See also: Anthony Bourdain Told Me to Go to Baja. So I'd Be OK There. Right?
See also: Anthony Bourdain's Baja Episode of No Reservations Will Make You Want to Cross the Border Immediately
See also: OC Weekly's Column Tijuana Sí!
You're going to Tijuana, and you want to eat. That's a very good plan, considering some of the food world's heaviest hitters (Bourdain, Zimmern and the like) consider it a gastronomic destination hotter than habaneros in a heat wave right now. But you also want to see the town, preferably beyond the touristy Avenida Revolución (though close enough that picking up the "I heart TJ" t-shirt you'll inevitably want is still an option).
Lucky for you, we prayed to the Baja gods and were blessed with Bill Esparza, L.A.'s favorite reverse coyote, who agreed to let us join up with his tour of the Tijuana Food Fest -- one of the closing events at the second annual Baja Culinary Festival that took place last Thursday through Sunday. There, we got to sample some of his top picks for Tijuana street food all in one place.
The bonus of attending an event like this with Esparza was he cut to the chase. We headed straight for the craft brews, OK, in part because it was 90 degrees and we were thirsty, but mostly because beer is burgeoning in Baja, and worth getting a feel for. He made sure we sampled two tortas, each completely different but both delicious enough to induce an eyebrow furrow and silent nod as we chewed. And because you can't hit up TJ without eating tacos, he led us to the most (deservingly) buzzworthy ones around. We've parlayed all that knowledge into a Google map so that next time you cross the border, you'll know where to find all the same good stuff we did.
Even better, all four of these spots are relatively close to each other, so you can park your car and walk to each, or employ pretty cheap cabs. Either way, we give you the the Tijuana neighborhood grub crawl.More »