If you live in Southern California, crossing the border to Tijuana is like a rite of passage. Recently I have heard friends saying how Tijuana has this budding hipster scene happening. I was like, “whaaaaat? I must go and see”! So I recently took a day trip across the border, and here’s what I found. Tijuana does have a hipster scene going on! Little pockets of Tijuana are filled with cozy cafés, boutique shops, and a craft beer scene that making headlines.
The only problem is, you kinda gotta know where to go. Information on the internet isn’t very helpful (hence, I’m writing this post for you!), and even in Tijuana it’s not exactly obvious. When asking locals where the below locations were, shop owners and street performers alike simply shrugged their shoulders without any recollection.
But don’t let that scare you off! When you land on the awesome spots below, you’ll be thankful you ventured into Mexico to check them out. At least, I sure was.
Here’s the main spots where you can find some action:
1. Pasaje Rodriguez
This “pasaje” is really just an indoor alley off the main street, Avenida Revolución, or Revolution Avenue. This was one of the more explicit locations due to signs pointing you towards the alley. Here you’ll find pop up clothing shops, cafés, and even record stores.
Below are some favorites:
Kafé Mua – A cozy café that also sells vintage style clothing and jewelry.
El Grafógrafo: Libros & Café – A bookshop and café. The ambiance is amazing here with wall to wall books!
Happy Vegan – A charming little café offering vegan food and drink.
2. Pasaje Revolución
Similar to Pasaje Rodriguez, this is also an indoor alley off the Avenida Revolución with a sign pointing you where to go. It kinda looks like a small indoor mall with shops on the top floor and some cafés and breweries on the bottom. Azteca Craft Brewing being a popular spot to hunker down and try some awesome beer. Try the Muddy Buddies-PB + Chocolate!
3. Colectivo 9
Up a few blocks from Pasaje Rodriguez and Pasage Revolución you’ll find Colectivo 9. I really enjoyed this spot, probably because of all the food. Down a little indoor alley you’ll find some little shops along the alley, and at the end you’ll find a bunch of craft food stalls. You’ll want to try them all!
Some favorites were:
Indie Burgers – Top quality burgers with a variety of tastes!
19/87 Empanadas – Possibly the best empanadas you’ve ever had. It’ll be hard to order just one instead of the whole menu!
Barrica 9 – A bit secluded from the rest of the food venders, this spot is a jewel for craft beer lovers.
4. Plaza Fiesta (or La Plaza)
This spot seems to go by many names. I heard Plaza Fiesta, Plaza Rio, Plaza del Zapato, and according to locals simply “la plaza”. Give them all a try and hopefully you’ll end up in the right spot.
Unfortunately this one was tougher to find. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk, or a 5 min cab ride, from Avenida Revolución. But without a doubt, it’s the mecca of craft brew in Tijuana.
With a lively night scene, you’ll want to be here on a Friday or Saturday night to truly enjoy the brew culture.
The food within the bars are pretty good, but you’ll also find TJ’s stab at Vietnamese.
5. Telefónica Gastro Park
Located off Avenida Ocampo, this place is food truck paradise. Saving the best for last, the Telefónica Gastro Park was my favorite of all the locations mentioned. Definitely come here with an appetite and veg out under one of the umbrella covered picnic tables.
Some amazing food vendors were:
Tacosteño – Innovative Mexican seafood can be found here such as octopus tacos and tuna ceviche tostadas.
Quesos El Popo – Supplying Tijuana with an array of organic cheeses, you’ll definitely want to grab a cheese plate and some vino, and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere.
My favorite! Wine and cheese to enjoy the ambiance.
Humo Charcutería – Humo is known for its rich and spicy artisanal sausage. Beckoning all bacon lovers, a popular choice is bacon sausage…with even more “candied” bacon sprinkled on top!
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Have you experienced Tijuana’s hipster scene? Love to know your thoughts in the comments below!