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Mama Espinoza’s is a widely recognized Baja landmark, located on the Transpeninsular Highway at km. 56 south of San Quintin.
Founded in 1930 by Ana Grosso Peña – popularly known as “Mama Espinoza” – this homestyle restaurant offering traditional Mexican food began with Mama Espinoza opening her home kitchen to travelers needing a break from what was then a very dusty and difficult journey on the unpaved transpeninsular roadway.
Her goal was to always make anyone who came through her door feel welcome; treating every traveler with honesty and respect.
Mama Espinoza would become part of Baja racing history when it was designated as the 1st official checkpoint in the inaugural Baja 1000 race in 1967. The walls of the restaurant today are covered with racers photos and personal messages left for Mama Espinoza.
Her guest register is filled with names that comprise the lore that is Baja. Almost all of the off-road racers – past and present – including celebrities Steve McQueen and James Garner, have signed her register.
Doña Anita is also credited as founding the Flying Samaritans, a group of medical teams that offers their expertise in remote areas throughout Baja California.
Sadly Mama Espinoza passed away in 2016 at the age of 109 but her legacy and tradition of serving travelers is carried on by Doña Anita’s daughter, Mrs. Elva “Rolly” Espinoza and her husband, Mr. Oscar Hale, serving customers at their historic location 7 days a week.
The specialty of the house first established by Doña Anita over 90 years ago was, and continues to be lobster, with her lobster burritos still a very popular choice.
A buffet is served on Sundays.
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