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Tacos Los Claros: Eating Good, Fresh and Cheap in Los Cabos

SAN JOSE DEL CABO - When we took a 3 week family trip around Baja California Sur last year, one of our favorite discoveries was Tacos Los Claros in downtown San Jose del Cabo (with two other locations on Highway 1 toward the airport and Cabo San Lucas). Approaching lunchtime while tooling around the historic Spanish Colonial town one day, El Gringo asked the locals where to find the "...best mariscos tacos in town." Three out of four locals directed us to Tacos Los Claros, about halfway between downtown and the beach (the fourth local was a taco shop owner and tried to lure us in with free margaritas...to no avail. El Gringo may be cheap, but he is not easy).

Tacos Los Claros, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico The busy kitchen at Tacos Los Claros. Photo by Ursula Koenig.

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Tacos Los Claros. Fresh. Great. Cheap. Los Cabos.

Tacos Los Claros is an open-air, unassuming mariscos joint with a palapa roof, a busy kitchen and ample and comfortable seating. For the kiddos, there’s even a small playground with swings and things to climb on (a godsend when we stopped on that trip as we were rolling with a 4 and 5 year old). The restaurant is stocked with fresh bounty from the Sea of Cortez each day by independent fishermen. If the fishermen don’t show up for some reason, the ownership will often go to the shore to source seafood directly. Tacos Los Claros’ clientele is a mix of locals, expats and tourists, all happy, hungry and enjoying their cervezas and cocktails from the restaurant’s bar.

Tacos Los Claros, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

The busy kitchen at Tacos Los Claros. Photo by Ursula Koenig.

And unusually, when compared to more touristed places in Los Cabos, Tacos Los Claros is extremely affordable…with most items only costing $1.50 – $3.00 US. Our table of eight drank and dined very well and the total bill only came to $100. In San Diego, even if you could get some of the fresh ingredients not local to the region such as marlin, the cost would be at least 2-3 times as much.

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Any place with a palapa roof is gonna be good. Tacos Los Claros is no exception.

El Gringo and his Señorita were thrilled to introduce a group of coworkers and friends to the joys of Tacos Los Claros on a trip this past weekend to Los Cabos (everyone enjoyed the food and vibe SO much that we returned for lunch the following day). As we approached Los Claros, we were immediately hit with the delicious aroma of seafood being grilled, fried or otherwise transformed into servings of mariscos miracles. We acquainted ourselves with the waiter, ordered beers and margaritas, were handed menus, and awaited with anticipation as our food was prepared.

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

The writing is on the wall that the goodness will be on your table at Tacos Los Claros.

The table started with a couple of shrimp and pulpo cocktails which were fresh, abundant with plump delicate seafood and perfectly marinated in briny aguachile. There was no shortage of tostadas, crackers and salsas with which to enjoy this appetizing starter as we all hungrily dug in. We also ordered a fantastic green aguachile with shrimp, scallops and pulpo, which was spicy and refreshing. El Gringo ordered chocolate clams, named not for their taste, but for the brownish complexion of their shells. Sometimes served live (they squirm when you squeeze lime on them) these meaty red and white shellfish are fresh from the Sea of Cortez and ready for the slurping.

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Almejas Chocolata (Chocolate Clams) at Tacos Los Claros, Los Cabos.

Next up were rounds of tacos. El Gringo ordered three: A smoky and delicious smoked marlin taco, a succulent crispy shrimp taco (served in a panko like crust) and the “Pulpo de Diablo” taco, grilled octopus served marinated in a rich, smoky and spicy sauce. You have your choice of corn or flour tortillas for your tacos and there is a large condiment bar with all the sauces, sides, condiments and fried jalapeños and onion rings you could possibly need (El Gringo’s Señorita commented that you could order three of the same tacos, but make them completely unique with the correct condiment combination).

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Clockwise from left: crispy shrimp taco, battered jalapeño, smoked marlin taco, chocolate clam, pulpo el diabla taco.

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Tacos Los Claros’ Crispy Fish Taco. Fully loaded from the condiment bar.

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Salsa, salsa and more salsa. At Tacos Los Claros, Los Cabos.

Tacos Los Claros, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Tacos Los Claros’ condiment bar offers an endless combination of taco toppings and sides. Photo by Ursula Koenig.

So the next time you’re fortunate enough to be in Los Cabos, get yourself muy pronto to Tacos Los Claros in San Jose, or visit one of their other two locations, which I’m sure are equally delicious. Your tastebuds, tummy and pocketbook will say “GRACIAS!”.

Your Gringo in Mexico,
Scott

10 Comments on Tacos Los Claros: Eating Good, Fresh and Cheap in Los Cabos

  1. Alexandra Farella // November 13, 2013 at 1:11 am // Reply

    Such a delicious place. Thanks for sharing with us!

  2. Reblogged this on CritDicks.com and commented:
    By the look of things, this may be “the place”. I’m going to have to give ‘er a go my next visit!

    Good job Gringo!

    Dick

  3. Thanks for this review!!! I wish I was there right now!

    • Thanks for your comment GayinLA! I wish I was there right now as well 🙂 The rule of thumb is that the BEST seafood is always found somewhere close to the ocean, where it is caught, cooked and served with local love.

      El Gringo

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