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¡Viva Tijuana! Where to eat, drink, sleep and have fun

Every corner of the city has a new “must-visit” spot, including fine-art expositions, chic tasting rooms, rooftop dining and design stores.

Editor’s note: ¡Viva Tijuana! is a multi-story series about the life and culture of San Diego’s modern neighbor to the south. More stories from the series can be found in links below.

 

Every corner of the city has a new “must-visit” spot, including fine-art expositions, chic tasting rooms, rooftop dining and design stores. Here are a few places to fill your belly, quench your thirst and rest your head.

Verde y Crema

Verde y Crema Restaurant off to the side of Boulevard Agua Caliente. Organic dining and creative dishes. Logo made from license plates. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union Tribune)

Tucked off to the side of Boulevard Agua Caliente, not far from Taco Alley, is Verde y Crema, chef Jair Téllez and his family’s stylish Tijuana outpost. Offerings include farm-to-table, organic dishes including a lentil and octopus tostada; and Korean tacos with beef, pickled onions and peanuts encased in a house-made blue corn tortilla. The family also makes its own natural wines. — Jackie Bryant

Orizaba 3034
Neidhart, 22020 Tijuana, B.C.
+52.664.681.2366, verdeycrema.com

 

Chef Zoe Villarreal of Verde y Crema Restaurant off to the side of Boulevard Agua Caliente. Organic dining and creative dishes. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union Tribune)

 

Telefonica Gastro Park

Telefonica Gastro Park a vacant lot-turned-food truck paradise just off La Revu. Cauliflower mole tacos. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union Tribune)

A gastro park? It’s exactly what it sounds like: a vacant-lot-turned-food-truck-paradise just off Avenida Revolucíon. Otto’s Grill serves a seared ahi tuna and smoked marlin that makes grown people cry, along with ceviche tostadas. Don Ramen is a gut-busting, umami-filled delight served by Top Chef Mexico contestant Adria Marina. Other favorites include the brunch fare at Azarosa and the meats at Humo. — Jackie Bryant

Av. Ocampo 2036
Zona Centro, 22000 Tijuana, B.C.
+52.664.200.2155, Instagram: @telefonicagastropark

Telefonica Gastro Park a vacant lot-turned-food truck paradise just off La Revu. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union Tribune)


Oryx Capital Gastro Pub

Chef Ruffo Ibarra is turning Baja cuisine on its head by blending Mexican and American comfort foods. His gastropub, Oryx Capital, is a local favorite, serving a killer suckling pig, other roasted meats, fresh Baja seafood and an octopus mac ‘n’ cheese that’s worth raving about. It’s also a great spot to get a long list of local craft brews. The speakeasy, Nortico, is tucked in the back? — Jackie Bryant

Plaza Conquistador
Boulevard Agua Caliente, 10750
Colonia Aviación, 22020 Tijuana, B.C.
+52.664.686.2807, facebook.com/oryxcapital

Oryx Capital on Blvd. Agua Caliente is a restaurant with Tijuana’s first hidden speakeasy. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union Tribune)

 

Nórtico

Nortico is a speakeasy at Oryx Capital Bar and Restaurant. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union-Tribune)

Tijuana’s first speakeasy is nestled behind Oryx Capital restaurant – follow the windows and tiles straight to the back. Opened about a year ago, this intimate space is packed every weekend, spurred on by its original cocktails and cult-favorite status in both Tijuana and San Diego. Tipplers can relax in a gilded, midcentury outfitted room decked out with images from 1920s Tijuana, an era when the United States was hobbling through Prohibition and exporting its partiers south of the border. Nortico just debuted a new cocktail menu, a collaboration between its bartenders and Steve Kurpinsky of La Jolla’s famed George’s at the Cove. Classics are displayed on the left side of the menu, riffs on the right. And since this is Mexico, expect the riffs to include plenty of Ancho Reyes, mezcal and chocolate bitters. — Jackie Bryant

Plaza Conquistador
Boulevard Agua Caliente, 10750
Colonia Aviación, 22014, Tijuana, B.C.
+52.664.611.0589  

Nortico is the speakeasy located inside Oryx Capital Bar and Restaurant. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union Tribune)

OneBunk

OneBunk is Tijuana’s first boutique hotel and occupies a prime location on the bustling Avenida Revolucion. The decor is minimalist and industrial, paying homage to the aesthetics of Tijuana and the sharp eye for detail of the city’s designers. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union Tribune)

Tijuana’s most exciting opening this year, OneBunk (at the former Hotel Lafayette) finally gives border hoppers a chic place to bed down. Opened in April, it’s Tijuana’s first boutique hotel and occupies a prime location on the bustling Avenida Revolución. The décor is minimalistic and industrial; the nine guest rooms feature queen beds and/or as the name suggests, extra-long bunk beds. A guests-only bar, a barber shop and a pop-up boutique energize the lobby. Since the hotel is anything but traditional, it follows that booking would be the same: Reservations can be made only through Airbnb. —Jackie Bryant

Av. Revolución, 920
Zona Centro, 22000, Tijuana, B.C.
858.972.BUNK, onebunk.com

OneBunk is Tijuana’s first boutique hotel and occupies a prime location on the bustling Avenida Revolucion. The decor is minimalist and industrial, paying homage to the aesthetics of Tijuana and the sharp eye for detail of the city’s designers. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union Tribune)

 

Cine Tonalá

Cine Tonela in Tijuana downtown Revolucion. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union Tribune)

This independent arts space is bringing new life to Avenida Revolución, a street that once formed the heart of a thriving tourist district. Opened last October, the center has an intimate feel and already draws a loyal public that comes for independent movie screenings, stand-up comedy, theater workshops and lectures. The rooftop terrace restaurant features an open kitchen and Thursday nights of jazz. Tijuana is now the third city with a Cine Tonalá, with sister venues in Mexico City and Bogota, Colombia. —Sandra Dibble

Av. Revolución, 1317
Zona Centro, 22000, Tijuana, B.C.
+52.664.688.0118, tj.cinetonala.mx

Cine Tonela in Tijuana downtown Revolucion. The third floor restaurant and bar has a view of Av. Revolucion. (Alejandro Tamayo/Union Tribune)

 

More…

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¡Viva Tijuana! A soccer-fanatic wannabe’s guide to the Xolos

¡Viva Tijuana! Interview with a Baja brewmaster

¡Viva Tijuana! What’s new in brew from south of the border

¡Viva Tijuana! A trio of music acts worth a listen

¡Viva Tijuana! Celebrity chef Javier Plascencia turns up the heat

¡Viva Tijuana! Five things YouTube star Karla Celis can teach us about life

¡Viva Tijuana! City thrives with artistic activity

1 Comment

  1. Saul sembrano

    May 4, 2017 at 9:39 am

    What about LA JUSTINA thats below , one bunk a Mexican gsstropub…. its an amazing hidden gem, that started the whole restaurant scene…go check it out….

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