Food and dining are highly celebrated in the vast Mexican coastal municipality of Ensenada. Located between the abundant waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, subjected to a Mediterranean climate, and home to a thousand and one local recipes, Ensenada, Baja California has all the reasons for celebrating the fine art and science of cooking, dining and eating. As a result, restaurants of all sizes and kinds have chosen to build their establishments in Ensenada in order to contribute to the communal appreciation of food.
As far as most Ensenada residents’ can remember, their livelihood had always been greatly dependent on the waters of the Pacific Ocean located on their west coast and the Sea of Cortez which is located at their east coast. It comes as no surprise then that a majority of the restaurants in Ensenada serve some kind of seafood dish. Most fast food places, Italian restaurants, Mexican restaurants, grills, delis, French restaurants and even cafés in Ensenada use fish, squid, octopus, manta ray, crab, lobster and other seafood ingredients since these can be found and purchased easily in Ensenada.
Just right across the Sea of Cortez, there is to be found in the coastal area of Ensenada a fish market called by locals as Ensenada’s Mercado Negro or Black Market. Tourists can easily find this place because of the mixture of mouthwatering aromas coming from its seafood restaurants and food stalls. A famous and favorite menu choice in the fish market are fish tacos. Although the idea might not sound very appetizing, fish tacos are actually very delicious and convenient to eat.
During afternoons and evenings, you can find the cobblestone-paved Boulevard Lopez Mateos and the many streets and alleys branching off it lined with restaurants, many of which offer alfresco dining. Eating dinner, lunch or breakfast outdoors in Ensenada is a very interesting, relaxing and enjoyable activity. If you are not shaded by large, usually rainbow-colored umbrellas, you can still find relief from the sun because of the leafy canopy formed by the hundred-year old trees lining the streets. If the Enseda restaurant you are dining in does not provide entertainment, you can still enjoy the roving mariachi bands that will entertain you will a few musical pieces in exchange for a small tip. Many of the streets are also livened by passing parades and marching bands from time to time.
Aside from seafood, wine is also a popular item in most Ensenada menus because Ensenada’s Mediterranean climate is perfect for growing grapes. For those who do not drink wine, local wine can also be appreciated by ordering Mexican or international dishes that use wine as part of the dishes’ ingredients.
Where else but in Ensenada can you enjoy the simple pleasure of sitting on a sea-side restaurant porch, eating fish tacos and sipping locally-made wine?