Family Fun in Cabo San Lucas

I only go to Cabo with 10 other family members at the same time, so read on for a non-party view of the area.


Family Fun in Cabo San Lucas

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by heathriel on January 20, 2006

Cabo San Lucas is a place to go if you like to do nothing or you like to party - there's no in-between.

Well, that's not entirely true. There's also fishing and golf.

There are tons of restaurants, but not as many traditional nightclubs as one would think. A few resorts are all-inclusive, and for my money, I'd go to one of those and stay there for the entire visit.${QuickSuggestions} Everyone who works in the stores and restaurants speaks English, so don't worry about trying to remember your Spanish phrases.

$10 does NOT equal 100 pesos, no matter how many times people try to tell you that. It's closer to $11 right now, so try not to get cheated. You can use this to your advantage, however; when a taxi driver says it is $15 to go somewhere, hand him 150 pesos.

Always negotiate the price with the taxi drivers before you get in the cab.

If you must drive, make sure you get out of the car immediately at the filling station, before they start pumping, and check to make sure they reset the pump to zero.

In stores, every price is negotiable. Offer half the price that something is marked and then go up from there. If you are pressed for time, just cut it by a quarter (for example, if something is $65, just offer them $50 and be done with it). You'll end up paying slightly more than they'd have eventually agreed to, but you'll save a little time.${BestWay} No matter where you're staying in the Cabo area, taxis are the way to go. Driving in Mexico is an iffy prospect at best.

Once you're in town (either Cabo San Lucas or San Jose Del Cabo), walk. Don't bother to get a taxi to take you from one side of the city to the other, because it is no longer than a 15-minute walk from anywhere to anywhere else.

Pancho's Restaurant

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by heathriel on January 21, 2006

Pancho's Restaurant and Tequila Bar is a local jewel. Slightly off the main drag, it is a covered restaurant with some outside tables. All are partitioned from the sidewalk, however, and the only people who will bother you during dinner are the musicians who sometimes wander through the restaurant.

Pancho's menu is mainly grilled items, and their hibachi-type grill is on the floor of the restaurant so you can see your food as it is cooking. (Other items are prepared in the back.)

Their specialty is seafood, with shrimp and lobster taking over most of the menu. If you've been out fishing that day, they'll even prepare your fish for you, any way you want, for 80 pesos.

In addition to the standard Mexican items, they also have "straight" ribs, chicken, and carne asada (beef steak marinaded in beer and tequila), but if you're in the mood for those, I'd go somewhere else.

Traveling as I do with such a large group, I get to see firsthand the varied items on the menu. One of the family favories at Pancho's is the Coconut Shrimp, which comes as four tiger prawns split and flattened, covered in thin flakes of coconut, and served with a sweet sauce.

My personal favorite is the tortilla soup, which is so large that even a cup requires some serious committment. It comes with less tortilla than one would expect, and almost no cheese, but the "kick" isn't as high as some other versions of the soup in Cabo, so it's fine.

For entrees, hands down, the best is the lobster and shrimp combination with garlic butter sauce. I'm a fan of the huachinango, which is a whole red snapper in the same sauce, but some people are put off by having their dinner looking back at them.

For the traditional Mexican fare, their mole sauce is wonderful, and anything that you can pour that on top of is great. My sister is a fan of their Chiles Rellenos, and I like their Seafood Burrito (with shrimp and other fish.)

The best caramel flan to be had in all of Cabo is at Pancho's; don't miss it. It isn't anything spectacular, but that's the point: it's perfect. It's done absolutely how flan is supposed to be, every time.

For those who like tequila, Pancho's is your place as well. They have a menu of tequilas that has over 500 listings, ranging from the dirt-cheap jar sitting on their bar to a 2500-peso glass. Ordering from this menu is an experience, and their waiters are very helpful in determining what tequilas will go best with which courses.

As everything is prepared fresh, you can add as little or as much spice as you want. Everyone speaks English here, so you can change things around if you need to.

In all, the prices are reasonable, and the menu is varied enough to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
Pancho's
Hildago St
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 23410
+52 114 3 0973

The Shrimp Factory

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by heathriel on January 21, 2006

To call this a restaurant would be doing cooking establishments a disservice. This place is merely a bar with a slightly expanded menu. And only slightly.

If you come to The Shrimp Factory, you're here for only one of three reasons: You like Shrimp, Lobster, or both. If none of those are true, run away, because there is REALLY nothing here for you.

The specialty of the house is shrimp and lobster by the kilo. You can purchase large or jumbo shrimp, or lobster in 1/2 and 1 Kilo (that's 1.1- and 2.2-pound) increments, and they'll come to your table steamed and... well, that's it. Lobster's are split down the middle, shrimp are peel-and-eat. There is no discount for ordering larger quantities at a time, so order by the 1/2 and order as you go. That way your food never gets cold and you don't order too much.

Oh, there are other things on the menu, sure, but they're inedible. Fish fingers? Feh. Salad? Not even. The beer battered shrimp is too salty even for me, and I once kept a jar of sea salt on my desk just to pick rocks out of to suck on.

They have a full-service bar, but I've only ever seen beer and margaritas come out if it. Their margaritas are pretty good though - very strong but you can't actually taste it.

If you go to this place and actually want to look at the menu, leave.

I recommend this place to people who aren't allergic to shellfish and who have no qualms about getting a little bit messy over dinner. The cost is around $30 for a kilo of shrimp or lobster, and that should feed two people.

Remember: Lobster in Cabo is all tail.
The Shrimp House
Blvd Marina
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 23410
+52 114 3 1147

La Cascada

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by heathriel on January 21, 2006

Located within the Westin Hotel, you would be remiss if you skipped La Cascada. This is the restaurant that "feeds" their room service, so their menu is pretty standard. The main reason to visit this restaurant, however, is their theme dinners.

On Saturday and Wednesday nights, they turn the whole terrace into a seafood buffet. All-you-can-eat lobster and tuna will be grilled fresh for you, and there are upturned canoes filled with ice and other types of seafood. No less than three different styles of ceviche can be had, as well as a few seafood-themed pasta dishes. They even have a cioppino that is pretty good and a dessert table filled with many interesting items. The cost for this is $55 a person, roughly.

If you love seafood, do not miss this. You have two times a week to catch it, so at least try for one of them. It is an experience, to say the least, and how often can you say "Oh, this lobster is a bit dry, I think I'll just leave it and go get another one?" Seriously.

Mondays and Fridays is "Prime Cuts" (I could have those nights wrong, so please check with the restaurant), where it is the same thing but with meat, all different kinds of red meat. They also have chicken, but they cook it on the same grill as the beef. The rest of the setup is similar to the seafood buffet, only meat appropriate. This is $39 a person.

I don't eat red meat, so I can't comment on the Prime Cuts night at all. My family enjoyed it, especially all the dipping sauces. They did say the chicken was terrible.

However, I can say that their Tortilla Soup is extremely good, and their Turkey Club sandwich (minus the bacon, which I don't eat either) is divine but way too big for one person. If you order that, be prepared to share. Their Shanghai Noodles are a bit sour and somehow bland, not worth ordering at all, so if you're a vegetarian, avoid that.

Their buffets are very expensive, but the soup is only $7 and is large enough for a meal for one person. It is one of the best-kept secrets in Cabo, and I rank it as my top Tortilla Soup.

Definitely come here if you love seafood, and my family would stress the same about red meat. Call ahead to find out which days they're still doing which themes.

If your wallet can afford it, the food is worth it and the view is spectacular.
Cascada
Carretera Transpeninsular KM 22.5
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
+52 (624) 142-9000

Arrecifes

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by heathriel on January 21, 2006

Arrecifes is located within the Westin Resort and Spa and overlooks the ocean with its circular design cut into the side of the cliffs of Los Cabos. Each night they have live music to accent their eclectic menu.

Because of the live music and the open-air setup, I would not recommend this as a romantic restaurant. The acoustics are terrible, and you really need to shout across the table for the other people in your party to hear. It is not conducive to a quiet evening. Also, the breeze from the Sea of Cortez can get quite chilly, so bring a sweater if you're planning on wearing a sleeveless top.

Anyway, the menu is varied, but it seems to be mostly pretentious for no reason. The chef here has major talent, so they have no need to go as over-the-top as they do on some of the dishes. Some things are too busy, like how the lobster bisque is more like a chowder and has a crab cake sitting in the middle of it--underneath a large crouton. Tasty? Sure. Necessary? No.

Some of the translations seem a bit odd as well, but take them at face value. When you see "braided shrimp" on the menu, it really does mean "braided" and isn't a typo for "breaded." "Prehispanic seeds" still has me scratching my head.

For all the pretension, the food is quite good (and it better be for the price). The Seafood Trilogy is generally agreed by my family to be the best item on the menu; it contains lobster tail, shrimp and scallops, and three dipping sauces. I'm a fan of the poached fish (the kind of fish changes each time I visit) served with a watercress and seaweed puree.

For dessert, they have an extensive port and cognac menu, but the other things change daily. In the past they've had an orange-"scented" flan that was generally well received by my relatives, as well as many a chocolate dish that disappeared almost before they hit the table.

The food is definitely good, but I'm not convinced you can't find a comparable meal for less money somewhere else in the area. However, the view is stunning and the Westin is secluded. Go to dinner here and then take some time walking around the resort gardens and down on their private beach. *That* would be a romantic evening.
Arrecifes
Hwy 1 Km 22.5
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 23410
+52 624 142 9000

Peacock's Bar and Restaurant

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by heathriel on January 31, 2006

Peacock's is a lovely open-air restaurant in downtown Cabo San Lucas. The decor is Baja-Rustico, and the meu has many wonderful fish dishes.

Most impressive is their wine cellar, full of local and imported wines. Order your meal, then ask to be taken into the cellar. They'll be able to suggest a great pairing, at a very reasonable price!

The food here comes in large portions, and all ingredients are fresh. I tried the local bass (Escalar, I think it was called?) lightly grilled, with a mustard sauce, and it was heavenly. For dessert, I had the flan, which was also very good.

My family ordered wine, but it was dry, so I went for a margarita instead. I ordered "whatever you feel like" from the waiter, and it was one of the best I've ever had. I was almost disappointed that I'm such a slow drinker, because I only got to have one!

All of their items have a special twist, for example on the night we were there they were serving Tuna Roll appetizers. These were basically tuna sashimi wrapped around some vegetable in some moderately spicy/sweet sauce. Those who had it were very pleased. Also, my brother--in-law deems Peacock's as having the best Caesar Salad in Baja California.

For a romantic night out, or if you want to try some fish done very well, certainly give this restaurant a try.
Peacock's Bar and Restaurant
Camino de los Pescadores
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 23410
+52 114 3 1858

Cabo Wabo Cantina

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by heathriel on January 21, 2006

The bar at Cabo Wabo is not a very large area, and there are only a few tables. Music can be heard from inside the restaurant, but the noise is distorted and hard to discern. Smoking is permitted here, but the bar is outside, so it tends to blow away quickly.

It doesn't take long to get your drinks, and they seem to cost around $4.50 each, no matter what you order. The margarita I ordered was extremely bitter but strong, and when we asked for "a beer," we were given a Corona.

The restroom is clean, but there is a half-step down into it. If you're a bit tipsy, you can really hurt yourself here. I was sober and managed to twist my ankle, so watch out.

Anyway, on some nights, I'm sure this bar can be crowded, but there are many other places that are less expensive and would be more interesting. I can't comment on the restaurant itself, although it looked like a Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville to me.
Cabo Wabo Cantina
Calle Guerrero
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 23410
+52 624 143 1188

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