If you’ve been there and done that in Cabo, this three-city tour through some of the best eats and drinks in Baja will help you mix things up on your next Mexication.
The easy, two-hour road trip will take you from Cabo to the adorable and colorful town of Todos Santos to the lesser-known yet burgeoning destination of La Paz. All three have the key ingredients of a tropical getaway— sand, sun, and surf—but also some incredibly delicious dining spots that go far beyond your average taco; in fact, this itinerary includes both a cheese-crusted taco and a bone marrow taco.
This trip (one way) can be done in as little as a day, but it’s best to take your time and spend a night or two in each destination to maximize your eating potential.
Start in Cabo: From Cold Brew to Tacos and Farm-Fresh Cuisine
(Courtesy of Acre Resort)
This chic chain has some of the best coffee in Baja. Doce Cuarenta has locations in Cabo, Todos Santos, and La Paz, so make this your first stopover in each destination; every shop has its own design and vibe, so it’ll practically feel new. They have cold brew and nitro on tap, plus lattes, espressos, teas, chais, and a lineup of house drinks: Try the lemon brew (lemonade with cold brew and rosemary syrup), or the affogato for something sweet. If you’re seeking greater sustenance, they have a handful of breakfast items—like an incredibly delicious toast topped with three kinds of cheese (cream, goat cheese, and blue cheese mousse) fruit, and walnut compote—and all-day items including salads, sandwiches, and bowls. Doce Cuarenta sells beer too, so stock up on some bottles from craft brewery Baja Brewing for the beach later. // Paseo del Pescador, Medano SN, 23453 Cabo San Lucas, docecuarenta.com
This buzzy mezcal and taco bar is a welcome oasis only a few blocks away from Cabo San Lucas’ party-goer center. The perfect follow-up to an excellent and cheap massage at The Sand Bar, the cheese crust pastor, La Lupita’s most famous dish, lives up to the hype and then some. In place of the traditional tortilla, the restaurant folds marinated pork, cilantro, onion, and pineapple into a delightfully greasy slab of fried cheese. La Lupita’s menu is stacked with ingenious taco combos so try a few others, too—think duck with mole, shrimp tempura with turmeric and curry, or shredded tongue. There’s a sister location in San Jose del Cabo, in case you want to avoid this part of town altogether. // Acuario, Av. del Pescador y, El Medano Ejidal, El Medano, Cabo San Lucas, lalupitatym.com
L.A. meets Mexico at Acre. Consider yourself warned: That goes for the price as much as the food and vibe. Getting to this posh jungle oasis is an adventure in itself, requiring a trek out to San José del Cabo and what feels like the middle of nowhere. (For those in the know, it’s near Flora Farms.) But that’s the whole point, the servers will tell you. Try to time your arrival at least a half-hour early so you can explore the rest of the grounds; there are donkeys, horse stables, farms, a mezcal bar, treehouse villas, and more. The menu is designed around colorful, hyper-seasonal, and impeccably designed cocktails and dishes, but there are two items that are absolute musts: the cheddar biscuits and the impossibly tender al pastor suckling pig. When you make your reservation, which you’ll want to do well in advance, try to request one of the airy, semi-circle booths, as they feel much more comfortable and chic than the tables. // Calle Rincón de las Animas S/N, Animas Bajas, San José del Cabo, acreresort.com
Stop in Todos Santos: Beachfront Eats, Organics + Oysters
(Courtesy of Oystera)
The Green Room
Beachfront dining isn’t a strong enough descriptor for this place. At the end of a long dirt road, the Green Room is perched right on the sand, on a massive stretch of pristine beach with no other restaurants, hotels, or homes around. If you can time your reservation for when they open, you might be lucky enough to snag some of the Adirondack chairs that look directly at the ocean (though it’s also an awesome sunset spot). As you eat, keep a close eye on the water—bring binoculars if you have them—for during whale season, you’ll be hard-pressed to go even a few minutes without catching a geyser from a blowhole, a fin, and sometimes, a full breach. Yet the Green Room is more than a great location where bathing suits are acceptable attire, and the food and cocktails are surprisingly elevated for the sandy locale. Everything is fresh and flavorful, but don’t miss the Punta Perfecta, an octopus and shrimp tostada, or one of the gourmet tacos like the San Miguel with bacon-wrapped shrimp. // Villa Santa Cruz Camino a Las Playita La Pastora Lote 462, 23300, Todos Santos, thegreenroombcs.com
This fancy, women-owned organic market is in an unexpected location, a few minutes outside of Todos Santos and right off the highway. But if you’re looking to snack on the best artisan foods in Baja, this is the place to pull over. From coffee, local wines and beer, to cheeses, meats, pastries and produce, it’s tough to walk out of here without a full basket of goodies. But if you’re going to buy one thing, get the strawberries and cream: It’s simple, yet fresh and highly addictive. This roadside stopover also has a stunning garden that surrounds a bar and restaurant, so you can stay longer for a relaxing and good-for-you sit-down lunch, too. // Carretera a Los Cabos KM 62, El Pescadero, agricole.mx
A visit to Oystera is worth it for checking out the architecture and design alone. This stunning, historic building draped in cascading greenery has been restored into a luxe boutique shopping hall anchored by an oyster bar. Sit at the bar for cocktails (order the Smoky Mezcalita and have your phone ready on video mode), oysters, and a few small plates like shrimp aguachile and squid tentacles. Or, find a seat in the garden and olive grove that feels fit for tea time at a French chateau. // Calle Benito Juárez, Ignacio Zaragoza y Santos E, Degollado, Centro, 23300, Todos Santos, oystera.ts.com
End in La Paz: From Elote to Mezcal With Crickets
(Courtesy of Las Chascas de María)
Las Chascas de María
This cozy new elote bar, which feels catered to locals more than tourists, is perfect for lunch or a late-night snack. Las Chascas de Maria is like Chipotle for elote. As you move down the line, you can request your toppings, choosing any combination of bacon, crickets, bone marrow, and chips alongside the traditional cheese, lemon, and chile. Even the small cup is incredibly filling, so be careful about going overboard. And if you’re with a friend or two, order it inside a bag of Tostitos or MiniTakis; this is essentially the family-style option that also makes for the best photo op. Take it to go and eat as you walk the Malecon (La Paz’ version of SF’s Embarcadero) or dine on their outdoor patio. // Francisco I. Madero, Guadalupe Victoria 690, Esquina Esterito, La Paz, las-chascas-de-maria.negocio.site
Tatanka Baja Fish & Steakhouse
It’s normal to feel lost when first walking up to Tatanka. Hidden down a random alleyway (where there may also be some random ducks wandering around), Tatanka opens up into a romantic, rustic garden courtyard. The restaurant’s elevated twists on tacos are all good, with many variations including lobster, crab, and octopus. Save room for the undeniable star of the menu: the taco llanero, a New York steak taco served with a cheesy tortilla crust and a side of bone marrow. Scoop the marrow on top and relish in the greasy richness. // Revolution s/n, between Bravo and Ocampo, Central zone (La Paz), tatanka-baja-fish-and-steakhouse.negocio.site
Set inside an adorable teal house, this buzzy mezcaleria is the cool kid of La Paz, and for good reason. Yet this also means it can be tricky to snag a table even with additional seating on their whimsical, plant-filled patio, so make a reservation if you can. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and will take you on a journey through a wide variety of mezcals, but you can simply opt for some delicious cocktails before or after dinner, too (they’re open late, until 2 am). The bar also pairs its drinks with a variety of authentic Oaxacan snacks, including crickets. // Belisario Domínguez, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, instagram.com/lamiserablemezcaleria