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Puerto Nuevo-style lobster has been a phenomenon since 1956, when several women in the tiny fishing village south of Rosarito started dropping fresh lobsters into pots of bubbling oil and serving them to a few outsiders.

Today, Puerto Nuevo boasts more than 35 side-by-side restaurants that all sell the same thing -- fried lobster, beans, rice, flour tortillas, chips and salsa. To the uninitiated, confusion reigns. We'll tell you which spots are the best, but first, a few insider tips:

Puerto Nuevo is only three blocks deep. The most popular restaurants in Puerto Nuevo are La Casa de Langosta, Puerto Nuevo I and II, La Escondida and Ortega's Manuel's. Sandra's also is a favorite with locals, and Ortega's Patio and the Lobster House rate a visit as well. All are winners when it comes to a great lobster dinner and are all competitively priced.

Getting There:
Puerto Nuevo is a clearly marked village on the Old Road, 10 minutes south of downtown Rosarito. Take the Rosarito-Ensenada toll road to the Puerto Nuevo turnoff at kilometer 49. Turn left onto the Old Road and continue south a short distance to the village, which will be on your right. It is exactly 10 miles from Rosarito's southern toll gate.

Credit Cards:
Not all Puerto Nuevo restaurants take credit cards. Best to bring cash or ask before you order.

Reservations: Most Puerto Nuevo restaurants do not take reservations directly, but the Rosarito Convention and Visitors Bureau (011-52-661-612-0396) is happy to make calls on your behalf.

Hours: Most restaurants are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, winter and summer, and until 10 p.m on Friday and Saturday. A few restaurants stay open until 11:30 p.m. on summer weekends.

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