Welcoming delicious cuisines from Tijuana, Ensenada, San Felipe, Rosarito, and Tecate, California. The 12th largest state of Mexico, in the Baja California coast, has some special offerings when it comes to an array of the most succulent, inexpensive, and mouthwatering dishes you can eat in the Southwest. They are created by the most talented chefs in some of the best restaurants, as well as in the dozens and dozens of “cocinas móvil” o “restaurantes móvil” (food carts) along the corners where streets meet dirt alleys. Even in the hotels or resorts, you plan on staying at once you visit the Baja Coast, you’ll find some of the best foods to try in Baja California.
Currently, age-old recipes mixing with newly developed recipes with preparation, and a variety of ingredients from various regions of the world, their individual dairy and produce, the various fresh seafood and the methods of cooking bring each very own style to the table. Naturally, the chefs become the experts of scrumptious, yet fine Baja foods and spirits.
The gorgeous views, Baja is another pleasing reason to go down to Baja. With the most delicious foods on the menus of restaurants, cafes, food carts, the resort or hotel restaurants, or even just a stop for a “street taco” will be delectable as you visit these historical cities and towns with beautiful architecture and artwork all the way.
Insights of Baja cuisine
Bringing some of the most palatable and pleasing dishes to the Baja coast from the north of the Baja Coast during the 1920s, thousands of Americans flocked to Baja because of the ban on alcohol in the US. In fact, even celebrities from Hollywood traveled to the south coast for magnificent vacations and ocean side properties in Tijuana, Ensenada, and Rosarito Beach. The offering of local, budget-friendly, authentic food and fresh seafood dishes were made by some creative and talented chefs with the ideas to make delectable tasteful dishes.
If you didn’t know there was a chef movement headed to Baja California, well there was and still is; it began in Tijuana, Mexico, though. The savory cuisines started out with chefs such as Chef Caesar Cardini (the original world famous Caesar salad creator), Miguel Angel Guerrero (copyrighted term Baja Med) and Javier Plascencia to name a few. (Read: http://sandiegan.com/reviews/caesars-restaurant/ )
With the rookie chefs and ‘Michelin-starred’ chef working side by side, here are some of the top influences that are coming out of the Baja coast which have created the superb la carte for flavorful, savory menu lists that include fresh ingredients, mixed, and blended to make an everlasting explosion of flavors in your mouth.
Here are the 10 must-try foods in Baja California which, after devouring these dishes, you’ll attempt to cook in your home kitchen.
10. Mole de Cordero / Lamb Mole
(Mi Casa Supper Club at Rosarito’s Beach) – where the chef masterfully coordinates flavors mixed with ingredients to make a blend of one of the best and scrumptious bowls of mole de Cordero. A popular dish at Mi Casa hotels. It’s cooked very well and enjoyed by thousands who order the dish because of the favorable sauce.
9. Machaca con huevos
(La Cocina de Doña Esthela) Considered one of FoodieHub’s Best Breakfast in the World in 2015 and discovered by a cast and crew of a telenovela filming near a wine vineyard in the Valle de Guadalupe. La Cocina de Doña Esthela’s classic home cooked meals such as her machaca con huevos, or shredded dried beef, which is fried, has been the talk ever since it’s come out to the public. Breakfast is not the same at Doña Esthela’s with it’s warm, spicy serrano chiles, bell peppers, and garlic side-by-side, or atop fresh scrambled eggs from the small farm she owns. This includes the huge, warm flour tortillas. Also, included in this delicious plate are the refried beans, peppered generously, with farmer’s cheese. This is on every breakfast plate by Doña Esthela’s.
8. Pescado Zarendeado (Fresh fish and shellfish at the Mercado in Popotla, Baja California)
is the main course that brings you the marinated, butterflied and grilled preparation of red snapper. The “deluxe” style, which includes grilled pulpo (octopus), shrimp and queso atop the flattened fish is the best here, so far. Devouring snapper and enjoying the hot and every delicious bite.
7. Pismo Clam tostadas (Sabina Bandera of La Guerrense, Ensenada)
A colossal of Latin, Mexican, Seafood, and Fast Food mixed in an array of authentic dishes to satisfy every bite and flavor of ingredients within each dish that comes out of the kitchen. At Rosarito Beach, Dona Sabina is known for her civeche but it’s the Pismo Clam Tosadas that have people talking, then the sea urchin civeche. All the food is sautéed in a buttery or saucy blend with or without buttery flavored tortillas.
6. Blends of Baja Sushi Rolls, (Kobu Japanese Cuisine, Mexicali)
A popular blend of super classy Japenese sushi rolls with colorful presentations, equisite flavors which are tasteful to all the senses. Kobu is located at Araiza Hotel in Mexicali in the Hotel district. Mexican flavors are the explosion and infused with the Japanese flavors and seafood with spice, or not so spicey. Fresh and raw tuna fish rolled on a palatable spread of rice. making it more delicious and neverending. The restaurants expert sushi chefs will bring out the spicy flavor if request with the dozens of sushi rolls offered.
5. Puerto Nuevo style lobster (Puerto Nuevo Restaurant, Rosarito Beach)
Is an exploration of past cuisines from Mexico and Latin America; the seafood is fresh and with this dish you’ll love the authenticity of the blend of spices. can get a small, medium, or large sized lobster. Served with great beans and floury tortillas. The owner is a fisherman! The coffee, yet tropical feel of the atmosphere along with it’s value while eating hand made tortillas and lobster tails is an experience that is a must try for the inexpensive price. The tropical decor adds to the entire Baja coast culinary vibe.
is an exploration of past cuisines from Mexico and Latin America; the seafood is fresh and with this dish you’ll love the authenticity of the blend of spices. can get a small, medium, or large sized lobster. Served with great beans and floury tortillas. The owner is a fisherman! The coffee, yet tropical feel of the atmosphere along with it’s value while eating hand made tortillas and lobster tails is an experience that is a must try for the inexpensive price. The tropical decor adds to the entire Baja coast culinary vibe.
4. Fish and Shrimp Tacos (Taco Fenix, Ensenada)
Is a small “shack” eatery off the paths of the typical tourist area. Recommended for those who want a bit of the crunchiness of the fish and the spiciness of the salsas. It’s not fine-dine, but it’s some of the best fish and shrimp tacos you’ll ever eat in Ensenada. You can put your own cabbage, mayonnaise, salsa, seasoning…and what’s more, you’ll see the locals standing up eating, not your regular waiting in line. You’ll enjoy the locality. Fresh and crunchy fish or shrimp because of the fried style, or grilled. Enjoy the freedom of putting your own condiments such as Limones, Repollo, Rabano, Crema, Pico de Gallo, Salsa Roja y Verde.
3. Artisanal Cheeses (La Cava de Marcelo, Ensenada)
Is a traditional dairy famous in Baja. Some of them such as Ramonetti cheese which is the creamy and pungenant cheese which can be sampled before purchasing. The ‘cheese cave’ is located in Ojos Negros, southeast of Ensenada. Visitors can sample and purchase the variety of farm cheeses. You and your family can tour the cheese cave and the dairy farm. The restaurant has various dishes all naturally highlighted withe the various artisanal cheeses; one is the Ostiones Ramonetti or the Sardinas a La Pasta. Enjoy!
2. Caesar’s Salad (Caesar’s Restaurant, Tijuana)
You can’t leave Baja California until you’ve tried the “original” Caesar’s salad. It’s the best of all salads anywhere and naturally the ‘home’ of The Ceasar Salad. Although, you can’t avoid the various menu items, this dish you can write home about. A blend of Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean and European foods can all go with a salad. What better way to eat the best Caesar salad in the Baja coast than the restaurant it was created at.
1. Baja-Med 6 course classic (Mision 19, Tijuana)
is the unique Award-winning cuisine which serves Baja Med style food. Included in this colossal of Mexican and Mediterrian food mix is a delectable, mouthwatering fine-dine cuisine made exclusively from the chefs which are known to start it all, the Baja Med style meals, or at least honing in on it a bit more. Undoubtedly, you’ll get goose-bumps with the first bite of the first course all the way to the last course. Allow Javier Plascencia, the chef of Mision 19, sweep you and your party away with this 6 course classic that includes everything from the scalloped ‘parfait’, to the grilled octopus, pork ‘crepe’ tacos, a Mesoamerican-style risotto, charcoal roasted beef tablita, and carrot bread pudding as sweet dessert. Delight yourself in this culinary experience as he, or his other chefs at Mision 19 cook up some of the fusion cuisine that’s all the craze hitting the Baja Coast because of the variety of surrounding influences of the region including the Mediterranean meets Asia and Mexico. Naturally, the fresh produce, some fine street recipes and other fine secrets that has made the Baja coast more of a reason to eat at. The best in fusion cuisine which is a ‘must-try’ food in Baja California.
Architecturally magnificent with every bite you get
Finally, with the architecturally significant atmosphere in all the places you intend to eat at, along with eye appealing art work, you’ll feel more welcome once you smell the essence of the delicious, savory smells of the meats, sauces, steamed vegetables, fruits, and desserts. They’re fused into an aroma of tasteful and exquisite dishes off the menus. In truth, you’ll always remember the food experience because they hit all the human senses once you’ve tried the Top 10 foods in Baja Coast.