If you are ever lucky enough to share the Tijuana adventure with a special friend…try these spots on a Friday afternoon and stay the night for breakfast. You couldn’t find a more fun and delicious trip. Note that I say Friday afternoon so you have a relatively easy border crossing Saturday morning. I do avoid Sundays if at all possible.
Make your way Friday afternoon to Tijuan a anytime before 3:00 to avoid the Friday rush hour. You may have to wait up to an hour with slow traffic and a backed up border if you come anytime after that.
Stop for snacks at Mercado Hidalgo in Zona Rio. Pick up sweet dried mango with enchilado spice, nuts, and sweet candies or amazing seasonal fruit for the trip. It’s an easy jump to the Rosarito / Playas Tijuana highway from there so you can get a room at the Lifestyle hostel. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are just a Jiu Jitsu gym, they’ve got cool vibes AND private rooms to rent (or the less private option of bunk rentals – talk about adventure). Let them know you are international (from San Diego or anywhere not from Tijuana) and get a clean room a block away from the Playas boardwalk.
Ask anyone on the beach where to pick up a fried Mojarra (deep fried bone-in fish, served with fresh avocado, tomatoes, salsa and lime – don’t forget the Corona)!
Take a walk on the Playas boardwalk during sunset…get your profile caricature done by a local artist for next to nothing. See all the local artists, performers, musicians up and down the beach. Buy fresh steamed corn from a local cart by the lighthouse, with chili, lime and all the fixings. Pick up dessert and a coffee from the Red Caffe and then enjoy the sunset from their third floor terrace.
In the morning, walk north around the bullring and lighthouse to eat at the Yogurt place and enjoy the wooded view from their dining room. Head back early to beat traffic….and don’t miss out on the fried churros while you wait at the border.
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