The Park Tijuana isn’t just another multi-restaurant gastropark or colectivo—popular in the border city during the last decade. “There are plenty of those already,” according to Ana Esquer, one of the managers at the new-ish dining destination which opened at multi-use development NewCity Tijuana in 2021. “Think of The Park as a Baja California gastronomic tour.”
Indeed, there are nearly twenty different food and beverage vendors located around the perimeter of The Park’s stylish, modern, and spacious indoor/outdoor dining area. And a dizzying array of dishes from which to choose—from the carne asada at Tijuana’s famous Tortas Wash Mobile to Puerto Nuevo style lobster from La Casa de Langosta Bistro.
Other iconic restaurants and offerings include: El Pequeño Baja Med from Mike Guerrero, son of chef Miguel Angel Guerrero; La Bottela, a wine bar featuring blends and mono varietals from Baja California and other Mexican regions; healthy–and some unapologetically hearty–breakfasts from hip Tijuana eatery Alma Verde; and of course, the city’s most famous dish, the original Caesar Salad— prepared tableside from a cart operated by saladero Armando Villegas, who worked at Caesar’s Restaurant for 35 years.
Opening during the COVID pandemic, The Park had to innovate to keep diners safe. Esquer says, “Instead of lining up at stalls, our customers scan a QR code and can see all of the dishes and drinks on their phone. A waiter comes to the table to take the order, and then delivers a single bill when the meal is finished.” This streamlined and convenient approach is so popular that The Park decided to make the process permanent.
“Think of The Park as a Baja California gastronomic tour.”- Ana Esqer: Manager, The Park
Given the sheer number of dishes, there’s something for everyone on the extensive menu. During a recent visit, we sampled around a dozen offerings, and that was still just a drop in the bucket. We really enjoyed the vegetarian sopes from Vexican Grill. Five small corn cakes are heaped with plant-based versions of cochinita pibil, chicharron en salsa verde, papas con chorizo, rajas poblanos y tinga, and frijoles refritos. Even the most veracious carnivore won’t be able to resist these tempting takes on Mexican classics.
And if one does crave meat, El Pequeño Baja Med has several entrees which are sure to satisfy. The Lollipop de Cordero is two succulent grilled lamb chops served in a salsa pesto, garnished with fresh tarragon, and accompanied by a creamy potato puree. One would expect no less from the son of Baja California’s “hunting chef”.
One can almost hear the waves, feel the ocean breeze, and taste the salt in the air when indulging in the Molcajete Puerto Nuevo from La Casa de Langosta Bistro. This mainstay restaurant of Baja California’s famous lobster village combines a fried lobster half with four plump, luscious shrimp and grilled pulpo (octopus) in a profoundly delicious salsa. It’s served with the requisite rice, beans, and a warm flour tortilla. Pro tip: You’ll want to order a few more of those tortillas. They’re only a buck each and the perfect delivery vehicle for all this seafood.
One of my favorite bites of the day was the Omelette de la Casa from Alma Verde. A light, fluffy omelette is stuffed with rajas de chile California (strips of green chile) and queso de real castillo, bathed in a luxuriant salsa de la casa and drizzled with crema. The restaurant won’t reveal the ingredients in the salsa, but it’s a base of crema and I detected chipotle. Order a mimosa from The Bar at the Park to accompany your breakfast, and it’s the perfect start to the day.
For the Instagrammer seeking the sensational, there’s the “Golden Cheese” from Republica Angus. It’s the ultimate in dinner theater. The server encloses a fully dressed hamburger in a flexible plastic cylinder into which he pours a viscous yellow cheese sauce. When the cylinder is lifted, burger and plate are awash in the stuff. The entire affair is finished in crumbled bacon, “spicy dust”, and a “crunchy surprise”—which I suspect to be Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. For the pragmatic, they also offer several less showy burgers, as well as wings.
Here’s a complete list of restaurants and bars at The Park Tijuana. Provecho!
The Bar at the Park
Postres by Baking Day
La Botella Wine Bar
Ice Cream Tepoznieves
iL Piccolo Trattoria
Tortas Wash Mobile
Lion Fish/Oyster Bar
La Casa de La Langosta Bistro
El Pequeño Baja Med
La Carena Sushi
The Park Tijuana is located near the U.S.-Mexico border at NewCity, Centenario 4210-3, Zona Urbana Rio Tijuana, 22010 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico, +52 663 203 1535, Facebook & IG: @theparktijuana. Hours: Mon-Fri: 8AM-11:45PM, Sun: 8AM-8PM. Prices: $$ - $$$.
Disclaimer: We were invited as guests by The Park and our food and drink were complementary. We have visited The Park–and would happily visit again–on our peso, and all opinions expressed here are my own. No other compensation was received from The Park for this review.