Few neighborhoods in Cabo San Lucas feature better food than Médano Beach, a two mile stretch of golden sand ringed with resorts, shops and restaurants. Many of Los Cabos' top eateries are situated seaside on this popular playa, with the best boasting a captivating combination of fresh seafood platters, buckets of ice cold beer, and gorgeous views of the granite rock formations at Land's End.
Tequila toting mascot Big Johnson and Spring Break hijinks like banana eating and sex position contests are seasonal attractions at Mango Deck, but Médano’s benchmark cantina serves up tasty fare year round, from Mexican and American favorites to fresh seafood and sushi. Mango Deck’s neighbor, The Office, is also worth a visit, particularly on Thursday nights when they host their weekly Gran Fiesta Mexicana with dinner, drinks, folk dancing and fireworks.
For a more upscale introduction to Cabo's beachfront lifestyle, sample traditional Mexican specialty dishes and tropical cocktails at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, the signature restaurant at the exclusive Hacienda Beach Club & Residences, or savor steak and craft brews at the rooftop Baja Brewing Company.
In addition to the beachfront cantinas that line Médano's shores, there are a number of popular restaurants located within a few blocks of the beach: notably, neighborhood fine dining fixtures like Bar Esquina, Edith's and Peacock’s.
Tabasco Beach Restaurant & Bar
It may not get the same publicity as Mango Deck and The Office, but Tabasco is one of the best places to hang out on Médano Beach. The sun deck and sandy expanse of chaise lounges provide terrific views of Land's End and the local seaside scene, and the menu offers tasty yet unpretentious fare like omelets, burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, nachos, tacos and chicken wings. All the beachside tables are shaded by umbrellas during the day, and there are plenty of ice-cooled beverages available for those looking to beat the Baja heat. Water-based rentals and activities can also be arranged at Tabasco's, from wave runners to parasailing trips. (624-122-1401)
Peacock's Restaurant & Bar
Long-time fine dining fixture Peacock's received a facelift a couple of years ago. The results? The Grupo Mi Casa managed restaurant looks better than ever, with a gorgeous courtyard dining area fringed with palm trees and festooned with colorful lights; a chic indoor lounge, an artsy bar area; and an open kitchen that provides excellent views of Chef Emmanuel Prieto and his talented staff. The chef's new look menu showcases excellent seafood, steaks, pastas and gourmet Tuscan-style pizzas, and the service staff is first-rate. Sample entrée highlights like the delicious duck breast in a blue agave honey with yellow curry sauce, or the tender red wine cardamon reduction baked beef ribs. After dinner, kick off your shoes, and take a stroll down nearby Médano Beach. (624-143-1858)
Mango Deck is one of the signature stops in Cabo San Lucas, as famed in its way as local late night landmarks like Cabo Wabo and El Squid Roe. Located on Médano Beach, Mango Deck is ground zero during Spring Break, pulling in huge crowds for sex position contests and other adult-oriented, tequila-soaked entertainment. And it maintains its popularity year round, as much for the food as the people watching and buckets of beer. The fare is mostly Mexican, but the kitchen offers everything from pastas and seafood to burgers and the kind of appetizers you would find at any U.S. pub. Early risers will enjoy the 2+2+2, a "Noah's Ark" style breakfast with two eggs any way you like them, two strips of bacon or two breakfast sausages, and a choice of pancakes or French toast. (624-143-0901)
Baja Brewing Company
Baja Sur's first craft brewery now has three locations - the original in San José del Cabo, a roof-top spot on the ninth floor of Cabo Villas on Médano Beach, and on the Cabo San Lucas Marina at Puerto Paraíso - all of which have proved exceedingly popular with tourists and locals alike. The restaurants are open for breakfast lunch and dinner, with menu items that range from hamburgers and gourmet pizzas to filet mignon and other high-end entrées. The beers are very good, and are available by the bottle or on tap; you can order flights of the draft beer to get a sense of their offerings. If you can only visit one of their locations, check out the roof-top location at Cabo Villas. The views of Médano Beach and Land's End are spectacular. ((624) 143-9199)
The Office on the Beach
Long one of the most popular cantinas on Médano Beach, this palapa-topped bar and restaurant is always packed. It's easy to see why. The Office is a great place to sit back and watch the waves roll in, with a full bar and a large array of menu options. The breakfast menu is heavy on omelets and smoothies, while seafood and hearty fare like hamburgers headline the lunchtime offerings. The dinner menu, meanwhile, tends towards traditional Mexican dishes, as well as seafood and steak options. On Thursday nights, The Office hosts a popular Gran Fiesta Mexicana with pre-Colombian folk dancing, waiters' shows, audience participation, piñatas, candy for children, free tequila shooters and other treats. (624-143-3464, 624-143-7440)
This Argentine steakhouse opened early in 2012, and has garnered rave reviews for its enormous portions of delicious mesquite grilled steaks. Chamuyo features a casual courtyard setting, a generous selection of international wines, and a minimalist menu that is meant to evoke the feeling of a traditional restaurant experience in Buenos Aires. The signature entrée is a 22 oz. slab of beef ribs, but flank, hangar and rib-eye cuts are also menu standards. Salads are served with the steak dishes, and combos for two and four persons are available. The most popular appetizer is fried empanadas stuffed with corn and bell peppers. Desserts options include alfajores, panqueques, and a bread pudding lathered in caramel. ((624) 143-2010)
Hacienda Cocina y Cantina
Choose among al fresco dining on the terrazzo, open air indoor dining or the ever popular "tables in the sand" at this casual yet stylish bar and restaurant at Médano Beach luxury lodging Hacienda Beach Club and Residences. Highlights at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina include stunning views of the iconic rock formations of Land's End, as well as an excellent traditional Mexican menu created by famed Chef Andrea Blanco and executed by Chef Octavio Hernandez. Start with margaritas or mojitos at the scenic bar, then progress to tropical or verde style ceviche, crab flautas with mango baja slaw and hibiscus sauce, and Oaxacan style beef medallions with ancho chile and peanut mole. Platters served family-style for the whole table are also available, with choices such as marinated grilled skirt steak, slow roasted pork or sea bass with garlic-chile sauce. ((624) 163-3144)
Although it may not look like much from the street – taxidermy stuffed, wall-mounted gamefish are about the only decorative touches in a modest space with a dozen or so tables – Tacos Gardenias is a treasure trove of delicious Mexican comfort food specialties. The place has been around for what seems like forever (it opened in 1980, when the marina was still being dredged) and it remains one of the Land's End city's signature taquerías, with a convenient location a few blocks from Playa El Médano. Fresh fish and shrimp are included in almost every menu item; not only in tacos but in quesadillas, ceviches, salads and soups. Meat lovers needn't worry, however. The Yucatán style cochinita pibil is excellent, as are the barbacoa and chicharrón tacos. Beer and wines are also available. ((624) 143-4295)
One of the signature charms of the boutique Bahia Hotel & Beach Club, Bar Esquina offers a hip, upscale atmosphere - including a gorgeous 17-seat marble bar - and some of the best food and drinks in Los Cabos. Chef Rogelio Garcia and his staff work in an open kitchen, so guests can watch their Mexican and Mediterranean style entrées being prepared as they sip custom crafted cocktails, or snack on the restaurant's excellent selection of gourmet pizzas. Live music is a dinnertime staple in the outdoor dining area, with performers that range from contemporary American country stars to romantic Latin balladeers. The café area behind the kitchen is also a popular afternoon stop for guests and beachgoers, showcasing coffees sourced from beans in premier Mexican growing areas in Oaxaca and Chiapas. ((624) 143-1890)
Owner Edith Jiménez is originally from the state of Guerrero, and her restaurant - a fine dining fixture in Cabo San Lucas for better than two decades - features a mixture of Baja and Guerreran cuisines, as well as generous helpings of fresh local seafood. The restaurant is located just a block from Médano Beach, and boasts a comfortably yet upscale Mexican atmosphere. It's also home to the finest mesquite grill in town, as well as an air-conditioned wine cellar. Signature offerings include the Coqueta salad; the "Wally Special" with grilled lobster, garlic shrimp, and mesquite grilled catch of the day; and the Pancho Villa with grilled chicken breast, stuffed poblano pepper and chicken enchilada. ((624) 143-0801)
About Chris Sands
Chris Sands is Editor at Baja.com, co-writer of Fodor’s 2015 guide to Los Cabos, and a regular contributor to Los Cabos Magazine and 10 Best/USA Today. He lives in Cabo San Lucas.
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