Ask San Diego Blog: Tijuana 101

Saturday, July 22, 2006, 18:39 —by Michael Allen Smith
This item was posted in Ask San Diego Blog category and has 18 Comments so far.

Most of the people I’ve met in San Diego either haven’t been to Tijuana in many years or have never been. What are your thoughts about Tijuana? For those that go, what do you do when you get there? Favorite restaurants? Travel tips?

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18 Responses to “Ask San Diego Blog: Tijuana 101”

  1. Kinz said on Sunday, July 23, 2006, 23:35

    I live in Tijuana. Walk across the border, get in a cab and use what little Spanish you speak to have the cabby take you to Plaza Fiesta or Zona Rio (it should cost you no more than $3 each way). This is where a lot of the locals hang out. There’s live music, a swiss bar and $1 street tacos.

    If you’re going for a day trip, check out las playas. People in San Diego say the Tijuana beaches are dirty and gross. Not true. They’re beautiful and packed by locals on the weekends. Order a bloody beer at one of the little restaurants lining the beaches…And don’t be afraid to ask the locals where you should go, that’s what I do.

  2. ChrisN said on Monday, July 24, 2006, 10:19

    The playas are beautiful, just don’t go after a rain storm. TJ and IB get some nasties washing up.

    My favorite parts of TJ have always been random encounters. It is a lot of fun to just wander around. The hidden/underground shops and malls are always fun to explore.

  3. JeSais said on Monday, July 24, 2006, 10:30

    Check out the market, El Mercado Central de Hidalgo… a little off the beaten path and be on the look out for La Mona

  4. Nathan said on Monday, July 24, 2006, 13:27

    I lived in Tijuana for most of 2005. One highlight that hasn’t been mentioned yet is the Cinépolis VIP in Plaza Rio. It’s a movie theatre that serves crepas, sushi, and a bar. The theatres have leather love-seat style chairs, with a fat sidearm to put your plates on. The price for an evening flick is still cheaper than a matinee in the states. Wednesdays are two for one!

  5. Khoa said on Tuesday, July 25, 2006, 0:20

    If you’re looking for a dance club to go to on weekends, try Balak (http://www.balakdisco.com/home.htm). Being a college student, I’ve been to some of the other not-so-classy clubs and let me tell you this one is a breath of fresh air. I went on a Saturday night and it was mostly locals but I still had a great time… the place is so big and clean you’ll just have to see it for yourself. Not to mention it’s literally a three minute cab ride from the border!

  6. oso said on Tuesday, July 25, 2006, 2:30

    But really, who goes to TJ to watch a movie? Just kiddin’ – I actually completely agree with Nathan about Cinépolis VIP. Occasionally the Centro Cultural has something good going on.

  7. Xeelee said on Thursday, August 3, 2006, 21:20

    Well, here’s another tip from a tijuanense.

    For food, there’s andobitas. It’s in a real small arcade on 4th. Street, between Av. Revolucion and Av. Constitucion (this is smack in the middle of the tourist area). It’s by the entrance of a parking lot. Blink and you’ll miss it. Here you can have a torta for about 4-5 bucks, which is cheaper than most places that purport to sell real mexican food. Just make sure you go with an empty stomach, cuz you’ll be eating about 3/4lb. worth of food ;)

    If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s a couple of taco stands over and 2nd. Street and Av. Madero. These are 3×1 tacos – that is, 3 tacos of adobada for 1 dollar – that do the job for most. Not recommended for those with cardiac problems.

    For entertainment, there’s always the movieplexes around town. Like those before, Cinepolis VIP is recommended, along with the other one. Now, keep in mind, any movie place in Mexico is going to be cheaper than one on the US. Just remember not to buy anything from the food stands. There’s also Plaza Mundo Divertido, which might be too far away from the border to be on most tourist’s radar, but is worth the trip on a taxi libre, which currently stands about US$9. There’s another movie teather, along with a small theme park with an arcade, food court, and host of other small shops.

    Don’t forget about the CECUT, like OSO said

    For nightlife, there’s always Rosarito, Plaza Amigo (Balak is here, along with a couple of table dances), Plaza Fiesta(currently on the hot seat, as there have been a spate of run-ins with the law) and some other places.

    Oh well, that should do it for now. Later.

  8. Patrick said on Saturday, August 5, 2006, 20:55

    I live in Tijuana municipio, but close to the Rosarito border. If I “go to town,” it is usually to Rosarito; Tijuana is way-y-y to busy for me. Where do all those people come from and where the heck are they going?

    Going to a restaurant in Mexico can be a white-knuckle experience, or it can be good. You need to ask around for one that serves palatable food. You won’t find many places that serve American-style. So get used to rice, beans, and spicy foods. I have lived here for six years and my stomach still hasn’t adjusted.

    No, I do not care for menudo, white, red, or any style.

    Make sure you lock your car securely before you go in (just like in the States).

    Enjoy yourself.

  9. Chris said on Saturday, August 12, 2006, 12:49

    If you get the chance to convince someone to go to TJ definetly do it! Great place! Once they get a feel there then you should push going ot Rosarito….definetly good times. Lastly never leave out Puerto Nuevo! Great food!!!

  10. Jay said on Wednesday, December 27, 2006, 23:39

    Hello, I am looking for horseback riding on Rosarita Beach, possibly un-guided where we can take the horses where we want. I already learned that the horses in front of the Hotel are guided, but for the two other places along the beaches, they do not give details. Anyone have more insight on this? If not on Rosarita beach, any places in Ensenada…..or which is better?

    “HORSEBACK RIDING
    Horses are available for rent in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, as well as just south of town, right off of the free road by the parking lot. There are also horses for rent a bit north, near Papa’s and Beer. Bring a pocket of carrots…some of these steeds look a bit hungry! Where else can you romp in the sand and surf on a horse for $10? If you’ve ever wanted to pretend you are in a deodorant commercial in slow motion, this is your chance.”

    Thanks, Jay

  11. Jay said on Wednesday, December 27, 2006, 23:42

    Sorry.. the last paragraph in my post was meant to show you the info I was able to find about Rosarita, and I’m hoping that someone can confirm those locations with additional details. :P Jay

  12. Monica said on Tuesday, April 24, 2007, 13:27

    Does the Cinepolis VIP show movies in English or are they subtitled or?
    Xeelee, are you saying not to eat the food there?

  13. BajaGringo said on Monday, April 7, 2008, 18:35

    I love the Tijuana-Rosarito area. Much has been made in the press about some of the narco-related violence of late but I suppose it isn’t much worse than some of the shootings that have gone on in high schools and post offices in the USA. I read the travel alert warning about attacks on tourists in Baja but they forgot to tell you that there were almost twice as many attacks on tourists in the same time period in California State Parks. Funny, huh?

    Your money goes farther south of the border and the Mexican hospitality is very hard too beat. They are also in the process of building another VIP theater in Rosarito Beach and it should be completed this summer. For more photos and Baja links check out http://www.BajaGringo.com

    Later!!!

  14. Tj Computers said on Thursday, April 24, 2008, 16:09

  15. TJ said on Sunday, June 1, 2008, 17:44

    I’m a gringo that lives in Tijuana and I’ve also lived in Rosarito. There are many places to enjoy good food. In Zona Rio there is many high end Restaurants on Sanchez Tobaoda rd.
    They have TGIF, Saverios which is high end Italian food and Chans chinese food which is the best in Tijuana.
    Nearby is Cheripan which is a very nice Argentinian restaurant.
    If you like a Cheers like atmosphere with great beer try Sotano Suizo which is located in Plaza Fiesta they have great food and rocking music mostly from classic rock from the 70′s and 80′s try their Sausage it is to die for.
    Of course you can also sample the many great tacos from all the taco stands TJ has around the city.
    There is a website that caters to Americans who live in Tijuana and Rosarito and has a lot of up to date information and it’s 100 percent free http://www.tijuanablog.com
    On that site I go by TJgringo and there is lots of members that provide information for safe trips and where to eat etc..

    I’ve never goten sick from the food in Baja and always enjoy my time there.
    Good Luck
    TJ

  16. sarakanne said on Sunday, July 13, 2008, 11:53

    Anyone traveling to Tijuana, Mexico needs to be on the look out for the fugitive Austrian woman named “Heidi” who has been indicted for stalking and threatening to murder David Caruso, his daughter Greta and Liza Marquez. Heidi fled Austria in April 2008 and reportedly is in hiding in Tijuana, Mexico. She speaks German and carries a laptop whereever she goes.

    For photos of this dangerous woman and more info, please see:

    http://www.thestalkerchronicles.blogspot.com

    Do not attempt to apprehend this woman. She is armed and dangerous. Call local authorities or the FBI in the U.S.

  17. sarakanne said on Thursday, August 14, 2008, 17:20

    In April 2008, the Associated Press reported that David Caruso’s fugitive Austrian stalker had fled her homeland to avoid prosecution on charges she stalked and threatened to murder David Caruso:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/04/16/arts/EU-A-E-CEL-Austria-Caruso-Stalker.php

    Update: Law enforcement officials close to this story fear that Heidi Schnitzer may be closer to the US Border than previously thought. They fear that she may slip into the US undetected in order to carry out her murder threats against David Caruso, his daughter Greta and Liza Marquez. Some sources are suggesting that Schnitzer may attempt to carry out her threats prior to the season premiere of CSI Miami in late September.

    http://thestalkerchronicles.blogspot.com/2008/08/david-caruso-stalker-inches-closer-to.html

  18. Bebe said on Monday, August 25, 2008, 14:48

    Who cares?

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