It’s official. Tijuana is now a foodie destination. And while renowned chefs like Javier Placencia of Mission 19 and Miguel Angel Guerrero of El Taller have helped to put it there, the city’s food trucks and street food like birria, mariscos and wide variety of tacos deserve their fair share of the credit, too.
One of the oldest torta stands is the Tortas Wash Mobile that has been in business since 1964. Its name derived from the fact that it was originally adjacent to a car wash. Although the car wash is gone, Tortas Wash Mobile remains. The owners, the Hernandez family, were originally from Guadalajara but once they settled in Tijuana they made their mark with their beloved tortas.
First they start with a “mariposa,” which is a butterfly cut of steak that marinates for twelve hours. Then the mariposa is grilled over coals and then chopped on a mesquite block. Finally the homemade Telera bread is grilled, spread with mayonnaise, topped with a seasoned tomato, red onion vinaigrette, guacamole and the juicy steak. There is also a very spicy salsa that can be added, but beware – it’s extremely hot.
Tijuana also has an elusive Marlin fish taco that raises the bar substantially for their American counterparts. The Marlin fish taco offered at Tacos N’ Salsas is served in a homemade tortilla with guacamole, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions – and is one of the best the city has to offer.
For entertainment, there are a few exciting places to visit. One of them is the Don Loope bar, which is located on the newly trendy Sexta Street. The bar offers a wide selection of beer and tequilas and it’s known for a sense of fun in its design. Another is the micro-brew bar Zesde Cervecheria, which has many options of well-crafted beer for the thirsty traveler.
The only drawback for fans of good food and drink is the fact that Tijuana has been listed as a potentially dangerous city by the U.S. State Department. However, on the State Department website it is noted that millions of Americans citizens safely visit Mexico each year. However, visitors should check the U.S. State Department website and take any precautions that are advised.