Ignacia Guest House
Jalapa 208 Casa B, Colonia Roma
You don’t quite expect the quiet chic of the Ignacia Guest House as you’re walking down the gorgeous, tree-lined street it sits on in Roma. Roma is cool in the vein of say, Greenpoint, where the Ignacia seems more like a secret hideout in Milan. Named for a housekeeper who worked at the casona for over seventy years (there are gorgeous block-print portraits of her in numerous alcoves), Ignacia’s a stunning combination of historic restoration and modernist architecture. All of it overlooks the leafy central garden overrun with cacti and trees dangling with fruit; a bubbling, rusted square cast-iron tub bubbles meditatively at its center. The rooms are exquisite and earthily cushy. Beautiful expanses of wood and velvet are punctuated with low, sexy lamps, and the marble bathrooms are stocked with fluffy bathrobes and large brown bottles of local organic beauty products. But sitting in the garden is the ultimate. After a long day, sip a handmade cocktail stirred with artisanal mezcal as you watch sun-dappled lily pads float lazily across the central tub, and feel more at sexily at ease than you’d have thought possible in the middle…
Carretera Transpeninsular, San José del Cabo
SEARED, the One&Only Palmilla steakhouse run by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is where you go if your dream dinner phrase is “Wagyu beef.” The place has fifteen different cuts of the finest meat, vegetable sides best described as “crazy” (in a wonderful way), and views of the Sea of Cortez that will take your breath away. The resort is a quick taxi over from town if you’re staying in San José del Cabo. And while you’re there, take advantage: A post-dinner walk on the winding resort grounds makes a great dessert. (But still: Order dessert.)
El Wine Bar y Café
Carretera Transpeninsular, San José del Cabo
The drive up the long, winding dirt track to Flora Farms can be discombobulating. You’ll repeatedly look at your GPS, wondering whether this really is the right road. It is. And the bumpy drive is worth it. First, order the bloody Mary—a masterpiece of a drink in which the garnishes could make up a meal. Then indulge in one of their sticky buns, with crunchy caramelized walnuts, and afterward, walk over to El Wine Bar y Café. The small space is impeccably kitted out. Aside from their wide selection of Mexican and Napa Valley wines (there are dozens of options by the glass), their coffee is easily the smoothest cup in Los Cabos. We couldn’t help but purchase a few bags of beans to take home, plus a few of their delicate cups to sip from.
Carr. Transpeninsular, San Jose del Cabo
El Merkado was a new (and very welcome) discovery for us on a recent trip to Cabo. The large, warehouse-style building just off the Transpeninsular Highway looked so rustic, so out of place amidst all the resorts, we had to pull in for a closer peek. Inside, we found an assortment of restaurants, including Italian (the pizza and pasta dough is made fresh daily) and Mexican, plus a salad bar, burger joint, and everything in between. Toward the end of the building is a little shop selling beautiful stemware, enamel dinnerware (we couldn't resist a set of red-rimmed ceramic espresso cups), and cocktail-making accoutrements. For a casual meal, El Merkado nails it.
Avenida General Topete, Todos Santos
Taller 17 is the last thing you’d expect in an artsy Mexican town but the first thing you’ll want. This delightful spot, which is reminiscent of a West Village cafe, serves strong cold brew and pour-overs. The pastries—buttery scones, flaky fruit pies, chewy-crispy cookies—are as fresh as can be, and the housemade kombucha is the most refreshing (and healthy) way to offset last night’s mezcal.
Calle Horizonte, Todos Santos
A resident recommended this all-day spot to us for breakfast. A few moments down the Topete road outside town, La Esquina spreads its shady seating (and reliable Wi-Fi) across a plant-packed courtyard. The fresh OJ surpassed any we have ever had, and the breakfast burritos, spicy chilaquiles, and omelets were the perfect start to our day. They also have sandwiches on whole-grain toast, oatmeal, and smoothies packed with organic fruit and veggies grown on the property. Spend a slow morning working through the breakfast menu and people-watching from a cool corner before stopping by the farm stand next door.
La Bohemia Baja Hotel
108 Calle Rangel, Todos Santos
It’s a boutique hotel, but La Bohemia feels more like you’re staying in someone’s home. (And technically you are: The lovely owners live here.) This eclectic, leafy hideaway attracts people from all over the world who come to Todos Santos to walk the nearby art markets, explore the beaches, and just be here. The vibe at La Bohemia fits with the town and the name—it’s incredibly relaxed and communal. A small yard with colorful swing chaises is situated next to a bar and pool. The rooms are small and simple but thoughtfully decorated with local art. And the staff here could easily become your second family. They are so helpful, so friendly, and so very good at that fresh homemade breakfast every morning.
Calle Benito Juárez, Todos Santos
Cafelix is the spot for an iced coffee. They use their own Mexican beans, which are beautifully packaged and available to buy, and are somehow both smooth and complex. The space is small (and easy to miss, despite being on Todos Santos’s main drag, Calle Benito Juarez), but thanks to reliable Wi-Fi, posting up for a morning with your laptop and working through a few cups of their velvety brew is entirely acceptable.
Todos Santos Inn
Av. Legaspy 33, Todos Santos
Built for a sugar baron in the late 1800s, the Todos Santos Inn is styled like a hacienda and has atmosphere in spades. Flagstone floors, mahogany furniture, delicate Mexican tiling, and frescoed walls surround an internal two-story courtyard. This is where the action happens. The lower level has a small pool and fairytale restaurant La Copa Cocina, with its twinkling lights and wrought iron seating. The upper level—punctuated with palm trees and a very welcome breeze—holds eight guest rooms. Each one has a sturdy sleigh bed, antique wardrobes, and dressing tables plus pretty and functional Mexican tiled bathrooms. The mixologist at the bar is (in our humble opinion) the best in town. While you wait for your spicy mezcal concoction, take in the display of glass bottles of homemade distillations, like pear, orange, and nutmeg liqueur, plus the incredible array of dried chiles for garnish stacked on the bar.
Los Cerritos Beach
Do not leave Todos Santos without driving fifteen minutes south through El Pescadero to Cerritos Beach. The water is bathtub clear, scrupulously clean, and most importantly, swimmable (not all that common here). Just take note of the current. The view is: desert meets Pacific. And that’s basically it. There are a few beach bars on the dusty road in (Barracuda Cantina gets our vote), a smattering of surfers who also offer lessons, maybe someone selling stunning woven blankets you won’t find in any store, and that’s it. Enjoy.