Cross-border cuisine in San Diego and Tijuana

Billboard at Telefonica in Tijuana, Mexico - photo by Rob McFarland

Billboard at Telefonica in Tijuana, Mexico – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Dec 3, 2019

Ask a San Diego local where to find the best Mexican food, and they’ll probably say “Mexico”. The border is only a 45-minute tram ride away and, contrary to public perception, is easy to navigate. After passing through an uninviting prison-style gate labelled “TO MEXICO”, I fill in a simple immigration form, show my passport to an official and, hey presto, I’m in Tijuana.

I’m here to check out the local food scene with Derrik Chinn from Turista Libre, a company he started in 2009 to show visitors there’s more to this much-maligned city than the headlines about drug cartels and refugees suggest.

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Contoy Island Tour, Mexico

Contoy Island in Mexico - photo by Rob McFarland

Contoy Island in Mexico – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sun-Herald, Australia – May 13, 2018

“Make some noise for the crew,” bellows an excitable guide. “No noise, no lunch!”

I’m in Cancun, Mexico’s Vegas by the sea, and have signed up for this “Paradise Island” boat tour for what I’d hoped would be a respite from the town’s all-you-can-drink happy hours and pole-dancing waitresses.

But this doesn’t bode well. An armada of minivans has delivered us to a dock north of Cancun where we’ve been divided into groups and allocated boats. I’m in the English/French group and our guide is an enthusiastic Mexican called David.

“Is anyone celebrating anything?” he cries, once we’re all aboard. “No? OK, let’s celebrate being alive!”

I let my head slump onto my life jacket. It’s going to be a long day.

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