Where the locals go: Los Cabos

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Surfers flock to Cerritos beach, one of the best beaches in Los Cabos for catching waves.
Surfers flock to Cerritos beach, one of the best beaches in Los Cabos for catching waves. Photo Credit: ebiggs vancouver
Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

Los Cabos packs a punch for travelers looking for fine dining, superlative spas, all-night nightlife and laid-back beach living. But while visitors are sipping Mexican wines, stumbling home from Cabo Wabo or zipping around the Arch of Cabo San Lucas in a speedboat, what are the locals doing? Where do residents of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo like to unwind after a long day? We chatted with several residents to find out.

Where to Eat

There are a variety of authentic neighborhood spots that locals tend to flock to.

For the best fish tacos, head to Tacos Gardenias in Cabo San Lucas.
For the best fish tacos, head to Tacos Gardenias in Cabo San Lucas. Photo Credit: Lee Coursey

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 thousands of tourists to the region every year.

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, sandy 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, which will be familiar to anyone who has ever strolled the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta: the club has a second location there.

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