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With a location in Fairmount, Buena Onda will soon expand to Rittenhouse and Radnor, and later across the nation. Photo Courtesy of DJ Torney.
With a location in Fairmount, Buena Onda will soon expand to Rittenhouse and Radnor, and later across the nation. Photo Courtesy of DJ Torney.

Chef Jose Garces’ Buena Onda is going national

The Baja inspired taqueria based in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, will soon be expanding across the country.

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Buena Onda, the Baja-inspired taqueria based in Philadelphia, will soon be available in various other U.S. cities.

On Wednesday, May 25, it was announced that Iron Chef Jose Garces has teamed up with Ballard Brands to expand Buena Onda from Philadelphia to cities across the United States.

The expansion will come with the launch of its comprehensive national franchise program. For this launch, Buena Onda will now be permitted to franchise in 28 states, with three states pending registration. 

With one brick-and-mortar location and up to four more on the way, Chef Garces will be spreading the Mexican-inspired dishes and good vibes through this major national expansion. 

“From Philadelphia to America, I am thrilled to expand my baja-taqueria Buena Onda nationally through an exciting new franchise program,” said Chef Garces in a statement. 

“It is exciting to bring my recipes and vision to fans and foodies across the county… I am excited about Buena’s possibilities and where this journey will take us next,” he later added. 

Garces has been in partnership with Ballard Brands since the pandemic began, and the partnership has helped bring Buena Onda and other concepts to new places and to reach new audiences. 

This is just the latest chapter of that collaboration. 

David Q. Mesa, Jr., chief development officer for Ballard Brands, expressed that he has never been more excited about the launch of a new concept as much as he is of this one.

“What’s exciting about this concept is the merging of Chef Jose’s culinary expertise along with our proven franchise systems that allow it to be delivered at a high level in a very simplistic manner that allows creating the opportunity for franchisees, regardless of food experience, to explore their dreams of being in hospitality,” he said. 

Buena Onda dates back to 2015, when Garces launched his first-ever fast casual restaurant in Philadelphia. The menu was designed to pay homage to the Baja peninsula’s culture, seafood shacks and taquerias.

Buena Onda's menu features a variety of Mexican, baja-inspired dishes and flavors. Photo Courtesy of Buena Onda.
Buena Onda's menu features a variety of Mexican, baja-inspired dishes and flavors. Photo Courtesy of Buena Onda. 

In preparation for the national launch, Garces and Ballard Brands have already laid the groundwork by designing a new look and feel for Buena Onda, which will debut a new debut, updated menu and new operating standards at its Rittenhouse Square and Radnor, Pennsylvania, locations, set to open its doors in July.

Buena Onda will also see its flagship location in Fairmount get an upgrade, as well, matching the look and feel of all future locations. 

The new Buena Onda franchises are likely to begin launching in other U.S. cities beginning this fall. 

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