In the past few years, Northern Baja California has stepped into the spotlight for its burgeoning culinary scene. It’s a cuisine that focuses on fresh local ingredients like seafood, locally raised meats, regional cheeses, and native produce. Here are twelve picks from our Baja expert for sampling the region’s cuisine in Tijuana, Ensenada, and Valle de Guadalupe.
Cabo is Baja California Sur’s most recognized and visited area, but a majority of Cabo visitors don’t get past the resorts and golf courses, missing out on a plethora of incredible attractions within just a few hours of Cabo. Coral reef diving, natural hot springs and waterfalls, quaint colonial towns, and beautiful empty beaches are awaiting travelers who are willing to explore just off of the beaten path.
Although it claims a few local dishes as its own, Querétaro has never been known a food destination. That said, you can find some truly good eats here. Unlike most modern cities, Querétaro managed to hang on to a number of its old-fashioned cafeterias and fondas, which maintain a loyal clientele within the local crowd. You’ll also find plenty of cheap eats and tacos.
The state of Guanajuato has a serious sweet tooth. Dulces típicos (traditional sweets) are produced in various cities across the state and consumed by the populace with appetite and pleasure. In the city of Guanajuato, there are wonderful sweets stands in the market and numerous traditional sweets shops boasting enormous selections and unique regional candies.
With agave growing in hundreds of small-scale family plots, mezcal is a modern-day cultural phenomenon in Oaxaca—one with deep historical roots. Mezcal has been the “national” drink of the state of Oaxaca for centuries, and though perhaps the method to make it is more mechanized than in the past, it is mostly the same hands-on, handmade operation.
Guanajuato’s restaurant scene has made some considerable leaps forward. Not traditionally renowned for its cuisine, the city now offers a number of truly nice places to eat, some cool cafés, and a smattering of good international options, adding a measure of welcome sophistication to this student-centric city.
With its varied terrain and diverse local traditions, it’s not surprising that Mexican food is highly regional. Certain states distinguish themselves for particular dishes and ingredients, while other treats such as aguas frescas and thick egg custard for dessert are widely enjoyed. Here’s an overview of Mexican cuisine from region to region, along with popular items from mezcal to nieves.