The Baja Peninsula
Restaurants in The Baja Peninsula
If there’s an area of Mexico that is gaining worldwide attention for its cuisine, it has to be Baja California. Talented chefs are making the most of the region’s bountiful land, its vicinity to the ocean and its beautiful wines, and showcasing it all at Baja Peninsula restaurants. Tijuana’s Mision 19 is one of the best restaurants in the Baja Peninsula, thanks to chef Javier Plascencia’s fresh, sustainable cooking. Inspired by local ingredients, Plascencia dishes out seasonal creations like seared foie gras, charred octopus and scallop parfait with avocado meringue. Hungry guests from neighboring San Diego cross the border just to try Mision 19, so plan ahead and make a reservation as soon as possible.
Laja, located in the heart of Valle de Guadalupe, is the epitome of Baja cuisine. The restaurant grows many of its own ingredients and sources the rest locally in order to build four and eight-course menus that change weekly and are paired with local wines. Laja’s chef Jair Téllez has become one of the most important figures of Mexican cuisine in recent years. Celebrated chef Diego Hernández is behind Corazón de Tierra, a restaurant located inside Ensenada’s La Villa del Valle Hotel. Hernández serves a tasting menu that changes every day depending on available ingredients, all sourced from the restaurant’s own orchard or from local producers. Travel + Leisure Mexico named Corazón de Tierra the Best Hotel Restaurant in 2012.
Corazón de Tierra serves deliciously complex dishes such as black cod in onion embers with onion-verbena purée.
At Javier Plascencia’s alfresco Finca Altozano, the focus is on impeccably grilled meats and seafood.
This corner stand serves up the best fish taco ever. It’s a DIY affair: they give you the tortilla and double-fried nuggets of angelito shark, then you build the rest from a counterful of trimmings—though it hardly requires a thing, so moist and flavorful is the fish.
Enjoy fresh seafood—abalone, filet mignon, and swordfish with cilantro sauce—at this restaurant, adjacent to a winery.
On the boardwalk near the fish market, Benito Molina’s casual seafood joint has a daily changing chalkboard menu; come for mussels and local wine.
At Nick-San in downtown Cabo, the fusion of Mexican and Japanese cuisine is the result of a partnership between chefs Angel Carbajal and Masayuki Niikura. The open dining room accommodates 130 with both table and sushi-bar seating.
Sabina Bandera has crafted complex and flavorful seafood cocktails and ceviches—pismo clam, sea urchin, octopus, mussels, and more—from her humble street stall for almost 40 years. Don’t miss her house-made salsas.