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Jul 20, 2009 03:50 PM

Need a recommendation for Tijuana

Taking the gray line day trip and will get a few hours to get lunch. Getting dropped off on Revolution between 4th and 7th and need a lunch restaurant within walking distance.

Not really looking for anything upscale. Just real authentic mexican food in a local touristy embiance with plenty of tequilla and great quality. None of the generic gringo quality mexican stuff we frequently get up here. Mariachi Band not necessary but a bonus!!

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  1. Raboi, you sure drive a hard bargain.Non-generic food in a local touristy ambiance.In other words, safe but not sorry.

    The best mariachi show in Tijuana is at La Vuelta, which is open 24/7.The food is generic "Mexican" quality, which means, not bad at all.Have a Casta beer, maybe the best in Mexico.
    It's located on Revolucion and 11th, where La Revo starts to curve to the left.Great place to hang with the locals.

    La Costa is on 8131 7th, between Revolucion and Constitucion.Great seafood place with Sinaloa style seafood.No mariachis, unless a few happen to stroll in.

    Go to La Costa and have some drinks at La Vuelta.

    5 Replies
    1. re: streetgourmetla

      Thanks for the recommendation. If we do a sit down, this will be the place. How is the street food? We are extremely adventurous so we will eat anything. Is it safe? Anyplace you would recommend??

      1. re: Raboi

        Well Raboi, how deep do you want to go? Give me a little bit more.What day of the week, and what hours specifically will you be there? It is safe, I know Tijuana like the back of my hand and have many options. What kind of a street eats person are you? Let me know

        1. re: streetgourmetla

          Vacationing in San Diego and taking the Grey line morning tour on Tuesday Morning the 11th of August. They say we will be dropped off on Revolution between 4th and 7th. I think we may have 3 hours to shop and dine for lunch.

          As for the kinds of streeteats, relatively new at it but I do pray to the idol of Anthony Bourdain. If its got 4 legs and isn't a table or chair, i'll eat it. Some of the "exotic" stuff i've eaten include brains, squid stomach, tongue, and just about any kind of gain one can imagine... The problem the wife and I have with hot sauce is that there is never enough of it!I spent my youth working in my dad's butcher shop so I don't get squemish at all. I just don't want to get Montezuma's revenge. Kids need more mainstream food which may be a more safe sit down for them while I look for more interesting fair. Something dessertish for the kids to pick up with be really cool.

          1. re: Raboi

            Well, sounds like you will be too early for Kentucky Fried Buches, too bad.A unique Tijuana institution. This neighborhood is safe but may not be for the family, it's on the edge of the red light district, for future reference.

            Tacos Polo is a good stand near La Vuelta for standard tacos. Adobada are very popular in Tijuana, also birria de res.

            Check out Tacos Chavez on Negrete near 3rd for smoked marlin tacos. They will be open. Always a crowd around this place. There's fabulous menudo at the Auto Tortilleria on Negrete and 4th. It's a sit down place.They make tortillas from a machine in house.

            Negrete is two blocks east of Revolucion, which north and south.The north end is where the Millenium Arc is located.

            There is a place called Cabeza de Res on Madero(one block east of La Revo)between 2nd and third. Beef head tacos, delicious, with consume.

            Excellent experiences in the tourist zone.

            1. re: streetgourmetla

              Love it. Fried necks. Tripe. Beef Head. Give me more!

    2. If you really want to do Bourdain-in-Tijuas, then get away from La Revu (Avenida Revolución). That's all Disneyland. We put that up for the tourists a hundred years ago and they've been falling for it ever since.

      Even so, I could recommend La Casita on the west side of the street near Fourth or Fifth, and Sanborns corner of Ninth on the east side: both do a fair simulacrum of real food albeit without the mariachis in Sanborns's case and with the occasional strolling trio in La Casita's. Café La Especial, on the east side near Fourth, is one of the oldest restaurants in the city and still gemütlich in spite of their predilection for combination plates.

      Your closest option for real-folks food is on either side of Revu. The three blocks east of Revu have a few restaurants that fall between Bourdain and pasteurized, like Bol Corona on Negrete near Third. Most street food is found west and north of Revu. There are open-air markets on Second and Third between Revu and Niños Héroes, near the old City Hall, which is now a cultural center worth visiting. You can pick up a walking map at the bus station when you arrive and bear in mind that I'm writing from memory, which often errs by a block or two.

      What I would recommend to you instead is to arrange with Grey Line to take you home on a subsequent day. Bourdain doesn't get everything done in three hours and neither will you. You can stay at the Hotel Ticuan on Eighth between Revu and Constitución, a good value because it's new. Mexicoach (whose bus terminal your Grey Line will probably dock in) runs a service called City Tour in which open-air busses circulate hourly during daylight hours: you can get off and on at thirteen stops throughout the city. Make a full circuit first while the driver fills you in on the background of each area, and with the next circuit get off at the stops you thought were most interesting. That way you'll get to try the street food of Parque Teniente Guerrero, pub food and beer straight from the tanks at Cervecería Tijuana, fancy food in the Distrito Gastronómico ... you get the idea.

      Mariachis usually show up after 7:00pm in locals' restaurants, afternoons on the weekends, and they're getting pretty scarce. Round-the-clock mariachis would be a Revu thing and, on that street, should be taken as a harbinger of bad food and watered drinks.

      (Yes, I live in Tijuana.)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Xolotl

        I don't spend too much time on La Revo but I do like to drop into Café La Especial, one of the restaurants you suggested. I regret to say that the restaurant appears to have closed.

        Café La Especial's street level taco place is still open and makes great steamed tacos (that's it; one kind of taco and Pepsi) but the downstairs establishment was not open two weeks ago. The taco stand is on Av Revolución, near 4th.

        1. re: Xolotl

          He only has three hours, and is with his family.

        2. The original comment has been removed
            1. re: AubWah

              No. Take the same precautions you would at any big city.