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Anything good close to the Otay Mesa crossing @ Tijuana?

My wife and I are going to test out our Sentri passes in a couple of weeks by crossing the border into Mexico at Otay Mesa. Any nearby restaurants/taco stands/trucks worth a try? Thanks!

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  1. I think it's easier to get to El Mazateco by crossing at Otay. Are you walking or driving across?

    10 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Walking, but can grab a cab. Is it Mazateco or Mazateno? Thanks DD!

      1. re: bizzwriter

        It's Mazateño actually. It's a $20 cab ride if you cross at San Ysidro, but about half that (or less probably) if you cross at Otay.

        Why are you crossing on foot at Otay? It's not the easiest pedestrian crossing? Parking is easier to SY, and even easier yet is to park at the Palomar trolley stop and take the trolley down to SY. It's so much more fun to jump the line in SY with your Sentri ;-). The last few times I've been through Otay on foot, there hasn't been a line.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          Thanks DD -- we're going to be down at Otay to get our car inspected for Sentri (we already have the personal passes). I don't think we can drive across for at least a few days after the inspection, thus the quick walk across the border just to try out the passes, sin automobile.

          1. re: bizzwriter

            Gotcha...

            https://foursquare.com/v/el-mazate%C3...

            The shrimp tacos are terrific as are the pulpo enchilado tacos if you're into octopus. I haven't tried them yet, but the coctales I've seen go by to other tables look interesting and the tostadas look amazing. I always say that I'm going to order a tostada every time I go, but always seem to end up ordering something else

            1. re: DiningDiva

              LOVE pulpo! Will definitely check those out along with the shrimp tacos. Thanks!

              1. re: bizzwriter

                Every taxista in the entire city knows exactly where El Mazateño is, but in case there's a problem, it's on the corner of Tecnológico and Popotla in Mesa de Otay. Make sure you get the super mazateña and wander next door for some tuna soup.

                Otay's a pretty depressing place but you can also take a taxi to Tacos Salceados on Ermita Norte, and it'll be about the same price from Otay as from SY.

                I agree, though, with the others that it's worth the 10-minute ride back to SY, because there's so much more near there. When you SENTRI-walk across at SY, don't make the mistake of standing in the line. Excuse yourself (repeatedly) with "busco la SENTRI, busco la SENTRI" and push forward.

          2. re: DiningDiva

            I've only been to El Mazateno one time and really enjoyed it - good food in a bustling atmosphere.

            If it were me, though, I'd cross at San Ysidro instead and grab a cab out to Playas. Or a quick cab to Mercado Hidalgo.

            Make sure you activate your Sentri online before you go - we forgot :-)

            1. re: menuinprogress

              Thanks for the suggestions -- the minute my car is approved, my wife and I are headed to La Fonda for (hopefully) some banana daquiris. I'll definitely get activated first!

              1. re: bizzwriter

                I ate at the new, old La Fonda over Memorial Day weekend. Food was okay to good, drinks were strong, bar was busy and the view spectacular.

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  Good to hear (though hope they move the needle up on the food)! Haven't been since the '90s, so looking forward to revisiting some memories.