The Best Bars in San José del Cabo, Mexico

Coloured houses in a stunning golden hours time at the beach. San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur. Mexico
Coloured houses in a stunning golden hours time at the beach. San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur. Mexico | © Pascopix / Alamy Stock Photo
Alex Robinson

The hippest city on the Baja California Peninsula shakes things up with a late-night scene that serves crafts cocktails, mezcal, tequila and, of course, margaritas.

As the artsiest and most distinctly Mexican of the purpose-built tourist cities that fringe Baja California’s southern cape, San José del Cabo feels like a city people live in – rather than visit on their annual vacation. It has the best local shopping, restaurants and by far the greatest variety of bars. There are oceanside perches slinging mezcal-based cocktails with a sunset view, low-lit urban designer speakeasies and breezy, rural ranch-house bars where you can imagine Hemingway sipping a mojito or sampling a craft tequila.

1. SHOREbar

Bar, Mexican

Grand Mayan Shorebar Los Cabos
Courtesy of Grand Mayan at Vidanta Los Cabos / Expedia

A slice of Santa Monica in San José, SHOREbar replicates the formula beloved of Angelenos: a smart marble-topped long bar and an elegant and comfortable lounge area scattered with sofas sit under a wavy, wattle-roofed pavilion hung with lambent lights. All of this sits perched over a luxurious pool within champagne-cork-popping distance of the ocean. A vintage VW camper van (painted in beach stripes) sells classy snack food, and there’s a menu of long and short cocktails, which includes house margaritas and mojitos.

2. Baja Brewing Company

Bar, Mexican

Founded in 2007 by a coterie of friends from Colorado, this is Baja’s longest-established microbrewery, producing lagers, blonde ales, IPAs and stouts for export and a slew of beers only available locally, including a Raspberry Ale, seasonal stouts and fruit beers, barley wines and meads. All are served at the brewery’s pub, together with generous burgers, tacos and other bar snacks.

4. Zipper's Beach Bar

Bar, Mexican

With plastic chairs and tables sat under an awning, a no-frills burger and quesadilla bar menu and backpacker prices, Zipper’s is about as low budget as beachside San José gets. But it’s in a plum location – a hop, skip and a jump away from the surf on Playa las Palmas, home to some of the swishest big-name resorts in the area – and the bar serves pretty decent Mezcal cocktails and margaritas.

5. La Lupita

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican

Beautifully presented tacos at chic La Lupita
© La Lupita

Lilac walls daubed with Day of the Dead skulls, globe lights hanging from the pallet-wood ceiling, live bands playing on the mezzanine and a young, alternative crowd: La Lupita is always lively, any night of the week. What’s more, it serves some of the best tacos in town – best washed down with craft beers, mezcals or tequilas from an impressive drinks list. Pourings come in traditional jicaras – hollowed-out gourds that hold plenty more than your average shot glass. Prepare to get merry.

6. Mixology

Bar, Mexican

If you want drinks and dancing, this open-air club in downtown San José is the local hot spot. It doesn’t get going until late, when DJs pump up the techno, but there are plenty of potent signature cocktails to get you fuelled up: the Rojo comes with Altos tequila, orange juice, lemon, cassis, morita chili and Angostura bitters; the Adrenalina is made with Havana 7 rum, coffee, pineapple juice, lime, bitters and elderberry syrup.

7. Rooftop at the Cape

Bar, Cocktails

Rooftop at The Cape
Courtesy of The Cape Thompson Hotel / Expedia

Drinks with a view? Come to the Rooftop at the Cape Thompson Hotel, where sunsets melt into the cobalt Pacific, and the bar has the only 360-degree view on the Baja California Peninsula. The tapas and cocktails are as good as it gets (order the signature Cape with basil and mint-infused mezcal, pineapple, grapefruit juice and Angostura bitters), and, on weekend nights, there’s live music and DJs.

8. Acre

Bar, Cocktails

Seating at Acre restaurantLos Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
© Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock / Alamy Stock Photo

A designer farm-bar? It exists – at this sleek, modernist retreat in the hills behind San José. It’s worth visiting for the architecture – such as the wattle-walled tree houses perched in the palms and the neo-Frank Lloyd Wright concrete villas that merge into the landscape – alone. The cocktail bar-restaurant sits under the stars, with booths and astonishing house cocktails such as the signature Acre – made with the farm’s own mezcal and fragrant with Aperol, Cynar, jasmine and chocolate bitters.

Looking for somewhere to stay? Book into one of the best hotels in San José del Cabo, or opt for a stay at a top resort instead. Inspire your itinerary with the top things to see and do in the city. You’ll be 30 minutes from Cabo San Lucas, so don’t miss the best beaches and the best restaurants in this region.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article