Happy Ending has a loyal clientele, and not for the reason their name might suggest. Think value instead. Their ongoing offer of two beers and two tequila shots for $5 remains the best deal in town. Unlike many bars in Cabo San Lucas that don't really hit their stride until after midnight, Happy Ending is a perfect spot to while away the afternoons and early evening hours - beer pong, anyone? - as well as a congenial stop for happy hour. The sound system plays rock and country standards, their televisions show all the latest sporting events, and there is plenty of shaded seating. And don't forget the bar menu, and the area's best souvenir t-shirts. Free phone calls to the U.S. and Canada are another added benefit.
Recommended for Bars because: Happy Ending has the best bar deal in Cabo San Lucas: two beers and two shots of tequila for $5.
Chris's expert tip: Beer pong is Happy Ending's most popular sport, and the staff is quick to set up tables with the slightest provocation.
Don't think for a second that Nowhere Bar doesn't rage until the wee hours of the morning. But among discerning locals, this marina facing bar at Plaza Bonita is best known as a preferred place to start the party after dinner. The location is hard to beat, with a dockside perch looking out across the marina and the fishing boats gently rocking in their slips. It's a gorgeous site in the gloaming, with crowds milling about on the boardwalk promenade, and the occasional waterfront cameo by a pelican or sea lion. The drinks flow here all day, but the dancing starts after dark. This is one of the best dance bars downtown, and it's quite close to several of the others, including Mandala, Pink Kitty, Coco Bongo and Squid Roe. So start here and if it isn't going off yet, you can club hop until you find a spot you like. Odds are pretty good you'll end up Nowhere again at closing time.
Recommended for Bars because: This is the best bar along the Marina boardwalk in Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: Nowhere is exactly where you want to be during happy hour. Watch the fishing boats return with their catches, or just watch the world go by while you work up an appetite for dinner.
Billed as the "World's Smallest Bar," Slim's packs a lot of atmosphere into a very small space at Plaza de los Mariachis: four seats facing the bar, with two standing room spots at the front window. The décor consists largely of signed dollar bills affixed to every conceivable wall space, and shelves filled with myriad varieties of México's national spirit. Like the nearby Fenway Bar, Slim's Elbow Room is as much a photo opportunity and merchandising outlet as a watering hole. Tourists will sometimes crowd the front entrance on the main boulevard waiting to get their pictures taken at the bar, and hats and t-shirts are always in high demand. Beer and tequila are the beverage options for those holding up the barstools, with the house version of the latter a smooth, triple-distilled sipper called Cinco Perros (Five Dogs). Classic country music adds a downhome feel that pairs well with the intimate dimensions and straight shots of tequila.
Recommended for Bars because: Slim's Elbow Room is one of the benchmark watering holes in Cabo San Lucas, famed for its comfy confines and sizable tequila collection.
Chris's expert tip: Buy any "World's Smallest Bar" merchandise and the bartender will pour you a complimentary shot of Cinco Perros tequila.
Hidden in the breezeway behind Solomon's Landing, on the marina side of Tesoro Los Cabos Resort, Two for the Road is the premier local spot for live jazz, martinis and even a bit of sophisticated conversation. Marty and Kathy Daniels - he plays piano, she sings - have owned the place for the last seven years, and are open most evenings: Mon. - Sat., 7 p.m. to midnight (with some seasonal variation). It's the perfect antidote for those tired of typical Cabo style nightlife, i.e. the type of people who prefer the great American songbook to ear splitting dance music or hard rock cover bands (translation: anyone over 30 years old).
Recommended for Bars because: This is one of the best bars in Cabo San Lucas for people over 30.
Chris's expert tip: Validated parking is available for up to one hour at Tesoro Los Cabos Resort.
There always seems to be an "it" bar in Cabo San Lucas, a place where expats and regular visitors congregate en masse, and every visit promises reunions with long-lost friends. Since its opening in late 2016, Sancho's has been that bar, due in large part to co-owner Margo Marek's popularity from her bartending days at downtown watering hole Cabo Blue. Familiar faces are only part of the appeal, however. Sancho's also benefits from a beautiful Marina location, with terrace views of the boardwalk promenade, boats tied up at nearby docks, and the picturesque high point (Cerro del Vigía) of the half-mile Land's End promontory. Inside, TVs are tuned to music videos or live sporting events, drinks flow freely, and the kitchen dishes up specialties like the signature Pink Taco, a hard-shell tortilla (pink, naturally) filled with tasty fixings.
Recommended for Bars because: Sancho's is the best new bar in Cabo San Lucas, and a favorite of locals and expats.
Chris's expert tip: The snack specialty of the house is a Pink Taco, a pink hard shell taco generously layered with lettuce topped beef, fish or shrimp, and then slathered in sour cream and creamy processed cheese.
Baja California Sur's first brewery has three locations - the original in San José del Cabo, a rooftop aerie on the ninth floor of Cachet Beach Club, and an air-conditioned oasis overlooking the Cabo San Lucas Marina - all of which have proved exceedingly popular with tourists and locals alike. Fine food is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with menu options ranging from hamburgers and gourmet pizzas to filet mignon and other high-end entrées. The beers are excellent, either in a bottle or on tap, and you can order flights of the draft beer for a sudsy overview of their offerings. If you can only visit one of their locations, check out the rooftop brew pub at Cachet, which offers gorgeous views of Playa El Médano and the spectacular granite monuments at Land's End.
Recommended for Bars because: Baja Brewing Company was the state's first microbrewery, and their three local locations offer an excellent array of draught and bottled beers.
Chris's expert tip: Try their bacon blue cheese burger with basil paired with their Peyote IPA, or their coffee-dusted filet mignon with the Escorpion Negro.
Yes, the spirit of Boston is alive and well in the heart of Cabo San Lucas. The recently opened Fenway Bar - it premiered in March 2016 - was the inspiration of long-time Red Sox fan and former Baja María proprietor Ignacio "Nacho" Padilla. Although born in Mexico City, Padilla is an avid fan of the team, and has made several pilgrimages to Fenway Park. The bar is a virtual shrine to Red Sox history: it's painted Fenway green, decorated with photos of everyone from Pedro and Manny to Ted Williams and Dom Dimaggio, and features a large-scale replica of the "Green Monster" scoreboard. Fenway draws an eclectic group of local regulars and curious visitors. Dominos games pull in locals on Wednesdays, while televised sports and the occasional live musical performance are the other signature attractions. Red Sox games are of course a staple during the baseball season, but Padilla will cater to the taste of his customers, both in terms of television channels and food. An accomplished chef as well as a bartender, he often offers daily specials from the grill.
Recommended for Bars because: Fenway is the best sports bar in Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: Although Fenway offers little more than popcorn in the way of snacks, the bartenders will facilitate delivery from most downtown restaurants.
Every day feels like Spring Break at Mango Deck. Looking for a place with bikini contests? Sex position contests? Banana eating contests? A mustachioed Pancho Villa lookalike named Big Johnson who carries holsters filled with tequila bottles, and crisscrossed bandoliers packed with shot glasses? Check, check, check and check. Order a bucket of ice cold Coronas and settle in for a memorable visit at Cabo's most iconic beachfront party spot. Heck, you can even rent a wave runner here, although most are content to work on their tans, while occasionally taking on "beer ballast" from the full-service restaurant menu. The fare is mostly Mexican, but the kitchen dishes up everything from pastas and fresh local seafood to bbq, burgers and other typical pub grub.
Cabo Wabo has come a long way in 29 years, since its MTV advertised premiere birthed a brand new Spring Break destination. Originally opened in 1990 by Sammy Hagar and his then Van Halen bandmates - who can forget the eponymous song from their OU812 album? - Cabo Wabo has since become a mandatory stop for just about everyone who visits Cabo San Lucas, even cruise ship passengers who only come ashore for a few hours. It's a complete lifestyle experience, albeit one which continues to revolve around live music. A house band jams good-time rock n' roll seven nights a week, with occasional cameos from visiting country and rock stars. But there are other reasons beyond boogying down to stop by, from "waboritas" (the house version of the margarita) to comfort food specialty dishes and souvenir t-shirts. The best time to visit is during October, when "The Red Rocker" himself hosts his annual birthday bashes with plenty of big-name guests.
Recommended for Bars because: Cabo Wabo is the best live music venue in Cabo San Lucas, and along with Squid Roe, is one of the city's most popular nightspots.
Chris's expert tip: The best time to visit Cabo Wabo is in October, when Sammy's birthday bash draws plenty of other famous musicians and celebrities, as well as fans from across the U.S. and Canada.
The walls of Latitude 22+ are a Los Cabos history lesson, filled with old photos enormous catches and fishing contests, prominent local personages, and even life preservers from notable area vessels. The place comes by its nautical aspect honestly - owner Mike Grzanich first came to Cabo San Lucas on a tuna boat in 1959 - but also serves as a treasure trove for license plates and other souvenirs left by visitors over the years. The bar is one-of-a-kind, with gorgeous Land's End views available from your barstool, and old-fashioned booths in the back offer privacy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The go-to breakfast is a "John Wayne" special with eggs, sausage and ranchero sauce, plus sides of rice and potatoes. Other rib-sticking pleasures range from white sausage gravy slathered Croatian Eggs Benedick to chicken fried steak, rib-eye steak and pot roast. Piano player Peter Bacon is a big draw during the high season.
Recommended for Bars because: This is a local landmark, and the best bar in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: Stop by for a Croatian Eggs Benedick breakfast, with Land's End views from your barstool.