Where to Find the Best Tacos in Los Cabos

By Casey Hatfield-Chiotti  •  Photos By: Cintia Soto  •  January 30, 2020

Where to Find the Best Tacos in Los Cabos

By Casey Hatfield-Chiotti  •  Photos By: Cintia Soto  •  January 30, 2020

Taco lovers, meet your next pilgrimage point: the Baja California peninsula. All the best taco trappings are within easy reach here, including fruits and vegetables cultivated from the fertile landscape and waters teaming with fresh seafood. No surprise that the region’s namesake taco is one of the most delicious variants of the form. The Baja-style taco is filled with battered and fried fish or shrimp and topped with crunchy cabbage and crema. The sun-and-sand destination of Los Cabos has a range of places, from upscale restaurants to roadside stands, that serve the local specialty—as well as just about everything else you can fold into a tortilla. Here are the area’s five best spots to get your taco fix.

La Lupita Taco & Mezcal 

With locations in San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, this pair of colorful taquerías with mismatched furniture might feel like run-of-the-mill cantinas. But the owners infuse quality into everything on the menu. Take the tortillas, made in-house using high altitude–grown blue and yellow corn; their aroma wafts through the space as they sizzle. Creative dishes include the Baja-inspired Taco Güero, which includes tempura-fried shrimp spiced with turmeric and curry powder, and the Baja Scallop Taco, which tops the locally caught mollusks with refreshing cucumber, mint, and carrot. Pair your pick with a mezcal served in a flight or mixed into a margarita or mojito. La Lupita Taco & Mezcal: San José del Cabo: José María Morelos S/N, Gallery District, Centro; +52 624 688 3926. Cabo San Lucas: Acuario, Av. del Pescador y, El Medano Ejidal, El Medano; +52 624 172 0398.

Tacos Gardenias

Locals love this family-owned spot in Cabo San Lucas, which has been operating for 30 years (and is endorsed by the head concierge at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort). While most come for the perfectly crisp, fried-to-order Baja-style fish and shrimp tacos, the menu has expanded over the years to include ingredients like nopales (cactus) and cochinita pibil (Yucatán-style roast pork). Don’t expect anything fancy—just plastic tables and chairs beneath a palm leaf roof—but this is the type of local haunt you hope to find on vacation. Tacos Gardenias: Paseo de La Marina 3, El Medano Ejidal, Marina; +52 624 143 4295.

Don Sanchez

Gastronomy and Baja cuisine merge at this upscale restaurant in San José del Cabo. The Surf & Turf taco, served on a beet tortilla and filled with ribeye chicharrón and crispy soft-shell crab, is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. It’s also legitimately locavore, with the beef sourced from Sonora and the shellfish caught by local fishermen. The creation was so successful that the restaurant expanded its taco offerings. Now there’s an elevated take on the classic Baja, with tempura-fried mojarra, a local fish; avocado emulsion; and carrot purée with citrus and smoked habañero. The wood oven–baked brisket taco comes on a blue corn tortilla topped with roasted mashed potato and a tangy tamarind and pasilla pepper sauce. Don Sanchez: Blvd. Mijares s/n. Edificio Eclipse Int 3 Edificio Eclipse; +52 624 142 2444.

Las Guacamayas

Not all great tacos in Los Cabos include seafood. Las Guacamayas, a traditional Mexican restaurant with three locations—two in Los Cabos and one in San José del Cabo—is known for tacos al pastor. Juicy, spit-roasted pork is folded into homemade tortillas and topped with pineapple and a shower of cilantro leaves. The other tacos—ranging from grilled shrimp to succulent steak—draw chefs, visitors, and celebrities. (Lady Gaga has been spotted dining beneath the parrot-themed mural at the San José location.) Las Guacamayas: Paseo de Los Marinos S/N Mauricio Castro; +52 624 189 5284.

Zipper’s Bar & Grill

If your paradigm of a taco joint involves sunset ocean views, cold cerveza, and a surfer vibe, head to this unassuming spot just west of San José del Cabo. On a beachfront terrace steps from the Costa Azul break, surfers devour Baja-style beer-battered fish and shrimp tacos, garnishing them with sides of fresh guacamole, salsa, and coleslaw. Also celebrated: the lobster tacos and generous fish and chips. Zipper’s Bar & Grill: Carretera Transpeninsular Km 28; +52 624 172 6162.

What Makes a Perfect Baja-Style Taco?

Las Ventanas al Paraíso’s Executive Chef Diego Stefan had already been living in Mexico for about a year and a half when he had his first Baja-style fish taco in, of all places, Cancún. “It was street food, but it was so good,” he recalls. “You can find so many things in one taco.”

The Italian-born chef, whose parents ran a restaurant near Venice, studied culinary arts and worked in restaurants in Shanghai and Las Vegas before joining Las Ventanas in 2019. At the resort, he has perfected the Baja-style fried fish taco, believed to have originated over 50 years ago in either Ensenada or San Felipe, which he serves by special request. 

Stefan says a firm local white fish like mahi-mahi or snapper is key. He fries it in a light tempura batter and serves it on a tortilla with fresh cabbage, onion, cilantro, and tomatoes. For the sauce, he forgoes the typical mayonnaise in favor of Greek yogurt (“I prefer something lighter”), adding lime, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and a touch of cayenne pepper for a kick. The Baja-style taco, he says, is “a combination of winning elements and textures.” No wonder it’s the region’s culinary icon. 

Visit Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort

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Written By: Casey Hatfield-Chiotti


Locations: Los Cabos

See more: Food & Drink

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