In 2010, this downtown alleyway was sketchy. Today, it’s home to clothing boutiques, book and music shops, and the Nodo Galería, where TJ’s best young artists show their stuff. Runs from Av. Revolución to Av. Constitución between Calles 3era and 4ta in Zona Centro.
Locals call this Zona Río institution La Bola for its large ball-shaped structure. The center plays host to dance companies, classical music concerts, fine-art exhibits, and an Imax theater. Paseo de los Héroes 9350; cecut.gob.mx.
“Coffee is hope” is the motto at this bright cafe in the La Cacho neighborhood. Yes, the brew is squeezed from fair-trade beans. Yes, the vanilla latte is made with house syrup and topped with foam art. Yes, there is hope! Calle Ensenada 2266-1; facebook.com/lastazionecafe.
Thanks to local sourcing and a flair for experimentation, chef Javier Plascencia turned TJ into a destination with his glittery restaurant. Try the parfait de callo de hacha (scallop parfait)—the starter tastes better than
it sounds. $$ U.S.; Misión de San Javier 1064; mision19.com.
This restaurant is gaining a cult following on both sides of the border for its wood fire–cooked traditional dishes with creative twists (yes, that is a birria grilled cheese sandwich you’re eating) and its all-star selection of Mexican craft beers. $$ U.S.; Orizaba 3034; verdeycrema.com.
Thirty-somethings flock to this monument to mescal for the relaxed postwork vibe and the chapulines, a snack of salted grasshoppers. In back, DJs spin electro jams till the wee hours. Calle 6ta between Av. Revolución and Francisco Madero; +52-664-688-0384.
The TJ dilemma: too much great street food, not enough time. To get a broad sample in one shot, head for Food Garden in Zona Río (pictured). The tightly curated lineup of vendors hock everything from artisanal aguas
frescas to octopus tacos. Blvd. Sánchez Taboada 10650; foodgarden.mx.