As befits Mexico’s most popular tourist destination, Los Cabos boasts plenty of world-class fine dining establishments, as well as hundreds of hole-in-the-wall taquerías. However, one of the complaints most often heard from transplanted Mexicans is that the area lacks the “real,” traditional food so readily found on the country’s mainland. In fact, there is some great regional Mexican cuisine (dishes representing many of Mexico’s 31 states) available in Los Cabos. You just have to look a little harder to find it than you might in, say, Oaxaca or Guadalajara.
Los Tres Gallos – This restaurant boasts perhaps the best traditional cuisine in all of Los Cabos, served up in a charming courtyard dining area by a friendly and professional staff. Everything on the menu is delicious (not to mention affordable, with all entrees checking in at under $14 US), but the mole dishes are magical. Mole is a sauce made from chocolate and chile peppers, among other ingredients, and is one of the staples by which Mexicans judge the quality of restaurants. Los Tres Gallos, or The Three Roosters, gets top grades. This is the type of place locals take out-of-towners when they want to impress them, and the restaurant has increased in popularity to the point that reservations are definitely recommended during the high season (January through April).
Image: Vic Vertigo.
Felix’ - Felix’ is the evening incarnation of Mama’s Royal Cafe, locally lauded as the area’s top breakfast spot, and famed for their pan francaise (french toast). Felix shares the same beautiful bougainvillea-rimmed courtyard dining area and the same excellent live music as Mama’s, but instead of omelets and breakfast burritos Felix’ specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine. Menu highlights include Chiles en Nogada (a dish from Puebla featuring chiles stuffed with pork, herbs, fruit, and spices), Pozole (sometimes called “the national dish of Mexico, pozole is a pork and hominy stew renowned as a hangover cure), and Puerco con Piña (pork, pineapple, chile and bell peppers).
Hacienda El Coyote – This restaurant and tequila lounge is located near the entrance to Pedregal (Cabo San Lucas’ wealthy hilltop enclave), and offers a wide variety of Mexican standards representing states such as Jalisco, Oaxaca, Yucatán, and Puebla. Try the Cochinita Pibil, a traditional dish from the Yucatán Peninsula made with pork and achiote (a paste used in regional cuisine that is derived from achiote seeds). Also excellent are the Oaxacan tamales and lobster Ensenada-style. After dinner, sample from their stock of over 200 tequilas.