Homemade baja tacos on a wooden surface
Baja-Style Fish Tacos Are The Uncertified Dish Of San Diego
The Baja-style fish taco combines the essence of San Diego in one bite with golden, tender deep-fried fish, crunchy cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, and spiced crema.
The taco’s modern iteration was created in Baja, California, in the 1950s. Culinary historians believe the method of deep-frying fish came from Japanese immigrants making tempura.
In 1983, Baja-style tacos became the unofficial dish of San Diego when Ralph Rubio, the founder of Rubio’s Mexican Grill, brought it to the city.
The dish soon grew in popularity with those who lived near the ocean, and eventually to beach shacks and higher-end restaurants.
While ingredients vary, a Baja-style taco must include deep-fried fish, with cod being the most popular choice. Other options include tilapia, halibut, Mahi Mahi, and bass.
When it comes to the creamy sauce, some choose sour cream, while others enjoy avocado crema or a spicier chipotle mayo to truly make the Baja-style fish taco their own.