There’s a reason why Baha Taco has gained a reputation as one of Johannesburg’s best places to try out Mexican food. Dynamic, authentic and imaginative, the dishes on their menu persuade you to keep coming back, because you can’t eat them all in one sitting.
For the uninitiated, the corn tortilla chips with roasted tomato salsa and a side of guacamole is a good introduction to the flavourful and ethically sourced and -made cuisine (the corn is GMO-free and South African). If you’re brave, the jalapeño rellenos make all other poppers fade in comparison.
Remaining true to its origins as a food truck, Baha Taco serves quick, yet fresh and tasty quesadillas and gluten-free soft corn tacos with delicious fillings. Try the sirloin steak taco, made with meat that’s grilled while you watch, which is so tender and delicious it hardly needs chewing. For vegetarians, halloumi, veg and re-fried beans tacos are a treat for the taste buds. To satisfy a cheese craving, opt for the free-range chicken quesadilla, or the one with mushrooms, peppers and jalapeño chilli.
A delightfully indulgent banana chimichanga with flan and toffee sauce, or churros served with chocolate sauce will be the perfect sweet ending to your meal.
One word: Tequila. Try Baha Taco’s pineapple, gingerbread or mint tequila. In addition to the experimental dessert shots, a fairly wide selection of drinks is available, including craft beers, in the warm and welcoming cantina adjoining the restaurant.
Staff members are friendly and efficient. Parking may sometimes be hard to find, depending on how busy it is.
Baha Taco has a warm and cheerful ambience that tells you it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but you can expect food made from the heart. Because the food is prepared out in the open, not only are you assured that the best care is taken in making your meal, but the whole restaurant just smells delicious! Whether you sit inside or at the street-side tables, it’s the type of restaurant you go to for a good chill.
The soups here in winter make all the sense in the world. Try the seafood chowder made with grilled prawn, line fish, calamari, bacon, chorizo, sweetcorn and potato. Mmmm… está riquísimo!
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From humble beginnings as a food truck, Baha Taco now calls Norwood’s Grant Avenue its more permanent home. David and Katrin Smale are passionate about producing artisanal cuisine inspired by that of Baja California in Mexico (not to be confused with California in the USA). Following strict sustainable practices, their dedication follows through to the hand-pressed tortillas made using GMO-free South African corn, homemade crema and free-range meats.
You are welcomed by a complimentary first taste of their hand-pressed tortillas, which are transformed into crispy nacho chips and served with hand-chopped pico de gallo (salsa). These heavenly wood-fire-roasted chips will make you question ever eating another plate of nachos. You can order them as a full-sized portion, enjoyed the classic way with melted cheese and sour cream, or dotted with beef chilli or bacon sausage and refried beans. The delicate touch of cheese and toppings allows the flavour of these artisanal chips to shine through.
The fiesta continues with soft-shell gluten-free tacos, which come wrapped around pulled pork that’s been cooked overnight in a wood-fired oven, and served with lashings of smoky chipotle sauce. Alternatively, the skirt-steak taco or their signature fish or prawn taco will transport you to the sunny skies and sea breeze of Baja California.
Quesadillas of free-range chicken grilled on an open-wood fire and tortilla shells deliver the perfect balance of smoky chicken and toasted goodness, oozing with salsa and crema.
Chicken wings with a chipotle basting are tender, crispy and dusted with sesame seeds, leaving you licking your fingers and savouring every bite. The corn on the cob with chipotle butter and shavings of pecorino is the perfect partner to this while you’re getting stuck in.
No cutlery is presented with the meal: you’re meant to dive in with both hands to devour every morsel of the Mexican-style street food.
The churros and chocolate sauce make a perfect end to the meal. These crisp, deep-fried fingers with cloud-like centres come dusted in sugar and served with rich dark chocolate sauce. Muy bueno!
There’s no liquor licence at the moment, so you’re welcome to bring you own or pop into the bar next door for some drinks. Baha Taco does, however, offer interesting cold-brewed coffee blends, coconut waters, and artisanal soft drinks.
Orders are placed at the counter and brought to your table by friendly staff.
It’s a cosy space, with walls in eclectic colours and some quirky Mexican decorations. The open kitchen anchors the restaurant and allows you to experience all the magic, from the pressing and grilling of tortillas to the aromas of the nachos being baked in the wood-fired oven.
David and Katrin offer a catering service, where all the prep is done for you so you can entertain your guest with a bit of Baja Californian flair. Please note: they accept Snapcan and cash only – no cards.