After Midnight: The Best Late-Night Dining Stops in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas' boisterous nightlife scene is augmented by dozens of great late night dining stops, including a number of strategically located taquerías and pizzerias for revelers who need a bit of ballast after a few too many tequila shots. Tacos are the premier after-midnight food option in Cabo, and local favorites like Tacos Guss, El Gran Pastor and Las Guacamayas stay open until the wee, wee hours of the morning. Some places never close at all. Tio Guido's, the town's best deli-style sandwich shop, serves reubens, corned beef, and burgers around the clock, seven days a week.

Wicked Pizza is the city’s premier late night stop for pepperoni pies, salads and chicken wings. The pizzeria is conveniently located in the heart of the downtown nightlife district, and remains open as late - 4 a.m. - as most of the neighboring bars and clubs. Of course, many top bars and clubs keep their clientele onsite by serving sushi or comfort food favorites. Cabo Wabo Cantina and El Squid Roe, perhaps Cabo's two most popular nightspots, each offer quality noshes well past the time most restaurants have closed. And nearby Rockstone Tavern offers a full slate of pub-style menu items, from soups and salads to an array of juicy ½ pound burger options.



Taquería El Gran Pastor is hugely popular with tourists, primarily the late night bar crowds that spill out from downtown bars like Rips, Cabo Wabo, Tanga Tanga, and Jungle Bar. There is no seating here. This is a stand up taco shop, and the crowds are often three deep on the sidewalk out front. Gran Pastor specializes in tacos al pastor, of course, made with meat from a giant spit of marinated pork. These tacos should also include cilantro, onions, and pineapple (traditionally cooked on top of the pork so that an enzyme found in the fruit will make the meat particularly tender), but the pineapple isn't a given in Cabo San Lucas. El Gran Pastor, therefore, is a happy exception, and one of the town's great late night pit stops.



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. Along with Pink Kitty and 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.



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.



Located near Wyndham in the Plaza de la Danza, Tio Guido's serves up hoagies, cheesesteaks, reubens, and other traditional deli style favorites 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Enjoy bratwurst, kielbasa, and sauerkraut dogs, or sandwiches with corned beef or pastrami. The rye bread is fresh, and all the meats are sourced from the U.S. Soups and salads are also on the menu, as are burgers, and Italian dinner favorites like spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccine alfredo, cheese ravioli and baked penne. Kids and nostalgic types will appreciate the grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Catering services are available, as are boxed lunches for fishing trips.



If Cabo San Lucas had a hall of fame for drinking establishments, Giggling Marlin would be in it. Although not as popular as it once was - its halcyon days as a party mecca were in the 1990s – the place still retains an esteemed spot on the local nightlife circuit. Things get crazy here after dark, with generous shots and people being voluntarily hung upside down on a fish scale (getting their pictures taken for the "well-hung club"). But by day or night, this is a good spot to stop for something to eat. Their menu is simple but good, with many affordable options. Breakfast offerings run to breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros, while all-day options include tamales, enchiladas and chile rellenos.



Cabo Wabo has come a long way in 28 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



Named for the macaw, each of Las Guacamayas' three locations - two in Cabo San Lucas, and the original in San José del Cabo - feature colorful parrot-themed murals, as well as authentic and affordable regional Mexican cuisine. Popular among visitors for their excellent tacos al pastor, quesadillas are their claim to fame locally, particularly the delicious quesadillas chilangas, a Mexico City style version featuring fried tortillas and a variety of tasty fillings. Other menu highlights include homemade chicharrón de queso and churros. The newest location in Cabo San Lucas opened in September, 2013, and can be found on Blvd. Lázaro Cárdenas between Matamoros and Melchor Ocampo.



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.



Wicked is perhaps the best of the downtown pizza parlors, and boasts an excellent late night location next to El Squid Roe, Cabo's liveliest nightspot. The name is a nod to the place's Boston heritage, and the pies are made East Coast Italian style with thin crusts, hand-tossed dough, and homemade tomato sauce. Wicked offers great specialty pizzas - including Hawaiian, Meat Lover, and Veggie options - and the house pie is topped with Italian sausage, meatballs, mushrooms, onions, pepperoni and roasted peppers. Flat-screen televisions showcase the latest Mexican and American sporting events, and this is the only pizza parlor in town with a full bar. Wicked also offers free delivery.



Tacos Guss' clientele used to be confined to in-the-know locals, but the secret (freshly made, golden brown tortillas) got out at some point, and this downtown taquería is now frequently packed with crowds of tourists. If you have never tried a huarache (fried masa in the shape of a foot or sandal, with your choice of toppings), this is a great place to experience one of México's culinary treasures. The menu covers all the Mexican comfort food favorites, including alambres and enchiladas, and the tacos al pastor are the best in town. Delicious drinks like horchata (made with rice, vanilla, cinammon, and sugar) and agua de jamaica (hibiscus tea) are also available.


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