(Cross-posted from Baja Nomad, the OP is bajabound2005)
" Some of our favorite Ensenada restaurants – you can Google almost any of these and find great reviews. You can find all of these restaurants on Facebook. PROVECHO!
from north to south
Boules in San Miguel, Open Thurs-Mon starting at 1:00 pm. Casual, seafood and meat. Owner is Javier Martinez (speaks English). Local wines. Sundays are probably the busiest. Waterfront. Just after passing through the toll booth to Ensenada, take the right just in front of the "Extra" store. It's a little cobblestone street. Follow that straight ahead about half a block. The road curves to the right and just on the left is a gated parking lot with a security guard. Tell them you are going to Boules and he will let you in. Park in that lot. The first large white building you see is a "salon". Boules is the smaller place just past it. Cash only. Phone 646 175 9769. Good choice for a group but make arrangements ahead of time with Javi. Sundays and Mondays they have petanque tournaments.
Continue south on the hiway. Next up is Belio at KM 104 on the bayside. Look for a tall white condo building (EntreMar and it looks completely out of place so it’s a good landmark.) A “block” or so past EntreMar is the entrance to Belio. The place is BEAUTIFUL and the most upscale of all mentioned here. Mediterranean style food. I'm not sure of their hours but they open for breakfast at 7:30 on Saturdays. They are also open for lunch and dinner and I would guess they open at 1:00 (except Saturday and Sunday, they open earlier) Also English speaking. If nothing else, stop in for a drink and check out the place. 646 175 8810 email@example.com Excellent location for a large group, but again, I’d give them advance notice.
At KM 104 just a very short distance (maybe ½ a block) past Belio is Viento (the location was to be a condo complex but it never got off the ground), which houses 2 restaurants. You can recognize the "building" by the crazy fence built around it....just sticks nailed together in an random pattern. Food and atmosphere are great at both places. Both are relatively small but can accommodate up to 20 or so. For either, definitely make advance arrangement if you are bringing a group.
The two restaurants are Gazuza and El Sarmiento. both waterfront. El Sarmiento opens at 2:00 and describes itself as an "enogastrobar". Chef/owner is Guillermo Barreto (also speaks English). Great pizzas and breads made in their wood fired oven. Tapas or full menu available. Closed Mon-Wed.
Gazuza is right next to El Sarmiento. I love their ceviche. They put mango in it! Price Range: $$ 10-30
Tues - Wed: 2:00 pm - 10:00 pm; Thurs - Fri: 2:00 pm - 11:00 pm; Sat: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm;
Sun: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm.
Just as you enter Ensenada at the intersection where there is the Pemex on your left and the "lighthouse" on your right – take the hard right (sign says Migracion) that is almost a u-turn to “Puerto Recinto” – don’t take the exit off the transpeninsular that says Puerto Recinto! About 4 blocks down on your right, you’ll come across Manzanilla. Owned by award winning and notorious chef, Benito Molina and his lovely wife, Solange. Very “funky” inside (pink chandeliers), full bar. Closed Sun-Mon. They open at 1:00. www.rmanzanilla.com
From Manzanilla, make a u-turn and go back to Blvd Costero. JUST BEFORE Blvd Costero, make another hard right/almost u-turn into the parking lot where the lighthouse marks the entrance. It's a pay lot but both restaurants here will validate. From the middle of the parking lot, (the fish market will be on your left) walk straight out to the malecon. There you will find Muelle 3. This one ranks in our top 3.
Also owned by Chef Benito Molina, Muelle 3 is more casual but the food is excellent and the staff charming. Beer and wine. If you don’t see what you want, ASK! Manager is David Martinez (his brother, Javi, owns Boules) and he also speaks English (and is also an accomplished pianist!) The place is small, but we got 22 people in there once! All fish and seafood as fresh as can be. Definitely make advance arrangements with David. firstname.lastname@example.org
Go back to the parking lot and walk to the opposite side of it. There is a walkway to goes out to the street and you’ll find La Cocedora de Langosta. The Platillo del Dia is always a good bet. Try their ceviche, it’s also different. In addition to the restaurant they have a small pescaderia and wine boutique. Open 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. email@example.com 646 178 3742
Let’s head toward downtown. I don’t want to try to give directions from Blvd Costero so you’re on your own here!
At the corner of 6th and Moctezuma you’ll find La Contra (formerly known as Del Parque). It’s a very modern looking building (white). Easy parking. Great outside dining. They do most of the cooking outside. Excellent wine boutique representing most if not all of the local wines. Sample menu: http://www.lacontravinos.com/blog/?pa... (646) 178-82-13 firstname.lastname@example.org
Around the corner from La Contra, on Moctezuma, between 4th and 5th, is Casa del Arte. Live music most days, and on the menu there is something for everyone. Last summer their wine list was someone limited, but you can always run over to La Contra and buy wine there. Great indoor and outdoor areas. http://www.lacasadelarte.com.mx Menu, map and contact info on the webpage.
Barra Azul (also in our top 3). It’s located on 11th between Espinoza and the Puente going over the arroyo. They open at 1:30 and are closed on Tuesdays. Owner is Alain Genchi and the chef is Luis Garcia. The must-haves here are the tempura oysters and the oyster shooters (preferably the ones with green apple!) We don’t order off the menu; we just ask Luis to prepare how many courses we want (4-5). For dessert, the crepe cake. Local wines and full bar. email@example.com http://www.barrazul.com
Looking for comfort food like burgers and wings? Check out Icarus Wings. It’s on Ambar near 29 de Noviembre. From the Reforma, go left on Ambar and ¾ mile. Icarus is on the right (on the left is Licores Los Amigos and a Veterinario). Excellent burgers, fries and wings! They make their own burger buns fresh daily. Other meat and fish items available (like fish and chips). Their pizza is “non-traditional” such as with clams and Spanish chorizo. All the food is excellent. Beer and soft drinks. BYO wine, no corkage fee. Owner’s name is Jorge (who lives in San Diego) and his Dad is also Jorge and Dad is sually at the restaurant. Open Tues-Thurs 1:00-9:00; Fri-Sat 1:00 – 11:00; Sun 1:00 – 7:00. Phone 646 178 6055 Link to map: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx... Mexico&FORM=FBKPL0&name=ICARUS+WINGS
www.icarus-go.com is their website.
Not in Ensenada but in the Valle de Guadalupe is our all time favorite, Laja. Casual but upscale food with a fixed price menu. They grow their own herbs and vegetables and almost everything else is acquired locally. Full bar and great list of local wines. Andres Blanco is the manager and “maitre d”. He is also an extraordinary winemaker. Owner and chef is Jair Tellez. You can do the 4 course meal, but splurge and do the 8 courses. They are small so you leave satisfied but not overly stuffed. Last time we were there the 8 course was $720 pesos and the 4 course around $540. Visa/MC accepted. Closed Sun-Tues. Open at 1:30 Wed-Saturday. They close at 3:30 on Wed but are open until 8:30 the other days. (closing time means last people in the door by that time). Located at KM 83 on the Carr Tecate-Ensenada (Ruta de Vinicola). 646 155 2556 "