Blueberry Pancake at Baja Cafe (Photo by Isaac Stockton)

Inside Baja Cafe’s Recipe for Breakfast Success


May 15, 2024
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By Analeise Mayor
By Analeise Mayor

“We focus all of our energy and passion and love into the food."

With hearty breakfast, brunch, and lunch dishes big enough to feed a crowd, owner Kim Scanlan strives to make your first meal of the day fun, creative, and filling. The original Baja Cafe opened on Broadway back in March of 2014 and the restaurant has been keeping folks on their toes ever since.

“We scraped together what little bit we had, which was really not much of anything to open our first store,” said Scanlan. At first, the restaurant grew through word of mouth from their regular patrons. “We have had some of the most loyal guests and they come in and they like it and then they tell a friend, they tell family, and get them to visit.”

Smoked Brisket Machaca Huevos Rancheros at Baja Cafe (Photo by Isaac Stockton)

At Baja Cafe, breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day, and they serve generous and filling breakfast and lunch dishes. 

“We focus all of our energy and passion and love into the food,” Scanlan said. “We wanted to offer traditional breakfast for people that don’t want to do anything different, and then we really love the Benedict’s that we do. The huevos rancheros, our sweets, our pancakes, everything’s made from scratch.”

In the Spotlight

“I feel like the only way we grew was through the local media. People that support us so much,” Scanlan added, reflecting on the time they were first featured in the Tucson Weekly. “T​here’s just so many cool restaurants here and I feel like people, for the most part, are pretty supportive of each other.”

The restaurant caught the attention of network television shows including Food Network’s “You Gotta Eat Here.”

“It was a really fun experience,” Scanlan said. “We had tons of participation from our guests and I think the staff and the crew that came in really liked the food, they really liked all the stuff that we prepared.” 

That wasn’t Baja Cafe’s only time in the spotlight. In 2019, the restaurant was featured on an episode of “Man v. Food.” Scanlan said it was a particularly exciting experience and that he “was just super fun to talk to because he really does love food.”

Everyone’s Welcome

Baja Cafe strives to cultivate a welcoming, friendly, and genuine atmosphere. The restaurant is a place where everyone can enjoy good food and good company.

“How would you welcome a guest coming into your home? You want people to feel comfortable,” said Scanlan. “I look out and I just love it. It still gives me chills to see such a diverse group of people.”

Liege Waffles at Baja Cafe (Photo by Isaac Stockton)

Loyal fans of Baja Cafe will be excited to hear that the restaurant will soon be offering bargain breakfast between 6 – 8 a.m. on Monday through Friday. All the classic favorites will be available, just in slightly smaller portions.

“We’re doing that to offer better prices for folks that are heading into work,” Scanlan said. “But also to give people a chance to try new things.”

With the arrival of summer, Scanlan said customers should also expect some new seasonal changes to the menu.

“We want to keep it fresh. We’ll hopefully be offering some lighter, but still flavorful dishes.” 

At Baja Cafe, every meal is a celebration of community and flavor, where every plate tells a story of passion and dedication. From humble beginnings to nationwide recognition, it’s clear that at Baja Cafe, the recipe for success is a generous serving of love and a dash of adventure.

Baja Cafe is located at 7002 E. Broadway Blvd. and 2970 N. Campbell Ave. For more information, visit bajacafetucson.com.

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Journalism major at the University of Arizona.

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