Mapped Out

We explore historic San José del Cabo By Sandra A. Berry

Three-hundred-year-old San José del Cabo is best enjoyed on foot. Within a few blocks, you’ll find shops, galleries, master jewelers, and a reinvigorated restaurant scene. November through June, the Art District Association (www.artcabo.com)—the district is just behind the main square—hosts weekly art walks. Exploring the many restaurant options may take longer. Here we list several favorites, as well as some additional must-visit spots for art lovers.

1. Cata Wine: The boho-chic eatery’s menu combines Mexican and Italian fare in a surprising manner. The entrées are impressive: Try the salmon in smoked tomato-whiskey sauce. Boulevard Mijares and Paseo Finisterra, Plaza Misiones, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-0868, www.catawinecabo.com.

2. Don Sanchez: Chef Tadd Chapman’s establishment is perfect for enjoying upscale Baja cuisine, live music, and creative cocktails, not to mention a selection from the 300-label wine cellar—at affordable prices. Blvd. Mijares No. 3, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-2444, www.don sanchezrestaurant.com.

3. El Mariachi Jewelry Factory: Its several area locations ensure you can find whatever you want in the way of silver, gold, and leather goods, including handbags, wallets, and shoes. You can also have jewelry custom made for you in 24 hours. Blvd. Mijares No. 27, San José del Cabo, (624) 146-9269.

4. Habanero’s Gastro Grill & Tequila Bar: This ­bistro is reminiscent of European sidewalk cafés. Try the huevos rancheros from the award-winning brunch menu. Other favorites include hamburgers, specialty tacos, the surf and turf, and decadent desserts made with tequila. Boulevard Mijares, Paseo Finisterra, Plaza Misiones, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-2626, www.habaneros gastrogrill.com.

5. Indira Gems: This boutique jewelry store is just north of the Mission San José Church. Here, Isidro Sánchez creates unique pieces inspired by pre-Columbian cultures using natural elements. This is the jeweler movie stars visit when they come to Los Cabos for one-of-a-kind wearable art. Miguel Hidalgo No. 1, San José del Cabo, (624) 146-9228.

6. La Panga Antigua: Situated in San José’s oldest colonial-style mansion—with more than 150 years of history and one of the area’s most beautiful courtyards—this is a must for contemporary Mexican cuisine and locally sourced seafood. Zaragoza No. 20, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-4041, www.lapanga.com.

7. La Ostería: Beyond the huge wooden doors and surrounded by 19th-century rustic stone walls is an open courtyard where European-style tapas are served. Alvaro Obregon No. 1907, San José del Cabo, (624) 146-9696.

8. Mi Casa: This colorful restaurant—formerly a hacienda-style residence—charms with life-size murals, gardens, and regional Mexican dishes. How does fresh mango ice cream infused with a touch of tequila sound on a warm summer day? Alvaro Obregon No. 19, San José del Cabo, (624) 146-9263, www.mi casarestaurant.com.mx.

9. Retro Burger: Comfort food has been reinvented in this nostalgic sports bar. You won’t have to miss any of your favorite games, munchies, or beer while kids 3 to 93 slurp on root beer floats, indulge in a banana split, or get their lips around a great burger. Boulevard Mijares, Edificio Eclipse, San José del Cabo, (624) 130-7042, www.retroburgerbar.com.

10. Salsitas Cocina y Cantina: Step into this cantina-style restaurant for a hibiscus margarita and other adventurous Mexican fare while dining on a budget. Alvaro Obregon 1732, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-6787, www.salsistascocinacantina.com.

11. Silvermoon Gallery: Owner Armando Sanchez Icaza, a master jeweler, showcases vibrant Mexican folk art and introduces clients to the history of the artists and their ancestral traditions. Blvd. Mijares No. 10, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-6077.

12. Tropicana Inn: Enjoy traditional Mexican flavors, decor, and accommodations in the heart of San José del Cabo. Blvd. Mijares No. 30, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-4146, www.tropicanainn.com.mx.