Not only is Valle de Guadalupe the fastest-growing wine region on the planet, but it’s also home to an impressive culinary scene. Foodies across the globe are flocking to the valley to experience exquisite menus from some of the most renowned chefs south of the border. Valle’s restaurants offer creative and delicious cuisine at a reasonable price point. Below find a list of the top five places to eat in this up-and-coming wine region.
Ask anyone who’s been to Valle de Guadalupe about where to eat, and they’ll immediately reply Fauna. It’s one of the top restaurants in the valley because it features an experimental menu that changes daily and continually offers exciting new options. Fauna restaurant is all about presenting food and creating dishes that showcase food in its basic form; offering options that aren’t exaggerated or overthought. Guests will delight in plates that are filled with regional and traditional flavors. All dishes are Mexican favorites prepared in a way that will make you crave them for months to come.
Chef David Castro Hussong oversees Fauna restaurant, and his youth brings new life to the food. Hussong has an extensive background in the kitchen, and his young, fresh approach offers visitors a chance to treat themselves to delicious meals inspired by his childhood. Fauna uses local ingredients to produce traditional flavors in an unconditional manner. The attention to detail is what makes the meal impressive and unforgettable, while the wines from Bruma vineyards elevate the dining experience. The up-scale restaurant has beautiful décor. Floor to ceiling windows allows natural light to shine in and enables impressive views of the property. Family-style tables made from recycled wood create space to accommodate large parties, vibrant tile accents provide energy and character to the atmosphere, and a seating area in the vegetable garden is the perfect place to retire after dinner. It doesn’t matter what dish or dessert you choose, dining at Fauna will always be a pleasurable experience.
Another restaurant creating buzz in Valle de Guadalupe is Corazon de Tierra, which translates to “heart of the land.” In 2018, Corazon de Tierra was voted as one of “Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants”. Chef Diego Hernandez grew up in nearby Ensenada but has cooked all across the globe. At Corazon de Tierra, he mixes his international cooking experiences with his Mexican heritage to produce modern versions of traditional dishes.
While many wineries, hotels, and restaurants in the valley focus on land and soil, none compare to Corazon de Tierra’s commitment to appreciate and preserve the land. This approach has made this dining experience popular ever since it opened in 2011. Chef Hernandez sees the earth as sacred, and his meals reflect this mentality. All ingredients are grown on-site, and animals are sourced from local farms and merchants using sustainable animal practices. Hernandez and his team create masterpieces while being mindful of the delicate balance between nature and hospitality. The Corazon de Tierra menu will never disappoint and always reflects the ideology of respecting the land. Many guests visit during sunset to experience amazing food with outstanding views of Valle. Come take in the sights, and Corazon de Tierra will quickly become one of your favorite restaurant experiences.
Deckman’s en el Mogor is so well known that travelers and foodies from across the globe make their way to Valle just to visit this restaurant. Located inside the Mogor-Badan vineyards, it is owned and operated by Michelin star chef Drew Deckman, who earned his prestigious Michelin star while at Vitrus Restaurant in Germany. His project was planned to run for only a year, but things changed when Deckman fell in love with Guadalupe Valley. The alfresco open-kitchen provides an intimate view of how Chef Deckman works his magic. All meals are prepared to order for optimal freshness. If guests have dietary restrictions, the staff is more than happy to accommodate their needs.
Chef Deckman aims to make all guests happy and dining details matter the most to him. Deckman’s menu is a mix of traditional northern Baja California dishes, American southern-style BBQ, and a hint of European inspiration. The result is a unique menu that will engage all your senses. Like other places in Guadalupe Valley, Deckman’s en el Mogor is dedicated to using sustainable ingredients that are sourced locally in the valley. Come hungry, enjoy delicious food from a renowned chef, and experience gorgeous views at this completely outdoor restaurant.
Named after the edible herb that grows wild in the valley, Malva is one of the earliest plants recorded and said to be nourishing and be easily digestible. This philosophy is exactly what the food at Malva restaurant aims to provide. Chef Alcocer grew up in Ensenada and as a culinary student and new chef he traveled the world to work and learn in many notable kitchens and Michelin-starred restaurants. Malva was opened after he returned to the area in 2014. The kitchen and dining room are completely outdoors under a thatched roof and guests will enjoy a view overlooking the vineyards and herb garden.
Alcocer is praised for his 10-course tasting menus that are magnificent to share with family and friends. For this kind of meal, you better come hungry, but ordering a-la-carte is always an option as well. So many delicious choices, but the fresh, grilled oysters sourced locally out of Baja’s False Bay will blow your mind. Another must-try is one of the region’s most prized seafood dishes – sea urchin. Alcocer doesn’t just settle for the traditional sashimi presentation instead, he offers it in creamy-briny croquettes with just a dot of sauce that’s made from dried chiles and uni. Yet another seafood masterpiece is the octopus, in which Alcocer serves in a chileatole; a broth made with poblano peppers and topped off with kernels of white corn and bone marrow. Be sure to book Malva for a beautiful outdoor dining experience.
Finca Altozano is the quintessential Valle restaurant – local ingredients, open-kitchen concept, spectacular views, and relaxed atmosphere. First opened in 2012, Javier Plascencia’s country grill has become a popular restaurant for locals and visitors alike. Celebrity chef Plascencia has created a menu that changes regularly depending on what is available from nearby farms, ranches, and orchards. He puts a creative spin on traditional Mexican dishes and brings your food to life right in front of you on the open-fire barbeque. Quality dishes from well-sourced ingredients in a casual atmosphere is always guaranteed and makes Finca Altozano a must-try while in Valle de Guadalupe.
Set in the middle of wine country, Finca Altozano’s grounds contain stunning views of the vineyards and mountains. An abundance of covered, patio-style seating and lounge areas create a perfect space for accommodating large groups or guests who prefer to linger. Sip a glass of local wine, craft beer from a local brewery, or a classic cocktail and wander the property soaking in the beautiful scenery. Sophisticated flavors, breathtaking views, cozy atmosphere, and well, that adorable pink pig wandering around are all reasons an experience at Finca Altozano will remain an unforgettable favorite.
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