If you really want to go beyond borders and visit Tijuana, Ensenada, or other parts of Baja California in Mexico, here’s a few things to keep in mind and a few tips/favorite spots:
The San Ysidro-Tijuana border is just 15 miles from downtown San Diego. It is the busiest border crossing in the world. You will need your passport to re-enter the U.S. after visiting Tijuana or any part of Baja California.
For further information about crossing the border, see the U.S. Department of State website: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html and the San Diego Visitor’s Information website: http://www.sandiego.org/plan-your-trip/visitor-information/safety-tips.aspx
You can get there easily by trolley (http://sdmts.com/Tripplanner.asp) to the San Ysidro stop and walk across the border or drive and park near the border. If you decide to drive into Mexico, remember to purchase insurance before crossing.
Tijuana taxis: Note there are two types of taxis: yellow, which do not have meters so be sure to negotiate the price before you get in, and white (with red stripe) taxis or ‘taxi libre’ which have meters and are usually less expensive.
City buses are also available and inexpensive.
Check out how long the wait is to return to US: http://xewt12.com/ (look under ‘San Ysidro’ and ‘peatonal’ for pedestrian crossing.
Turista Libre http://turistalibre.com/about
Life and Food Blog http://www.lifeandfoodblog.com
Centro Cultural Tijuana (English) The Centro, known as ‘la bola’ features gallery exhibitions, a bookstore, coffee shop, concert hall and imax theater. For current cultural events and exhibitions in Tijuana, see http://www.mexicoescultura.com/
Anthony Bourdain visits Baja California: http://www.sandiegored.com/noticias/25580/The-truth-about-Baja-according-to-Anthony-Bourdain/
Javier Plascencia’s Misión 19, Misión San Javier 10643, Piso 2, VIA Corporativo. Zona Urbana Río. Tijuana, Tel: (664) 634.2493 http://mision19.com/
Chef Javier Plascencia in the news: The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/30/120130fa_fact_goodyear; San Diego Red: (http://www.sandiegored.com/noticias/27436/The-mind-behind-Mision-19-Restaurant-Javier-Plascencia/)
Delicious seafood at Cebicheria Erizo, (Erizo Baja Fish House & Market) Ave. Sonora 3808, (La Recta) Chapultepec, Tijuana Ceviche, octopus, tuna and more (read more at http://www.foodbuzz.com/blogs/2295972-cebicheria-erizo-tijuana-bc-top-ceviche-master and FB page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erizo-Baja-Fish-House-Market/195477037176628
Tacos Salceados (Tacos Ermita) 30-A, Avenida Ermita-Norte, Fraccionamiento Santa Cruz La Mesa, Tijuana (Read: http://www.streetgourmetla.com/2010/05/tacos-salceados-tijuana-taco-center-of.html) Ah, the New York with camaron taco, dulce taco with pineapple and raspberry sauce and the famous quesotaco. And more than 30 salsas.
Tacos Kokopelli (http://www.lifeandfoodblog.com/?p=2414) Taco de pulpo (octopus). tacos de marlin pibil.
Takesos y Papas (owner used to be chef at Tacos Ermita) Located in Plaza Monarca mall food court next to Cinepolis,Try the taco de jalapeno, New York con camaron, and like Tacos Ermita, the quesotaco. https://es-la.facebook.com/TakesosPapas
Tepoznieves, Sánchez Taboada 10737 Aviación Tijuana (next to Sam’s Club) More than 100 ice cream flavors including not only vanilla, chocolate and strawberry but guanabana, mamey, elote (corn), cajeta, avocado, chamoy
La Guerrerense, this iconic seafood cart from Ensenada won first place at LA Street Food Fest (http://www.sandiegored.com/noticias/27399/Baja-wins-again-at-LA-Street-Food-Fest/)
Ensenada tourist information in English.
Valle de Guadalupe (wine region)
Wine tasting: http://www.sandiegored.com/noticias/27140/What-are-Five-Top-Things-to-Do-in-One-Day-in-Ensenada/
Baja California’s wine destinations: http://tijuanametropolitana.com/index.php/gastronomia-y-eventos/842-baja-california-mexicos-up-and-coming-wine-destination
Coinciding with SAA is ‘Fiestas de la Vendimia’ from August 9-13 in the Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California’s wine region: http://www.bajabound.com/events/vendimiaschedule.php
La Cava de Marcelo – Cheese & wine cellar in town of Ojos Negros (http://lacavademarcelo.com.mx/)
Ochentos Pizzeriarustica https://www.facebook.com/ochentos.pizzeriarustica
Corazon de Tierra, Rancho San Marcos, Toros pintos # s/n, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Tel: (646) 156 8030 (http://corazondetierra.com/) Restaurant at La Villa del Valle hotel (http://www.lavilladelvalle.com/)
Hotel Endémico, Ctra. Tecate-Ensenada, km 75, Valle de Guadalupe, https://www.designhotels.com/hotels/americas/mexico/baja_california/endemico?affiliate=&workmatrix_user=149ef7797a