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 Best Nightlife because: This is the best locals' bar in Cabo San Lucas.
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.
Jungle Bar has never quite been the same as it was during the heyday of Strogeno, when lead singer Monster and the boys would kick out the jams four nights a week - in two languages - and the crowds would spill far out onto the sidewalks. But this is still a popular hangout for night owls who want to avoid the disco/DJ scene: those who don't want to feel out of place in their ripped jeans and concert shirts, or need a place to wash out the road dust after stabling their Harley. Sports are shown on the high-def televisions, but the sound is turned down whenever there's a good band playing, which still happens on a regular basis.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Jungle Bar is one of the best sports bars and live music venues in downtown Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: Visit www.facebook.com/JungleBarCabo/ to get up-to-date information about live bands and daily drink specials.
Baja California Sur's first brewery has two locations – the original in San José del Cabo, and a rooftop aerie at Corazón Cabo Resort & Spa – both 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 New York Strip steak and other 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 Corazón Cabo, which offers gorgeous views of Playa El Médano and the granite monuments at Land's End.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Baja Brewing Company is a mecca for visiting beer lovers.
Chris's expert tip: Try their bacon blue cheese burger with basil paired with their Peyote IPA.
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 Best Nightlife 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 and El 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 Best Nightlife because: Nowhere Bar is one of the most popular watering holes on the Cabo San Lucas Marina.
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.
What kind of club closes when the sun goes down? The newly opened OMNIA Dayclub at Vidanta is not only the strangest new club concept in Los Cabos, 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.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This is the best daylife party spot in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: Check the OMNIA Dayclub website to find out which DJs are scheduled to perform.
The best views in Cabo San Lucas are found at Rooftop 360, a spectacular new rooftop lounge atop the newly opened Corazón Cabo Resort & Spa. Not only does the resort boast an unbeatable setting overlooking Médano Beach, but because the rooftop here towers over every other property on the beach, the Land's End vantages and wraparound views of the city here are both breathtaking and unmatched. Tropical chic furnishings and a roof's edge infinity pool add to the attraction, as do the tasty menu and creative cocktails, plus expanded late hours on weekends (Rooftop 360 remains open until 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday). Sushi is a specialty here, as is México's comfort food non pareil, tacos. All kinds of tacos (samplers are available). Creative cocktails and an enormous selection of beers, wines and spirits are also on tap.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Rooftop 360 is the best nightlife option to open in Cabo San Lucas in 2022.
Chris's expert tip: This is the best daytime spot in town to work on both your tan and some mimosas. However, because preference for reclinable poolside chairs is given to resort guests, it's best to call ahead about availability.
The Cabo San Lucas version of Mandala (their original location is in Cancún) offers a more traditionally club-like atmosphere than next door neighbor El Squid Roe, with great dance music from a rotating cast of international DJs, colorful lighting, upscale décor, and a full slate of VIP amenities. But along with El Squid Roe, this is the top nightclub in the traditional downtown nightlife district, and one of the better spots for after midnight, bottle service related revelry. The dance floor is huge, with celebrity DJs imported for special occasions. Mandala throws the region's best Halloween party, crushes New Year's Eve, and is among the top local late night hangouts for visiting celebrities.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Mandala is one of Cabo's hippest nightspots, and also rates as one of the city's best dance clubs.
Chris's expert tip: VIP tables are the most in-demand amenity. Call ahead for availability, or visit mandalatickets.com/en/cabos/disco/mandala.
Cabo Wabo has come a long way in 32 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 Best Nightlife because: Squid Roe and Cabo Wabo are the two landmarks of the Cabo nightlife scene.
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.
Cabo Wabo is where you go if you want to see a rock star. This is where you go if you want to party like one. The downtown nightspot supreme, El Squid Roe has been packing in the crowds for decades, and is one of the landmarks of the Cabo San Lucas nightlife scene. Whenever you see unfortunate after midnight-photos of celebrities in Cabo, odds are this is where they were taken. Everyone goes here, both locals and tourists, and the multiple levels are usually crowded by midnight. After midnight, the pace accelerates, as do the jello shots. Late night ballast is available from the Billy Kitchen.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This is the number one nightspot in Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: The onsite Billy Kitchen or nearby Wicked Pizza are the go to spots for late night comfort food.