Nobody visits Los Cabos with visions of double cheeseburgers dancing in their head. Rather, most Cabo bound tourists lick their lips thinking about the region’s delicious fish tacos or tuna ceviche.
But here’s the thing: even in a place where the fresh local seafood is lauded both for its quality and quantity, there will almost assuredly come a day during your sojourn in paradise when you yearn for the simple comfort food pleasures of home. You know, rib-sticking standards like hamburgers and French fries.
So on behalf of homesick gringos, as well as those that simply love the sensory experience of biting into a perfectly built hamburger, here are our nominees for the top 5 burgers in Cabo.
Double Cheeseburger – 1950s Classic American Diner/The Market at Quivira – Cabo San Lucas
If you’re familiar with Quivira, it’s probably because of the spectacular Jack Nicklaus designed golf course that hugs Pacific Coast cliffs along the northern reaches of Cabo San Lucas. But Quivira, an upscale residential development from the Pueblo Bonito brand–owners of four luxurious beachfront resorts in Los Cabos–has also made news with The Market at Quivira, an expansive 15,000-square-meter food hall style dining mecca that premiered in February 2017. Meant to evoke the world’s greatest food halls, places like Harrods in London and The Plaza Hotel in New York, The Market offers everything from deli sandwiches, freshly made chocolates and homemade ice cream to traditional Mexican, Asian and Italian fare. The big draw for burger lovers, however, is the 1950s Classic American Diner, a time capsule worthy eatery that specializes in American comfort food classics like burgers and hot dogs. Try signature items like the Classic or the Mac and Cheese Burger and you’ll think you died and went to burger heaven. The best of the best, though, is the Double Cheeseburger with bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion and two slices of cheddar cheese. Order it up with a side of onion rings, and then beg Quivira to let you buy one of their gorgeous new homes nearby because you definitely won’t want to leave.
Big Tony Burger – Zipper’s Bar & Grill – San José del Cabo
There are burgers, and then there are burgers on a gorgeous beach with a laid-back surf scene and spectacular Sea of Cortés views. That’s the case at Zipper’s, which takes its name from the famed offshore surf break at Playa Costa Azul, site of the annual World Surf League sponsored Los Cabos Open of Surf competition. The surf break is legendary locally, as is Big Tony, proprietor of the region’s best beachfront bar and grill. The bill of fare at Zipper’s features Mexican and American comfort food favorites like burritos, BBQ ribs, pork chops and quesadillas, but is headlined by over a half-dozen delicious specialty burger options. First-timers should start with the signature half-pound Big Tony Burger showcasing bacon, cheese and avocado toppings, and pair it with a basket of curly fries and a refreshing ice-cold bottle of Victoria, one of México’s finest beers. If you’ve still got an appetite afterwards–unlikely, but theoretically possible–try an order of the ribs, which are considered by many to be the best in Los Cabos.
Bandido Burger – Bandido’s Grill – La Paz
Okay, we cheated. This one isn’t in Los Cabos, but rather in Baja California Sur’s capital city of La Paz. Trust us: it’s worth the two-hour drive, if only to watch the burgers being cooked to perfection on a grill hidden beneath the hood of a bisected pick-up truck. Old-timers will remember Bandido’s humble beginnings, but the Baja burger joint non pareil has continued to grow in popularity with both locals and visitors, and now boasts an excellent location just a block from the water, and not far from the city’s scenic malecón. The ambiance is straight out of the 1950s, with red and white checked tablecloths, old-time rock n’ roll playing, and old-school newspaper style menus that will make you yearn for a bygone era. Mainly, though, you’ll yearn for the half-pound burgers, many of which are topped with either egg or bacon, and all of which are absolutely delicious.
Black & Blue Burger – Galluzzo’s – Cabo San Lucas
You may not know the name Galluzzo, but if you’ve spent any time at all in Cabo San Lucas, you almost assuredly are familiar with Tim Galluzzo’s Italian themed eatery, Salvatore’s. Set on a short downtown block named for Emiliano Zapata, a stone’s throw from the main drag and Marina, Salvatore’s has long been a favorite of visitors thanks to its unbeatable combination of quality food at affordable prices, served up in enormous portions. So successful has this recipe proved that another restaurant was opened a few doors down. That would be Galluzzo’s, which offers Salvatore’s menu as well as classic American comfort food items like hamburgers and Coney dogs. Our go-to is the Black and Blue, which features a generous ground beef patty topped with grilled slices of pepper bacon, blue cheese, tomato and onion. It’s a fantastic burger, and comes with an order of what are, by local acclimation, the very best French fries in Los Cabos.
Basil-Blue Cheese Burger – Baja Brewing Company – San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas
Wine isn’t the only beverage you can pair with food to achieve a gustatory whole decidedly better than the mere sum of the parts. Beer works, too, especially at Baja Brewing Company, the first microbrewery in the state of Baja California Sur, and purveyor of some of the Los Cabos area’s finest food and beverage pairings. Our favorite is a draught poured pint of the Peyote IPA with their exceptional Basil-Blue Cheese Burger. The beef is Grade A for this whopper, which includes a savory blend of creamy blue cheese, cherry tomatoes and tart green apple, plus freshly baked cheddar cheese. Even the buns, a sautéed onion seasoned specialty of the house, are worth raving about. In addition to its original location in the heart of the historic Distrito del Arte in San José del Cabo, BBC also maintains two locations in Cabo San Lucas: a brewpub off the Marina boardwalk between Puerto Paraíso and Luxury Avenue, and a breathtaking rooftop aeries at Cachet Beach Los Cabos (formerly Cabo Villas). If you think washing down tasty bites of basil-blue cheese burger with an exquisitely hoppy IPA is a sensory delight, wait until you add eye-catching elevated views of Playa El Médano, Bahía Cabo San Lucas and the half-mile Land’s End headland.
Saludos from Co-Founders…
Chris Sands – Writer and Michael Mattos