So far I have made two Baja California Food Adventure trips and each time I have come back in awe of the amazing culinary art that I have encountered. In fact, all of my trips to Mexico have left me craving for more of their cuisine and I am not taking about streetside vendors handing out tacos. Many of the chefs I have met are from the U.S. and abroad but a large portion of them are Mexico born and trained. They have a passion and fever for their food that results in a cornucopia of amazing food served with pride.
My last trip resulted in some fun food discoveries that have left lasting impressions on my heart and perhaps around my waist as well. Four days is a short time to spend in food paradise but it was a Baja California Food Adventure that took me from Tijuana to Ensenada and back to Tijuana again with several stops in between.
Some of my trips took me along the Wine & Cheese trail, running through Ensenada around the Valle de Guadalupe area and the Ojos Negros Valley, or up the coast back to Tijuana again. Always a new discovery awaited at the next stop, even stopping at places just to see the food being cooked or visit a market and enjoy the excitement of the experience.
Baja California Food Adventure is around every turn at every stop with no possible way to try everything, though I certainly want to, there are several that I was able to enjoy and a couple that I will be stopping at next time!
La Tradicion Restaurant, Tijuana
Not far from the border, an easy taxi ride away, you will find the best breakfast in Tijuana (IMHO). They serve up amazing Molcajtes, freshly made tortillas, fresh orange juice, and killer chips & salsa.
Cava de Marcelo, Ojos Negros Valley
Part of the Baja wine & cheese trail, Cava de Marcelo is well worth the visit. The road may be bumpy and dusty but the wine and cheese are a welcome surprise. With over 100 years of cheese production, the first man-made cheese cellar, plus stellar wine production, Cava de Marcello is a delight in traditional family farming history. Their restaurant serves up a delicious menu of local foods and wines to enjoy. Taking the cheese tour gives you access to wine and cheese tasting in the below ground cellar with an introduction to the four generations of the Castro family.
Carretera Ensenada-San Fe KM 46, 22810 Ojos Negro, Baja California, Mexico
+52 646 117 0293
MV Steak House, Ensenada
Located in the Marea Vista Hotel the MV Steak House offers premier upscale dining in Ensenada. With a young and talented chef, fresh local menu items and a strong wine selection, an evening dining next to the ocean should be on everyone’s list.
Ave. Acapulco 177 Fracc. Acapulco, C.P. 22890, Ensenada, Mx.
El Rey Sol, Ensenada
Family run since 1947, this incredible French restaurant is Mexico’s oldest, it offers beautiful interiors and impeccable service. I enjoyed a Sunday breakfast there, enjoying both traditional Mexican dishes, American dishes, and delicious French pastries.
Avenida Adolfo Lopez Mateos #1000 (Calle Primera) Ensenada, B.C. 22800, México
(646) 178 17 33
Viña de Frannes Winery, Valle de Guadalupe
In the heart of Baja Californias wine country, Valle de Guadalupe, Viña de Frannes fits the motto of “Go for the wine, stay for the food” perfectly. While sitting outside on their patio, overlooking the grape vines and Mezcal plants growing at the base of the foothills, you can sample their wines and enjoy some of the many culinary delights their kitchen has to offer.
Byroad to Cañada del trigo ranch s/n Valle de Guadalupe C.P. 22750 Ensenada B.C.
+52 (646) 155-2433
Deckman’s, Valle de Guadalupe
The Baja California Food Adventure is clearly found with live fire cooking! Deckman’s, home of the full outdoor kitchen, local ingredients and a “Zero” kilometer restaurant, offers some interesting culinary flare with their outdoor restaurant. Everything is grilled or cooked outdoors with local Oak firewood, outdoor seating overlooks the vineyards which include magnificent sunsets.
Ensenada-Tecate Highway Km. 85.5, San Antonio de Las Minas, Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico
+52 1 646 188 3960
BC Bistro & Cava, Ensenada
Located inside the luxurious Coral & Marina Hotel in beautiful Ensenada, with beautiful views of the ocean, you will find BC Bistro & Cava restaurant. Though offering a varied daily menu, they serve up a spectacular Sunday Buffet with an omelet bar, self-serve yogurt and granola bar, an impressive dessert selection, along with a delicious assortment of traditional Mexican specialties.
Km. 103 Carretera Tijuana – Ensenada No.3421 Zona Playitas, CP 22860 Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
(646) 175-0000 ext. 7140
Tacos el Yaqui, Rosarito
If you are a fan of Carne Asada Tacos, then Tacos el Yaqui in Rosarito is your Baja California Food Adventure destination. Open since 1984 as a small taco stand on the corner (across the street from its current location), Tacos el Yaqui is a local phenomenon. They serve up some of the best Carne Asada Tacos around!
Ave. Mar del Norte, Esq. Calle La Palma, Zona Centro Rosarito, Mexico 22710
El Nido Steak House, Rosarito
Open since 1971 and serving a vast array of local favorites, is the El Nido Restaurant on the main boulevard of Rosarito. Ambiance abounds inside and outside the restaurant, with an eclectic rustic country theme, rich greenery and a full wall water landscape in the back dining area. Fresh tortillas are an irresistible addition to their mouthwatering menu.
67 Boulevard Benito Juárez Rosarito, Mexico
La Casa del Pescador, Puerto Nuevo
Puerto Nuevo is one of those small towns where you blink and you’ll pass it right by, but what a huge loss that would be. No more than a few city blocks long sitting right up against the Pacific Ocean, Puerto Nuevo is a seafood haven of small restaurants, so many that you will be hard pressed to enjoy them all. Luckily I was graced with the chance to enjoy a Lobster dinner at La Casa del Pescador, rooftop seating no less with a sunset to die for. La Casa del Pescador does not disappoint with its colorful atmosphere, fresh seafood, delicious drinks all served with a smile.
Verde y Crema, Tijuana
Open for the past 4 years and featuring the culinary art of Chef Zoe Villarreal’s Mexican Fusion, Verde y Crema is a foodies delight. Chef Villarreal shares traditional recipes with his own twists and favorites from his childhood with his modern interpretation. Verde y Crema also serves their own Wine and Mescal!
Orizaba 3034 Col. Neidhart, Tijuana, Baja California 22020
+52 664 681 2366
Baja California offers a vast selection of dining options on top of an even greater selection of street stand, stalls and food trucks that dominate the culinary scene making for a perfect Baja California Food Adventure. I was so impressed by the passion, creativity, and freshness of the foods we were served. The Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada corridor is a food lovers paradise.
Full disclosure: Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada tourism hosted me for a four day, three night all expense paid media trip without stipulation. All thoughts, photos, and opinions are my own.
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