San Diego is a city enjoyed by 34.3 million visitors annually. With pristine beaches, wonderful places to eat and drink and quality art and culture, it is easy to see why. But many visitors (and even locals!) forget that just a few miles south lies the border of Baja, Mexico. A day trip to explore what our friends to the south have to offer is easy and worth the drive! That in mind, my next two posts will lead you on a day trip (or couple of days!) south of the border. First, the best eats and beautiful ambiance of the top 5 restaurants in Northern Baja according to a wonderful woman (and my mother in law!) who knows them all! Blessed with a terrific palate and a taste for culinary delight and quality ambiance everywhere she dines, this list is top of the line.
Tapanco: Winning the gold at number one, Tapanco is one of Baja California’s Finest. Owner Alfredo Perez is from a family of 13 children and is one of the loveliest people in Rosarito! According to Mama in Law, not only is the owner an absolute delight, Topanco also has the best food, prices, ambiance and service out of all the great restaurants in Tijuana, Rosarito and La Mission. Another awesome item to note, the majority of their food is home-grown organic on Alfredo Perez’s ranch.
El Nido: Rolling in at number two and located in Rosarito, El Nido is owned by Alfredo Perez’s brother, Guadalupe Perez! Here, you can enjoy $5 breakfasts as well as $5 taco lunches. A lovely place to hit in Rosarito’s tourist district before tasting our number one choice, Tapanco, for dinner!
La Fonda: Located in Ensenada right along the coast, La Fonda is the perfect spot to watch the surf and is one of the original surf destinations in Baja beginning in the 1960s. If you’re lucky, you’ll also be enjoying the patio on a night that Pako, a brilliant classical guitarist, is serenading. Of course, the food here is delicious, but the view and the music are what push this place into the top 5!
Caesar’s: Home of the legendary Caesar’s Salad (yes, you read that correctly! How I love Caesar salad…) Caesar’s is located in Tijuana, in a safe neighbourhood about two blocks from the great arch. This restaurant is a hot spot for many US and Mexican celebrities and politicians. The food is terrific, but if you’re looking for great service as well, ask for the waiter who won The Guiness Book of World Records record for making more Caesar salads than anyone else, ever!
La Differencia: If you are someone who feels strongly about the whole, “when in Rome” mentality, La Differencia in Tijuana offers you an array of Mayan Aztec foods that are not so common to many a palate. Here, you have the opportunity to try Mexican ant larvae, crickets and bone marrow, to name a few. Enjoy, brave traveler!
What are you waiting for? Start driving! Wishing you a gorgeous and tantalizing day or two among the best restaurants of Baja. Stay tuned for my next post on day trips to explore the surf, arts and culture of Baja, California.