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Plugged In: The Best Live Music Spots in Cabo San Lucas



Live music is an integral part of the rollicking Cabo San Lucas nightlife scene, with styles that run the gamut from rancheras and Latin jazz to good old-fashioned rock n’ roll. Most of the better known bars and restaurants offer live entertainment at least once or twice per week, and patrons at those that don't are likely to be serenaded anyway by roving singers, guitarists and the occasional mariachi band.

Cabo Wabo Cantina remains the area's signature live music venue, as it has been for the better part of two decades. Founded by former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar, Cabo Wabo features live music on a nightly basis, with occasional visits from rock and country royalty around the time of Sammy’s annual birthday bashes.

Cabo Wabo is far from being the city's only rock n’ roll themed option, however. Talented local bands and performers can be found throughout the downtown area: at restaurants like La Palapa; locals’ bars such as Cabo Lounge and Cabo Blue; and late night haunts like Jungle Bar and Rockstone Tavern.

Travelers of a more mellow disposition may prefer the jazz standards favored at Two for the Road, or Sunday afternoon trips to Cerritos, with tropical Latin jazz on the beach in front of a gorgeous Pacific Ocean backdrop.


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One of the newest additions to the Cabo San Lucas nightlife scene, this combination sports bar/restaurant/live music venue opened in 2013, showcasing rock n' roll themed décor, indoor and outdoor bars and a generous selection of comfort food favorites. Menu highlights include nachos, French fries, fried pickles, onion rings, poppers and popcorn shrimp, as well as more filling fare like burgers and sea bass sandwiches topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. Live music is on tap nightly - most notably from local favorites Los Rancheros Tristes - and special drink prices are offered for beers and margaritas during happy hour and NFL games.




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. Thursday is ladies' night.




Scenically set in the Tourist Corridor between cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, Puerta Vieja offers an excellent fine dining atmosphere, with quality food and wines, gorgeous seaside views of Land's End and El Arco, and terrific live music courtesy of singer Rosalia de Cuba, who performs with her band on Cuban Nights (Friday and Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m.).The steaks are very good here, as are seafood offerings like jumbo shrimp, clam chowder, seafood soup (with octopus, squid, shrimp, lobster, and crab Guerrero-style), fish filet, steamed lobster tail and lobster thermidor. Surf and turf lovers will want to sample the Puerta Vieja special with lamb chops, jumbo shrimp and lobster tail.


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Owners Scott and Amanda Osborne have helped make this one of the most popular downtown bars, fusing great pub-style food and eclectic music to create a thriving late night party atmosphere in their courtyard location at Plaza Real (next door to Happy Ending). The music varies according to the time of day (or night), ranging from country to hard rock to late night dance mixes. A hard rocking band plays six nights a week, and the crowds are generally going strong well after midnight. But perhaps the best thing about Cabo Blue is that it not only draw hordes of tourists, but has also become popular with the local crowd via competitive prices and daily specials. The food is consistently good, particularly the hamburgers and french fries.




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.


Rock & Brews is a chain restaurant and beer garden founded by Kiss members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, which, like Cabo Wabo Cantina and Hard Rock Cafe, mixes comfort food favorites with live music and rock star memorabilia. The San José del Cabo location opened in early 2013, and features a dining room decorated like the backstage area at a rock concert, with murals, album covers, musical instruments and other rock-themed collectibles. Burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas headline the menu offerings, but salads and starters like nachos, hot wings and garlic fries are also available. Musicians or DJs perform nightly. A second location on the Cabo San Lucas Marina opened in December, 2014.




Since its inception in 1994, Nick-San has been one of the most popular local sushi restaurants, with Chefs Angel Carbajal and Masayuki Nikura crafting a creative and innovative fusion of Japanese cuisine with traditional Mexican ingredients. This sort of fusion has become quite common among area restaurants, but Nick-San was the first, and remains the best. Sample their extensive menu of rolls, as well as house specialties like tempura oysters curry yaki, blue fin tuna sashimi, and beef filet serranito. Lobster lovers may choose from an embarrassment of riches that includes clear lobster rolls, lobster angel sautéed in mustard sauce, fried lobster curry, and lobster sambal marinated in saki, soy sauce, ginger and garlic, and bathed in sweet and sour chile sauces. In addition to the Cabo San Lucas location, there is also a restaurant at Las Tiendas de Palmilla (The Shoppes at Palmilla). The Saturday evening only Havana Nights special provides one of the most memorable live music experiences in Los Cabos,




Named for three legendary actors from the golden age of Mexican cinema - Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete and Javier Solís were collectively known as Los Tres Gallos (The Three Roosters) - this charming and unpretentious downtown dining spot may be the best restaurant in Cabo San Lucas. All the entrée options are delicious, but the mole dishes, in particular, are spectacular. Tables are set in a romantic courtyard dining area shaded by tangerine, mango, and other fruit trees, and the service, like the food and atmosphere, is absolutely first-class. Best of all, Tres Gallos is very affordable, with everything on the menu save a few American style steaks priced at less than $25. The authenticity is ramped up another notch on Fridays between 9 and 11 p.m., when Los Tres Gallos features its Noche de Mariachi with a live charro-clad band playing Mexican favorites.




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).




Cabo Wabo has come a long way in 28 years...in regards its surroundings and its business, which has spun off a tequila brand and several U.S. locations. Originally opened in 1990 by Sammy Hagar and his then Van Halen bandmates - who can forget the eponymous song, off the OU812 album? - Cabo Wabo has since become a mandatory stop for just about everyone who visits Cabo San Lucas, even those who only come ashore for a few hours. Live music and "waboritas", the house version of the margarita, are the premier attractions, but snacks are also available from the cantina (shrimp and ceviche platters) and the patio grill (burgers, wings and chicken fingers). The best time to visit is during October, when Hagar hosts his annual birthday bashes with plenty of big-name guests


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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

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