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The Hottest Restaurants in Tijuana Right Now

Check out these hotspots just south of the border

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As cities slowly recover from the pandemic, Tijuana continues its long legacy of attracting visitors from north of the border and bringing locals out to play.

Previously known as a partying destination, Tijuana has been successfully rehabbing its reputation through food. Today, traditional eateries and avant-garde concepts from local chefs have kept both Tijuanenses and visitors entranced with many buzz-worthy options when it comes to food and drink. Whether it’s a streetside cart, a neighborhood favorite, or a trendy kitchen, there is always something to rave about in this food-loving city.

Catch up with what to check out south of the border with our Tijuana heatmap, listing hot new arrivals and local favorites keeping the buzz alive.

NOTE: Entries on this map are listed geographically from north to south.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Estación Federal

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Just steps away from the PedWest border crossing, this corner lot features an outpost of the trendy Nativo Coffee, the creatively hip Cereus Bar, along with AirBnB lofts. Stop in Tuesday through Saturday for healthy eats by El Momento’s crew or during the weekend for a boozy brunch.

A crowded bar full of people. Estacion Federal

The Park

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The Park places some of Tijuana’s most venerated restaurants next to novel concepts in a border-adjacent food hall. Longtime favorites like mariscos specialists Lionfish and tortas royalty Wash Mobile coexist along with Italian and vegan Mexican establishments. Wine counter La Botella stocks some of Baja’s finest vintages, while the mixologists shake up cocktails.

A large food hall filled with tables. The Park

Casa Badóh

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Casa Badoh generated major buzz with both the brunch crowd and the late night crowd since its inception and the trendy spot is settled into its new digs, where cocktails and live DJs help set the mood alongside Mexican and American-style breakfast dishes in the morning and shareable botanas and Mexican entrees in the evenings.

Via Palermo

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Tijuana is known for its innovative cuisine, amazing craft beer scene, and a near endless supply of tacos of all sorts, but deep down, Tijuanenses also have a soft spot for old school Italian fare. The temporarily shuttered Via Palermo made a recent return with its all-time classic menu of hand tossed pizzas and pasta to the delight of many Colonia Libertad residents.

El Casimiro

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A matchup made in Tijuana heaven, chef Jose Figueroa took over the kitchen at Insurgente’s Calle Cuarta taproom to great fanfare. The mind behind Telefonica’s La Carmelita and San Diego’s roving Corazon de Torta pays homage to the city’s traditions and trends while pushing the envelope. His quesabirria croquettes — stewed beef and cheese inside tortilla balls —‚ and salsa and oyster pairings bring a new dimension to Tijuana staple dishes.

Estacion Central

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Reemerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, Estacion Central returned to its roots as a cocktail bar and hub for downtown Tijuana’s visitors and residents. Start or finish your day in Tijuana with a mixed drink, good company, and a plate of decadent jamon iberico fries. Keep an eye on socials for farmers’ market and local makers’ events on site.

A man behind a bar makes a cocktail. Estacion Central

Tahona Mercado TJ

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Tahona planted its flag on Tijuana’s Calle Sexta earlier his year, establishing the largest mezcal bottle selection on the lively downtown strip. Stop in to sip on a few of the over 300 top shelf selections from Mexico’s best regarded distillers. The shop side of the business offers a large selection of bottles to take home with chocolates from Chiapas and other Mexican bites and crafts.

A wall of tequila and mezcal bottles. Tahona Mercado Tijuana

Tacos Fitos

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A feature on season two of Netflix’s Taco Chronicles brought a whole new level of buzz to this already popular birria operation adjacent to the Mercado Hidalgo central market and the lines have not yet died down since. The streetside cart serves classic Tijuana-style birria and tripa in tacos through the mid part of the day until they sell out — and they do sell out.

La Saladita

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La Saladita bridges the gap between Mexico City’s gregarious cantinas and Baja’s outstanding seafood. With a menu designed by chef Alberto Cansino Gomez, of Hotel Calafia and Emiliana fame, and a solid mezcal and beer program, this 2020 arrival has won over locals looking to share an afternoon out with friends.

A platter of raw oysters with grilled seafood and other dishes. La Saladita

Telefónica Gastro Park

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No trip south of the border is complete without a trip through Tijuana’s premier food hall. First timers can discover forward-thinking fare from local chefs, with fusion ramen, elevated homestyle Mexican dishes, and Baja seafood among the standouts. Newer entries include smashburgers by El Purista and classic churros from Puro Pinche Churro.

World Famous Super Dudes

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Tijuana’s hottest burgers have landed a permanent home down the block from their original pop-up location. The World Famous Super Dudes’ double smashed cheeseburger on brioche bread, hand-cut fries, and rotating shakes and homemade sodas continue to command long lines and sell out regularly out of the new outpost, so get there early. Cash only.

Las Ahumaderas

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Tijuanenses were long waiting to hit the town after COVID-19 related restrictions began to be rescinded. And naturally, they were ready to cap off the night with some of the city’s best tacos. Las Ahumaderas, the name given to a strip of five adjacent taquerias, slings tacos packed with carne asada, adobada, and other meats for hungry patrons all day and night.

52 Kool

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Operating since 2017, this modern Mexican outpost remains hot. 52 Kool still caters to the highest of expectations with its prix-fixe four and six course dinners, letting diners select their plates of choice from creative dishes like shrimp kimchi tostadas and cauliflower risotto with goat cheese.

A table with green dining chairs. 52 Kool/Facebook

Fin.Ca takes cues and ingredients from the border region’s two Californias to bring an eclectic menu offering American-style steakhouse entrees and “Caliterranean” seafood dishes, mashing up Baja’s bounty with old-world cooking. The bar focuses on Prohibition-era inspired cocktails and also features Napa Valley wines and Baja craft brews.

A black plate with a steak entree. Fin.ca

Alma Verde

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Chatter and chic Instagram posts have been a constant since Alma Verde’s opening. This is the place for healthy breakfast, lunch, and selfies while sipping freshly-squeezed juice blends. There is something for everyone on the menu, which features veggie-friendly and omnivore options.

A plate of chilaquiles. Alma Verde/Facebook

Casa Tijuana Project

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Chef Juan Cabrera brings a wealth of experience to his latest culinary project, housed inside a refurbished residential unit in the Hipodromo neighborhood. The focus here is on modern Mexican fare, from novel takes on chiles en nogada to a more contemporary octopus rubbed in red adobo. The corn cheesecake, plated with a red wine compote and crumbled galleta maria, shows off Casa Tijuana Project’s penchant for the unexpected.

Estación Federal

A crowded bar full of people. Estacion Federal

Just steps away from the PedWest border crossing, this corner lot features an outpost of the trendy Nativo Coffee, the creatively hip Cereus Bar, along with AirBnB lofts. Stop in Tuesday through Saturday for healthy eats by El Momento’s crew or during the weekend for a boozy brunch.

A crowded bar full of people. Estacion Federal

The Park

A large food hall filled with tables. The Park

The Park places some of Tijuana’s most venerated restaurants next to novel concepts in a border-adjacent food hall. Longtime favorites like mariscos specialists Lionfish and tortas royalty Wash Mobile coexist along with Italian and vegan Mexican establishments. Wine counter La Botella stocks some of Baja’s finest vintages, while the mixologists shake up cocktails.

A large food hall filled with tables. The Park

Casa Badóh

Casa Badoh generated major buzz with both the brunch crowd and the late night crowd since its inception and the trendy spot is settled into its new digs, where cocktails and live DJs help set the mood alongside Mexican and American-style breakfast dishes in the morning and shareable botanas and Mexican entrees in the evenings.

Via Palermo

Tijuana is known for its innovative cuisine, amazing craft beer scene, and a near endless supply of tacos of all sorts, but deep down, Tijuanenses also have a soft spot for old school Italian fare. The temporarily shuttered Via Palermo made a recent return with its all-time classic menu of hand tossed pizzas and pasta to the delight of many Colonia Libertad residents.

El Casimiro

A matchup made in Tijuana heaven, chef Jose Figueroa took over the kitchen at Insurgente’s Calle Cuarta taproom to great fanfare. The mind behind Telefonica’s La Carmelita and San Diego’s roving Corazon de Torta pays homage to the city’s traditions and trends while pushing the envelope. His quesabirria croquettes — stewed beef and cheese inside tortilla balls —‚ and salsa and oyster pairings bring a new dimension to Tijuana staple dishes.

Estacion Central

A man behind a bar makes a cocktail. Estacion Central

Reemerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, Estacion Central returned to its roots as a cocktail bar and hub for downtown Tijuana’s visitors and residents. Start or finish your day in Tijuana with a mixed drink, good company, and a plate of decadent jamon iberico fries. Keep an eye on socials for farmers’ market and local makers’ events on site.

A man behind a bar makes a cocktail. Estacion Central

Tahona Mercado TJ

A wall of tequila and mezcal bottles. Tahona Mercado Tijuana

Tahona planted its flag on Tijuana’s Calle Sexta earlier his year, establishing the largest mezcal bottle selection on the lively downtown strip. Stop in to sip on a few of the over 300 top shelf selections from Mexico’s best regarded distillers. The shop side of the business offers a large selection of bottles to take home with chocolates from Chiapas and other Mexican bites and crafts.

A wall of tequila and mezcal bottles. Tahona Mercado Tijuana

Tacos Fitos

A feature on season two of Netflix’s Taco Chronicles brought a whole new level of buzz to this already popular birria operation adjacent to the Mercado Hidalgo central market and the lines have not yet died down since. The streetside cart serves classic Tijuana-style birria and tripa in tacos through the mid part of the day until they sell out — and they do sell out.

La Saladita

A platter of raw oysters with grilled seafood and other dishes. La Saladita

La Saladita bridges the gap between Mexico City’s gregarious cantinas and Baja’s outstanding seafood. With a menu designed by chef Alberto Cansino Gomez, of Hotel Calafia and Emiliana fame, and a solid mezcal and beer program, this 2020 arrival has won over locals looking to share an afternoon out with friends.

A platter of raw oysters with grilled seafood and other dishes. La Saladita

Telefónica Gastro Park

No trip south of the border is complete without a trip through Tijuana’s premier food hall. First timers can discover forward-thinking fare from local chefs, with fusion ramen, elevated homestyle Mexican dishes, and Baja seafood among the standouts. Newer entries include smashburgers by El Purista and classic churros from Puro Pinche Churro.

World Famous Super Dudes

Tijuana’s hottest burgers have landed a permanent home down the block from their original pop-up location. The World Famous Super Dudes’ double smashed cheeseburger on brioche bread, hand-cut fries, and rotating shakes and homemade sodas continue to command long lines and sell out regularly out of the new outpost, so get there early. Cash only.

Las Ahumaderas

Tijuanenses were long waiting to hit the town after COVID-19 related restrictions began to be rescinded. And naturally, they were ready to cap off the night with some of the city’s best tacos. Las Ahumaderas, the name given to a strip of five adjacent taquerias, slings tacos packed with carne asada, adobada, and other meats for hungry patrons all day and night.

52 Kool

A table with green dining chairs. 52 Kool/Facebook

Operating since 2017, this modern Mexican outpost remains hot. 52 Kool still caters to the highest of expectations with its prix-fixe four and six course dinners, letting diners select their plates of choice from creative dishes like shrimp kimchi tostadas and cauliflower risotto with goat cheese.

A table with green dining chairs. 52 Kool/Facebook

Fin.ca

A black plate with a steak entree. Fin.ca

Fin.Ca takes cues and ingredients from the border region’s two Californias to bring an eclectic menu offering American-style steakhouse entrees and “Caliterranean” seafood dishes, mashing up Baja’s bounty with old-world cooking. The bar focuses on Prohibition-era inspired cocktails and also features Napa Valley wines and Baja craft brews.

A black plate with a steak entree. Fin.ca

Alma Verde

A plate of chilaquiles. Alma Verde/Facebook

Chatter and chic Instagram posts have been a constant since Alma Verde’s opening. This is the place for healthy breakfast, lunch, and selfies while sipping freshly-squeezed juice blends. There is something for everyone on the menu, which features veggie-friendly and omnivore options.

A plate of chilaquiles. Alma Verde/Facebook

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Casa Tijuana Project

Chef Juan Cabrera brings a wealth of experience to his latest culinary project, housed inside a refurbished residential unit in the Hipodromo neighborhood. The focus here is on modern Mexican fare, from novel takes on chiles en nogada to a more contemporary octopus rubbed in red adobo. The corn cheesecake, plated with a red wine compote and crumbled galleta maria, shows off Casa Tijuana Project’s penchant for the unexpected.

Related Maps