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

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

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

 

 

Telefonica Gastro Park

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



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

 

Nórtico

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  

OneBunk

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

 

Cine Tonalá

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

 

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