Baja Fresh is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant that uses only fresh ingredients inside its dishes. Their menu consists of various kinds of burritos and tacos, salads, bowls, etc. But are they gluten-free?
Baja Fresh has quite a few gluten-free options despite being a Mexican restaurant. They have a variety of gluten-free tacos like the Baja taco and grilled shrimp taco. These tacos have corn tortilla shells and gluten-free filling.
But, some dishes can make you sick if you are not aware. So, here are some gluten-free options and tips to order gluten-free at Baja Fresh.
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At Baja Fresh, they use two types of tortillas: flour and corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are used to make burritos and corn tortillas are used to make most of the tacos. Flour tortillas are not gluten-free whereas corn tortillas are.
Both types of tortillas are freshly prepared and served warm. They also have a selection of proteins and salsas.
The gluten-free proteins are grilled Wahoo, Fire-grilled shrimp, and carnitas. Steak and chicken are not gluten-free because they are marinated in soy sauce.
Their salsa collection is big too. They have salsas like Verde, pico de gallo, and Baja among others. And all of their salsas and dressings are gluten-free.
Now let’s look at some gluten-free options available at Baja Fresh.
Note: These options are taken from their online menu. Whether they are gluten-free or not depends on how they are prepared at the restaurant. It is best to confirm with your server about their preparation methods.
#1. Grilled Wahoo Taco (Corn Tortilla)
This taco has Wild Caught Wahoo topped with sliced fresh avocado, shredded cabbage, freshly made pico de gallo, and avocado salsa. All of this is wrapped in corn tortillas.
#2. Grilled Shrimp Taco (Corn Tortilla)
This taco comes with Grilled shrimp topped with sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, freshly made pico de gallo, and avocado salsa. All of it comes wrapped in corn tortillas.
#3. Baja Taco – Carnitas & Corn Tortilla
Baja tacos are made with corn tortillas filled with carnitas and topped with freshly made hot or mild salsa, onion & cilantro mix. You can also switch the carnitas with other gluten-free protein options.
#4. Baja Taco – Veggie
This taco has some veggies like bell pepper topped with freshly made hot or mild salsa, onion & cilantro mix.
#5. Baja Ensalada – Shrimp
The Ensaladas have shrimp, lettuce, cotija cheese, freshly made pico de gallo, and tortilla strips. You can choose your favorite dressing to go with it. Also, remove the tortilla strips if they are flour-made.
#6. Chili Lime salad with shrimp
The Chili Lime salad is made of fresh salad greens & kale, pico de gallo, onion, bell pepper, jicama, and tortilla strips, topped with fresh avocado and cotija cheese and tossed with chili lime dressing and shrimp.
You can also order it with other gluten-free proteins. Be sure to remove the tortilla chips if they are not gluten-free.
#7. Baja Bowl – Carnitas & Black Beans
The Baja bowl contains Carnitas, Baja rice, black beans, roasted veggies, salsa verde, onion & cilantro mix. You can also choose other gluten-free protein options along with pinto beans.
#8. Fajitas- Shrimp & Black Beans – Corn
The Fajita consists of Shrimp, roasted veggies, Baja rice, black beans, sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo with warm corn tortillas. You can also choose other gluten-free proteins to go in your fajita.
#9. Baja Rice and Black Beans Platter
Rice and beans are a great combination because together they make a complete protein. The Baja rice is combined with beans and tomato puree which gives it a reddish color.
#10. Six Chiles Salsa
The serrano peppers in the chile salsa give it a bold taste and tomatoes make it tangy. It will give some kick to your tacos and salads.
#11. Salsa Baja
#12. Pico de Gallo
It is a chunky form of salsa that is made with tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime. You can add it to your salad.
#13. Mango Salsa
It is made with small chunks of mangoes, red bell pepper, onion, cilantro, jalapenos, and lime. It will be a nice addition to your veggie bowl.
#14. Molcajete Salsa
The Molcajete salsa has a smokey flavor and is the pureed form of roasted tomatoes and chili.
#15. Salsa Verde
Salsa verde is made of tomatillos which gives it a green color. It also has other common salsa ingredients like tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice. It will go well with shrimp Baja bowl.
#16. Avocado Salsa
The Avocado salsa is made with avocado, tomatillos, onion, garlic, and lime. It will add creaminess to your crispy tacos.
This is not all. You can also create variations of a dish like tacos by switching some ingrdients to give it a different taste. Now let’s look at some tips to order gluten-free at Baja Fresh.
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At Baja Fresh, the fried items have a risk of cross-contamination because each dish is fried in a shared fryer. Items like chips, churro, crispy wahoo, tostada shells, flauta, and taquitos are fried in the same oil.
Avoid dishes with these ingredients if you are sensitive to cross-contamination.
Also, avoid those items that generally contain gluten such as flour tortillas and soy sauce. Inform your server about your food sensitivity and allergenic ingredients so that they can take extra care while preparing your food. If the staff is unaware of such cases, consult with the manager.
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These are some of the reviews about gluten-free options at Baja fresh collected from around the net. It is to give you a perspective on the experiences people with celiac and gluten sensitivity had while ordering gluten-free at Baja Fresh.
Many people with celiac said, “Baja tacos with corn tortillas, rice, beans, and salsas are gluten-free. They didn’t have any stomach issues.”
Many advised, “stay away from their fried items such as chips, taquitos, and breaded fish because they only have one fryer.”
Many also complained that “the staff was not knowledgeable about gluten sensitivity.” In some cases, “the staff served a dish that had gluten in it”.
However, some people said, “the staff was well informed” and “ask the manager for gluten-free options”.
The difference in location also played a role in finding gluten-free options at Baja Fresh.
Here are some common dishes people with celiac and gluten sensitivity recommended at Baja Fresh:
You have to be cautious while ordering gluten-free items at Baja fresh. You may have to tell the staff about your allergies a few times to drive the point home.
If you aren’t sure what to order then go with Baja style- carnitas taco with corn tortilla. It is the most common dish people with celiac and gluten sensitivity ordered that did not cause them any allergies.
Remember the tips shared above to further reduce the risks.
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