Cross La Revu once more for the Teorema/Lúdica Co.
tasting room, the latest arrival in a massive wave of Baja-born craft breweries to open in the last few years. This is a dual tasting room, the only in Tijuana, featuring two breweries: Teorema, which operates in the back of the tasting room and Lúdica, which has a brewery nearby. The atmosphere is relaxed and the stark white interior echoes the rest of the city’s industrial vibe. While Tijuana isn’t exactly a pretty city, it certainly has found its heart. Designers, it seems, have picked up on this, and moved away from the nuevo colonial interiors visitors find elsewhere in Mexico. Even the names of the beers, like Trigonometria and Elemental, signal a getting back to basics so emblematic of Tijuana’s current incarnation. The name of the breweries themselves suggest another duality of Tijuana: the city’s serious side (teorema, or theorem), juxtaposed with its fun side (lúdica, or playful).
Alongside the brews, Tijuana’s food scene has some serious chops. Known for its street food, piping hot, fresh tacos can be had along most all of La Revu, but nearby Telefonica Gastropark is to eaters what the Vatican is to parishioners: hallowed ground, a true heaven on earth. A food-truck-wonderland serving grub that’s far beyond typical truck eats, you can munch on classic French bistro fare, seared fish salads, tostadas, tortas, and, of course…ramen at Top Chef Mexico contender Adria Marina’s Don Ramen.
Next to OneBunk is another local favorite, La Justina
, which bills itself as a “gastro bar.” Known for killer mixology, La Justina is also churning out cutting edge Baja cuisine, which translates to perfectly roasted meats and fresh seafood. The pozole tostada is a deconstructed version of the much-loved Mexican stew, with fierce hominy and accompanying condiments piled high onto a crispy tortilla. Raw seafood lovers will also do well at La Justina, where shrimp ceviche, tuna tiradito and Baja-fresh oysters are featured in regular rotation.
Tijuana has come a long way but, like most great cities in the world, its story is far from written. La Revu is merely the moment’s metaphor. Caesar’s will still pump out its beloved salads, the infamous donkeys (painted like zebras) will still aimlessly wander the avenue looking for drunk Americans with a hankering for Instagram, and red light district inhabitants will continue to serve a steady clientele, but both Avenida Revolución and Tijuana are in flux, evolving and recreating themselves. Just a stone’s throw away, across the border, is the United States, and while Tijuana’s neighbor to the north will always have a large influence on the city’s economic past, present and future, it will be Mexicans who will determine its inner soul.