Hungry Hiker's Guide to 
     Tijuana Dining

La Espadaña

10813 Sanchez Taboada Blvd., Zona Rio - Tijuana

General Information
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Tels.: 634-14-89
Price Range (in U.S. Dollars): Breakfast: $4.
Price of an average meal: (breakfast, licuado, tax, tip) $6.50
Price Rating: Bargain
IVA Tax added to bill: Yes
Credit Cards: American Express, Visa, Master Card
Hours: 7 am to midnight Monday-Saturday
7 am to 10 pm Sundays
Mins. to walk
from the border:
Overall Rating: 10
Summary: Breakfast here cannot be beat; great food, terrific price, fast service.

I. The Setting

Freshly-made tortillas cooking on grill at La EspadañaLa Espadaña is beautiful inside and out. The dining room is large and roomy with high, open-beam ceilings and Mexican pottery tastefully arranged on the walls. You can watch the freshly-made tortillas cooking on the grill at the front counter. Restrooms are spotless.

A variety of music plays over the PA system and the volume is quite reasonable.

There are rules here about attire but they don't appear to be too strict; it is perfectly acceptable for a woman to be wearing shorts and a tank top, but if a man is wearing a tank top "beach shirt", he will politely be given a polo shirt to wear while dining.

This restaurant has a reputation in Tijuana for being the best place to eat breakfast and I couldn't agree more. If you arrive late on a Sunday morning it is likely you will find a long waiting line, but there is a pleasant area outside where you can sit and wait by the fountain. Be sure to station someone inside, however, as there are no microphones to announce loudly when your table is ready.

We haven't eaten dinner here for many years, and the last time we did the dinner was not memorable. I have heard that things have not changed much as far as dinner goes.


II. The Food and the Service

The omelets here are fantastic, very flavorful and most are on the spicy side. An omelet with champiñones (mushrooms) and that distinctively Mexican herb, epazote, with chile pasilla, is only 35 pesos and comes with delicious beans on par with those at Casa de Mole and all the fresh, hot-off-the-grill tortillas that you can eat. Chilaquiles, that much-loved tortilla casserole, is on the menu for 32 pesos and is delicious. La Españada burritos are three unsauced egg burritos with chesse and flavored with mild green chiles; the every tasty. The machaca was a little too salty for our "go light on the salt" desires. A huge plate of fresh papaya served with sliced lime and a pitcher of honey is a special treat at 20 pesos. For those on diets, you can get fruit salads with cottage cheese.

If spicy breakfasts are not your thing, you can have granola (18 pesos) or hot cakes (that's Spanish for pancakes!)

Despite the fact La Españada was extremely busy the day we visited, after we were seated a pleasant waitress was at our table within minutes. Even more surprizing, it could not have been more than 10 minutes before our food was served, steaming hot and delicious.


III. Beverages

As almost everywhere in Mexico, when you order fruit juice, you get the real thing, no frozen or canned juices here and they always taste delicious. Or try their licuados, that special Mexican mix of fruit juice with water or milk, only 20 pesos. You have your choice here of regular coffee or "cafe de la olla", or sweetened coffee simmered with cinnamon.

IV. Desserts

I gave up eating dessert with breakfast once passed my teen years. (Now I only eat it instead of breakfast!)


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Copyright © Pat Fisher, 1998-02
Re-reviewed: January, 2000