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An easy gathering spot in downtown Tijuana

Praga does not offer much more

Chicken-pesto sandwich
Chicken-pesto sandwich
Place

Praga Cafe

Avenida Revolución 1070, Tijuana, BC

“Why don’t you try Praga? They have really good chai.” My friend Claudia suggested this after I told her that I did not feel like eating vegan at her Happy Vegan locale. I was looking for a place to relax, get some work done, people watch, and enjoy a bite to eat...with meat.

Praga at night
There is occasional live music in this room (mostly jazz).
Less than $7 for this combo at a classy looking place. Just wish it was good.
The baristas and waiters are one and the same. That might explain the coffee.
Chunky pieces of blue cheese and a thick meat patty

I had walked in front of Praga Cafe countless times, but it had never drawn me in. The decor and the formally dressed staff gives it an upscale feel. Patrons sit by themselves working on their laptops, while others are gathered in groups for work meetings or school projects.

The menu is a booklet with classy pictures of the food. Breakfast goes for $5. They offer chilaquiles, egg ciabattas, omelettes, and frittatas. But I was there for lunch. I didn’t pay attention to the salads, since Caesar’s Restaurant is across the street.

After analyzing the choices — pizza, lasagna, crepes, ciabattas, and sandwiches — I settled for the chicken walnut pesto ciabatta with gratinated cheese for $5 and a chai tea for $2.75.

The ciabatta came with a small side of flavorless, burnt potato chips and a chile toreado with no crunch. The bread was soaked from the pesto oil, making it a messy grab. Despite being drenched in oily pesto, the whole thing tasted dry. The portion of chicken was small.

I don’t usually drink chai tea. This cup was soothing and sweet. The sun-like figure made out of cinnamon was a nice touch.

I ordered a coffee for dessert. It tasted like Folgers coffee left overnight from a Motel 6, and I did not continue to drink it.

As I was leaving the cafe I noticed a sign that read “Get to know the pleasures in life — taste our Placer Burger.”

I decided to return on another day and give Praga a second chance. This time I sat inside and ordered the advertised burger (not on the menu) for $5.50. The waiter told me I could have it with blue cheese with caramelized onions or cheddar with regular red onions. I opted for the blue cheese, and the waiter left without asking how I would like the meat cooked.

The burger came with a lot of fries, a huge improvement over the chips, and chunky pieces of blue cheese and a thick meat patty cooked medium (which is how I happen to like it). Overall, it was better than the sandwich...but not by much.

If I visit Praga Cafe again, it won’t be for its food or coffee but because of their prime location. It makes it an easy gathering spot for those who do not know downtown Tijuana.

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Chicken-pesto sandwich
Chicken-pesto sandwich
Place

Praga Cafe

Avenida Revolución 1070, Tijuana, BC

“Why don’t you try Praga? They have really good chai.” My friend Claudia suggested this after I told her that I did not feel like eating vegan at her Happy Vegan locale. I was looking for a place to relax, get some work done, people watch, and enjoy a bite to eat...with meat.

Praga at night
There is occasional live music in this room (mostly jazz).
Less than $7 for this combo at a classy looking place. Just wish it was good.
The baristas and waiters are one and the same. That might explain the coffee.
Chunky pieces of blue cheese and a thick meat patty

I had walked in front of Praga Cafe countless times, but it had never drawn me in. The decor and the formally dressed staff gives it an upscale feel. Patrons sit by themselves working on their laptops, while others are gathered in groups for work meetings or school projects.

The menu is a booklet with classy pictures of the food. Breakfast goes for $5. They offer chilaquiles, egg ciabattas, omelettes, and frittatas. But I was there for lunch. I didn’t pay attention to the salads, since Caesar’s Restaurant is across the street.

After analyzing the choices — pizza, lasagna, crepes, ciabattas, and sandwiches — I settled for the chicken walnut pesto ciabatta with gratinated cheese for $5 and a chai tea for $2.75.

The ciabatta came with a small side of flavorless, burnt potato chips and a chile toreado with no crunch. The bread was soaked from the pesto oil, making it a messy grab. Despite being drenched in oily pesto, the whole thing tasted dry. The portion of chicken was small.

I don’t usually drink chai tea. This cup was soothing and sweet. The sun-like figure made out of cinnamon was a nice touch.

I ordered a coffee for dessert. It tasted like Folgers coffee left overnight from a Motel 6, and I did not continue to drink it.

As I was leaving the cafe I noticed a sign that read “Get to know the pleasures in life — taste our Placer Burger.”

I decided to return on another day and give Praga a second chance. This time I sat inside and ordered the advertised burger (not on the menu) for $5.50. The waiter told me I could have it with blue cheese with caramelized onions or cheddar with regular red onions. I opted for the blue cheese, and the waiter left without asking how I would like the meat cooked.

The burger came with a lot of fries, a huge improvement over the chips, and chunky pieces of blue cheese and a thick meat patty cooked medium (which is how I happen to like it). Overall, it was better than the sandwich...but not by much.

If I visit Praga Cafe again, it won’t be for its food or coffee but because of their prime location. It makes it an easy gathering spot for those who do not know downtown Tijuana.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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