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Best Breakfasts Across The Border

Sure, we have Old Town and countless burrito shops, but the search for San Diego’s best Mexican breakfasts leads–where else?–to Mexico. Check out our favorite morning meals in Tijuana, Tecate, Rosarito, and Ensenada. Buenos dias!

By Derrik Chinn

La Diferencia

A revered mainstay for traditional mainland Mexican fare, La Diferencia offers huitlacoche omelets, machaca (dried meat), and menudo (soup made with beef stomach), with a soundtrack of live canary serenades.

Boulevard Sánchez Taboada 10521, Zona Río, Tijuana

La Espadaña

An upscale hacienda motif sets the scene for what many claim to be the best chilaquiles west of Chihuahua.

Boulevard Sánchez Taboada 10813, Zona Río, Tijuana

El Yogurt Place

Tucked behind the bullring alongside the border fence in the most northwestern corner of not just the city but the entire country, this place has been serving healthier takes on greasy-spoon favorites since the 1970s.

Calle Cantera 360, Playas De Tijuana, Tijuana

Casa de Coronado

A weekend staple among locals, where the line never fails to wind out the door—think a Mexified Denny’s in the best possible way—right down to the adobe diner decor.

Avenida París 1456, Colonia Altamira, Tijuana

Mercado Municipal

Housed in Tijuana’s original jailhouse, the downtown food court of mom-and-pop eateries alongside the cathedral comes armed with waitresses at each stand belting out in unison, “Vanacomer? Vanacomer? Vanacomer?” (“Gonna eat?”) But the menu is essentially identical (not to mention deliciously affordable) at each spot, with birria (spicy stew), huevos rancheros, and other home-cooked classics.

Avenida Niños Heroes 1961, Zona Centro, Tijuana

Alma Verde

The greenest (both figuratively and literally) locale to make the list, this new juice bar filled with natural light and potted plants offers cold-pressed creations at a fraction of the price you’d pay north of the border, in one of the hippest ’hoods in town.

Calle Brasil 8930, Colonia Cacho, Tijuana

La Fonda

Weekend expats gushingly praise the hotel’s Sunday brunch, which comes with Mexican and American platters, bottomless margaritas and Bloody Marys, and an incomparable view of the Pacific about an hour south of the border.

Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada km 59.5, Playa La Misión

Rancho Las Ilusiones

What started as a mere carne asada cart is now an active ranch on the outskirts of Rosarito, complete with a cabin restaurant whose menu reflects whatever’s growing on the grounds: rabbit machaca, barbacoa, and other country delights.

Calle Baja California 74, Colonia Morelos, Rosarito

El Rey Sol

One of the oldest restaurants in town, open since 1947, El Rey Sol is known by the crowds as the crema de la crema as far as French patisseries in Ensenada go.

Avenida Adolfo López Mateos 1000, Zona Centro, Ensenada


Breakfast as it was before the Spaniards showed up—that’s the culinary theme of this casa, which serves monstrous quesadillas stuffed with dried and seasoned chapulines (crickets), ayoxochitl (squash flower), and other Aztec-era food. Bonus: It’s across the street from Cervecería Tecate.

Boulevard Defensores de Baja California 90, Colonia La Viñita, Tecate

Best Breakfasts Across The Border

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