Sippin' by the Sand: The 10 Best Beach Bars in Los Cabos

There’s very little difference between beachfront bars and restaurants in Los Cabos. Seaside bars in the area always serve food, and the restaurants always maintain dedicated bar areas with tropical cocktails, premium tequilas and plenty of ice cold beer.

Since fresh local seafood and umbrella-garnished margaritas are a given, the best local beach bars distinguish themselves with live music, interactive entertainment and lounge chair cocktail service. Mango Deck Cantina, for example, offers all of the above…and boasts the bawdiest seaside party scene on Playa El Médano. Known as the unofficial Spring Break headquarters in Cabo San Lucas, Mango Deck serves up hot food and cold drinks–including tequila shooters from a criss-crossed bandolier wearing Pancho Villa look-alike named Big Johnson–as well as hosting adult-oriented contests and arranging wet and wild diversions like wave runner rentals.

Zipper's is the preferred spot for sun, sand and buckets of beer in San José del Cabo. The beachfront bar and grill pairs tasty burgers and BBQ ribs with ice-cold bottles of Victoria and is the summertime hangout of choice for the local surf crowd. Zipper’s takes its name from the famed offshore surf break, and Playa Costa Azul, where the bar meets the beach, plays host annually to the World Surf League sponsored Los Cabos Open of Surf.

Playa El Tecolote, home to Palapa Azul, isn't technically in Los Cabos. It's in the capital city of Baja California Sur, La Paz. But why worry about a few extra kilometers when there's a great beach, and a great beach bar, to visit?


Tabasco doesn't get the same publicity as Mango Deck and The Office, but this is one of the most popular places to hang out on Médano Beach, with a sun deck boasting terrific views of Land's End and the local seaside scene, and a menu featuring unpretentious fare like omelets and burgers, as well as fresh local seafood served up in ceviches and shrimp cocktails. All the beachside tables are shaded by umbrellas during the day, and there are also 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.

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 brewpub at Cachet, which offers gorgeous views of Playa El Médano and the spectacular granite monuments at Land's End.

Palapa Azul

Playa El Tecolote can't top nearby Balandra for sheer beauty, but it's hands down the best beach in the La Paz area for barefoot seaside drinking and dining. Palapa Azul is its foremost treasure, and quite easy to find: Just follow the malecón out of town until you dead-end in a parking lot at km 25 in front of the big hollowed out boat. The bar and restaurant's unique structure is part of its charm, of course, but the fresh local seafood is the real attraction. For the ultimate Palapa Azul experience, grab a table near the shoreline, order a bucket of ice cold Pacíficos, and feast on chocolate clams and marlin en escabeche while enjoying incredible views of Isla Espíritu Santo in the distance.

The Office on the Beach

Ready for a not so tough day at The Office? This palapa-topped bar and restaurant is packed all-day, every day, and boasts both a full bar and a large array of menu items, from breakfast omelets to seafood and steaks. It's a bit pricey, but not only are patrons served up fine food and drink in a beautiful beachfront setting, but they also enjoy festive entertainment and colorful atmosphere. Live music is showcased nightly, but the best time to visit is on Thursday evenings between 7:30 and 9 p.m. when The Office hosts its Gran Fiesta Mexicana featuring pre-Colombian folk dancing, waiters' shows, audience participation, piñatas, candy for children, free tequila shooters and other treats.

SUR Beach House by Bar Esquina

This newly opened beach club premiered on Playa El Médano in July 2016, taking over the site formerly occupied by Moxitos. Although technically an offshoot of Bar Esquina, the popular bar and eatery at the nearby Bahia Hotel and Beach Club, SUR is a destination drinking and dining spot in its own right thanks to its creative cocktails and superb seafood-focused fare, plus an atmosphere that manages to be both fashionably chic and barefoot casual. This is the premier brunch spot on Médano Beach, as well as a mecca for morning yoga and convivial sunset celebrations. It's also the top stop for water bikes and stand up paddle boarding rentals.

Part of Cabo's poolside scene was lost forever on September 14, 2014, when Hurricane Odile made devastating landfall. Nikki Beach Club, the heart of the hip Médano Beach scene, never reopened again, nor did other ME Cabo Resort based party spots like the popular Passion Nightclub. The good news is...the party isn't over yet. ME Cabo finally reopened in March 2016 following nearly 19 months of repairs, renovations and upgrades, and the property now hosts the first Blue Marlin Ibiza Beach Club in the Americas. Blue Marlin Ibiza, like the former Nikki Beach, offers excellent poolside fare and ambiance by day before transforming into a delightfully decadent nightclub after dark. There is beachfront chill space, as well as an enormous pool deck surrounded by fashionable daybeds and lounges, and an indoor club that accommodate up to 200 revelers. Pop-up parties and Champagne amenities are a particular specialty.

The Sand Bar

One of the longest-running of all the Playa El Médano based beach bars – 22 years and counting - The Sand Bar survived Hurricane Odile in 2014 and emerged better and stronger than ever following extensive renovations. It remains a benchmark beach hang, right up there with Mango Deck and neighboring SUR among must-visit beachfront cantinas in Cabo San Lucas. Start your day at the beach with cocktails and fresh ceviche, the latter among several available menu items featuring fresh and delicious local seafood. Like many bars on Médano Beach, The Sand Bar also offers water-based rentals, including kayaks, wave runners and stand up paddle boards. The coolest and certainly the most relaxing of all the amenities, however, are the rooftop massages. Enjoy fresh sea breezes, fantastic views of Land's End, and a stress-relieving 60 or 90-minute massage.

Zipper's Bar & Grill

Beloved by locals and tourists alike for its laid-back beachfront atmosphere, Zipper's offers excellent cantina fare and easy access to some of the area's best surf breaks. Set on Costa Azul Beach - site of the annual WSL sponsored Los Cabos Open of Surf - this is the kind of place where you can enjoy a delicious Angus beef cheeseburger or a rack of BBQ ribs while watching the waves, and wave riders, roll in. Hamburgers are a big draw here, but Zipper's does everything well, including deli sandwiches and Mexican comfort food fare. Lunch is the best time to catch the beach scene, but combo dinners at sunset while kicking back with beers or a bottle of wine isn't too bad either. Satellite televisions show all the big games.

What kind of club closes at 8 p.m.? The newly opened OMNIA Dayclub at Vidanta is not only the strangest new club concept in Los Cabos, but it may also be the hippest. Three of the world's top DJs - Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris and Zedd - inaugurated the new poolside party palace in February 2018, and the beats have been going on ever since. The new "daylife" scene on San Jose del Cabo's Playa Hotelera is courtesy of Grupo Vidanta and the Hakkasan Group, lifestyle brands that have partnered to add four club, lounge and restaurant concepts to the resort, including the Day of the Dead themed Casa Calavera and the casual outdoor cocktail mecca SHOREbar. OMNIA is the unquestioned star, however, a beachfront club boasting private cabanas and plunge pools, plus two-story VIP bungalows. The dance scene at OMNIA warms up during the afternoons when the latest celebrity DJ takes over.

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 pasta and fresh local seafood to bbq, burgers and other typical pub grub.


Meet Chris Sands

Chris Sands is co-founder of CaboVivo, co-writer of Fodor's Los Cabos travel guidebook, and a contributor to 10Best at USA Today, as well as other websites and publications. His specialty is...  More About Chris