Calle 6 is the epicenter of Tijuana’s new and ultra-hip bar scene. Check out Indie Go (Calle 6 at Revolución), La Mezcalera (Calle 6 btw Revolución/Madero, 5 P.M.–2 A.M. daily), and Zebra Mexican Pub (Héroes 10001 Local 21-A, Plaza Fiesta, noon–midnight Mon–Wed., noon–2 A.M., Thurs.–Sat.) which serves dozens of beers from around the world in a cozy setting. Order pub fare for under US$5.
Made in Mexico is the theme at bohemian Santa Leyenda Bar Tijuana (Av. 6 1942), which serves wines from the Valle de Guadalupe as well as martinis and national beers.
Avenida Revolución also features a multitude of bars—some historic, some divey, some fancy. Mariachi bands do their rounds, and the scene is usually a mix of locals, expats, and out-of-towners.
Bar San Marcos (Calle 5 at Revolución, tel. 664/688-2794), adjoining Caesar’s Sports Bar & Grill, has survived since its heyday in the 1950s. The Nortec Collective has composed a song about El Dandy Del Sur (Calle 6 and Revolución, tel. 664/688-0052), where the drinks keep flowing until dawn.
Near El Dandy del Sur, tiny Don Loope Cantina (Calle 6 btw Revolución/Madero, 7 P.M.–3 A.M. Wed.–Sat.) could be set in New York with its velvet and red neon decor, except for the Nortec music that often plays.
Large and loud, La Cantina de los Remedios (Diego Riviera 2476, tel. 664/634-3087, 1 P.M.–midnight Mon.–Sat., 1–10 P.M. Sun.), in the Zona Río, is a chain with similar restaurant/bars in several cities on the mainland. It serves botanas and daily menudo (lunch), too. Complimentary valet parking is a plus.
Elsewhere in Tijuana
Tijuana’s Zona Norte, from Calle 1 downtown north almost to the border, is the city’s red-light district; it’s best to avoid this area, especially at night.
At Cervecería Tijuana (Fundadores 2951, tel. 664/638-8662, www.tjbeer.com, 1 P.M.–midnight Mon.–Wed., 1 P.M.–2 A.M. Thurs.–Sat.), you can try six different brews in an Old World atmosphere with a modern twist: sports on the big screen and karaoke.
The largest Baja California winery, L.A. Cetto, operates a wine store and tasting room, Cava Tijuana (Cañón Johnson 2108, tel. 664/685-3031, www.cettowines.com, 10 A.M.–5 P.M. Mon.–Sat.), in the Zona Río. Tastes are US$2 for most wines, US$5 for reserve wines.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition