I recently journeyed through a wine and food lover’s paradise on an all-girls’ road trip through Baja California. One of my best friends, Ana, gave me and three of our friends a personal tour of some of her favorite places to eat and drink in Valle de Guadalupe. This growing wine region is rustic, charming, and offers exquisite landscapes, wineries, and unrivaled Baja Med cuisine. The best part is that this culinary gem is only 75 miles south of the US-Mexico border.
Since I’ll be headed to Valle de Guadalupe in a few days to celebrate Ana’s wedding, I’d like to share a quick guide to her (now our) favorite hot spots in Valle de Guadalupe.
Encuentro Guadalupe (formerly Hotel Endémico)
Nestled in the midst of Baja’s wine-growing region, Encuentro Guadalupe is an “anti-resort” hotel with 20 eco-lofts, a restaurant, winery, and tasting room. It is the perfect place to grab an artisanal beer or house wine and take in the best views of the valley. There are also seasonal farmers’ markets, which we were lucky to experience, where local artisans sell handmade chocolate, salsas, and jewelry.
Location: Carretera Tecate-Ensenada Km 75 | Valle de Guadalupe, 22750 | Ensenada | Baja California, Mexico
La Estación de Oficios El Porvenir (a.k.a. La Escuelita)
La Escuelita is a wine school and outdoor restaurant that we stumbled upon as we were leaving Valle de Guadalupe. Boy, were we happy we found this place! Chef Daniel Monarrez’s menu includes burritos de jaiba (crab burritos), a delightful platter of local cheeses with house made cranberry-walnut honey, and the most delicious homemade basil ice cream. You can also purchase locally made olive oils, wines, house-brewed beers, coffee, and other gourmet food items.
Location: La Villa del Valle Km. 88 Highway 3 Tecate-Ensenada | Valle de Guadalupe (Avenida Emiliano Zapata esquina con Callejón de la Liebre s/n Ejido Porvenir)
La Casa Vieja Vineyard and Winery
La Casa Vieja is an old ranch-style winery and tasting room that is home to two-hundred-year-old vines and olive trees. The onsite restaurant, La Palapa, offers simple, country cuisine at reasonable prices and a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. We enjoyed the ranch’s orchards, animals, live music, and family-style dining options. This is the perfect place to dine with a group! We (a group of five) ordered the Parrillada Casa Vieja, which came with four different grilled meats, grilled onions, chorizo, a large ranch-grown salad, mashed potatoes, and vegetables all for $450 pesos (roughly $35 USD), and it was more than enough food for us!
Location: KM 92.5 Carretera Tecate-Ensenada | San Antonio de las Minas | Baja California Norte, Mexico
Lola Wiarco Dweck
Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.