Baja’s Booming New Food Scene in Ensenada

Ensenada has always been Tijuana’s cooler, hotter but more elegant and down-to-earth cousin. A seaside town with a vibrant port set in the magnificent Todos Santos Bay, the collapse of the tourism economy hit Ensenada hard. But thanks to the energy and passion of a small group of vintners, chefs and restauranteers, Ensenada is back –in a big way.

For sure the inspiring allure of the Adobe Guadalupe Winery and the wineries of the Guadalupe Valley has had a positive impact on the restaurant scene in Ensenada. Restaurants like Kalifa in the Viento seaside complex between San Miguel and the port are also destinations along with Boules at San Miguel. And for a post dinner coffee and desert check out Luis Arriagas art-filled cafe, Cafe Arabica at #1010 Second Street, just off downtown.

Last week I had the pleasure of eating an amazing lunch–one of the best seafood meals I’ve ever eaten in Baja at the amazingly down-to-earth and unpretentious Muelle 3 located on Ensenada’s malecon.

Owner David Martinez has put together a simple menu that is all about serving simple, fresh, and incredibly tasty seafood.

Calamar frito. Very tasty!

Our WiLDCOAST group sampled the menu starting with clam chowder, then moving on to fish and clam ceviche, mussels and frites, plates of sashimi, and then squid and octopus risotto. It was all fantastically fresh and delicious.

The best ceviche I've ever eaten. Photo: Lenise Andrade

Check it out at: Blvd. Teniente Azueta 187 (sobre el Malecon), Ensenada: 646.174.0318, 646.151.9292

David Martinez (left) of Muelle 3.

Luis Arriaga, the delightful owner of Cafe Arabica.


  1. Leslie Allingham says:

    We love this restaurant! It always has fabulous fresh seafood. David is wonderful at creating a warm welcome atmosphere. If you love mussels this is the place to go.

  2. Thanks!

  3. The best restaurant in Ensenada for fresh sea food. I am glad you went with your team Serge. David is a good friend since we were kids. Saludos!

  4. Hello my name is Benito Molina I am the chef owner of Manzanilla restaurant in Ensenada. I have lived in Ensenada for 16 years an I would like to coment that I came across your article on the web because my name was mentioned there . I would like to clarify a couple of things I opened Muelle tres basically it’s my menu the guy who cooks there trained with me for many years . About two years ago I sold the place to David Martinez I have absolutly no relationship with the restaurant any more (Even if the menu has not changed much since I left) . So if you want to try the real thing I suggest you visit Manzanilla Blvd Teniente Azueta 139. phone 646 1757073 Saludos

    • Hi Benito,

      Thanks so much for the comment. I had changed your name to that of David. Thanks for pointing that out. And I plan on eating at Manzanilla very soon and am looking forward to it!! Since I have heard so many good things about how wonderful it is.
      I plan on eating there and doing a longer piece on the Ensenada food scene for my column.
      Saludos, Serge

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  1. […] Baja’s Booming New Food Scene in Ensenada ( […]

  2. […] Baja’s Booming New Food Scene in Ensenada ( Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Filed Under: Baja California Tagged With: Baja California, Boules, Dylan Southworth, Ensenada, Mexico, San Miguel, Surfing, surfing Baja, WiLDCOAST, Zach Plopper « Surf and Boules in Ensenada: A Super Day in the Biarritz of Mexico […]

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