The Best Tacos in La Paz?
Updated: Feb 12
“Is there anything else you’d like to know?”, our Airbnb host asked us after he had shown us round our first La Paz casita, in the blazing heat of a Southern Baja Californian afternoon.
“Yes,” I declare, my priorities primed, “Where can you get the best tacos?”
A broad moustachioed grin on a suntanned face replied. “At this time, Bismarckcito, on the malecón. In the morning, right here on the corner.”
Breakfast tacos huh? We had only just got here, but my stomach was ready.
The first thing you need to know about tacos in La Paz is the price. While you can get a taco from a street vendor or at a budget sit down place in Mexico for MX$7, here they start at around MX$25. It’s a shock to the system, but the tacos here are bigger. One will fill a hole, two are a decent meal and three are satisfying. Not an unusual sight, but does feel just a bit greedy.
Not that that ever stopped me.
'El Estadio II' Tacos de Pescado y Camaron
I will admit, I was a fish out of water on my first visit to El Estadio. People were milling about with full and empty plates, I didn’t know where to sit, how to order or what was on the menu, but the kindness and patience of Los Paceños soon saw me right.
The place sells camarones (prawns) and pescado (fish) tacos and sometimes fish soup. I’m sure the latter is delicious, but I’ve never been able to drag myself away from the tacos to try it.
Once you work it out you realise the efficiency of the system. There is a sink and soap to wash your hands as you arrive, and when you leave. You go to the cashier to pay for your meal, in cash; she gives you a chit, which you give to the man at the taco stand on the street.
He gives you the number of tacos you want on a plastic plate covered in more plastic (yes, yes I know, but you can’t deny it’s hygienic), then you add salads and salsa and pickled chilli to your heart’s content, and pick up your soft drink from the fridge. A bottle of coca (Coke) costs almost as much as one of the tacos, which really says it all. There was nothing else on the menu the times I visited. But trust me, they really don’t need to sell anything more.
Both the camarones and pescado come in a delicious, light, crispy batter, the latter like small portions of British fish ‘n’ chips, only better than most - and I have tried a lot of fish ‘n’ chips. At the time of writing it’s MX$27 for camarones and MX$23 for pescado, which gives you the very pleasing ability to buy one of each and have a top meal for MX$50, or about two UK pounds.
Just beware of skimping on your soft drink though: unless you are very careful with your chilli sauce, you’ll end up sitting with tears streaming down your face, panting like a dog like me on my second visit. Not a good look.
The portions are generous. Here you get more prawns on one tortilla than you would get in a pricey main course in a UK restaurant. There are a good range of toppings.
There are metal tables and seats on the street and plastic ones inside, although like so many things, it can’t open in one of La Paz’s occasional heavy downpours.
Its casual, fast-food vibe means it’s easy and fine to start with one taco and then buy more if you like them, as I did. And you can stick to one taco, but, trust me, it’s hard.
El Estadio is also great for people watching. It attracts a steady stream of office workers, families, construction and factory workers, drivers - everyone you can think of - and they seem to do as much business in takeaways. But warning - once the food is gone, it’s gone. El Estadio is technically open from 7.30am until 2.30pm but regularly runs out of fish before that, and camarones go first.
Plan to get there before 2pm to ensure you are fed and before 1pm to ensure prawny goodness and avoid too much queuing.
Wench Verdict: These are fresh, mouth-watering, seaside delights in a friendly, casual environment. Top budget traveller points.
Service / Ambience: 🟢🟢🟢🟢⚫️
El Estadio II is located at Independencia esquina Guillermo Prieto
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