Baja California: A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Restaurants and Markets

As a foodie, there’s no place I love more than Baja California. The region is known for its fresh seafood, bold flavors, and fusion of Mexican and Mediterranean influences. From street stalls to upscale seafood restaurants, Baja has something for every appetite and budget. Whether traveling in your van or staying in a hotel, these are the must-try restaurants and markets for any food lover visiting Baja.

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Mercado Hidalgo in Tijuana

First on the list is the Mercado Hidalgo in Tijuana. This bustling market is a true feast for the senses, with stalls selling everything from handmade tortillas and churros to exotic spices and fresh produce. The real draw, however, is the seafood. From live octopus to grilled fish tacos, the seafood here is as fresh as it gets. Be sure to try the tostilocos, a snack made with crispy tostada shells topped with diced fruit, cucumber, and spicy sauce.

Mercado del Mar in Ensenada

Another must-visit market is the Mercado del Mar in Ensenada. Located right on the waterfront, this market is known for its fresh fish and seafood. The market is also home to a number of small restaurants serving dishes like ceviche, shrimp cocktails, and fish soup. Be sure to try the tacos de pescado, a Baja specialty made with battered and fried fish. 

La Guerrerense Carreta in Ensenada

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, head to La Guerrerense in Ensenada. This iconic seafood stand has been featured on foodie shows like Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” and is known for its fresh salsas and ceviche. Don’t miss the tostada de camarones, a towering shrimp tostada topped with avocado, tomato, and a spicy salsa.

El Rincón de los Artesanos in La Paz

Another must-try restaurant is El Rincón de los Artesanos in La Paz. This cozy spot serves up traditional Mexican fare with a modern twist. Be sure to try the cochinita pibil, a slow-roasted pork dish served with black beans and pickled onions. The restaurant also has a great selection of local craft beers to wash it all down.

El Rey del Taco in Tijuana

For a truly unique dining experience, check out El Rey del Taco in Tijuana. This hole-in-the-wall spot may not look like much, but it’s known for its massive tacos stuffed with everything from carne asada to fried octopus. Don’t be intimidated by the long lines – the wait is worth it for these delicious and affordable tacos.

Mercado de Mariscos in San Felipe

No trip to Baja would be complete without a visit to one of the region’s many fish markets. The Mercado de Mariscos in San Felipe is a great place to start. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of fresh fish and seafood, as well as local specialties like shrimp ceviche and smoked marlin. Be sure to try the aguachile, a spicy shrimp dish served with lime and chili peppers.

  • Direction: entrance of the colonial district of San Felipe

La Sonorense in Tijuana

Finally, if you’re a fan of Mexican desserts, you won’t want to miss the pastelerías (bakeries) in Baja. From sweet empanadas to creamy flan, there’s something for every sweet tooth. One of my favorites is the pan dulce from the panadería (bakery) La Sonorense in Tijuana. These soft, sweet rolls are the perfect way to end a meal.


In conclusion, Baja California is a foodie’s paradise. From markets bursting with fresh seafood to upscale restaurants serving up traditional Mexican fare, there’s something for every appetite. So don’t be afraid to indulge and try new things – you won’t be disappointed. Happy eating!



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