Puerto Nuevo

Southern Californians regularly cross the border to indulge in the classic Puerto Nuevo meal: lobster fried in hot oil and served with refried beans, rice, homemade tortillas, salsa, and lime. At least 20 restaurants are packed into this village; nearly all offer the same menu, but the quality varies drastically; some establishments cook up live lobsters, while others swap in frozen critters. In most places prices are based on size; a medium lobster with all the fixings will cost you about $15.

Though the fried version is the Puerto Nuevo classic, some restaurants also offer steamed or grilled lobsters—why not try one of each and pass ’em around? Each October, to mark the start of the season (which ends in March), the town holds a wine-and-lobster festival.

The town itself is tired and dated, with waiters standing curbside begging tourists in passing cars to stop in for the day’s catch. Still, it’s the best spot along the coast to try fresh lobster at an unbeatable price. For lodging, you’re better off renting a beach house in the neighboring community of Las Gaviotas or heading to a hotel north in Rosarito or south in Ensenada. Most accommodations in the town of Puerto Nuevo are in desperate need of a face-lift.

Artisans' markets and stands throughout the village sell serapes and T-shirts; the shops closest to the cliffs have the best selection.

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