Two Things to Love about Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Leah Walker June 28, 2013

Being born and raised in Texas, I feel that I’m qualified to make the following sweeping and over generalized statement about how Texans feel about Mexico.

Mexican Flag Sea of Cortez

Mexico is like a sibling and no matter how often we fight and make-up, build fences, and make laws–deep down we really do love each other.

At times, it’s just really hard to tell. After all, Tejas and Mexico have been quarreling since at least the 1820s when Santa Anna took Stephen F. Austin hostage in Mexico City then proceeded to revoke the Constitution of 1824 and declare himself dictator. But that’s all just water under the Juárez–Lincoln International Bridge, right?

Cabo San Lucas Sea

Politics and history aside, I just simply adore Mexico. Each time I cross the border, ask myself, “Why don’t I holiday in Mexico more often?” My recent trip to Cabo San Lucas was no different.

Located at the southern most tip of the Baja California peninsula, Cabo is known for great sport fishing, golf, whales in the winter, beautiful blue water, and stunning beaches. After seeing this desert oasis for the first time, I could easily see why it’s one of Mexico’s top tourist destinations. But it isn’t the famous El Arco or the stunning desert landscape that I love most about Cabo. No, my two loves are much more simple.

Food

It’s no secret that I adore Tex-Mex–the lardy, cheesy, artery clogging bastardized version of true Mexican food. BUT, I also really enjoy the original.

Chips Salsa Guacamole

Mexico is a big place, thus the cuisine varies by region. Given Cabo’s peninsula location, seafood is plentiful and popular. Fish and shrimp tacos can be found on just about every menu, as can some sort of catch of the day and ceviche. Flavorful grilled meats like beef and chicken are popular, as is shredded pork. Bottom line: don’t expect to see deep-fried chimichangas covered in melted processed cheese on Cabo menus. And that’s just fine by me.

Mexican Sea Food

Over my five-day trip, I ate like a queen {and a glutton}. Of all the delicious meals I had, my favorite came from Bar Esquina at the Bahia Hotel. The grilled flank steak, salad with olive oil dressing, tortilla chips, and guacamole was simple and delicious. I didn’t find any of the food overly spicy, but I also carry my own bottle of Tabasco, so take that for what it’s worth.

Cabo San Lucas Food

Drink

One of my favorite small pleasures in life is a bottled Mexican Coke. That must sound strange, but Cokes from Mexico are simply the best. Fact. Legend has it that Mexico’s version uses pure cane sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I do know that Mexican Coke just tastes better. Don’t think that Mexican Coke in a can is the same as the bottled version. It’s not. Trust me.

Mexican Coke

Credit

Normally I’m not a beer drinker, but being south of the border turns me into one. Whether it’s Dos XX, Pacifica, or Modelo, beer tastes better with a squeeze of a lime, pinch of salt, and a frosted mug under the Mexican sun. And I’m positive there have been numerous studies proving my theory.

Dos Equis Mexico Beer Bottle

When it comes to mixed drinks, I’m pretty basic with my order: vodka, soda, and a twist of lime. Go to Cabo and all hell breaks loose. Instead of my simple standby, I guzzled mango margaritas despite loathing tequila. Watermelon mojitos were thrown back like water despite my ambivalence to rum.

Cabo San Lucas Cocktail

I went way beyond my cocktail comfort zone when I was taught to make a Farmer’s Mark by Khaled, the bartender at Bar Esquina. Picture this: In a cocktail shaker, add cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, a good bit of lime juice, and agave honey. Muddle it together and then add ice and Makers Mark. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. Strain over ice.

Cabo San Lucas Drink

Credit

I loathe whiskey, but the Farmer’s Mark tasted like caprese salad in a glass. It was shockingly delicious, but only in Mexico.

Land's End Mexico

I hope to return to Cabo for many reasons other than these primal and gluttonous ones. Baja is wonderful region, and one that deserves much more than the five days I gave it.

I really should visit Mexico more often.

Leah Walker

Leah's a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, The Daily Basics, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's thrilled to call Paris home after being awarded the coveted three-year Compétences & Talents visa from France, though her talents don't extend to speaking French. Yet.

26 Comments

  1. We’ve been to Baja twice – love the area. Although we don’t stay right in Cabo, we have passed through (slowly) and enjoy the vibe. We have friends who live on the Sea of Cortez – El Cardonal, – about 2 hours out of Cabo. The people of Baja are just the best, the food is ridiculously good and fresh – the alcohol, well, yes. It’s worth a trip to the Cabo Costco to bring home a couple of bottles, but also the view from Costco has got to be the best Costco view anywhere! It doesn’t hurt that you don’t have to worry about drinking the water in Baja either!

    1. I saw the Costco in passing, but I guess I didn’t notice the view. That’s it. I’ll have to go back just to see exactly what you’re talking about.

  2. As a non Native Texan that proudly quotes the bumper sticker “I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as soon as I could”, I LOVE this post. I live in San Antonio, where the Tex Mex is like nowhere else. I love all things Mexico–the food, the people, laid back life, etc. I’ve been to Cozumel and Costa Maya SEVERAL times but have yet to make it to Cabo. Its been on my radar for awhile (but Hubby prefers Cayman Islands to Mexico). After reading your post, I’m gonna have to use your mouth watering pics and descriptions to “lure” him to Cabo SOON! He loves Mexican food so that will surely be the ticket to convince him 🙂 Patti’s comments about the Costco will seal the deal–he LOVES Costco (and Costco with a view—YES!) Thanks for sharing your great trip with us!

    1. Cozumel is unlike any other part of Mexico that I’ve visited. I kind of feel like it’s simply an extension of Southern California with a Mexican twist. Hopefully you can convince your husband. I don’t think he’ll regret his decision to hit Baja.

    1. I’m impressed that you were able to handle all the spice, even though I didn’t think it spicy. Impressive, Mrs. O.

  3. You just reminded me of my love of Mexico. It’s been years since I’ve been back, and I don’t know why it’s been that long. I love everything about the country – esp. the food and drink. Yumm!

    1. Me too! I picked up a Mexican Coke at el mercado near my house this weekend. Good, but not as good as drinking it in Mexico.

  4. I am convinced after reading this post that I must come down to visit Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to verify the studies are correct regarding the beer drinking. When I am not drinking beer, I will try a bottled Mexican coke.

    1. I’m still trying to figure out when exactly you’ll be trying that Mexican Coke because I’m thinking you’ll have your lips around a XX for the duration of your trip.

  5. Mexico is Coca-Cola’s largest market – now I know why! Will need to try it next time I go!

  6. If you notice, in all of our food truck posts we always order Mexican Coke if it is there. 😛

    I miss Mexico something fierce.

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