This family-owned and -operated hidden gem serves authentic Mexican recipes that have been passed down for generations. In the kitchen, Gabriel and Margarita Montes make everything from scratch daily, including tacos, tamales, and slow-cooked Mexican stews on the weekends. El Fogoncito, which translates to “the little fire,” is also renowned for its signature dish, molcajete azteca: chorizo, veggies, grilled cactus, ranchero beans, and green salsa served in a lava rock and topped with queso fresco and onions. Both takeout and delivery are available.
Order takeout from this bright spot on U.S. 1 to jump-start your own Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Head chef Carlos Sanchez, a native Californian, makes his own tortillas and smokes his meats in-house in order to bring even more authenticity to his Baja-style street food. While he’s been known to get creative with taco fillings (he’s served duck, short rib, coconut shrimp, and alligator, to name a few), his takes on the classics, like carne asada with chimichurri sauce, queso fresco, sweet peppers, and radish, are just as tantalizing.