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3 Photo by Victor Rodriguez Ratliff, add-ons by San Felipe Magazine.
3. BEST BAND
The envelope please! And the winner is – YOU! Not only do you now have a list of the Best of San Felipe’s businesses to try out, but a list of very competitive non-winners you can try out too. See if you agree with the results. Of course, a “best of” vote is always subjective. Some will agree, some won’t. What is certain is that our readers have spoken, the results are in, and we now have the list of the best of everything that our city has to offer. We thank you for the hundreds dozens of nominees we had to stay up all night counting.
of votes for the
Winners and non-winners alike promise to “just rock” trying to outdo each other for next year’s competition. The sure winners are the residents of San Felipe. Remind the businesses that you patronize that they are being rated. You just might get the royal treatment. We’ve been asked if we’re expert pollsters. Nope. We know there must be a much more scientific method of determining the best of anything, it just ain’t as much fun. Our local economy depends on our support – so – our last task at hand is to thank you and congratulate you all for your support in keeping the San Felipe business community alive and thriving.
1. BEST ARCHITECT
Rosalina Ramos Lazcano Born in Mexicali, she has spent most of her life in San Felipe. She started her architectural career here 20 years ago and continues to contribute and be an inspiration to the local community. Rosalina mixes a humanistic approach into her architectural technique to give her clients a fresh and unique design experience.
2. BEST ART GALLERY
Baja Nueva Several years of design work with builders and homeowners in Arizona, made it easy for Sharon and Jerry Lankin to decide to continue that work in San Felipe. Baja Nueva is the result of that decision. Its a lovely shop with beautiful artwork, paintings, glass work, home accessories, candles, and gifts!
EveryFelipe man shouldMagazine be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. San interest in the things that were and are past. ~Henry Ward Beecher
Agave Blues This winner brings a solid blues and rock sound to San Felipe weekly as the house band at Jimmy’s Beach Bar & Grill at Playa de Oro. This 5-piece ensemble is sharp and polished with both a soulful and rockin’ edge. Each member is an accomplished musician and it shows in their tight sound.
4. BEST BEACH
Cantu’s Cove Coronel Esteban Cantu Jimenez, governor of the District of Northern Baja from 1915 to 1920, was a brilliant man not only for his accomplishments, but also for having the most incredible beach in San Felipe named after him. We can’t tell you where it is - certain people would have us permanently silenced - but if you can find it, it’s truly a special place.
5. BEST BURGER
Chilis n beer This is the latest entry onto the San Felipe burger scene. Not only do they offer traditional burger fair, but they will build you one of 10 other beefy beauties that will satisfy the most demanding burger connoisseur. Soothe your burger cravings at La Plazita on Mar de Cortez, upstairs across from Bancomer.
6. BEST CHEF
Martin Coleman - El Dorado Ranch Chef Martin Coleman brings award winning renown for his cutting edge culinary innovation to San Felipe, Baja. As Corporate Executive Chef for Pavilions, Juanitos,
Estrella del Mar (Mazatlan) and Club Havana Hotel his influence is certainly visible. He was recently named one of the Top One Hundred International Chefs, and will receive the award in Paris this spring.
7. BEST DAY TRIP
Bahia Christina Great little trip four miles past Puertecitos. Nice little cover with a restaurant and beach front rentals. Good food, great service and a breath-taking view. The last four miles are a bit bumpy, but a little kidney jarring is well worth the trip.
8. BEST DENTIST
California Dental Spa A dentist who sings while giving you the perfect smile, that’s Melina California Fierros. She’s professional, gentle, and a perfectionist. Melina uses her excellent dental skills to work wonders on your teeth while keeping her fees very affordable. Visit her new office next to Sea Star on Mar del Caribe Sur.
9. BEST GIFT STORE
Etcetera Don’t let size fool you, this winner is a small store with huge inventory of gifts, costume jewelry, shoes, toys and so much more. This little treasure offers a big selection at a small price. On Calle Ensenada across from the school.
10. BEST LAUNDROMAT
Wash Tub One of the real joys of living here is having someone else do your laundry. Bill and Juanita will do it all for
Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more,www.sanfelipebaja.info with his face to the front, and take no
you! This is also San Felipe’s only Dry Cleaning service. They take pride in their work and it shows in the clothes you wear. Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday Call (686) 577-2001. They do it Right and Fast - and - they are bi-lingual!
11. BEST MARGARITA
Barefoot Bar There’s a rumor that its called the Barefoot Bar because these margaritas will blow your socks off. As one reader stated “They aren’t afraid to put the booze in their Margarita’s. Compared to these Margaritas, most others taste more like soda pop.” At the El Cortez Hotel at the south end of Mar de Cortez.
12. BEST MARKET
Hipon Mercado This #1 is a real treasure and nearly as hard to find. There’s a huge produce section, large meat department with full-time butchers and a terrific selection of canned goods and just about anything else you’d want in your pantry or refrigerator - and the prices are the lowest in town. Finding this treasure will definitely turn up gold!
13. BEST MONTH OF THE YEAR
October October means the beginning of cooler weather, and the return of snow birds. It also marks the start of the new economic season. October is the tenth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with a length of 31 days. In Latin, octo means “eight,” reflecting the fact that October was the eighth month in the Roman calendar.
14. BEST MOTEL
Baja Palms Motel When you first see the lights of San Felipe and you need a place to stay, you’re almost there - this winner is the first hotel on the right: Right on the highway, Right on the price, Right on the customer service and Right on cleanliness.
15. BEST NEW BIZ & COFFEEHOUSE
Tattoo Rose Cafe In a Coup de Café, this winner take two categories in one swoop - The Best New Business and Best Coffeehouse. This business was here once before, then went away, only to rise from the coffee grounds, this time to stay. Great service and wonderful atmosphere. A San Felipe Starbucks at half the cost. Oh yeah, they have great food too!
16. BEST NIGHTCLUB
Bandidos The stereotype of the Mexican Bandido comes to life here. Like a mustachioed thief in the night Bandidos steals this category as #1. One of the newest clubs on the San Felipe scene, it’s the king of the night. On Mar de Cortez, across from the tourist office. If you don’t see it, you’ll hear it.
San Felipe Magazine
17. BEST PLACE TO HIKE
The Shrine The Virgin of Guadalupe shrine sits above the North end of San Felipe Bay. San Felipe offers many great places to hike, but our readers enjoy this one most. Whether you make the trek from the Malecón, or you park in the cul-de-sac next to the Lighthouse,; you’ll love the shrine at sunrise, overlooking the sea and the Malecón. As one reader says, “The view is always familiar, but always different.”
18. BEST RESTAURANT
Paco and Miguel The one thing we all desire with excellent gourmet food is great personal service to the dinning table. At Paco & Miguel’s restaurant you will find it. The seating is limited so reservations are needed. Be prepared to be served several courses of delightful gourmet dishes and be pampered with great service. You are allowed to bring your own wine or beverage.
19. BEST RESTAURANT NONMEXICAN FOOD & BEST ROMANTIC RESTAURANT
Latin Garden Restaurante This new restaurant has taken San Felipe by storm and the readers have made it clear by giving Latin Garden a win in two categories; Best Non-Mexican Restaurant and Best Romantic Restaurant. There is no question this is the most romantic, non-Mexican dining experience in San Felipe. Wonderful ambiance, with lush garden setting, set with romantic lighting and of course incredible food, great drinks, and nice wine selection.
20. BEST SALON
Lillyannas Lillyannas Day Spa has set the bar in San Felipe for beauty care and cosmetics. This is a full service salon, newly expanded with additional manicure stations, permanent make-up and massage. Veronica and the rest of staff are always a pleasure and make every visit a memorable experience.
21. BEST SERVICE ORGANIZATION
Los Amigas Club Las Amigas is a non-profit organization comprised of international women who live either part time or full time in San Felipe. Their primary objective is to further the education of local Mexican children who desire to achieve their fullest potential, but need financial help to do so. For more information about the club please contact President: Shirley Brodwolf 686-577-3075
22. BEST TATTOO SHOP
Baja Ink Spot Probably not the toughest category in San Felipe being the only one. But that doesn’t stop voters from being heard and when it comes to tattoos they rattled the roof! The cleanest tattoo parlor you will ever see in Mexico, and their artist are local, professional and friendly.
Photo by Victor Rodriguez Ratliff, #44 Juanito by Katherine Hammontré, add-ons by San Felipe Magazine.
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23. BEST ARTIST
Andrena Joyce A resident of San Felipe since 2005 and a visitor with her family since the mid 1970’s, Andrena has been painting for 8 years and describes her art as playful. She loves creating colorful art in various mediums, including acrylics, oils, watercolors, collage, and inks. “It’s all about play for me - play therapy!
24. BEST AUTO MECHANIC
Juan Gallo Years of keeping off-road racing vehicles from disintegrating in the harsh Baja terrain gives Juan Gallo the skill and temperament to fix just about anything on wheels. His legions of satisfied customers attest to his versatility, his great service and professionalism. And for those who still have difficulty with the local language, he speaks English.
25. BEST BREAKFAST
Baja Java As one voter said, “Best Bagel in the World! Karen is wonderful and so is her crew.” That pretty well covers it, good food with a sea view. Start your morning off right with coffee better than the famous Seattle brand, freshly-baked bagels and friendly service. The sign that says “reserved for a San Diego Charger fan” is where you will usually find owner Karen Bradley.
26. BEST CHARITY
San Felipe Animal Rescue Founded in 2002 by Ronda Walpole, San Felipe Animal Rescue is a committed group of animal lovers from both Mexico and the USA. Their goal is to stop the needless suffering of the estimated 8,000 -10,000 stray
San Felipe Magazine
and indigent animals, living on the streets and in the desert of San Felipe. Through spaying/neutering and education, SFAR is striving to achieve zero population growth.
27. BEST DELI
Sundance Deli at Playa de Oro Imagine sitting around the cracker barrel in an old time mercantile or walking into your favorite New York-style deli. At Sundance, you’ll find mouth watering bakery goods from Gilles’ oven wonderful salads, sliced meats and cheeses, handcrafted sandwiches made to order, along with hard to find items like sourdough bread, Parmesan cheese, Greek olives and more. A taste of home, to eat there or take out.
28. BEST DEVELOPMENT
Playa de Oro Playa de Oro is one of the “cleanest and best properties for sale in Mexico” according to First American Title Insurance Corp. and our readers. This gated community offers 24/7 security, underground electricity, city water, mailbox center, convenience store, commercial center, bakery & deli, and bar & grill, along with some of the finest homes in San Felipe.
29. BEST FISHING TOUR
Tony Reyes From humble, auspicious beginning Tony has gone on to become one of the most well-known men in sport fishing. He came to San Felipe in 1951 after spending some time in the United States, in Tijuana and Ensenada where he learned sports fishing. He has parlayed that experience into the #1 sports fishing business in San Felipe. Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw
30. BEST GAS STATION
7-11 Best gas station As gas stations go, Pemex is always pretty consistent, but when attached to a 7-lleven it’s a winning combination. The first station in town as you enter San Felipe is the #1 according readers votes. Self-serve, full-serve and largest selection on cervesa.
31. BEST GROUP ACTIVITY
Name That Tune Mischievous and cheeky, Denny Flannigan MC’s the most fun allowed by law. Denny’s version of Name That Tune is a musical game full of prizes and surprises. Bring the whole family to Juanitos Cantina at Ventana Del Mar, every Thursday evening at 6:30 PM. It’s a blast! Check out the excitement at http://www. namethattunebaja.com/
32. BEST HAPPY HOUR & COCKTAILS
Jimmy’s Beach Bar & Grill The best part of any happy hour, is the happiness you receive and the price at which this happiness is obtained. When all that happiness is shared with a familiar face you’ve got a winner. In other words, getting hammered with your homies is the best! If you want to have a drink with a friend, you do it at Jimmy’s.
33. BEST HARDWARE STORE
Maderas de San Felipe Conveniently located on the right hand side of Chetumal as you enter San Felipe, a few meters from the Arches, Maderas de San Felipe offers most anything you need to build your home or business. With competitive on a bank where they have no account. ~Oscar Wilde
prices, great service provided by knowledgeable and professional staff, you won’t find any better anywhere in Baja.
34. BEST HOME BUILDER
B J Sweitzer Maybe the most competitive category, but BJ Sweitzer comes out on top. Voters’ comments say it all. “brought my home in on time, on spec, and on budget!”,”She stood behind her product 100%”, “Very, very, very good, honest and prompt.”,”The most honest, trustworthy and professional in the business. Absolutely beautiful homes.
35. BEST PIZZA
Sand Rail Pizza This is a category with passion, so many choices and so many favorites. Eeking out a win over their in-town competitors is a clear favorite for north San Felipe residences. Great hand-tossed pizza delivered in the familiar San Rail VW bug. This just shows you where all the pizza munchers live.
36. BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT OF TOWN GUESTS Backstreet Patio Grill & Al’s Backstreet Bar The location is picturesque, the patrons – well colorful. Its a must for out of town guests. No tour of our village is complete without it. Whether its an amazing dinner at Jimmy’s Patio Grill or Al’s home made tequila he calls Cholla, this is an experience not to be missed. Al, his wife Amapola and Jimmy make this the place to be.
37. BEST PRODUCE Cachanilla Swap meet Where better to find the Best Fresh Produce (we know that non-fresh couldn’t be best, but work with us) than the weekly farmers market at the weekly swap meet of course. Fresh every Saturday morning at Cachanilla Swap meet. 38. BEST PUBLIC RESTROOM PEMEX - east of the circle It is sometimes painfully obvious that public restroom standards vary greatly. Happily, there are exceptions. This business cares enough about it’s customers to provide a clean facility. This is the place to go. 39. BEST REAL ESTATE BROKER Amor Properties From the birth of Amor Property nearly four year ago. The winning broker not only matches qualified buyers with sellers, but also provides many additional services a new resident might need to live and work in Baja. 40. BEST REASON TO LIVE IN SAN FELIPE The people and the weather Imagine having readers that could vote anything their hearts desired; beach and golfing, relaxing and doing nothing, anything. But, almost unanimously, readers commented consistently, “people and the weather”. Apparently we all love the weather and each other. Salud!
41. BEST RESTAURANT FOR SEAFOOD La Vaquita For the best selection of “right out of the sea” offerings, including (only for the adventurous palate) Caldo de Siete Mares (soup of the seven seas) which combines fish, shrimp, octopus, squid, clams, crab, and scallops into a delightful broth. La Vaquita is just off the Malecón on Mar de Cortez, right next to Licores San Felipe. 42. BEST STEAK HOUSE Baja Mar Steak house Mesquite fires are started early in the day so the coals are just right for sizzling steak perfection, and they having charming servers that make elegant meal presentations. A dining experience that you will enjoy and long remember. 43. BEST TACO STAND Tacos el Memo The taco stand is as iconic to Mexico as the tequila. For many this winner is the very best San Felipe has to offer. Tacos have limited ingredients, so when someone wins big you gotta find out why - across from Video Agora on Chetumal. 44. BEST WAITER Juanito at El Nido What people don’t know about this #1 is that in addition to best the Best Waiter, Juanito grows all those fresh vegetables you enjoy with your dinner. Always attentive and friendly, he makes everyone feel like a regular.
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45. BEST BAKERY
Panaderia Especial When it comes to fresh baked goods, this winner takes the cake. Mexican and American breads baked fresh daily, you’ll find a variety of breads, cakes, pastries and more. Their Apple Fritters are great! On Mar Caribe Norte.
46. BEST BAR
Fandango’s Sports Bar If you don’t have a buddy whose house has a huge game room and a fully-stocked bar, Fandango’s is the next best thing. If you don’t have friends when you arrive, you’ll have a whole bunch when you leave. If you want games, pool, music and friends along with your favorite drink, this is the place.
47. BEST BARTENDER
Pedro A cantinero is more than a bartender. He’s funny, sympathetic, a psychologist and – oh yeah – he can whip up just that special concoction to warm you up on the inside and cool your spirit on the outside. From Al’s Bar to the Lighthouse and now Fandango’s, Pedro has become San Felipe’s own world class cantinero indeed.
48. BEST CHEAP EATS
Adrianna Fish Tacos Hands down the Best Cheap Eats in San Felipe. Maria creates fantastic fish tacos every time. Only $2 gets you two incredible fish tacos with rice, beans, chips, salsa and guacamole. Adrianna’s is the taco stand next to Bar Miramar on the Malecón.
San Felipe Magazine
49. BEST FISH MARKET
53. BEST MEAT MARKET
Ruben’s One of the best kept secrets in San Felipe. Let’s say friends from out of town want to eat fish. “Well, go fish for some”, you might say, or just send them to Ruben’s excellent fish market. Ruben Jr. can be seen working on a nice Corvina, rendering it completely boneless and as flat as a flour tortilla. Delicious.
Z market (Zamaniegos) “Where’s the beef – and all the other fresh and tasty meats?” For San Felipe there’s only one answer. From the choicest cuts to skilled butchers to the high quality of their meats, people love this market. On Mar Caribe Norte.
50. BEST HAIRCUT
San Felipe Arches Majestic white arches extend 60 feet into the air to greet you when you enter San Felipe on the highway. Built in 1980, this monument is the result of an agreement by the four states enclosing the Sea of Cortez (Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, and Sonora) to encourage tourism to the Sea of Cortez, and has become the single-most recognizable symbol of San Felipe.
Hair by Nancy Getting your hair done is such a personal thing for many people. You won’t find a more personable stylist than Nancy. She gives you big smile and a great style or cut. You won’t any better even in L.A. at twice the price. You can find Nancy in her hair salon upstairs in La Plazita, on Mar de Cortez.
51. BEST LANDSCAPING
54. BEST PUBLIC ART
Versoleil They say the grass is always greener on the other side. Versoleil helps to make it that way. They are the landscaping artisans behind Las Caras de Mexico golf course, La Ventana del Mar, La Hacienda, and numerous residences. From design concept to plant life selection to completion of your project, they’ll bring your little piece of the desert to life.
55. BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT
52. BEST LIQUOR STORE
56. BEST RESTAURANT FOR GLUTTONS
Riviera Licores Riviera is not your average liquor store. Located in the center of town you, they have groceries, U.S. and Mexican newspapers, a good wine selection and novelty tequila bottles. This is why they have been voted the “Best in San Felipe”. Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.
Glenda Rohner at Call Margaret Glenda exemplifies the spirit of San Felipe. She’s a winner because, as one reader stated “she is the most dependable and upbeat real estate person in San Felipe. Her personality and charm add to the appeal of San Felipe!” See Glenda at Call Margaret Realty next to Yetmail on Mar de Cortez.
Cliff & Sue’s Los Arcos Restaurant Any good glutton knows that not only does the food have to taste good and have a modest price, its got to be served in good quantities. Cliff & Sue know how to put on a spread and in addition to their special holiday
Photo by Victor Rodriguez Ratliff, add-ons by San Felipe Magazine.
dinners, they do it nightly. Look for them at the Arches.
57. BEST RESTAURANT FOR MEXICAN FOOD
Juanitos This is a surprising winner, not because of the food, but because the restaurant is so new. This win is must be a testimony to the food. The owner Juan offers great food at a good price. New in the ejido, next to Moto 2000. One reader said they would travel miles to eat there.
58. BEST SWEETS & DESSERT
Chocolate Lovers Dedicated to helping those less fortunate around the world, in the hopes of saving the unfortunate from the depths of despair. There to serve your wanton, decadent, lustful needs. This is the chapel of chocolate and they will lift you out of the abyss and put back on the true path to enlightenment.
59. BEST WEBSITE
Blue Roadrunnner Randy Kerr wins this category, not only for number of votes, but according to you voters, also for best local site for in-depth information on San Felipe and great writing.
60. BEST WiFi LOCATION
Fandangos When it comes to getting online there are a few qualifications to quality Internet access, not necessarily in this order; first, its easy to connect with no login or hassles, second, its fast, high speed access, third, you have a place to sit and work. Oh yeah – must serve cold cervesa. This winner has them all! And soon they’ll be serving food.
Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. ~Brooks Atkinson