Venues

Baha Taco Restaurant

Baha Taco Restaurant
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Cost
R150 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Light meals, Mexican, Tapas, Vegetarian
Payment
Snapscan

Critic's review

Thando Ndabezitha

Food
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.

Drinks
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.

Service
Staff members are friendly and efficient. Parking may sometimes be hard to find, depending on how busy it is.

Ambience
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.

And…
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!

(June 2017)

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Rupesh Kassen

    Food
    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!

    Drinks
    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.

    Service
    Orders are placed at the counter and brought to your table by friendly staff.

    Ambience
    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.

    And…
    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.

    (February 2016)

User reviews

  • Pity I can only do one star... Can I not rate lower than 1 star? What an absolute JOKE! I thought it would be great to support new local business and have my function at Baha Taco. I contacted the restaurant on the 05/10/2016 querying whether I could host my function there and spoke to Kat who said I should email, which I duly did. By the 10/10/2016 I had received no response (after two follow up phone calls). So I called (again on the Monday) only to be told "we work very hard and run a restaurant you know, Monday's are actually our day off, we don't sit around looking at emails all day we've been very busy, we will get to you when we get to you". The gentleman I spoke to (owner apparently - laughable) was quite astounded I was upset after 5 days of being ignored regardless of follow ups. So, not to be completely taken aback I asked whether they would be able to host my function... sadly enough they confirmed availability. They did, admittedly and begrudgingly I assume deign to type a one paragraph email confirming my function and the price stating that it was booked on the say I called (I was never told - Kat was very busy at the time of my phone call). 2 days later (12/10/2016) I confirmed my function in writing and queried the price and whether the BYOB charge could be brought down a little per head. There was a customary no response from Baha Taco (but you know, the function was booked, so why panic - and honestly, who wants to bother rude owners during the day). So today (19/10/2016) I called them as I had received nothing regarding the price so that I could confirm prices etc only to be told by Kat (with an exceptionally nonchalant manner) "Oh, ummmmm, we are having an issue with our electricians and the light in that room, you had better find somewhere else." When I asked her to repeat herself, after all it is 50 people and two days away I was told "oh, well, you queried the price so I assumed you had booked elsewhere." - when I told her I couldn't believe what she was saying she responded "ohhh.... well... Sigh.... I think... Sigh.... I will have to make a plan then". Well. I have never. Such DISGUSTING customer "service" I can't even deem to call it service. Rude responses, empty promises and two days before a function of 50 people which (was "booked when I called on the 05/10/2016") is unacceptable. Not to mention that Kat didn't even bother to call me and follow up. Or tell me there was a problem. Or bother to try and make another plan. I cannot even believe how little you care for your customers, your client services or your business. Your total disregard to me and the other 50 people who were going to support your establishment on Friday is disgusting. You will not be in business long. I just told 50 people (including restaurant owners, writers and publicists, not to mention business owners and residents in your area) what you have done (some of these people are regulars who referred me) and they will not be returning. I will also proceed to ensure that ANYONE I come into contact with knows about this deplorable treatment. Clearly you don't like money. Or your business. And I can't WAIT to see your rude response below as is standard to anything negative (or just a booking inquiry) about your establishment. What a joke. I should never have attempted to support you after reading your rudeness to the patrons below. I hope you guys continue to be so busy that you can't provide customer service and the rudeness and non-caring helps you gain popularity. I doubt it though. Nice knowing you, I will celebrate your business closing down. (Shared on Facebook and Twitter... But hey, you don't need business, you are SO BUSY)
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  • Absolutely love it here - best authentic Mexican in Johannesburg. No questions asked. Hand pressed soft tacos and tortillas, brilliant flavours. Simply the best thing to happen to Norwood and Johannesburg in ages.
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  • Came here a few days after it first opened and had a beef burrito - one of the best things I have ever eaten! absolutely superb, authentic and very well priced. We ordered a takeout, so cannot judge the service too much, although I found the complimentary homemade nachos and dip a very nice touch whilst waiting for your food to be ready. Staff were all polite, friendly and made an effort to chat to you. We went back after a few months, but unfortunately as it's a cash only establishment (or pay via some app) we had to leave. Cash machine across the road wasn't working and we didn't want to travel too far for an ATM. This is the only downside I think (unless this has now changed!) Also the beef burrito wasn't on the menu, which I really hope was just a menu cycle change rather than it being removed permanently. Would love to go back again - I highly recommend it. If you have never tried mexican food before, you are in safe hands with Baha Taco and they will open your eyes to an amazing new cuisine!
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Facilities

  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian

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