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Restaurants in Ensenada, Mexico: Gastronomy & Typical Cuisine
As with any city situated beside the ocean, the fruits of the sea are the basis for Ensenada's culinary traditions. Featuring excellent seafood and delicious fish from the cold waters of this region, the local gastronomy is definitely a wonderful experience. Because of the temperate Mediterranean-esque climate and the fertile land, many of the dishes are prepared with local produce grown in the region, such as grapes and olives.
In addition to the fantastic variety of restaurants serving a whole range of intriguing specialties, there are also numerous gastronomic festivals, such as the lobster festival in October and La Vendimia, a very popular event held in August.
The influx of Russian immigrants to the Guadalupe Valley in the early 20th Century also greatly contributed to the gastronomy of Ensenada and even today their traditional processes for producing artisan wine and bread have been wonderfully preserved. There are some local families that even offer meals to visitors so you can try their delicious traditional dishes.
Cheeses from Real del Castillo are another highlight not to be missed and an integral part of Ensenada's culinary tradition. You can visit and tour the dairy farms where they are made, and also have the chance to sample and buy a huge variety of these delicious products, which are each branded under that specific farm's name.
When it comes to unique dishes, the famous fish tacos of Ensenada are the star of the menu many an Ensenada menu. Transforming a well known Mexican tradition into a local specialty, the fish tacos are made with a corn tortilla filled with fish sticks and topped with a spicy Mexican salsa. These delicious treats should definitely be on your list of ''things to try'' when visiting Ensenada.
Whatever your taste may be, in Ensenada you will always find a fabulous wine to pair with you meal. With so many wonderful local vineyards and such delicious local cuisine it's obvious to see why this incredible city is so chock full of flavors, aromas and has a very distinguished culinary character.
Fiestas de La Vendimia
La Vendimia is a traditional festival originating in ancient Greece to celebrate the grape harvest. This ritual was adopted by the people of Ensenada a little more than a decade ago. The bountiful and colorful landscape full of vineyards becomes the motif for a true celebration of life. For ten days the major wine houses host a variety of activities, including tastings, cultural events, seminars, displays, concerts, games and competitions. The traditional closing ''Paella Contest'' is a true feast that no one should miss. The Vendimia festival is a great opportunity to indulge in the pleasure of the senses and discover the essence of the exquisite art of winemaking.
Entering the city via Boulevard Costero, on Miramar Street you will find Ensenada's famous seafood market. Also known as ''Mercado Negro'' (The Black Market), this is the place to buy all kinds of seafood from oysters, clams, mussels, lobster and shrimp, to a fantastic assortment of fresh and smoked fish. Opened in 1958, this market remains a popular and interesting place to visit for tourists and locals alike. Throughout the market there are vendors selling the famous fish tacos among other delicious appetizers, all created using the extremely fresh ''catch of the day''.
El Rey Sol
This famous French restaurant has won a variety of prestigious awards for the quality of the cuisine listed on its extensive menu. Tastefully decorated and furnished with an elegant touch, together with excellent service characterizes El Rey Sol. With more than 50 years of tradition in Ensenada, this gourmet restaurant offers, in addition to its haute cuisine, an exquisite selection of salads and a few traditional Mexican dishes. You simply must try the crab crepes or the fabulous seafood specialties, and the homemade French pastries, baked fresh everyday and served in the restaurant's sidewalk cafe are to die for!
Bronco Steak House
Located south of Ensenada's tourist district, a block away from the beach and two blocks from the Convention Center, Bronco Steak House is a restaurant famous for its fine cuts and its delicious Sunday buffet. The rustic decor and wooden floors pay homage to the atmosphere of the old west.
If you are searching for some delicious ''surf n' turf'', then look no further than Casamar. With over twenty five years of experience serving tourists and locals alike, Casamar, located on Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas, is sure to please. The atmosphere is casual and the staff are ready to look after you and show you some real Ensenada hospitality.
Mariscos Playa Azul
Since 1964 this restaurant has dedicated itself to satisfying diners who love seafood. Playa Azul is based around a spacious patio decorated with water features, making it a very relaxing venue. The menu includes delicious cocktails, soups, seafood tacos, and you simply have to try the manta ray or lobster burritos.
Located at the northern end of Lopez Mateos Avenue, this restaurant is a very popular place in Ensenada, especially among locals. El Palmar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a varied menu that includes steaks, seafood and fantastic Mexican specialties. In the evening the restaurant's large bar fills with the music of live bands and has a really lively atmosphere.
This restaurant is simply spectacular; it features the best views of the Bay of All Saints and serves exquisite dishes. Set on a huge rock, it has an amazing ocean view so that you can experience Ensenada's stunning sunsets while you eat dinner. Punta Morro has haute Mexican and international cuisine, including delicious seafood dishes such as grilled swordfish and live abalone, along with many other delicacies. A great meal here wouldn't be complete without a regional wine: the best Mexico has to offer.
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