Best Street Food in Baja
In order to find the best street food in Baja, you have to know what to look for. We’ve made it our mission in life to explore new places and find the most authentic experience possible.
BAJA has some of the best street food in the world. It’s cheap, delicious, and easy to find.
As with traveling anywhere, exploring Baja requires no expectations. Throw your preconceived notions of Baja out the window, and you will be completely amazed by what you really see.
Without a doubt, Baja is one of our favorite places to visit. We’ve spent quite a bit of time driving around Baja and trying different street food. This blog post will give you the best of the best street food in Baja, and what to look for so that you can find your own favorite spots!
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Street Food Tips
Before we get into the list of BEST STREET FOODS IN BAJA, here are some tips for finding good street food vendors:
DON’T: Eat at food stands that are in touristy spots. Most of these places have built their menu around American tastes and do not reflect true Baja flavors. Not only will you be eating something that tastes a lot like the Mexican food you get at chain restaurants in America, the prices will be higher too.
DO: Check out side streets that are off the main drag for little taco shops and street vendors. Locals who work at tourist resorts have to eat too, and their favorite spots typically aren’t too far away from where they work (at the hotels).
STREET FOOD TIPS
DON’T: Eat at small taco shops that aren’t busy, and/or don’t look clean. Obviously, this is the number one rule of eating out NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE in the world. If the taco shop is bustling, you can bet the meat and ingredients are fresh. On the other hand, shops that aren’t as popular may have old products that may not bother the locals’ digestive systems, but it will deal you a world of hurt.
DO: Look for traditional Mexican items on the menu. Undoubtedly, you’re not trying the best street food in Baja so that you can have a hot dog. Look for al pastor tacos, churros, etc.
STREET FOOD TIPS
DON’T: Be afraid to try something new! We’ve tried all kinds of street food in Baja, and the only way to find the best street food is to try it first! Don’t worry, the roasted crickets are not on our “Best Street Food in Baja” list!
DO: Stop at little tables setup on the street with coolers and ask what they have. Many locals will make small batches of really good empanadas, burritos and sweet breads to sell on the corner. If you don’t speak Spanish, learn a few phrases before you go that will help you ask: “What are you selling?” and “How much is it?”
Without further delay, here is our list of Best Street Food in Baja
Al Pastor Tacos
Our favorite go-to taco meat is Al Pastor. Marinated, thinly-sliced pork that is roasted on a vertical spit with pineapple. It is one of the most flavorful meats you will ever eat in a taco. In addition, it’s different everywhere you go. In fact, some places make it spicier, others make it sweeter, and the flavor is always a little different.
One word of advice is to always look at the spit before ordering. You can tell if the meat has been sitting there for a while without being cut off, indicating that it may be getting old. If the spit is turning and the meat looks freshly cut, you’re good.
Our favorite dessert item from street vendors is churros. They will vary in style, from thin and crunchy to thick and chewy. Some vendors have both! Our favorite churro vendor has large, hollow ones that they fill with sweet sauce like chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. The best thing about churros is that you can see them being made, and you know if they’re fresh. They are best right out of the oil and covered in cinnamon, so try to get fresh ones!
A lot of street vendors sell tamales, and similar to Al Pastor, they’re all unique. Most family recipes have a little variation, so we like to try different tamales whenever we see a table setup. Our favorite variation is chicken with green sauce. We’ve had really good pork with red sauce, as well as sweet tamales that have pineapple in them. One of the things that makes tamales one of the best street foods in Baja is the price. Along with being very cheap, they also filling and delicious!
If you haven’t tried Elote from a Mexican street vendor, you haven’t lived. One of the most popular street foods in Mexico, Elote is a mixture of sweet corn, mayonnaise, crema, cheese and hot sauce. Most vendors make it a little differently. Some sell it on the cobb and others sell it in a cup. It’s easier to eat in a cup, and we prefer it that way because you can mix everything together.
Our favorite vendor mixes grilled corn and sweet corn, then adds mayonnaise and crema and stirs it all together. Then they top it with cheese and hand it to you to add your hot sauce and spices. Vendors usually have a variety of sauce and seasoning to add, so it’s important to ask which ones are really spicy! They usually know what to recommend for the Gringos!
This one is really simple, but so good! Fruit vendors chop up a bunch of different fruit including Mango, Pineapple, Jicama, Orange, Papaya, and Cucumber. They put this mixture into a cup and squeeze fresh lime juice over it. Then the top it with a spicy chili sauce and seasoning. It’s fresh and delicious!
Burritos from street vendors aren’t the same as what you get from a taco shop. Taco shop burritos are usually big and have a lot of ingredients. Most street vendors selling burritos make small batches at home and sell them to locals headed to work or on a lunch break. They are usually a small, flour tortilla with beans and cheese, pork and cheese, or a similar combination of simple ingredients. They’re very good and usually very inexpensive.
We found some really good ones in La Paz. A local man was walking around with a small cooler on wheels, and he stopped every once in a while to sell something to another local. We stopped him to ask what he had, and bought several burritos from him. They were so good, we wished we had bought more from him after we finished eating!
For the most part, street food is all we eat when we travel to Baja. One of our favorite things to do is walk around a town and try an Al Pastor taco from each taco shop that we see, in order to find the best one!