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Mexico’s First Mall-Based “Food Hall” to Open in Tijuana

Food Garden Plaza Rio to Open in April, 2015


TIJUANA, BAJA CALIFORNIA – Food Garden, an operator of culinary spaces, has announced that Mexico’s first mall-based food hall will have its grand opening in Tijuana in April 2015. The new concept will include over 11,000 square feet of space within the city’s prestigious Plaza Rio.

The new space will include 12 kitchens run by some of the region’s most notable chefs, a specialty coffee shop, two bars that will serve beer, wine and spirits and a demo kitchen for culinary workshops and classes. Additionally, a Marché-style gourmet market will offer an array of regional products such as cheese, wine, chocolates and homemade desserts.

The set of projects is based on a “gastronomic ecosystem” designed to benefit Tijuana and Baja California’s producers, suppliers and restaurateurs. Food Garden will follow the city’s lead in its effort to encourage new talents to participate in Tijuana’s burgeoning culinary scene.

While the space’s culinary tenants have yet to be announced, El Gringo has heard on good faith that the lineup may include a celebrity chef recently featured on a network television food show, a rotisserie from Tijuana’s most renowned French-trained chef, a longtime family-run restaurant that makes the best carnitas in Tijuana and a popular new burger joint.

“The food hall in Zona Rio will provide the space and opportunity for culinary experimentation,” explained Ricardo Nevárez, Food Garden president and Tijuana resident for over a decade. “Startup is a lot easier for young chefs since there’s a low initial investment and a pre-designed scheme that removes most of the guesswork that comes with restaurant or retail planning.”


Ricardo Nevárez started Food Garden as a collective of Tijuana’s best cuisine and continues with Plaza Rio.

Food halls have become a haven for foodies as well as neighborhood populations around Mexico and the globe. At food halls costumers can enjoy imaginative cuisine and shop for quality handmade products in an environment that offers value and expedience in service. Food halls represent an evolution of the proposal of “food courts” – which are based on the model of franchises and fast food.

I’m hungry for April already! Check back with El Gringo for more information on the Food Garden Plaza Rio, and check out our very first video blog at the top of this page, if you haven’t already. Buen provecho!

Your Gringo in Mexico,
Scott is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at



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About Scott Koenig

W. Scott Koenig has traveled throughout Baja and Mexico since he moved to San Diego during the 90's. He has been called "guerolito" by Purépechan women in Michoacan, and "muchacho" and "amigo" by many friendly, warm and welcoming locals throughout the country. Scott is the owner of Koenig Creative LLC in San Diego and author of the blog, A Gringo In Mexico, Cultural Exploits, Tall Tequila Tales and Trip Reports.

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