When we began visiting Los Cabos in 2014, we figured out right away that we preferred the more laid-back and traditional atmosphere of San Jose del Cabo over the hustle and bustle of Cabo San Lucas. Typically we would make the short trek into Cabo for one night of partying and spend the rest of our vacation frequenting our favorite spots in San Jose del Cabo. Unfortunately, we didn’t find our favorite restaurant in all of the Los Cabos area (maybe in all of Baja!) until a visit in late 2018. Without further ado, here is our list of the best restaurants in San Jose del Cabo
1. El Meson del Ahorcado
El Meson del Ahorcado (The Hangman Surf and Tacos) was tucked away in a residential neighborhood, and we struggled to find it on previous visits. We are so glad we continued to search for it as it instantly became our “go to” place in the area for tacos. During the Covid shutdown, they relocated to a larger spot, still in a somewhat residential area. The new location is two stories but has kept and even expanded on its original charm. The decor is engagingly eclectic and too much to take in on a single visit!
Reviews often mentioned lines, but we have never had more than a few minute wait. They open in the afternoon (4 pm) and have had live music on most of our visits. Shortly after being seated, your table is treated to a long narrow tray full of sauces and other delicious side dishes. The sauces are varied, and a few are quite spicy. We love the potatoes that are cooked and seasoned to perfection. Fabulous traditional bean soup is also offered prior to your meal. The cocktails are some of the most unique and tasty we have ever had.
Their menu of tacos is quite diverse and offers vegetarian options as well. We have always had wonderful service here – it is obvious that this is a family operation, and they have great pride in their business. This place deserves to be on the list of the best restaurants in san Jose del Cabo.
The Hangman has a website and posts infrequently on their social media sites. They are definitely worth a social media follow as when they do post, and it gives you an idea of what a find this place truly is – just the setting alone is a must see.
2. Habanero’s Gastro Grill & Tequila Bar
Fortunately, we found Habanero’s Gastro Grill & Tequila Bar on our first visit to Los Cabos and have dined there at least once every visit since. The original location was in a sort of strip mall (Plaza Mission), but it managed to be nicely cozy and intimate. They have relocated to the courtyard behind El Canto Suites. This move has placed them in the historic San Jose del Cabo Art District and is a great place to have dinner before or after the famous weekly art walk on Thursdays.
They serve lunch and dinner daily (closed Wednesdays) as well as Sunday Brunch. The new location is stunningly beautiful, open air and spacious, with live music often offered in the evenings, making it one of the best restaurants in San Jose del Cabo.
We frequently enjoyed breakfast at their previous location, so I am sure Sunday Brunch is fantastic. Memorable meals we have enjoyed are the various specials, sea bass and seafood risotto. Cocktails and desserts are also amazing! We always make reservations and have had excellent service. Again, their social media presence is intermittent, but it is worth a follow to get a feel for the atmosphere and see their live music offerings.
3. 7 Seas Seafood Grille
Tucked away off the highway on the way to San Jose del Cabo from Cabo is 7 Seas Seafood Grille. Located in the Cabo Surf Hotel and Spa, this is a hidden gem not to be missed. Its location on the beach allows for Pacific Ocean views that are like no other in the area, including the opportunity to watch surfers! We have enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner at this gorgeous spot and have never been disappointed.
In our experience, 7 Seas Seafood Grille offers the most scenic ocean view setting in this area. It is all open air dining, which we have thoroughly loved. We have stopped in for breakfast and lunch but always make reservations for dinner. The pricing for breakfast and lunch seems fairly standard, with the dinner menu being more expensive (but well worth it for the quality and cuisine). They also offer many vegetarian options.
There is a surf school on site where you can get lessons and/or rent a board. We took advantage of this on a family vacation where our son had a lesson while we enjoyed breakfast at the restaurant. We then shared the board rental so other family members could give surfing a try.
All of this is housed in the Cabo Surf Hotel, a boutique hotel that is definitely on my wishlist of future places to stay! It is a gorgeous special event venue where a dream wedding can become a reality. All three (7 Seas Seafood Grille, Cabo Surf Hotel, and the Mike Doyle Surf School) maintain active social media sites worth following – although pictures of the weddings and other events are sure to cause major FOMO.
For a fun and family friendly night on the town in San Jose del Cabo, make a reservation at Jazmin’s. They have music and dancers most evenings, with a street fiesta on Thursdays for the San Jose del Cabo art walk. We have enjoyed dinner here twice, and they are also open for breakfast and lunch. The breakfast menu is huge and is very well reviewed.
The setting is large and rambling with eye-catching traditional decor. The dancers we were fortunate enough to see were fabulous and entertaining. The menu should have something for everyone, and the cocktails are delicious. This is a more “touristy” restaurant and is also home to a gift shop. Super location in the middle of the scenic San Jose del Cabo Art District.
5. Claro Fish Jr
We are always on the search for great tacos (who isn’t?) and discovered the family owned and operated Claro Fish Jr here in La Paz, where there are three (soon to be four as one will be opening in El Centenario) locations of this wonderful restaurant. Because we love these restaurants in La Paz, we decided to try the one in San Jose del Cabo on a recent day trip. It did not disappoint! The setting, service, and menus seem consistent across locations, with the fabulous salsa/sauce/salad bar in everyone we have visited.
There are many options (the menu is gigantic) in addition to fish/seafood, and the freedom to add your own toppings from such a wide selection makes for a “choose your own adventure” experience. The margaritas are excellent and cervezas cold! All locations are open air traditional palapa style, and busy – but the only time we have had a short wait was the La Paz Malecon location. There is also a Claro Fish Jr in Cabo San Lucas – conveniently located right off the highway.
With so many great options, how do you decide where to go? Plan ahead and if a restaurant takes reservations, make them. One of the best things about the food in Baja is the freshness – so it really helps restaurants to know what to expect on a day to day basis. Reviews and recommendations are super resources, but I like to try places for myself and form my own opinions.
It certainly hasn’t hurt that I can’t think of a bad dining experience here in Baja other than I may have “mis-ordered” a time or two – but that is on me! We find that we have to remind ourselves to continue to try new places as every place we go has been so wonderful. Leave a comment below on your best restaurants in San Jose del Cabo.