Top Five Tacos in Los Cabos

Our Choices for the Top Tacos throughout Cabo San Lucas!

Superior foods prove themselves over time and space. They outlast fads and fashions, transcend decades, and improbably increase in popularity from century to century. Superior foods leap across national boundaries, and refuse to be confined to specific meals. They are somehow always appropriate, and almost always delicious. Only when one fiddles with the fundamental essence of a superior food can its genius be muted, and then but slightly.

Such a food is the taco; a sublime tortilla wrapped treat born in Pre-Columbian México and now welcome fare in the most isolated and insular areas of the world; a foodstuff simultaneously beloved by both rich and poor, men and women, and members of every extant race and religion.

Examples of this comfort food par excellence may of course be found at taquerías and marisquerías throughout Los Cabos; tacos are sold on virtually every block in Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, and also proliferate along the 20-mile coastal corridor which connects the cape cities.

Drunk or sober, morning or night, there is no bad time for a taco. There is also – since Taco Bell is anathema in México – no bad place to buy them. It stands to reason, however, that some tacos are better than others. Thus in no particular order, we present our nominees for the five best tacos in Los Cabos.

Drunken Barbacoa Taco – La Lupita Taco & Mezcal

Taco prices range from very cheap (about 50 cents) to relatively expensive ($5 or more) in Los Cabos, with rarely much difference in quality. La Lupita is the exception, and the foremost mecca in Los Cabos for dyed-in-the-wool taco aficionados. Located in the midst of San José del Cabo historic Distrito del Arte, crowds spill out the door waiting for a chance to try gourmet delicacies like the Taste of Lupita with blue chips, pumpkin seed and tomato dip, guacamole and fresh lime and chile roasted chapulines (grasshoppers), as well as tacos featuring pato (duck), cecina (cured, thinly sliced beef), suckling pig or barbacoa (lamb or beef cooked in a pit covered with maguey leaves). Many local taquerías serve barbacoa once per week. At Lupita, these superb tacos are available nightly, wrapped in blue corn tortillas with cilantro, aged cheese and special “borracha” sauce.

To find out more about La Lupita, please visit their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/lalupitatacoymezcal 

Taco de Callo – Tacos y Mariscos Los Claros

The first food most people think of in connection with California – Alta or Baja – is the fish taco, a symbol as regionally representative as the surfboard or the custom Jeep.  In Los Cabos, the undisputed king of seafood tacos is Los Claros. Need proof? Just stand somewhere and sooner or later a Los Claros taquería will open in front of you. Since the original opened on Blvd. Mijares in San José del Cabo, new locations have been popping up in Cabo San Lucas and beyond with ever increasing frequency. The recipe for their success is very simple:  tacos made from the freshest of freshly caught chocolate clams, shrimp, oysters, scallops and octopus. The scallops, called callos in Spanish, are almost heartbreaking tender, and need little flavoring or spices from Los Claros’ extensive condiments bar.

For a deeper dive, explore their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/losclaros

Taco al Pastor – Las Guacamayas

I confess that the taco al pastor (shepherd style) seems to me the greatest of all tacos. Its source material, the ubiquitous vertical slabs of spit-grilled marinated pork, are like giant magnets capable of toppling orbits, pulling people from their preordained paths towards plastic protected tablecloths topped with small bottles whose labels tout regional varieties of fiery salsa. When properly prepared, pineapple is skewered just above the pork, its juices dripping down to further flavor and tenderize the meat before it is expertly sliced off into corn tortillas. Las Guacamayas does tacos al pastor right, down to the cilantro, onion and exotic condiments. Named for the macaw, each of the three locations for this popular taquería – the original in San José del Cabo, the other two in Cabo San Lucas – boast vibrantly colorful parrot-themed murals. In addition to tacos, Las Guacamayas’ other traditional Mexican comfort food options include quesadillas chilangas, fajitas, molcajetes and volcanes.

For more information, please visit their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Las-Guacamayas

Fish Taco – Tacos Gardenias

To be open for 35 years in Cabo San Lucas is enough to qualify a business for the registry of historic places. In a community that as recently as 50 years was a small fishing village, such longevity is remarkably rare and speaks to an enduring loyalty among both locals and visitors. Gardenias remains the taqueria in the vicinity of Médano Beach, the place the bikini and board shorts clad crowds invariably head after working on their tans and their cerveza tolerance.  This laid-back eatery offers a legion of taco options, ranging from barbacoa, chicharrón and chicken to cochinita pibil (Yucatán style slow-roasted pork) and nopales (de-spined pads from prickly pear cactus). The specialties of the house, however, are made with fresh local fish or shrimp, cooked to order, with a diner’s choice of salsas and seasonings.

To see their menu, click here: http://www.tacosgardenias.com

Visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TacosGardenias

Pink Taco – Sancho’s

Purists will turn their noses up at this “Gringofied” hard-shell taco, but there is no denying its popularity among many tourists and expats, to whom it represents the type of taco they were first introduced to…only more so. Served in a deliberately provocative pink shell – the branded apparel is nearly as popular as the tacos themselves – this specialty of the house is generously layered with lettuce topped beef, fish or shrimp, and then slathered in sour cream and creamy processed cheese. Be advised:  Sancho’s Pink Taco is more than a mouthful. The Marina-based bar, recently opened by former Cabo blue bartender Margo Marek and Courtney Chappell, also serves up plenty of cervezas and sandwiches, plus lively waterfront atmosphere.

For more on Sancho’s, please visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sanchoscabo

Honorable Mention:

Carnitas Los Michoacanos, El Zarape, Tacos Rossy, La Lorenza Tacos & Tacos, Tacos Guss, Así y Asado

Please be sure to visit our choices for the Top Five of Los Cabos...

Saludos,

Chris Sands and Michael L. Mattos

CaboViVO

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