What groceries should we buy in Cabo?
October 3, 2011 10:36 AM   Subscribe

What are the best (grocery store) food staples to buy in Mexico to be able to stay in and cook rather than eat out at exorbitantly-priced tourist restaurants? Details within...

Going to Cabo in a couple weeks, staying at a time share between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. I already know that the dining around there is quite expensive, so my fellow vacationers and I are planning on stocking up at the market (and a Costco, which I'm told is nearby?) on stuff so we can do some cooking/dining-in.

There are six of us and we'll be there for about a week; I'm just looking for suggestions as far as thing we should buy that will go a long way--I'm thinking tortillas, cheese, and beans will be good for a lot of basic meals. Any other ideas? Any where we should try to get fresh fish? How is the produce there? Anything to AVOID? Are there any specific-to-Mexico food, treats, or beverage we just 'must try' while we're there? Thanks in advance. :)
posted by lovableiago to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
There's Costco and Walmart, among many other places. There's an organic market at the Pedregal gate on Saturday.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:55 AM on October 3, 2011

i would steer away from beef, especially if you are used to good beef. quality may or may not be what you are used too. milk seems a little different to me too there.

avocados and other fruits like mangos and papaya will be awesome - as well as breads and pastries. you can also probably find a recommended place for whole grilled, rotisserie chickens- maybe even in the market, that added to your tortillas and avocados would make a great cheap meal. eggs and rice would other easy filling things to add. snacks - chicaritos and hot sauce. They are these wagon wheel looking things that don't taste like much until you put them in a ziploc with some hot sauce and shake it around.

as far as fish goes, i would ask locals or find a cabo centric board and ask the bajillions of expats that live there. i bet there are fresher places to buy fish than the grocery. san jose del cabo will probably have lots of good inexpensive places to eat if you do a little asking around. cabo san lucas you may have to look a little harder.

are you renting a car? It has been awhile since i have been there, but a time share in between cabo and san jose might be not very convenient to restaurants anyway.
posted by domino at 11:16 AM on October 3, 2011

I have never been to Cabo, but in other parts of the country, grocery stores look almost identical to grocery stores in the U.S. Buy the same things you would buy here. The pastry section will be full of fanciful colored treats. They're all cheap too, so just buy whatever looks tasty and give them a try.

Also, with Cabo being on the coast, I can't imagine it will be that hard to find fishermen selling fresh fish. This has been the case in every country I've ever been to with a coastline, from Mexico to India to Greece, there are lots of fish for sale wherever there is coastline.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:26 AM on October 3, 2011

@ Domino: Yes we will have a rental car and those are really great suggestions!
posted by lovableiago at 11:31 AM on October 3, 2011

Chowhound has a number of recommendations, as well.

In San Jose, there are a number of food trucks and places not set up just for tourists, which are all pretty cheap.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:40 AM on October 3, 2011

We went on our honeymoon to Cabo San Lucas. A few blocks north of the main drag is a tortilleria, I don't know the name but ask around. For 10 pesos ($1 at the time) we got a whole kilo of fresh tortillas. Get a stack of those hot of the press. A few blocks away is a fruteria grab some fresh avocados. Get some cream cheese in the grocery story and enjoy one awesome meal!

Seriously there is nothing like fresh tortillas.
posted by akabobo at 11:47 AM on October 3, 2011

Consider shopping at a Mexican grocery store instead of Costco. We found in Cancun that Costco and Walmart were priced *way* above the Mexico-based chain stores. I think in tourist areas they raise the prices on US-based stores because tourists will gravitate to the familiar.

I believe there is a Chedraui in Cabo, which is a chain. We went to the one in Cancun and got some great deals compared to the Walmart price. There is also a store called Mega which is basically like a nice Walmart. Both had a really good selection of pastries and cheeses. Nothing much different from what you have in the US.

If you are looking for tortillas, see if there is an open-air market nearby where you are staying. Look for a place that makes them fresh and sells them cheap. We paid like 50 cents for a whole stack.
posted by halseyaa at 1:42 PM on October 3, 2011

Choose a simple meal you like and make it with ingredients you can buy in the local store. I was in Mexico for a few days with a kitchen and made an easy chicken dish with a quick shop in the corner market - chicken, cheese, beans, tortillas, salsa - there are so many ways to put these things together.
posted by bendy at 7:39 PM on October 3, 2011

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