Tijuana is a border city in Mexico just south of San Diego. I’ve always loved Mexico and enjoy visiting cities aside from the usual (Cancun, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta etc). Visiting Tijuana has always been in the back of my mind after moving to southern California but I have always been a little hesitant for safety reasons. Come to find out I couldn’t have been more wrong with my assumptions. What ever Tijuana use to be, it is now a safe modern tourist city so I strongly suggest visiting especially if you are a California local!
Getting to Tijuana is really easy. It’s a beautiful scenic drive. The commute only took me 3.5 hours to drive from Los Angeles and that’s including morning traffic! If you are only going for the day then I strongly suggest organizing your travel time to arrive in TJ early since there is SO much to do there and time really slips through your fingers. Otherwise I think the BEST way to enjoy this amazing city is to spend at least 1 night at a hotel or Air Bnb so you can have two full days to explore. Crossing the border couldn’t have been more easy and quick. We decided to drive our car instead of parking at the border and renting one but that is also a great option! I was a little intimidated to drive there but after about 5 minutes I realized it was easier than driving around in LA! My only advice is pay attention to all street signs and use Google maps instead of apple maps. (Doesn’t quite work so well).
Tijuana has a huge unique hipster scene! Pasaje Rodriguez is an alley/block full of cafes, beautiful art, vintage shops, breweries and other small businesses. . You can find a different vibe within each little store. Some of my favorites were Libros & Cafe and Verde Amor.
Next thing on my list was THE FOOD. Of course, lets taco-bout it. HA! But yes, it really really exceeded my already high expectations. TJ has an abundance of fancy restaurants, casual cafes, and street food as well as many different ethnic foods from around the world. Our first stop was this cute cafe Dantes Gastromed. This cafe blew my mind! It was so chic and had 2 outdoor terraces one even being a rooftop. Their brunch menu had literally everything! Vegetarian options included. Here I had my first real authentic Mexican mocha. It was full of abuelita’s hot coco and lots of espresso. So delicious for my coffee connoisseurs!! I also had the best French toast in my life here. Pics to prove it.
As you’re walking you can grab some quick street food all throughout the streets and enjoy some of the best gorditas while exploring. An absolute must is going to Gastro Park which is a cute enclosed park full of a variety of food trucks. Tijuana is famous for their delicious seafood so of course I ordered octopus and shrimp tacos! I probably could have ordered 10!
The most fascinating thing I found at Gastro Park was the new SouthNorte Beer Co. This tasting room occupies the end of the park and it set up just perfectly to try some local brewed Mexican beers! Some of the unique beers blow my mind!! Among them all were Nutella Porter, Coco Vanilla Stout, AGAVEmente, Almond Joy, and Jengibre Limón just to name a few!
Tijuana Mexico now holds a place in my heart and I will continue to go back very often! The people and culture are absoluty beautiful! Next time I will have to explore thier beaches and wineries. Hopefully this post gave you some insight on visiting TJ!