San Jose del Cabo, Mexico


When someone mentions (or yells) the surname of the Mexican locale of Cabo, it conjures images of sunburnt, drunk tourists behaving in any number of embarrassing ways and is enough to make any well seasoned traveler shudder. The following is an account of a different Cabo, San Jose del Cabo: the artsy, design obsessed kid sister to the spring break headquarters of Cabo San Lucas, 60 miles to the east, guarding the entrance to the Sea of Cortez.


Skip the trashy all inclusive resorts and stay right by the town square at the Tropicana Inn that radiates Mexican colonial style architecture with palm trees towering above the courtyard. Little songbirds flutter in the trees and they have a fucking parrot, it's hard to get more tropical villa than that. 


This list is hand-picked and curated from a combination of top ten lists and recommendations from the locals. All experienced first hand, so if it's a pricey spot it's worth the pesos and if it's not, it's worth the walk. But always remember, "good food and good eating are about risk" - A. Bourdain. 

La Revolucion Comedor de Baja California: The name and decor evoke colonial Mexican glamour and bloodshed, however, the tacos are like tiny heaven pockets + everything is locally sourced.   

Mariscos El Toro Guero: They have a Zagat rating and can cook shrimp in a way that makes them dissolve in your mouth. They also lift you up on a chair if its your birthday.

Drift Hotel's food cart: Ridiculously delicious, they serve things like Arrachera grilled cheese and a smoked pork burrito cubano. The cart is nestled in their courtyard, check hours.

El Wine Bar y Cafe: 3rd wave coffee and warm homemade pastries. Bacán? A caballo regalado, no se le ven los dientes. 

Claro Fish Junior: Classic seafood tacos that you will be excited about eating. You add all of the toppings yourself, you lucky bastard. Can I drink the sauce? Is anyone looking? Do you care?

Taqueria Rossy: Outside of the protected sacantury of the gallery district, recommended by all the local kids and that is exactly why you should go there.

La Lupita: Cheaper and more sophisticated than you think it's going to be. Now that you know that, you can order all of the things. Mezcal (served in a jicara), tacos, and crickets. Order the crickets. Do it.

Flora Farms Field Kitchen: Lives up to the hype and leading the local/sustainable/farm2table movement in del Cabo. It's like the garden of Eden but with fancy booze. Go for breakfast and get the tour. 


12 Onzas Tap Room: If Sublime frontman Bradley Nowell came back to life and opened a bar in Mexico this would be it. In case you didn't know, Mezcal and beer pairings are a good thing.

Casa Natalia Mi Cocina: The bar in this boutique hotel is classy AF. They make an exquisite house Margarita and employ the only bartender in the Americas who doesn't look cheesy in suspenders. 

Drift Hotel's Mezcal Tasting Bar is, like the rest of the property, perfectly curated to fit their mission - simplistic contemporary design. They  showcase up-and-coming Mexican designers. It is also the best place to score blow and hang out with musicians. FYI. 

La Revolucion: gets a second mention (+Haiku) for their drink menu.   

Avocatini                                                    delicious, ridiculous                                    do they know I'm drunk? 

Hotel El Ganzo's rooftop pool bar: The building leads you on adventures in contemporary art around every corner. While you are creeping around the hotel checking out the murals, why not grab a cocktail + go for a swim in the rooftop infinity pool? They don't know you can't afford to stay here. 

BYOB: One of the undeniably positive effects of tourism is the Mexican small batch moment. Buy a well designed bottle of any local sustainable tequila or Mezcal. It is handmade, no doubt, in some idyllic desert still. Drink it whenever/wherever so long as you remember to share.  


The natural beauty of this place is extraordinary and the possibilities seem endless. Choose your own adventure but leave things better than you found them. 

The Estuary and surrounding beach: Grab your beach stuff and head south on Calle Boulevard Antonio Majires. On foot, pass by the hotel cluster-fuck via a palm grove to the east. The freshwater estuary has 350+ species of wildlife (yes you should bring binoculars fool), the lush vegetation is fed by underground aquifers, and the lagoon is one of the few oases in the nearly desolate lower Baja peninsula. Do not swim in the ocean here, the current from the Sea of Cortez will suck you out and feed you to its creatures. If the water level is high rent a kayak and pick up trash in the estuary.

The Canyon of the Fox (Cañón de la Zorra) + Cascada Sol de Mayo: None of us deserve to know about this place but here we go anyway. Take highway 1 North turn off towards Santiago. It is a small town about 45 minutes past the airport and there is a sign posted on the road. In Santiago, follow the signs for Sol de Mayo, you will end up following a long sandy road for 10 minutes heading away from the water, you are looking for the Rancho Ecologico. The oasis is on private land + it is part of a protected zone which is immaculately maintained by a kind old man and his cat (and maybe others but that's not important.) The public can access it for $75 Pesos ($5US) per person. To avoid other people aim to arrive after lunch. Follow the naturally formed steps down to the river bed, swim in the warm pools or lay like lizards on the hot rocks. Pack everything out, if you see trash pick it up and take it with you, don't be an asshole. 


Don't get in over your head: there are more than a dozen galleries to explore and architectural masterpieces doubling as hotels scattered along the coastline, here are the standouts. 

Tanya Talamante: Her color pallettes make me feel feelings. 

Casa Dahlia: Abstract paintings in muted colors? Primarily seascapes?Yes please.  

Hotel El Ganzo: A Contemporary art gallery you can sleep in. Do they have a giant stormtrooper mural? You bet they do.

La Sacristia: Mexican Art + History and some very intense beaded tigers (not pictured).

en blanco: I wish I could remember the name of this photographer

Caravane Cabo: Interior design and precious objects.

Corsica: Museum grade contemporary Mexican sculpture. Do not touch            

en blanco: This flawlessly curated gallery is everything I want from the artworld. 

Leonora Carrington's art along the puerto Los Cabos marina. Carrington is arguably the world's most important surrealist. 

Frank Arnold Gallery: “Frank… He Laughs Like a Kid & Paints Like a Dragon.”-Some kid

Enrique Bascon: Illustration and form mastery. If you can afford art, buy this art.

Leonora Carrington's assorted sculpture along the puerto Los Cabos marina. I hope they understand how special she is.