6 Great Dishes from Baja

Baja California

Baja California is 775 miles long and includes Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico's most promising wine country.

Last weekend was a Baja blur, featuring a relentless food tour of the northern Baja Peninsula that included state-of-the-art Tijuana tacos, high-end “alta cocina” and Baja Med fusion. We visited more than 20 spots in just over 48 hours. These are just six of the staggering tastes along the way, with a full report to come in the next two weeks.

El Mazateño – Shrimp Taco

Tacos Tijuana

The second-largest migrant group in Tijuana hails from the coastal state of Sinaloa. El Mazateño is a leading example of the style, a high-volume open-air taqueria that produces scintillating seafood. The memorable smoked marlin taco couldn’t compete with the taco camaron enchilado, featuring a flaky, paratha-like flour tortilla topped with plump grilled shrimp tossed with chile de arbol.

La Querencia – Beef Tongue Carpaccio

Food Tijuana

Miguel Angel Guerrero, a fourth generation Tijuanan, invented a style of cooking called Baja Med by combining Mediterranean, Asian and Mexican influences with the best local ingredients. At his nine-year-old restaurant in Tijuana’s Gastronomic Zone, Guerrero features several carpaccios that would shame most high-end L.A. restaurants. My favorite: silky beef tongue carpaccio topped with fried garlic, frizzled scallions/leeks and drizzles of sea urchin cream.

Barbacoa Ermita – Pancita

Barbacoa Tijuana

Every weekend, Hidalgo native Victor Torres opens up his home’s covered patio so people can eat his barbacoa, an entire mutton slow-roasted for 8 hours in maguey leaves that leave the meat moist and aromatic. My favorite part of the experience was digging into the bowl of pancita, a chile-tossed mess of organ meats, include tender strips of stomach and a mixture of kidney, liver and who knows what else. The roasted mutton was great, but didn’t feature pancita’s distinctive organ funk.



Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

How do I get to Victor Hidalgo’s Home/Patio for that great sounding Barbacoa Ermita – Pansita. I’m already living ( and drooling) in San Diego! I will be eternally grateful for directions. Thanx, Mama Foodie

Mama Foodie,

Barbacoa Ermita is right near Tacos Salceados on Avenida Ermita


Josh, you certainly have a talent for encouraging people to try the unusual. Your descriptions entice me to try the yummy dishes depicted in your colorful photos.

Great shots and coverage, Josh. It brings back the most appetizing memories of our weekend in Tijuana. I can’t wait to go back.

Josh, you loved the pancita.You’ve made my day.

What a food frenzy! Your photos have my mouth watering.

Nice — we share similar tastes on many of fave dishes. Also, mind if I used your sea snails photo? (I’ll credit & link, of course) My hands were too saucy by then for me to snap a shot, but I def. regretted once I tasted those juicy lil suckers!


Glad to hear you liked most of my choices. I’ll e-mail you a sea snail photo.

a great list of dishes; I probably would’ve picked the same ones.

Nice report! Man oh man…what a trip.

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