Tijuana Local Custom Tips by lmkluque Top 5 Page for this destination
Tijuana Local Customs: 67 reviews and 81 photos
The Royal Treatment!
In case you haven't noticed, I love the service I get in Tijuana restaurants. Of course the Servers love me too! I treat them respectfully, they treat me like a queen. I tip generously and they eagerly welcome me back! This picture is of the welcome given to my Slovak cousin by the waiters at the Guadalajara Grill upon our return. They catered to her every whim and she had a wonderful time. You can too!
Spiderman Atop AnimalE
Where ever you look while strolling through the streets of Tijuana you will see more than the usual. Sometimes it may be offensive, sometimes it may be a curiosity and sometimes it may even speak to you, it all depends on who you are and it is not enough to keep looking straight ahead. Look past the obvious, look beyond and don't forget to look up!
Spiderman dancing on the roof of Club AnimalE is a sight to see, especially for the kids! Just keep in mind that almost every thing you see in the tourist areas of Tijuana are a direct result of the interests of tourists who came before you. It is safe to say that in the arena of advertising / promotion / hype, there are few boundries and the competition is stiff. My advise is to enjoy the creative ideas.
Hey"! Is this woman being attacked by the waiter?
No. Someone--me--has ordered her a 'Popper.' A Popper is a shot of tequila with 7-up--not too strong. The waiter holds a napkin under the chin, holds the glass to the lips until all is consumed then--gently?--shakes the head back and forth.
It is a custom for roving Mariachis or a single guitar strumming singer to enter a restaurant in Tijuana and offer to play a requested song for you at your table. This is not only for tourists, it is also true for Tijuana residents. Of course, there is a price to pay and it should be negotitated before the song begins. Just ask how much for a song and decide if you'd like one or not. If you'd rather not, just say, "No Thank you."
This was our Troubador. His song price $2.00 and he sang his heart out and a bit out of tune but when he got to the melody, the song became recognizable. We chatted with him and found out that he was 86 years old and proud of it. He offered us a song without charge and meeting him was a highlight to our visit.
A sign of the times
Cuban cigars are prohibited in the USA . So, they can be found in Tijuana. La Casa Del Tabaco changed its name to La Casa Del Habano in an effort to alert visitors that they offer genuine Cuban cigars. There are many other places advertising these hard to get gems, but not all places have the real product.
Without thinking much about it I had noticed several signs, througout Tijuana, stating that Cuban cigars were sold at various locations. Then I came across "La Casa Del Habano" on Avenida Revolucion and was impressed with the look of the place. Not only do they sell genuine Cuban cigars and related items such as humidors, they sell coffee--espresso and cappuccino. I don't smoke cigars, but would recommend this place for the coffee.
Other Contact: Avenida Revolucion #1115
A healthy, sweet treat!
On the corner of this side-street off Calle 1 in the Pedestrian section, I saw this fruit cart and thought to share it with you. Many tourist are afraid to eat anything in Tijuana and of course I wouldn't try to change their minds. However, this cart full of fruit and fruit juices is popular with the people who work in and around the area. A healthy fast food stand, so to speak. The fruit is packaged in a convenient way, allowing the purchaser to continue along their walk with a juicy, refreshing snack.
Some of the fruits or juices may seem exotic, but there are the ordinary banana, pineapple and watermelon, as well to choose from for those not so adventurous as to try new flavors.
A Bag of Churros
This fresh hot bag of churros cost $1.00 and is also sold from little carts on the streets of Tijuana. Churros are strips of dough fried and coated with sugar. (Similar to sugar donuts.) They are most delicious eaten with a cup of hot Mexican Chocolate. Mexican Chocolate has a different taste from American Chocolate and should be tried. A wonderful way to reach back through history and experience a slice of life before the Conquistadores arrived.
It may be a nice place to stop
In Tijuana it is sometimes difficult to find a public toilet, especially for those not familiar with the city, it could be quite embarrassing. One sure way of relieving the pressure is to stop into a restaurant or bar for a drink and use the facilities there. Yes you will most likely have to purchase something before being allowed into the restroom.
Margarita's is a small semi-secluded restaurant located in the pedestrian section of Calle 1and near the sign stating that the restrooms are for customer's use only, you'll see another sign that offers two Margaritas for the price of one. How could you go wrong with such a tempting offer?
There is a public restroom, which costs only $0.25 to use, in the Arcade behind the Tourist Information Kiosk in the center of Avenida Revolucion. If that is too far to go, remember there are plenty of restauarants and bars along the way.
A meal and a hair-do!
I considered putting this tip in the Warning section, but since it probably won't happen while you visit Tijuana it seems better as a Local Custom Tip.
Actually having your hair done in a restaurant is not the usual thing, even in Tijuana. What is usual, is the fact that you can see almost anything like this that most likely would not be normally done in your hometown.
As I sat at my table waiting for our order, the sight of this young girl getting her hair braided fascinated me. I imagined the outraged reaction of most people I knew, if they had seen this.
Later, walking over one of the bridges, on our way to the border I saw a few young ladies braiding hair and asked their price. $10.00 for half the head and $20.00 for the full head--unless the customer has lots of hair, then it would be more.
This is the West corner of the Pedestrian section of Calle 1 and the North corner of the Tourist area of Avenida Revolucion.
In the photo you can see Mariachis taking a break (center and left,) the wires of El Arco--the big Arch of Tijuana and the continuation of Calle 1. The tall yellow building on the left is Hotel Nelson, an old established hotel from the glory days of Tijuana's past. The partial wall that can be seen is a "ruin," but not a real ruin. It may be part of the newer development of the tourist area or it may be another of the "pre-Columbian" art works placed along the streets. Just here you see too Plaza Santa Cecilia.
At this point, you have emerged from the Pedestrian street onto Revolution and the typical tourst thing would be to turn left and continue down Revolution. However, there are other options and I'll share them with you.
Turn right on Revolution and go down to Coahula--this I do not recommend--to see remnants of the raunchy side of Tijuana that was popular in the late 1940's early 1950' with servicemen returning from the wars.
Turn left on Revolution to see all the changes that have been made to this main street since the city began.
Go straight on Calle 1 and enter part of the real downtown area of Tijuana. The next block is Avenida Constitucion and the block after that is Avenida Ninos Heroes. It is this street and a block south that you will find the great Cathedral of Tijuana, Mercado el Popo--a farmers market and Antiguo Palacio de Gobierno--ancient governor's palace. Other than these, there are shops of all kinds, my favorite happens to be the wonderful shoe stores and there are local restaurants here as well. At some of these I have eaten, but that was too many years ago to make a recommedation for you today.
The streets in this area of downtown are designed by the simple, square-grid plan and you needn't worry about getting lost.
There is less certainty that people will speak English in this area, but most likely they will so that shouldn't be a worry either.
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