10 Best Places to Eat and Drink Your Way Through a Weekend in Rosarito
December 15, 2019
The next time you want to hop the border, skip the typical party scene of Tijuana and keep driving until you reach the much more relaxed beach town of Rosarito Beach. And don’t worry, there are still bars aplenty. This unassumingly small town has a surprisingly great food scene and you can find some seriously amazing (and strong) drinks too.
If you find yourself with a free weekend, pack up the car and spend some time eating and drinking your way through the many restaurants, bars, taco stands, and other hidden gems scattered around Rosarito—with plenty of beach time in between. Here are 10 of our favorite picks for eating and drinking in this little piece of Baja paradise.
1. El Nido
It would pretty much be sacrilege if El Nido wasn’t on this list, so it might as well be listed first. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, El Nido is doing it right. You’ll find Mexican staples like enchiladas and burritos plus unique in-house specialties. They source local fowl and meat for their dishes and they’ve been pleasing tourists’ tastebuds since 1971. Not to mention, the atmosphere is one-of-a-kind, you’ll feel like you stepped into a kitschy jungle paradise (in the best way possible). Don’t forget to take some pictures in their hidden wine cellar.
2. Tacos El Yaqui
Tacos El Yaqui is another iconic staple in Rosarito Beach. El Yaqui has been cooking tacos since 1984, so you know they’re good. They serve one type of taco and one type of taco only: arrachera (which is a type of steak, similar to carne asada) in a hearty flour tortilla with beans, onion, salsa, cilantro, and guacamole. There’s a reason they say “if you haven’t had Tacos El Yaqui, you haven’t been to Rosarito Beach.” You’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t have at least one.
3. Popotla Restaurant and Bar
Just a short drive south of Rosarito is another small beach town, Popotla, and they have one the best seafood restaurants in Baja California: Popotla Restaurant and Bar. The fishermen in town bring their fresh catch and sell it to restaurants like Popotla, so everything is guaranteed to be fresh. Oddly located in a ‘fancy’ mobile home park, the restaurant is serving up items like ceviche, clams, and Nuevo-style lobster.
4. Puerto Nuevo
Puerto Nuevo is another village near Rosarito that is overflowing with insanely delicious and fresh seafood. In fact, it’s known as a ‘Lobster House’ village because they literally have around 50 lobster houses in the area—each one serving the best lobster you’ll ever have, so it’s really hard to choose. Basically, all the menus will be the same and you’ll just have to pick one. Expect to eat several lobsters family-style with beans, rice, ceviche, and fresh house-made tortillas. Does it really get any better than that?
5. La Flor de Michoacan
Craving some carnitas while on your Mexican weekend? Then you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to La Flor de Michoacan. That’s pretty much all they do and it’s absolute perfection. You can order their Michoacán-style carnitas family-style served with rice, beans, and all the traditional fixings or you can get there early to try some of their traditional Mexican breakfast options. No matter what meal you have here, you’ll leave full and happy.
6. Papas & Beer
Alright, alright, Papas & Beer is notoriously known as a typical tourist destination but, seriously, their margaritas are perfection. It’s by far the most popular beach and night club in town so expect to find a crowd—especially in the summer months. If you happen to be visiting in the winter months, you might actually find a quiet night. Either way, the drinks are great and the service is friendly. Can’t really complain.
7. La Cazuela Del Mole
Speaking of margaritas, La Cazuela Del Mole is also at the top of the list for making some of the best (and stiffest). Although it’s a restaurant, La Cazuela Del Mole should definitely be a stop if you want a fresh margarita with lots of tequila and simple ingredients. Plus, they come in cool cactus glasses.
8. Club Iggy’s
Club Iggy’s is another go-to party spot for revelers visiting Rosarito Beach and that’s because it’s crazy fun. Day or night, there’s always something going on and you’ll find an indoor pool, mechanical bull, a foam party room, eight bars, a bungee jump tower, and more. Need we say more? They always have some sort of drink special going on so you’ll get a nice buzz on a budget.
9. Claudius Vino
Looking to class it up a bit? Check out Baja’s growing wine culture at Claudius Vino winery. They have a gorgeous tasting room where you and your friends can sip on wines made from grapes not too far from the winery itself. Their specialties include Tempranillo, Nebbiolo, Merlot, and Cabernet. If you’re feeling really fancy, you and your crew can book a package where you’ll be served appetizers of cheese and salad followed by a gourmet meal—and lots of wine, of course.
10. Acua Bar & Mar
Acua Bar & Mar is a chill spot to have a craft beer or cocktail while you watch the sunset. You can even grab a nice bite to eat as well. They offer two-for-one specials on margaritas during certain hours and the bartenders are known to pour fairly heavily. Since they’re located in a prime location, you’ll want to take a seat at a sidewalk table with your drink and people watch for the night while you nosh on oysters, marlin tacos, or ceviche.
Written by Ashley Brewer for Knockaround.