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Tijuana Street Food Boom

Tijuana's culinary scene takes it outside
Photo by Luis Garcia

By Derrick Chinn

It’s a smorgasbord! Tijuana’s Food Garden offers chilaquiles next to crêpes next to Baja-Asian fusion.

Here’s the skinny on the open-air food parks popping up in vacant lots all over town.

The first of the flock to open in early 2013, Food Garden’s mantra says it all: “Keep Tijuana tasty.” With six stalls, options include chilaquiles, tacos, vegan comfort food, crêpes, Baja-Asian fusion (Bajasian?), and picuditas—vertical sandwiches served in tin cups. Add to that arts and craft fairs and DJs on the weekends, two-for-one Tecates on Saturday evenings, and a flood of local craft brews amid a backdrop of Mexican domestic décor done oh-so right.

Named as a nod to Route 66, the food truck court Estación 55—Station 55—is impossible to miss, thanks to the burger joint rigged in an old metro bus edged with color-morphing LEDs. Plow through the 200-peso two-pounder in less than 30 minutes and it’s free. Also on the menu are empanadas, woodfired pizzas, “Mexiterranean” pastas, and 10-ounce ribeyes.

Behind the HQ of telecommunications giant Telnor is Telefonica Gastro Park. Everything but the beer hut is on wheels: Greek food, ramen, seared tuna sandwiches, yellowfin carpaccio, and bacon sausages that’ve been soaked in olive oil for four hours, served with a side of corn on the cob. Wash it all down with local brew by Insurgente and Ramuri on tap in the back garden.

Tijuana Street Food Boom

Photo by Luis Garcia

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