Eat Like a Paceno

Palapa Restaurant 1

The best way to truly know and appreciate a city’s culture and cuisine is to follow the locals. When in Rome…do as the Romans do. When in La Paz…eat as a Paceno would.

Seeing as though this is The Sea of Cortez, the aquarium of the world, you may be wondering what to eat? SEAFOOD of course!

FISH TACOS

Bismark-cito

Their fish tacos are famous all over Baja. No matter what day of the week you go, it’s always packed. They have the original recipe for fish, shrimp and marlin tacos. Right on the Malecon, just follow the long line of parked cars and big trees.

McFish

Although not as old as Bismark-cito, McFish is where locals go for a fish taco breakfast. Their specialty? The Mayan Burrito: beans, shrimp, fish and salsa on a flour tortilla. Trust us it tastes better than it sounds. Not in the mood for some Mexican food? Try the shrimp burger, you’ll love it.

SEA FOOD

El Dorado

Also on the Malecon, you can find the best shrimp cocktail in La Paz or if you’re feeling crazy try the live clams. Hung-over? El Dorado offers up the best Bloody Mary’s on the Baja. And for the kids? Fish fingers and cold Jamaican tea.  Be ready though, local musicians like to stop over to sing some songs for a few pesos.

Playa Pichilingue

This restaurant has been around forever. It’s a big palapa right on the beach. Locals usually bring their own food and shade when going to the beach, but when they don’t feel like carrying all those goods, they just go to Pichilingue. Stuffed crabs are among the favorite dishes along with live clams. The best thing about the clams is that they are as fresh as can be. In fact, they have a little farm by the shore so whenever you ask for clams, the waiter rolls up his pants and will simply fish them out for you.

How to get there? You’ll need a car or a taxi considering it is a 15 -20 minute drive from downtown La Paz to the Ferry’s dock. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit, in case you want to take a plunge in the crystal clear water before lunch.

FAST FOOD

Pacenos idea of fast food is a little different, of course there’s a McDonalds and Burger King, but locals prefer tacos, gorditas and hot dogs (yep, hot dogs are pretty big around here.)

Rancho Viejo

Rancho Viejo is becoming more and more popular among tourists, but locals still go here for a late night taco or two. Arrachera and carne asada in a flour tortilla are the best, but they also serve Mexican food such as stuffed chilies and stuffed potatoes. They recently opened a Rancho Viejo Sea Food restaurant that you can’t miss either.

Tacos El Chino

Do you really want to eat like a local? Then you have to try El Chino tacos. Nothing fancy, just a street taco stand. Stop by after 11 p.m. all the way until 4 a.m. for the best carne asada (beef) tacos ever. Be careful with the salsas, some of them look harmless but are really spicy. If you’re not much of a chile kind of person, stay on the safe side and just try the guacamole. A little warning, their guacamole looks nothing like the kind most Americans are accustomed to, this one is very thin and not chunky at all, but give it a chance, it’s still tasty! You can find them on Madero Street.

Gorditas Dona Tota

These are a Mexican specialty; they are a type of thick corn tortilla stuffed with lots of different things such as pork skin in green sauce, potatoes with chorizo, beef, chicken and beans with cheese. Add a little salsa and they are the best. Careful, they are greasy and totally addictive. They are located in the fast food court at the Soriana Supermarket.

Hot Dogs

At almost every corner street in La Paz you can find a hot dog stand after 7 p.m. What’s so different about these hot dogs you ask? They are wrapped in bacon and served with tomatoes, grilled onions, mustard, ketchup, sour cream and salsa all on a sweet bun; but those are just the regular ones, you can find them with spicy beef and nacho cheese as well. The best part? They are only $25 pesos each.

Burritos

XL size burritos here we come! Humongous flour tortilla filled with chopped beef cooked with onions and chile, served with sour cream and of course, salsa. Almost every hot dog stand carries burritos too. They are perfect after a long night at the clubs and bars where you just can’t wait to get to the taco stand.

 

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