo’s House is La 29, where it only costs 29 pesos to have a fun night out!
Tequila tasting is also on the roster if you know where to look. The great grandson of Jose Cuervo hosts private tequila tastings and classes at his restaurant in downtown. Jorge is studied in everything tequila, and makes an entertaining, educating and spirited few hours for those who want new stories to share at their next dinner party.
San Jose del Cabo is a captivating destination if only for its beauty, history, color and very friendly locals. Visit San Jose del Cabo if you want to escape the trendy tourist areas of Los Cabos for some quirky local culture.
Foodie Fun: Los Cabos Restaurants to Try
Los Cabos is turning into a foodie destination, with a burst of new restaurants that can be Michelin- star fancy to on-the-beach casual. The Mexico resort destination has everything it takes to be a sought-after destination for travelers all over the world. There are magical beaches, year-round sunshine, water-based activities, a fun nightlife, an abundance of fancy hotels. Adding to that list are Los Cabos restaurants with phenomenal food!
So, whether you’re a curious rambler or an enthusiastic connoisseur seeking new dining experiences in Los Cabos, we’ve got you covered with these six must-try Los Cabos restaurants.
Los Tres Gallos
There’s no way you can be in Los Cabos without stopping by one of the top traditional Mexican restaurants in the area! This charming restaurant is a destination for anyone searching for authentic Mexican flavors and aromas — from sopa de tortilla to quesadillas to every other fantastic Mexican dish you can imagine!
Michel Zermeño (the co-owner, along with his wife) likes to bring his mother to the kitchen every once in a while to make sure the food is being made with love and to maintain that authentic touch.
If the extensive Mexican menu isn’t satisfying enough – although that’s near impossible – Los Tres Gallos gives you a mesmerizing open-air experience: a brick-walled courtyard decorated with string lights, mariachis, and fruit trees. The final tip is to try their mole dishes (a popular Mexican sauce); those will leave you hooked!
Location: Leona Vicario Esquina 20 de Noviembre, Cabo San Lucas. 1.4 miles from El Arco
The Office on the Beach
Enjoying the freshest seafood with the golden sand of Medano Beach between your toes, what else could someone wish for?
The Office On The Beach came into being the ‘70s when few visitors went to the then-isolated, remote peninsula. With a wide array of mouthwatering goodies on their menu, this small kitchen quickly became a firm favorite for locals.
Their dishes are primarily simple and delicious: beef burritos, coconut prawns, and plenty of cuba libres and margaritas. And, what’s more: incredible live musical performances happen on the beach in front of you. Put this on your map for repeat visits. It may become your favorite hangout in Los Cabos.
Location: Playa El Medano S/N, El Medano Ejidal, El Medano, Cabo San Lucas
When it comes to fresh food, Los Tamarindos reigns supreme. Located in a farmhouse that dates back to the 19th Century, this farm-to-table restaurant constantly changes the menu according to the seasonal crops they grow in the surrounding fields.
The food there is as fresh as it can be — locally produced chickens from the restaurant’s own flock of Cornish hens, freshly caught fish by a local fisherman, freshly-cut seasonal crops, and a drinks menu derived from fresh local ingredients. And, since tequila is the star spirit in these parts, you’ll find plenty of it at Los Tamarindos.
If a Mexican menu made with love isn’t yet enough for you, Los Tamarindos offers you a hands-on experience with their cooking classes, which are held in their adjoining kitchen terrace.
Location: C. de Las Animas s/n, Animas Bajas, 23407 San José del Cabo
Sushi fanatics, this is your chance to experience the heavenly fusion of traditional Japanese cuisine with unique Mexican ingredients. Though the idea of cuisine fusion is quite common nowadays, the award-winning restaurant, led by Chef Angel Carbajal, has been among the top restaurants in Los Cabos for more than 26 years.
Find a wide variety of rolls to taste on from their menu — tuna tostada (featuring a Pacific Ocean yellowfin tuna belly on a rice cracker tostada, served with habanero, infused red onion, sliced avocado, and sesame seeds), Home-Made Gyozas (stuffed with shrimp and scallops and finished with serranito soy sauce), and many other mouth-watering options are available.
Plus, there are options for lobster lovers. Sample the fried lobster curry, the clear lobster rolls, and the lobster sambal.
If you want to further your Nick-San experience, they have their own apparel line – Wasabi — with shirts and many other branded clothing options at Nick-San’s two locations.
Locations: The Shoppes at Palmilla, Local 116, Corredor Turístico in San José del Cabo; and Plaza de la Danza, Blvd. Paseo de la Marina, Centro, Cabo San Lucas
Cocina de Autor
Among all restaurants in Los Cabos, only a few are led by a Michelin-star chef. If you want to know what it feels like to have your dinner prepared by two-star Michelin chef Sidney Schutte, Cocina de Autor is precisely where you should head.
What to expect: A sensational, creative, and playful dining experience that can start with a cocktail tour held by the mixologists at the restaurant’s bar. Then, you’re led to your table to sit and enjoy an innovative 8-10 course tasting menu featuring the freshest, finest, locally-produced meats and seafood. To make things even better, the restaurant was designed to be an ode to sophistication, where the exteriors and interiors feature stunning views of the lily pond and gardens.
Location: Grand Velas Los Cabos, Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 17, San José del Cabo, Corredor Turístico
There are tons of reasons to give Comal a shot, especially with your romantic partner, and at the top of those reasons is enjoying the picturesque views of the Sea of Cortes. This ocean-front restaurant at the Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, is currently one of the hottest restaurants in Los Cabos. The decor is designed by a high-profile designer with a beautiful perch over the sea and mood lighting from a wall lined with flickering candles.
Dishes here are prepared with an taste for the traditional and authentic, but injected with an innovative, adventurous accents. In addition to their tasty traditional dishes, you can find some intriguing fine-dining options on their menu, such as wagyu barbacoa and duck carnitas. Kumamoto Oysters with Aji Amarillo, Chives and Shallot are a straight shot for appetizers.
Location: Carretera Transpeninsular San Jose-San Lucas Km. 15, Playa Chileno Bay, Cabo San Lucas
Los Cabos Restaurants: Foodie Takeaways
Our list of six must-try foodie experiences in Los Cabos barely scratches the surface. You can really have it all in Los Cabos; each place has its own special charm and its own unique dining experience. Whether traditional Mexican cuisine, sushi, fine dining with a deluge of romance, oeuvres by top chefs, farm-to-table sensations, or a relaxing shorefront experience … take your pick. All options are on the table.
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