Buena Onda Baja Taqueria brings taste of the Mexican beach to Radnor

It took longer than expected, but Chef Jose Garces has branched out into the suburbs.

One of Philadelphia’s most accomplished chefs has opened Buena Onda Baja Taqueria in Radnor with a menu inspired by Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.

“It took 21 years, but I finally made it,” said Garces, the one-time Iron Chef on TV’s Food Network and the owner of the Garces Restaurant Group with 10 establishments around the city. “It’s exciting to be out there. I think with the shift in thoughts about the city, it’s good to be out here. For those who want to stay on the Main Line, we are bringing our products out here.”

The Radnor location is 226 N Radnor Chester Road. (Courtesy of Buena Onda)

The interior of Buena Onda is meant to give a...

The interior of Buena Onda is meant to give a beach vibe. (Courtesy of Buena Onda)

Customers can pick different types of tacos at Buena Onda....

Customers can pick different types of tacos at Buena Onda. (VINCE CAREY – DAILY TIMES)

Shrimp tacos are a favoite at Buena Onda (VINCE CAREY...

Shrimp tacos are a favoite at Buena Onda (VINCE CAREY – DAILY TIMES)

Burritos at Buena Onda are filled with several different types...

Burritos at Buena Onda are filled with several different types of ingredients. (VINCE CAREY -DAILY TIMES)

Garces recently opened the first Buena Onda in Center City Philadelphia and he hopes to bring the same fun vibe to the suburbs.

“With supply chain and construction, it’s certainly taken some time,” Garces said. “We are really excited to be out here.”

Buena Onda has a beach vibe to everything from the interior to menu.

“I’ve always loved the ocean, the sea air, the beach lifestyle,” said Garces. “Whether it was spending time on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador, or the Jersey Shore. These elements come together using the Buena Onda taqueria model as the vehicle to convey good vibes.”

The menu features fresh made guacamole, smoked tuna dip, nachos and numerous tasty entrees.

A collection of tacos include fish, shrimp, beef and pork. There is a mushroom and kale version as well. A selection of burritos and bowls round out the options.

Buena Onda’s roots date to 2015, when Garces launched his first fast casual restaurant in Philadelphia.

At the time, Buena Onda represented the 19th concept for the growing Garces collection of restaurants. The menu was designed to be chef’s ode to fish tacos and chill vibes, with inspiration taken from Baja peninsula’s culture, seafood shacks and taquerias.

For Garces, though, the Radnor opening is just the first in what he hopes will be a nationwide takeover. The baja-taqueria will see a major expansion with the launch of its comprehensive national franchise program.

“Our team has worked hard at developing a national expansion strategy in partnership with Ballard Brands since the pandemic began,” Garces said. “It has been great collaborating with them to bring Buena Onda and other concepts to new places and to reach new audiences. It is exciting to bring my recipes and vision to fans and foodies across the country. We just finished going through the franchising regulation work and we are now a national brand that I am proud to put my name on. I am excited about Buena’s possibilities and where this journey will take us next. The pandemic stepped in and took the wind out of our sails, but we reset ourselves.”

Buena Onda at 226 N. Radnor Chester Road offers indoor dining, take-out and delivery, plus outdoor dining. For more information and to place your order, visit www.buenaondatacos.com or call 215-302-3530.

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