We love visiting Baja any chance we can get. Aside from the lovely people and the language learning opportunities, our favorite part = the food! Mexican seafood is probably our favorite genre of food and Baja has the best. We thought we hit the jackpot when we discovered Puerto Nuevo’s lobster scene but we were driving right past the most authentic, fresh experience of all! Right past the movie studios in Rosarito sits a tiny fishing village with the ultimate sea to table experience. Welcome to Popotla.
It was recommended to us by a foodie friend so we decided to stop by on our way home from wine tasting in Valle de Guadalupe. Aside from one other couple we were the only tourists there. Boats are beached on the sand and filled with fabulous fresh catches. Caught the same morning, this is as fresh as it gets! So fresh in fact, that the shellfish are still moving! Buy a whole fish and take it to one of the many beach front restaurants which will season and cook it for you. So delicious. Don’t forget to grab some oysters. They shuck them right in front of you and they are filled with salty, briny, goodness.
What you need to know:
- Haggle. We paid a little over $20USD for a whole red snapper. (It fed three of us easily.) We probably should have haggled though. After all it is Mexico!
- Get your fish cleaned by the fisherman instead of the restaurant. The restaurant cleaned it for us but this didn’t seem customary.
- Cash is king. Don’t even think about coming here without some pesos. Credit cards are definitely not accepted.
- Practice the metric system. Everything is measured in kilograms so as Americans we were at a disadvantage. We bought 2lbs of shrimp on accident and had lots of leftovers.
- It is a little smelly. This may come at no surprise but bring a bottle of hand sanitizer unless you want to smell fishy all day.
Grab a Mexican coke or a michelada and watch the tide roll in as you snack on the best seafood around. Popotla is not glamorous by any means but this seaside fishing village has its own unique charm.