Puerto Nuevo for lobster or stay in Rosarito?
Seattle Chowhound and accomplice are heading to San Diego for a brief interlude from an extremely miserable winter in the Northwest. We are sneaking away to the Baja for a daytrip and are thinking of taking a Mexicoach from the border to Rosarito for some well deserved semi-warm weather. Expected to have a drink or three at the cantinas on the beach but want the best baja spiny lobster experience in the area. If it means taking a taxi to Puerto Nuevo, we are game...money isn't an object but I'm hoping a best experience involves dining on the beach...
Puerto Nuevo is on a cliff above the beach, Rosarito is more at sea level. Though I haven't been to either spot recently (i.e. within the last year or so) I don't recall any restaurant that is right on the beach a la the talapa restaurants of mainland Mexico beaches. Both are heavily gringoized. Since all PN does is lobster you'll have your choice of about 50 separate little restaurants to choose from.
If it were me, I'd skip both PN and Rosarito and head another 10 or 15 minutes south to La Mision and La Fonda. It's not exactly on the beach either, but it is perched directly above the beach and sitting on the terrace at sunset with drink in hand listening to the waves crash below isn[t too bad. The food at La Fond should be better than almost anything in PN and most of Rosarito. They probably do some version of the PN lobster dinner.
Your weather has been pretty dreadful this winter I don't blame you at all for wanting to get away. When are you coming down, San Diego was overcast and grey today with temps in the mid-60s. Not expected to warm up much before mid-week and drizzle is predicted off an on.
There is a lovely spot above the cliffs, not on the beach, before Rosarita and Puerto Nuevo...called Los Archos.
I think this may be a website for it..
There are other posts on Chowhound, search...I have found them...regarding this topic....and while I have loved my excursions to Puerto Nuevo, and we have had many, the famous lobster dinner is just about the same wherever one goes, although we do have our favs, don't know the names, based on ambience and view.
I personally don't care for Rosarita. I have had friends, although not myself, who have gone to Los Archos for a reprieve, and been very happy. Again, don't know if they have the lobster dinner of grilled lobster, beans, rice, tortillas, etc....steaks, beef, chicken....but I have been at this hotel, on the patio, enjoyed drinks, lovely pool, great view, waves splashing. Check it out.
When you take a bus to Rosarito, you arrive on a side street just east of the Rosarito Beach Hotel entrance.
Walk north on the ocean side of the street for about 1/2 mile to Vince's Seafood and Fish Market Restaurant, a very large, high-ceilinged space with a second-floor patio overlooking the main boulevard.
They have live spiny losters in tanks to serve "al gusto", i.e,. fried or steamed "al vapor", and many other freshly prepared items to choose from.
The family owners started out in Puerto Nuevo and then moved to Rosarito. Everything on the menu is impeccably fresh and much better prepared than anything I've encountered in PN.
La Guerita is a restaurant in the middle of town, on the east side of the main boulevard near the old small Calimax market and Waldo's $1.00 mart.
Never eaten there or heard anything about it.
If you are interested in great food, "That's Amore" Italian Restaurant, across the street from the Qunta del Mar Hotel in the same area is one of the best fine dining choices in Rosarito.
Rosarito is super-touristy but that's not the town's sole industry and it has a variety of good restaurants.
Puerto Nuevo is nothing but tourists, a bunch of hotels and 20 versions of the same tourist-trap lobster joint / bar.
La Fonda south of there is a much nicer place to eat and they make the same lobster.
We stayed just north of Puerto Nuevo a few weeks ago and it was cold and windy (usually a dry wind blowing east from the desert). Most places around there the "beach" is flat rocks, not sand, and at high tide there's not even that much of a beach.
We had a very enjoyable meal at the Lobster House in Puerto Nuevo. But, we stopped at Calafia, nearer Rosarito, on the return for a drink at the cliffside bar, and would likely dine there instead another time. Wonderful views, with patio dining/seating all the way down to the seaside rocks.