Natural food means feeding in such a way that, as far as possible, man keeps his food in its original state. It is only in this condition that food is really natural, and it may be defined as any substance which, when introduced into the system, nourishes, stimulates and mineralizes, at the same time bringing with it that force, so real yet so imponderable, Life itself.

Edmond Szekely, “Cosmos, Man and Society,” 1936

Dining Experience

The grand Spanish Colonial dining room at Rancho La Puerta, complete with a spiral staircase winding around a central fireplace, symbolizes the convivial atmosphere so important to the Ranch experience. Here you can dine at round tables with new friends (seated in order of arrival) or choose to dine alone or with a smaller group of your choosing, just as you would in any fine restaurant. Dinners are sit-down affairs with an attentive waitstaff; breakfasts and lunches are served buffet-style —informal and lively. The dining room is presided over by Executive Chef Denise Roa, who brings farm-fresh ingredients to life with creative presentations worthy of any city’s finest restaurants.

The Ranch’s diet, which is lacto-ovo vegetarian, includes a seafood “catch of the day” four times a week for dinner, and several times for lunch. (A vegetarian alternative entree is always offered for those who don’t eat fish or shellfish).

Sample Menus

Weekly menus at Rancho La Puerta may include some of the following:

Breakfast entrees

(Served Buffet Style)

Saturday from 7 to 9 a.m.
Sunday – Friday from 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Scrambled and Hard-boiled Eggs
Assorted Melons
Fresh Fruit Juices
Homemade Granolas
Oat Bran Cereal
Seven Grain Cereal
Muffins and Toast
Acidophilus Milk
Soy Milk
Regular & Decaffeinated Coffee
An Assortment of Teas

Lunch entrees

Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday – Friday from Noon to 1:30p.m.
(Served Buffet Style)

Assorted Green Salads
Assorted Vegetable Salads
Assorted Pasta Salads
Navy Bean Soup
Lentil Soup
Black Bean Soup
Barley Vegetable Soup
Broccoli Soup
Garbanzo Bean Soup
Yellow Split Pea Soup
Baked Potato and Yams
Nonfat Cottage Cheese and Yogurt
Pizza with Feta Cheese
Chili Pepper Cheese Pie
Potato Quesadilla
Rancho Tostada
Steamed or Stir Fried Tofu or Tuna
Tempeh Reuben Sandwich Veggie Burger
Blitz Plate (180-calorie vegetable plate with lettuce, tomato, cauliflower, carrots, cottage cheese and broccoli.)

Dinner Entrees

Nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
(Served at table)

Vegetable Salad, varied nightly
Mexican Vegetable Soup
Exotic Mushroom Soup
Carrot Soup
Miso Soup
Minestrone Soup
Mexican Corn Chowder
Tomato Soup
Asian Stir Fry with Shrimp
Pasta Primavera
Chile Rellenos
Fresh Halibut Tecate Style
Homemade Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms
Spinach and Mushroom Enchilada
Spinach Lasagna
Spring Roll with Shrimp
Twice Baked Potato with Tofu and Vegetables
Steamed, Sauteed, or Stir-fried Vegetables
Options: Stir-fried Vegetables with Tofu and Brown Rice Steamed Vegetables Shredded Tuna Cottage Cheese


Carrot Cake
Fresh Fruit Sorbet
Blueberry or Peach Cheesecake
Postre del Sol
Cinnamon Flan
Baked Apples
Old Fashioned Rice Pudding
Poached Pear with Raspberries

Main Lounge items

The following items are available every day in the Main Lounge at the times shown:

Cut up fruit: 10:30 a.m.
Smoothies: 2:45 p.m.
Veggies: 4:00 p.m.

Food Sources


Not far from Rancho La Puerta, Valle de Guadalupe is noted for its varied terrain, granitic soils and an ideal climate for viticulture—low nighttime temperatures and hot days. In the last 20 years alone over 50 new wineries have sprung up here, and international awards and attention have put the valley on the map as the “next Napa.” The northernmost are near Rancho La Puerta, while the southernmost—Santo Tomas, San Vicente and Ojos Negros—are closer to Ensenada.

Seafood is a source of great pride

It comes from Ensenada’s Mercado Negro, an open-air covered arcade on the waterfront where fishermen display their catch in a bustling environment reminiscent of the great fish markets of the Mediterranean. (Although the name literally translates as “black market” it is most assuredly not that!) Our buyers hand-select fish several times a week, pack it in ice, and rush it home to our chefs. We buy either the whole fish, or in the case of something huge like swordfish, large portions. A whole fish is fresher by nature (there’s less handling) than one already filleted.


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