going local in los cabos
los cabos is one of those destinations in mexico that elicits a similar reaction to that of cancun: a bro thump to the chest and a ear-deadening “woooo!!” from the ladies. but the side of los cabos that involves you stumbling back from cabo wabo to pass out, face-down, on a chaise lounge and bake the day away, possibly glancing up for a view of el arco, is hardly the los cabos you need to know. i spoke with some long-time residents of the wildly popular party town to find out where you should be going to get a real taste of the destination.
where to eat
mariscos torito is a popular seafood hot spot in cabo san lucas, where the locals are ordering the fresh catch of the day, prepared in the sinaloan style of mexican cooking (cooked with lime juice, serrano peppers, tomatoes and onions). for the best fish tacos, as far as the locals are concerned, gardenias is the most popular. beyond seafood, wonderful and traditional mexican cuisine is served up at restaurant campestre. at mariscos las tres islas, seafood gets crazy casual but no less delicious. in fact, tres islas often comes up as one of the best dining spots in all of cabo san lucas. among other cheap and delicious eats are los claros, a taqueria known for its seafood tacos, and los paisas, tucked near the high-octane squid row and mandala clubs. tip: try the taco al pastor at los paisas.
in san jose del cabo, locals dive into the best seafood at el toro guero, where portions are large and food is fresh. also in san jose, locals love la osteria, a restaurant and bar with regular live music.
for a different type of dining experience, beloved by locals with a little extra money to burn, consider acre, a 25-acre piece of farmland next to san jose. this restaurant and cocktail bar is entirely sustainable and focuses on global cuisine with local ingredients.
where to play
on days off, residents of los cabos like to get out and experience the same awesome scenery that brings…well…you.
east cape comprises the entire eastern side of the baja peninsula from punta pescadero to san jose del cabo. the area is renowned for its white, sand beaches and is home to some of the world’s best diving, sport fishing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding. here is where locals flock to play in the water, since it is more difficult to do in cabo san lucas and san jose del cabo, where waters tend to be a bit more rough.
surfers flock to cerritos beach, one of the best beaches in los cabos for catching waves. though not technically in cabo san lucas or san jose del cabo (the beach is closer to todos santos), this is where residents flock when it’s time to catch a few rays or test their surfing skills.
where to party
it’s rare to find a resident knocking back shots with the rest of the cruise passengers at the hottest club du jour. still, there are two noteworthy places where los cabos locals go to let loose. the most popular is nowhere bar, and the second is la vaquita.
**a version of this story appeared on travel weekly.