The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada 


Tacos have become an iconic Mexican food and are enjoyed by many worldwide. However, one type of taco has gained a special place in the heart of locals and tourists alike: fish tacos. Ensenada, a coastal city in Baja, California, Mexico, is known for its delicious and fresh seafood, making it the perfect destination to indulge in some of the best fish tacos in the world. 

 Explanation of Popularity

There are many reasons why fish tacos have become so popular in Ensenada. First and foremost, the city’s location on the coast provides easy access to fresh seafood daily. 

This means that restaurants can use only the freshest ingredients when preparing their fish tacos, resulting in an unparalleled taste that keeps customers returning for more. In addition to its location on the coast, Ensenada is also known for its street food scene. 

Many locals enjoy grabbing a quick bite from one of the numerous taquerias that line the streets before heading off to work or on a night out. Fish tacos are a popular choice due to their portability and delicious taste. 

Ensenada’s reputation as a top culinary destination has helped elevate fish tacos. With chefs from all over Mexico flocking to this city by the sea to showcase their skills, it’s no surprise that some chefs have put their twists on classic fish taco recipes. 

Brief History of Fish Tacos

Fish tacos may seem like a modern invention; however, they have a rich history dating back hundreds of years. Some historians believe indigenous people living along Mexico’s Pacific Coast ate fish tacos long before Europeans arrived in America. Ensenada’s first written account of fish tacos comes in the early 20th century. 

It is said that locals would gather on the beach to buy fresh Fish from fishermen and then fry it up in tortillas over an open flame. This simple dish soon spread throughout the city, becoming a beloved staple of Ensenada’s street food scene. 

Today, fish tacos can be found all over Mexico and beyond. However, there’s no denying that Ensenada remains one of the best places in the world to enjoy this delicious dish. 

 The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada 

Ensenada is famous for its fish tacos, and several eateries serve these delicious treats. Here are some of the best places to get the tastiest fish tacos in Ensenada: 

 El Fenix – A classic spot with over 80 years of experience 

El Fenix is one of the oldest taco stands in Ensenada, and it has been serving fish tacos for over 80 years. The restaurant’s founder, Don Pascual Orozco, is credited with inventing the fish taco. 

The restaurant uses only fresh seafood from the nearby ocean daily and makes its tortillas on-site. Customers rave about El Fenix’s crispy battered Fish, which is perfectly cooked. 

They also love their tangy white sauce made with mayonnaise, sour cream, and spices. It perfectly complements the fresh cabbage, pico de gallo salsa, and guacamole toppings. 

 La Guerrerense – Known for its innovative toppings and sauces 

La Guerrerense is a street vendor that has become one of Ensenada’s most popular food destinations due to its innovative toppings and sauces. Owner Sabina Bandera Gonzalez prides herself on using only locally sourced seafood in her dishes. 

Visitors must try their famous “tostadas de ceviche,” made by layering fresh ceviche on top of crispy tortillas. You can also enjoy their uniquely flavored salsas, such as chipotle mayo or habanero sauce. 

 Tacos El Trailero – A hidden gem loved by locals 

Tacos El Trailero is an unassuming taco stand close to downtown Ensenada that serves simple but satisfying fish tacos. Their batter-fried Fish is cooked perfectly and served on warm tortillas. 

The restaurant’s signature sauce is a spicy mayo that adds a kick to the taco. Locals love this spot because of the low prices, quick service, and authentic flavors. 

 Taqueria El Original – A favorite among food bloggers and critics 

Taqueria El Original is a popular spot for fish tacos due to its fresh ingredients and creative toppings. Their batter-fried Fish is light and crispy, cooked to perfection. 

They offer unique toppings such as mango salsa, pickled onions, and chipotle crema, adding a flavor explosion to each bite. The restaurant’s friendly staff makes sure their guests have an enjoyable experience from start to finish. 

 Mariscos Bahia de Ensenada – A seafood restaurant serving up delicious fish tacos 

Mariscos Bahia de Ensenada is a family-owned restaurant that serves up some of the best seafood dishes in Ensenada, including their famous fish tacos. The battered Fish is always fresh and crispy, with homemade tortillas made right before you. 

Customers rave about their creamy avocado crema sauce that pairs perfectly with each bite. The relaxed atmosphere, coupled with great service, will make you want to come back for more. 

Each of these eateries offers something unique regarding fish tacos in Ensenada. Whether you prefer traditional or innovative toppings, there are plenty of options for everyone to indulge in this authentic Mexican dish! 

What Makes the Best Fish Tacos?

The Freshness of the Fish:

When it comes to fish tacos, the freshness of the Fish is essential. Fresh Fish is not only healthier, but it also tastes better. 

In Ensenada, most restaurants serving fish tacos get their Fish directly from the sea daily, ensuring that their customers get the freshest possible ingredients. In addition to being fresh, the type of Fish used in a taco can also make a difference in taste and texture. 

While many restaurants use traditional white Fish like cod or halibut, some prefer more exotic types like mahi-mahi or octopus. Whatever type of Fish is used, it must be cooked to perfection to remain tender and moist. 

Quality of the Batter:

The batter used for the Fish in a taco gives it its crispy texture and enhances its flavor. A good batter should be light and crispy without overpowering the taste of the Fish. Some restaurants use simple batters made with flour and beer, while others add spices like cumin or paprika for extra flavor. 

It’s important to note that while some restaurants may deep-fry their batter-coated Fish, others may grill or pan-sear it instead. Each method can produce different tastes and textures, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. 

Variety and Creativity of Toppings:

While fresh fish and quality batter are important components of a great taco, toppings can turn an ordinary taco into something truly special. Traditional toppings like shredded cabbage and pico de gallo are staples in most tacos, but adding unique toppings can set one restaurant apart from another. 

Some popular creative toppings include mango salsa, avocado crema, chipotle aioli sauce, pickled red onions, or jalapeños. The key is to find toppings that complement the flavors of the Fish and batter rather than overpowering them. 

Type of Tortilla Used:

The type of tortilla used in a taco can significantly impact its overall taste and texture. In Ensenada, most restaurants use freshly made corn tortillas, which are softer and more flavorful than store-bought ones. However, some restaurants may use flour tortillas for a different texture and flavor. 

Some even offer a mix of both corn and flour tortillas for customers to choose from. The best fish tacos are made with fresh, high-quality ingredients, including perfectly cooked fish, light and crispy batter, creative toppings that complement rather than overpower the flavors, and freshly made tortillas that add another flavor to the dish. 

Insider Tips for Enjoying Fish Tacos in Ensenada

Try different types of Fish, such as mahi-mahi or shrimp.

When it comes to fish tacos in Ensenada, there is a vast array of seafood options. While many restaurants offer the classic battered and fried Fish, some establishments take a more upscale approach with grilled or sauteed Fish. For those looking to branch out and try something new, consider ordering tacos made with mahi-mahi or shrimp. 

These seafood options offer a unique flavor profile and are often paired with tropical fruits like pineapple or mango. One restaurant that offers an alternative take on the traditional fish taco is Sabina Bandera’s La Guerrerense. 

This street food-style eatery features various seafood options, including a grilled octopus taco and even sea urchin ceviche. For those looking for something truly unique, this is worth a visit. 

Experiment with different toppings, such as avocado or mango salsa

Part of the appeal of enjoying fish tacos in Ensenada is the endless variety of toppings available to customize your meal. From simple garnishes like lime wedges and cilantro to more complex sauces like chipotle crema and mango salsa – there are endless opportunities to experiment with flavor combinations. 

For those looking for something spicy, consider adding pickled jalapenos or sliced serrano peppers to your tacos. Alternatively, if you prefer a milder taste profile, use fresh guacamole or diced avocado as your topping of choice. 

Pair your tacos with a cold beer or margarita for the ultimate experience.

No trip to Ensenada would be complete without washing down your delicious tacos with an ice-cold beer or refreshing margarita. Many local restaurants offer regional beers like Pacifico and Tecate, which pair perfectly with the salty and savory flavors of the fish tacos. Other eateries offer a range of tequila-based cocktails, including margaritas made with fresh lime juice and agave nectar. 

One spot that offers a unique twist on traditional margaritas is Hussong’s Cantina. This lively establishment was founded in 1892 and claims to have invented the margarita cocktail. 

Their signature drink, the Original Margarita, features equal parts tequila, lime juice, and Controy – a popular orange liqueur from Mexico. While it may not be for everyone, it’s worth trying for those looking to experience a piece of history while enjoying their fish tacos. 


A Culinary Delight in Ensenada

Ensenada is a city that takes its fish tacos seriously. With a long history of serving up some of the best fish tacos in the world, it’s no surprise that there are many great spots to choose from. Whether you’re looking for classic and traditional or innovative and modern, a fish taco in Ensenada will satisfy your cravings. 

The Top Fish Taco Spots in Ensenada

In this article, we’ve highlighted some of Ensenada’s best fish taco spots. Each spot has its unique take on this beloved dish, from El Fenix, with over 80 years of experience, to La Guerrerense, with its creative toppings and sauces. Tacos El Trailero is a hidden gem off the beaten path, and Mariscos Bahia de Ensenada offers an elevated seafood dining experience. 

What Makes The Best Fish Tacos

When it comes to great fish tacos, several factors come into play. The freshness of the Fish is essential; it should be cooked just right without being overcooked or undercooked. 

The quality of the batter is also crucial; it should be light and crispy but not too greasy. The type of tortilla used can make all the difference, too – corn tortillas are traditional, but flour tortillas can add a unique twist. 

If you find yourself in Ensenada, don’t miss out on trying some of the best fish tacos. With so many options, you’re sure to find one that satisfies your cravings and leaves you feeling fully satisfied! 

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