On the road to La Playita, near the sportfishing panga area, Tommy’s Barefoot Cantina (tel. 624/142-3774, noon-10pm Thurs.-Tues., mains US$7- 30) is owned by the gregarious TJ, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area; he entertains a well-heeled clientele with a slice of the old Baja. The menu consists of fresh seafood, American-style beef, and Mexican staples. This is a good place to go in the afternoon, when the fishing boats return with their catch. There is also live music and dancing on the weekends during the high season.La Pasadita is open for dinner only, and days vary; if you see the sand in front of the restaurant hosed down, that’s a likely sign it will be open for business that evening.The friendly husband-and-wife team that previously ran Mariscos El Puerto has moved a few doors closer to the beach to open La Marina Restaurant (hotel tel. 624/142-4166, 9am-5pm Tues.-Sun., mains US$5-10). The same colorful checked tablecloths are now clustered on a shaded patio next to the La Marina Inn lobby. Ceiling fans keep the air moving on hot afternoons. On a recent visit, the wahoo filet was extremely overcooked, but the arrachera (skirt steak) tacos, served with the same signature tray of fresh condiments, were fantastic. The restaurant and hotel are located across from the panga marina, next to Tommy’s Barefoot Cantina.
For a quick bite to eat in La Playita, order a torta (Mexican sandwich) or some tacos at La Pasadita (no tel., mains US$3-5), next to Lilly’s salon on the way to the beach. The decor is barebones—a palapa roof with a dirt floor and live chickens running about—but the food is tasty and cheap. La Pasadita is open for dinner only, and days vary; if you see the sand in front of the restaurant hosed down, that’s a likely sign it will be open for business that evening.
At the main Puerto Los Cabos Marina (not to be confused with the panga fishing area at La Playita), The Container Bar-Restaurant (tel. 624/160-2733, 8am-11pm Tues.-Sun., mains US$3-7) is a refurbished shipping container with a wooden deck that is perched on a hillside with nice views of the marina below. It has a full bar, and margaritas cost US$8. Prices are in U.S. dollars. Follow Boulevard Juárez over the bridge and take the first right turn into the marina and stay on this dirt road up and over the hill until you see the marina and restaurant on your left.
Hotel El Ganzo (Blvd. Tiburon s/n, La Playita, tel. 624/104-9000, U.S. tel. 855/835- 4269) opened an upscale restaurant in January 2013 on the lower level of the hotel. Staff were still working out the kinks at press time.
Beyond Puerto Los Cabos on the lower part of the East Cape, Buzzard’s Bar and Grill (Laguna Hills, U.S. tel. 951/302-1735, 8am-8:30pm Mon.-Sat., 9am-2:30pm Sun., mains US$10-20) makes a tasty platter of coconut shrimp as well as a popular eggs Benedict for Sunday brunch. Dinner entrées are served all day, but the side dishes may not be ready until 5:30pm. To find Buzzard’s from downtown San José del Cabo, follow the road to La Playita and turn left at the first traffic circle, following the coastal road (it reaches the coast at Buzzard’s) and signs for Laguna Hills.
A unique dining experience in Southern Baja involves an excursion to Las Animas, just beyond the edge of town, where the road to the East Cape begins. At a bend in the dirt road, Flora Farms (tel. 624/355-4564) is a working organic farm that has been practicing sustainable agriculture for more than a decade and raises its own hormone- free chicken, pigs, and cattle on a 150- acre ranch nearby.
In recent years, the farm has evolved to include a field kitchen, bar, grocery counter, and “culinary cottages” for rent. For those who wish, the visit begins with an informative farm tour, after which you’ll be good and ready to eat. Settle at a table in the open-air dining patio and enjoy live music in the evening. The bar menu puts a healthy spin on classic cocktails: Dare to try the ginger beet or carrot margarita (served in a mason jar, of course). Pasta night involves five courses for US$38 per person; kids are half price. Á la carte entrées include roast chicken (US$30) and wood-fired pizza. Reservations are recommended for dinner.
Tuesday through Saturday, breakfast is served 9am-11am, lunch 11am-3pm, and dinner 5pm-9:30pm; Sunday brunch is served 10am-2:30pm. Closed Monday. To get to Flora Farms, follow Benito Juárez east from Boulevard Mijares (at the traffic circle) across the bridge to Puerto Los Cabos. Follow signs through four more traffic circles, toward La Playita, Punta Gorda, and the East Cape. After the fourth traffic circle, turn left at the cement plant onto a dirt road. Head uphill and follow the signs to the farm and parking lot. The restaurant has detailed driving directions as well as a map on its website.
Excerpted from the Ninth Edition of Moon Los Cabos.