Dining Out in San Felipe

A frequent visitor’s approach on ~The Malecon of San Felipe~ restaurant scene.

For lunch? How about shrimp, rice, beans and a salad – qué rico!

Most of the old fish taco stands have been moved off the Malecon. A collection can be found in the Plaza Maristacos at the south end, towards the Costa Azul Hotel. The very first shop on the left hand side as you face the plaza, La Morena,  does a great fish and shrimp soup. Stroll a few steps along the Malecon to the north and you will find The Sweet Spot serving drinks and food with football Monday night specials.

Between the Beachcomber and the Rockodile, Conchita’s is highly recommended. Sit on the upstairs balcony and watch the passing show. (The venerable Tony’s restaurant closed in November 2006 and is still missed.)

The freshly fried shark meat or shrimp tacos are still unsurpassed for taste. The small bowls of condiments at each stand provide red and green chile salsas, chopped vegetables, limes, onions and mayonnaise-type sauces so you can individually tailor your meal. Bottles of red pepper sauces are also at hand for true fire eaters. Two fish tacos and a cold beer or soda are inexpensive and make a healthy lunch. Squeeze lots of lime juice on your tacos and on the rim of the beer bottle. Shrimp cocktails and ceviche are also very popular and beef tacos are available at most stands.

Other popular and cost-effective places to eat include Rosita’s and Rice and Beans (your hosts are brothers Rigoberto, Martín and Ricardo Romo and they do an excellent fish stew and have a consistently good menu), Chencho’s (try the Oaxaquenos eggs for breakfast), La Vaquita with their Wednesday night specials. On the beachfront we have the restaurant at BajaMar Restaurant & Taco Factory (wonderful shrimp dishes and tacos for $2.00).

For a real local flavor treat try the birria and some typical mexican breakfasts at the stands located along the street behind Fat Boy’s Pizza. These little gems of restaurants are only open for breakfast and lunch mostly on weekends and get very crowded, especially birriería El Chango.

If you have a craving for a good pizza or a typical American meal check out Fat Boy’s Pizza. Many residents from El Dorado dine there and it is a good place to meet retired ex-pats and join in the karaoke. It’s located right across the Mar de Cortez St. OXXO.

For the special splurge dinner (allow $30+ per person) try the excellent filet mignon and other prime steaks at El Nido (closed Wednesdays), the Red Lobster (in the very center of town) and Baja Mar (for a great Margarita with your seafood),. The patio at the El Cortez hotel is also a wonderful location with ambiance for a beachfront lunch or dinner in the warmer weather.

Freshly cooked food is unlikely to cause you any intestinal discomfort. However, if the worst does happen, visit Tavo at Botica Sagrado Corazon (the drug store next to the Bancomer on Mar de Cortez St.) and he will dispense some elixir to clear up the problem. Also try the restaurant across the road from the pharmacy – El Balcon, on the second floor of the La Plazita building for excellent regional Mexican dishes.

The one place many of our visitors from Ensenada, Tijuana and Mexicali visit, is a little family run restaurant called, El Minuto. It’s where Mexican and foreign tourists gather to indulge eating good authentic old fashioned home style cooking. You may sit inside the dining area or enjoy eating outside in the patio. El Minuto is known for its Caldo de Res; a delicious beef soup that comes served with rice. Many think is the best of its kind in all of San Felipe. Located right behind the building of  La Langosta Roja Restaurant on the back street.

Incidentally, when you dine in any restaurant, do not hesitate to tell them if you want them to use little or no salt. Many dishes come highly salted if you do not express a preference. Salt on the rim of the Margarita glass is traditional but you can always clear a little section to drink from with your napkin if it appears excessive.

Health tip: Check the rest rooms of a restaurant before you eat there. If they do not have soap and towels then give them a miss. If there is no soap, the employees are not satisfactorily washing their hands before handling food. Don’t hesitate to inform management of any unsanitary conditions.

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