When you think of traditional Mexican dining, perhaps touristy Los Cabos – which is actually an amalgamation of the celebrity favorite resort town Cabo San Lucas and the more laid-back, artsy San José del Cabo – wouldn’t be the first to come to mind. However, this scenic and popular zone of Baja California Sur is actually home to some excellent traditional dining options. Read on to find out more.
La Panga Antigua
Unassuming from the outside, this tucked-away little spot in quirky San José is situated in a 150-year-old mansion house and has a wonderful open air courtyard which we recommend you take advantage of. Serving up a delicious menu – the creation of award winning Chef Jacobo Turquie – which uses only the freshest seafood and cuts of meat, La Panga Antigua is a gem in Los Cabos. Enjoy the exquisitely presented dishes with Mediterranean twists on traditional Mexican dishes and a focus on the surf and turf for which Baja is famous.
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The Restaurant at Las Ventanas al Paraíso
Situated at the five-star Las Ventanas Resort in swanky Cabo San Lucas, The Restaurant serves top-quality Mexican dishes in sumptuous surroundings. Take your pick from the extensive menu of locally sourced dishes while you admire the views over the Sea of Cortez. Make sure to try one of the excellent, perhaps even local, wine menu options with your meal and after dinner, take the opportunity to peruse the tequila menu. Be aware that the prices match the surroundings here and the dress code is resort casual.
Chile en Nogada | courtesy of Habañero’s Gastro Grill
For a more cost-effective and laid-back traditional Mexican dining experience, check out Salsita’s in San José. With every meal there comes a complimentary margarita and there’s also a daily Happy Hour. Expect brightly colored glassware, vibrant interior decoration, and top quality traditional Mexican food. Think fish tacos (served in a slice of jicama, a root vegetable, instead of a tortilla), chicken enchiladas, and steaming molcajetes of queso fundido (cheese fondue). Salsita’s is a great option for large groups and families.
Habañero’s Gastro Grill
Popular with both travelers and locals, Habañero’s Gastro Grill is an excellent spot for those looking for traditional Mexican cuisine in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Aside from the service, the food is always thoughtfully presented, but doesn’t skimp on portion size and goes very well with the lovely views. We recommend popping down for the outstanding breakfast or brunch, as the eggs in any form are highly recommended, with the eggs Benedict in particular standing out. Equally, check out their wonderfully fresh seafood dinner options and prepare to be impressed.
Don’t be thrown off by the peculiar location of Hola Maria; it serves some of the most delicious tortas and tacos in San José. The small but clean and fresh interior is painted in vivid block colors and the food is just as well polished. This inconspicuous restaurant is the perfect place to stop by if you’re feeling a bit peckish and just fancy a snack, especially if you’re craving Mayan inspired food. Try out the delicious cochinita pibil in a torta or wrapped in a soft tortilla. The menu is minimal but well-executed.
Mi Casa is a brightly colored restaurant originally located in Cabo San Lucas and now with a sister branch in San José. Both are located in hacienda style houses which are traditional of the area and are flanked by historic buildings and galleries, making them the perfect lunchtime stop off as you’re exploring the area. Traditional Mexican decor touches really make this place feel as cozy and cute as it is, from hand-painted tiles to murals and hanging star lanterns. Food wise, you can find dishes representing several distinct regions of Mexico, but we recommend the rich moles.
LaCarreta Los Cabos
LaCarreta Los Cabos is an Oaxacan inspired restaurant that serves traditional dishes from the region. Take the opportunity to experience Oaxacan cuisine from afar in Cabo San Lucas by trying out the grasshopper tostadas, and the rich, chocolatey moles and the pecan/melon horchata. You can even take a foray into the world of the Oaxacan pizza – the tlayuda.
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