Of course I know where I am going… but Tijuana has changed so much in so little. Seriously… just at the start of 2015, new breweries and restaurants opened up, that my tours sometimes end up in places brand new even for me!
This time, fellow SDreader writer, Vanessa Horne, emailed me for a tour of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in TJ, inspired by Chad Deal’s column on the Reader “Veggiejuana.” The tour was going to be a present for her boyfriend, Gavin, and another couple would come join the tour. Little did I know that the other couple, Courtney and Derek, had already visited Tijuana 7 times in 2014. They have also visited the places I had in mind to take them. So like many times, I improvised and took them to places I have never been. After all, it wouldn’t be an adventure if there was some unknown frontiers in the mix.
We started at Mamut brewery, were we had 2 beers each though it was just over 1 pm. We also had vegan food delivered from Raices and Happy Vegan. Of course Derek and Courtney had been there before, being one of the most popular spots in Tj at the moment. That’s when I remembered about this tiny brewery no one knows about in a different alley nearby. Azteca brewing served us one of the best IPAs I’ve tasted in Tj.
3 or more beers in and it wasn’t even 4 pm. We had to slow down and the plan was to go to Veggie Smalls over at the Food Garden, but again, it would have been a repeat. That same morning, a friend told me about a new place called Bresca, with plenty of vegan choices. So we headed over there instead. We had some coffee and a delicious vegan mac and cheese that they wouldn’t believe it was vegan. Luckily, we ran into the chef on our way out and he told us the secrets behind the recipe.
After that we were set for more drinks. They requested to go to Dandy’s del Sur, the cantina where Anthony Bourdain was at, and then to La Mezcalera. On our way there, I noticed TJ China, an art gallery that is rarely open, was in fact… open!
We had plenty of beer, tequilas and mezcales in both Dandy’s and Mezcalera, all before 7 pm. From there, we ventured to new Telefónica Gastro Pub, where unfortunately many places were closing because it was near 8 pm. However, they had the chance to order a vegetarian Pho and again, more beers. And not to sound like a broken record, but again, they said it was one of the best they ever had.
From there we cab to Plaza Fiesta to a new brewery by the name of Paralelo 29. By then I was pretty drunk but we kept drinking until around 11 pm when we called a cab and they headed back to the border before they missed the last trolly.
I wanted to go home after that and sleep…. but somehow I was awake until 2 am after stumbling into more parties in downtown Tijuana.
This post was longer than I intended…. Anyway, more Tj adventures coming up since more emails come my way!