If you’re looking for some of the best seafood in Baja, California, you might just find it 10 minutes south of Rosarito beach. Popotla, a small fishing village at Kilometer 33, sits right on the coast and is full of fisherman, boats, and of course, freshly caught fish.
To get there is quite simple: as you’re driving south down the free road from Rosarito, you’ll pass the old Fox Studios on your right (now called Baja Fox Studios). Look out for a set of white half-arches, one slightly larger than the other (and a bit run down, to say the least), turn right into the arches, drive down the unpaved road and you’ll hit the village. There is a free parking lot but local restauranteurs may seem like they are trying to charge you by luring you into their establishments (not to deter you from this place! These spots are great and will cook the freshly caught fish you’ll find in abundance in Popotla), but you certainly don’t have to pay to park there.
Popotla is very calm during the week and is quite busy on the weekends. After Anthony Bourdain paid a visit to the rugged fishing town, it’s grown tremendously in popularity. If we can’t sway you to pay a visit, we trust he can. ????
The village bustles with fisherman and their catches of the day. They beach their boats and lay out their fish, just like you’d see at your local fish market. Walk up to one of the boats and simply point to the fish that looks most appetizing to you. Certain “vendors” or fisherman & their crew will grill up your selection right then and there, or you can take your catch to a restaurant nearby and they’ll prepare it to your liking for a cheap price.
Feel free to go from boat to boat and sample the different bounties of the day. It’s been said that their cocktails and ceviches are most popular – shrimp & lobster cocktails, octopus, etc. But the star, from what we’ve heard, is the spider crab (marciano). All in all, it’s hard to go wrong with any choice in Puerto Popotla, and while the village may seem a bit rough on the eyes, it’s certainly the complete opposite with the taste. If you pay a visit to Popotla, definitely let us know! We’d love to know what you thought and what you ate.