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Malva Valle de Guadalupe – Restaurant Review

Malva Valle de Guadalupe restaurant featuring Chef Roberto Alcocer is a must-visit if you plan to visit the Valle de Guadalupe wine country just outside of Ensenada.  

Chef Roberto Alcocer has created a beautiful outdoor dining experience. The location is entirely outdoor with a thatched roof overlooking his herb garden and the Valle de Guadalupe vineyards below.

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Outdoor dining at Malva in Valle de guadalupe

Groovy & jazzy versions of hit songs play. It’s definitely a full sensory experience. He has created a menu and food experience that I would make an international day trip to enjoy!  On a recent trip to Baja, I was lucky to enjoy a leisurely lunch at Chef Roberto’s Malva Cocina de Baja California.

Overview: Incredible food with an amazing outdoor setting and I even got to meet the chef!

I had the culinary pleasure of visiting Chef Roberto Alcocer’s Malva restaurant for the first time in 2015. It was also my first restaurant experience in Valle de Guadalupe. During this lunch I fell in love with two foods I didn’t think I liked; octopus and raw oysters.

I realized at this lunch, it wasn’t that I didn’t like them. It was that I had never had them prepared properly. Since this trip, I have thought about the food at Malva on many occasions and encouraged anyone I knew who was visiting the Baja California region of Valle de Guadalupe to head to Malva for a meal they won’t soon forget.

On a recent trip, I had the wonderful chance to once again visit Malva for lunch. I had so much wonderful anticipation for the visit and to see if Chef Alcocer’s Baja-Med menu lived up to my memories. They absolutely did and once again I can’t stop talking about Chef Alcocer’s food. 

Chef Alcocer from Malva in Valle de Guadalupe
Chef Alcocer and me!

Lunch began with Octopus ceviche with wild herbs. A perfect amuse-bouche from Chef Roberto Alcocer.

Octopus ceviche at Chef Roberto Alcocer's Malva Restaurant in Valle de Guadalupe.
Octopus ceviche at Chef Roberto Alcocer’s Malva Restaurant in Valle de Guadalupe.

Next, an appetizer of raw oyster minuet with blood Chinese vinegar.

Malva oysters in Valle de Guadalupe
Raw oyster minuet with blood Chinese vinegar at Malva

Before our main courses arrived we had the pleasure to enjoy the view of the valle and watch the chefs in action.

Sous chef at Malva in Valle de guadalupe
Sous chef at Malva in Valle de guadalupe
The busy outdoor kitchen at Malva.

Our first entree at Malva was butterfish with baked carrot, lime purée, rosemary flowers & tomato compote served with a 2014 Chenin Columbard from Monte Xanic. The sweet from the carrot combined with the tang of the lime purée was a delicious duo of flavors with the richness of the fish.

Menu at Malva in Valle de Guadalupe
Butterfish with baked carrot, lime purée, rosemary flowers & tomato compote

Our next course was yellowtail with caramelized onions, oyster mushrooms, garlic salt, radish flowers & Swiss chard served with rosemary water. It was such a pleasure tasting Chef Alcocer’s food and knowing so many of the herbs came from the garden just outside of the dining area.

Malva Restaurant in Ensenada
Yellowtail with caramelized onions, oyster mushrooms, garlic salt radish flowers & Swiss chard

For dessert, a marsh ‘mallow’ treat with sorbet and fresh herbs and edible flowers.

Dessert at Malva in Valle de Guadalupe
Marshmallow dessert with a duo of sorbet.

An amazing lunch in the beautiful Valle de Guadalupe wine region!

Chef Alcocer at Malva in Valle de Guadalupe
Chef Alcocer with the kitchen team.

Takeaway: I’m no longer afraid of oysters and realized I love octopus!

If you are planning a day to Valle de Guadalupe, a long weekend or a week, Malva is at the top of my list of restaurants. I’ve been several times and it has been spectacular every time!

Directions to Malva Valle de Guadalupe

Malva is located in Valle de Guadalupe (Valley of Guadalupe) in the municipality of Ensenada. It’s located about 14 miles from the city of Ensenada. The easiest way to get to Malva is to cross the Mexico border by car in Tijuana. From San Diego, you can cross the Mexico border at San Ysidro in Tijuana and follow route 1 along the pacific coast where you will pass Playas de Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, and Puerto Nuevo. Just before reaching the town of Ensenada, you’ll head inland on highway 3 to La Ruta del Vino. Malva will be on your right just after Huevo Reuplic Restaurant. If you see  Bodegas de Santa Tomás on your left, you’ve gone too far.

Adobe Guadalupe

Adobe Guadalupe is a boutique hotel, winery and riding stables. It is a hacienda style B&B that welcomes guests with open arms. The owner lives in one wing of the property and when you arrive you will truly feel like you have been welcomed into a friend’s home. The hacienda is a horseshoe shape that surrounds a beautiful courtyard with a fountain as the centerpiece. There are seven spacious rooms with high ceilings and wood slatted doors that open onto a shared garden patio.

Located on the property, is a beautiful tasting room. A wine tasting is included in your stay and offered twice daily. This is a wonderful opportunity to taste the boutique wines as well as learn about Adobe Guadalupe and the fascinating story that brought them to Valle de Guadalupe.

Check the latest hotel prices for Valle de Guadalupe on Hotels.com | Booking.com | TripAdvisor

I hope this guide to the best of Valle de Guadalupe has been helpful and has helped you to prepare for your visit. One warning: plan to fall in love with Mexico wine country.

Read More About Valle de Guadalupe

Have you been to Valle de Guadalupe? Do you have any recommendations of favorite wineries, restaurants or hotels to share with us?


A huge thank you to Malva and Chef Alcocer for the generous hospitality.  I was their guest for lunch, but as always, all opinions are my own.

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