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Baja style fish taco?

Okay I confess, I use to go to Baja Fresh for their fish tacos. But, they closed last year and I haven't found a good fish taco since.

I live in Woburn and have tried Three Amigos in Stoneham, but theirs is just.. okay.

The Ninety-nine, about the same..

Anyone know of a place where the fish taco is really good? I don't want to travel to Boston Proper though. Thanks.

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  1. I'd give La Paloma in Quincy a try. I haven't been down your way in a while (south of Boston), but I remember it as having great Mexican food.

    La Paloma Mexican Food
    195 Newport Ave, Quincy, MA 02170

    4 Replies
    1. re: ecwashere7

      Woburn is north of Boston. They weren't on the menu, but Tu Y O in Somerville made me fish tacos. The fish wasn't fried, so granted they weren't Baja style, but they were very good. Dorado Tacos in Brookline has very good fish tacos. I just want a spicier sauce to accompany them.

      Tu Y Yo Mexican Fonda
      858 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

      Dorado Tacos & Cemitas
      401 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

      1. re: CookieLee

        I was thinking Stoughton when he said Stoneham. My bad.

          1. re: CookieLee

            I should have read the part that said "I live in Woburn" a little closer. Oh well. As for fish tacos north of Boston, hmmm... That's not an easy find. I'd suggest either Ole or La Verdad for closer to Boston, but Woburn is a little tough.

            Great Bay used to have fantastic fish tacos on their bar menu. I still get a little teary-eyed thinking about GB.

    2. I love Baja-style fish tacos and have never found even a decent one around here, so I just fly to San Diego twice a year for it. I recently found a fish taco (a battered fried fish burrito) at Kings Bowling in Legacy Mall that is very much like the ones in SoCal.

      4 Replies
        1. re: mcel215

          Legacy Place is the new mall in Dedham.

        2. re: joebloe

          "I love Baja-style fish tacos and have never found even a decent one around here, so I just fly to San Diego twice a year for it."

          haha i love this! thanks for saying it :D

          1. re: joebloe

            tried the fish taco at Kings Bowling...they must've changed the chef or something because the one I had there was not very good (and nothing like the Rubio's ones I remember)...$10 down the drain...the search continues...

          2. Try Ixtapa in Lexington. (NOT the Ixtapa in Woburn.) I've had decent fish tacos there - certainly not like So Cal, but pretty passable for so close to home. Also, the whole fried tilapia is really yummy.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Eatin in Woostah

              Thanks Eatin,
              Are you sure I can't get them in Woburn though? I can walk to that place, hahaa. :)

              1. re: mcel215

                I have tried the Woburn Ixtapa a few times, and it has been consistently awful. On the other hand, I've never had a bad meal at the Lexington location, and we eat there probably twice a month. Just don't want you to judge the Lexxy Ixtapa quality based on an easy trip to Woburn, which is why I warned aganst it. :)

              2. re: Eatin in Woostah

                Our most recent two meals at Ixtapa have been total disappointments relative to a year ago and longer when we looked forward to getting there. The salsa seemed watered down, as did the margaritas (the upgraded Gold version, even) and the fish tacos were pretty nearly inedible - lukewarm and REALLY fishy, with very soupy "refried beans' (which were always a weak point there anyway).

                The staff were as friendly and helpful as ever and it was busy as usual, but we are having trouble mustering up the will to return. Have you been in the last few weeks and enjoyed it as much as ever? At this point, I'l opt for the Border Care in Burlington for this type of all-american tex mex experience...

                1. re: rlh

                  That's sad - I used to think Ixtapa was pretty decent when I lived nearby.

                  1. re: rlh

                    You know, when we went two weeks ago the salsa was weirdly watery, and the "mild" salsa that my daughter usually gets and loves looked completely different and tasted off. But we were back on Tuesday last week and it was back to normal. Maybe they had someone new in the kitchen that didn't work out?

                  2. re: Eatin in Woostah

                    Went to the Lexington Ixtapa once and will NEVER eat there again. Awful meal, bad service and just about everything wrong a restaurant can do.

                    349 Main St, Woburn, MA 01801

                    1. re: justauser

                      Ditto - same experience and they tried to charge us for beers we didn't order. Never eat there again!

                  3. The owners of Dorado Tacos & Cemitas, Brookline, are San Diego natives. They are making Ensenada, Baja California-style fish tacos (beer battered white fish, two corn tortillas, radishes, cabbage, crema, etc.)

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Mr. Darcy

                      Do they make their own battered fresh fish or do they deepfry those frozen fish sticks from bulk Costco/BJs bags?

                      1. re: joebloe

                        I ate there for the first time today. The fish batter is uneven and home-made-looking, to be sure.

                        I am probably the least qualified person on this board to comment on fish tacos, having only eaten some muck at a random bar before today, but I went in there with high hopes of making a new chow discovery. Sadly, my dorado and ensenada tacos (with rice and beans) were amongst the blandest food I have ever stumped up cash for. The crema/mayo was the only flavour in the entire taco, and not enough to approach making the taco "tasty". Not sure I "get" fish tacos after this experience. Roll on a long overdue trip to CA I guess.

                        1. re: chickendhansak

                          How hard is it to make a decent fish taco or fish burrito...REALLY?

                          1. re: joebloe

                            It's one of my favorites to eat out. I live alone and making two baha fish tacos is a pain in the neck. The cabbage, the pico de gallo... come on, it's just not that easy. I think it's actually cheaper to buy them. I just need to find a place near me that makes a good one.

                            1. re: mcel215

                              I didn't mean for the average joe like you and me to make them. I meant there's no excuse for virtually all restaurants to make them so lousy around here and expect us to suck it up an eat it.

                    2. Jack Tar's in Marblehead does a very good fish taco witha mango salsa!

                      1. I might be laughed off the board by purists, and it might not be convenient for you, but I'm fond of the fish tacos at Border Cafe in Harvard Square. They're nicely fried, but they come in flour tortillas with a red pepper sauce instead of cilantro/ cabbage etc.
                        I have never never been to the Border Cafe in Burlington- don't know if has the same menu.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: cpingenot

                          Fish taco aficionados might enjoy Chapter 12 in Calvin Trillin's book 'Feeding a Yen.' It's titled 'A Very Short History of the Fish Taco,' & that's exactly what it is. Very well written, too.


                          1. re: cpingenot

                            Thanks, that close to me. I'll give them a try. And trust me, no laughing here, I used to go to Baja Fresh. That's more laughable.

                          2. Haven't heard anyone mention La Verdad yet. They have great fish tacos, IMO.

                            1. I too, was SO sad when Baja Fresh closed...it was the closest thing to an authentic SoCal fish taco that I've found here.

                              Dorado was a no for me, sadly and I truly did want to support them because I think the concept is amazing and something Boston needs. However, nothing tasted authentic or flavorful at all.
                              The Channel Cafe in Fort Point has a really yummy fish taco that I like, although it's not battered and fried...the fish is grilled but they are tasty.
                              The only other place I found that was remotely close to authentic was this window service place near the steamship authority on Nantucket island.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: BellatrixStar

                                This is a great thread that I somehow missed a couple weeks back.

                                Nothing around here compares to the stuff you get in CA. And, although Baja Fresh pales in comparison to Rubio's or some of the small independent places I've frequented in CA, I also feel Baja Fresh's was the best fish taco that Boston has seen in the past decade.

                                Right now, Dorado's is the best out of the slim pickings of fish taco places in Boston. They really are. I'm not crazy about their sauce and the tortilla leaves a lot to be desired. But where else around here can you choose from multiple choices of fish/shrimp tacos? And even quality-wise, I still believe Dorado's is the best in the area. So I travel 30min to go there at least every other week.

                                I do enjoy the cat fish taco at Border Cafe for its own merit, even though it's not authentic Baja-style. Although you'll never see that kind of red pepper sauce with Baja-style fish tacos, it is rather tasty and it works. But I can't eat that stuff more than once a month, because their fish tacos are too salty and a little too greasy and you don't feel great after you have two.

                                1. re: chowmouse

                                  Funny you should mention...I just tried the Catfish Taco at Border Cafe last week and it was really good. Agreed, not a classic baja but still pretty darn tasty...one filled me up.

                              2. It is definitely NOT at Summer Shack - the measly portion of fried haddock was good, but the single, crumbling flour tortilla and strange chipotle-like sauce, along with the water running off the cabbage/lettuce and making a soggy mess were huge deal-breakers - so not worth $10.50 for two, even when they threw in the adequate fries no charge....

                                1. I must agree with one post...a trip to San Diego for fish tacos is easier than finding great ones around here. Even the fast food ones at San Diego's Del Taco were better than ones I've had around here.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: nlg

                                    Ooooh ... Del Taco! I am tempted to become a franchisee and start printing money when I open my own Del Taco here. Amazing chain fish tacos.

                                    I didn't like the tacos at Dorado, but to be fair, I need to make a return trip. Fish tacos at Highland Kitchen are quite good, but they are a special so not always available.

                                    Shrimp tacos at Olecito are passable.

                                  2. On the Border in Woburn has fried fish tacos. I had them once. Didn't blow me away, but I don't remember them being bad.

                                    1. If anyone's had the fish taco at La Verdad, could you pls post your opinions?

                                      Is it mild? Is tortilla corn or flour? How big? How's the sauce? How does it compare to Dorado's (if you've been to both)? Also, is this place a take-out place with some tables, or a place where you get waited on?

                                      I've been meaning to go since they opened, but Lansdowne businesses are so hard to access by car. Also, I see that they no longer have a-la-carte taco as a cheap single item on the menu. Now I only see the 3-taco taco plate for $12, unless I'm reading it wrong.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: chowmouse

                                        If you click on the taqueria menu, you can see the individual prices ($2.75 for fish.)
                                        Pretty sure you can order those a-la-carte inside the restaurant just as you can in the taqueria part.

                                        1. re: rknrll

                                          they only have them in the summer, but the fish tacos at PICCO are super tasty. I crave them! Don't know if they are baja style, but the fish is fried, they have a crunchy red cabbage slaw with whole black beans and a spicy avocado cream. Soooo good!

                                        2. re: chowmouse

                                          I think the fish tacos at La Verdad are the best in Boston (at least downtown). I do like the Dorado fish tacos but not quite as much as La Verdad.

                                          1. re: chowmouse

                                            I can't report on them being authentic "Baja-style," but La Verdad makes a mean taco. The fish, the asada, the carnitas and even the beef tongue are incredible. They're open until 1 AM too.

                                            1. re: ecwashere7

                                              Is their fish taco (with all the fixings and the salsa) mild or spicy?

                                              I love Mexican food but I can't take spicy stuff. When I get the "mild" pico de gallo at Qdoba's, I have to pluck out all the pepper seeds.

                                          2. The Cottage in Welleseley is supposed to have great fish tacos - at least according to Phantom Gourmet. I believe the owners are Californians. Post a review if you go.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: TommyJay

                                              Thanks for the tip...going to put that on my list to try and I shall report back!

                                            2. I have to start by saying that I never had the Baja fish tacos. So I can't tell you these are similar. But at brunch over the weekend, I had the fish tacos at Masa in Woburn and they were very tasty. Lightly friend, although what I remember most is the wonderful tangy pickled onions they were serviced with. Mmmmm.... Might be worth a try since you are in Woburn already.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: makonna

                                                I've enjoyed the brunch fish tacos at Masa, too. I don't remember the fish they use, but I do remember that, thankfully, it's not tilapia!

                                              2. I do not know styles. But fish tacos are a new item on menu at Taqueria (and Cantina) la Mexicana in Somerville. They are quite yummy! Flour tortillas, cabbage, some light mayo-type sauce.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: jajjguy

                                                  i got a few there and found the fish to be incredibly greasy.
                                                  Close to home though, so I may give them another shot.

                                                    1. re: jajjguy

                                                      One of the signs of a true baja fish taco is the use of CORN tortillas.

                                                      1. re: BellatrixStar

                                                        I'm not sure if that's true. When I lived in San Diego, I ate tons of Baja-style tacos and the tortillas were sometimes corn, sometimes flour; sometimes they gave a choice between the two. Rubio's lets you choose between corn or flour. I myself prefer the corn one.

                                                        1. re: chowmouse

                                                          Yeah some of the "best" fish taco spots in San Diego do use flour.

                                                          1. re: rknrll

                                                            Ok...I've only had corn tortillas there and tried one here with a flour tortilla...definitely prefer the corn though.

                                                            1. re: BellatrixStar

                                                              Im in Los Barillos on the East Cape of Southern Baja. Most places offer a choice of flour or corn.

                                                              served with plain grilled or fried fish, shrimp etc. with salsa bar or relish tray brought to your table with different ad ons...always cabbage, pico de gallo, green and red salsa, mayo, sometimes roasted hot peppers

                                                              I had a grilled dorado and grilled shrimp yesterday on flour...fantastic! The freshness of the seafood down here is amazing.

                                                    2. I miss Baja Fresh, too. Especially that dark, red salsa with the charred bits they used to serve. Anyone know what that was?

                                                      1. Thanks everyone,

                                                        I just talked with a friend who lives in Peabody, and says that there is a Baja Fresh off of Rt 128 in Beverly. It's about 20 minutes up the highway for me, but for their Pico di gallo and fish taco, it's worth going once in awhile. :)

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: mcel215

                                                          Are you sure? I thought they closed about a year ago.

                                                          1. re: chowmouse

                                                            According to Baja Fresh's own website, the closest store these days is in New York City. Sorry.

                                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                              Ugh! My friend thought they were still there, because she saw gift cards available at Stop & Shop in Stoneham last week....... thanks, at least I didn't drive all the way there for nothing.

                                                        2. Try the fish tacos at the Cottage in Wellesley. Only a 20-25 minute drive from Woburn.

                                                          The Cottage
                                                          190 Linden Street, Wellesley, MA 02482

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. Ret the fish tacos at Firebox in Bedford. They are a BBQ place but their fish tacos are really good.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: justauser

                                                              Thanks, is it near the TJMaxx and Homegoods strip mall?

                                                              1. re: mcel215

                                                                Yes, Firebox is on the same road (Great Rd)...it's right near the Friendly's.

                                                            2. Channel Cafe on summer st. in Boston has really good fish tacos. There are served in flour tortillas with salsa verde, avocado and jalepenos. Yummy!

                                                              1. Hey, I think the problem's solved - Long John Silver's has authentic Baja Fish Tacos.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: nsenada

                                                                  And from their commercial...only $1 buck! How bad can it be?