It was an unseasonably hot day in Tijuana and all the walking had built up a thirst that ceviche and tequila couldn’t quench. The first spot we encountered all day that even had air conditioning also produced “snow of the gods.” Okay, Tepoznieves’ ice and ice cream may not have been otherworldly, but the compelling frozen temple in Tijuana’s Gastronomic Zone does draw on the potent ice cream traditions of Tepoztlan to offer almost 100 flavors. The variety was dazzling, and the scoopers were incredibly generous with the free samples, so almost every Angeleno in sight had trouble filling the cups with just three flavors.
Fruit imagery was absolutely everywhere, including on the walls, tables and stools.
Tepoznieves features plenty of ways to sample their nieves, including cones and cups. If you’re feeling especially dainty, choose the Chica (2 bollitas for 17 pesos). If you’d like to share with a group (or if you’re training to become a competitive eater) opt for Familiar (16 bollitas – 110 pesos). We each ordered Mediana (3 scoops for 23.50 pesos, less than $2). After trying about ten samples, I settled on molasses-like black zapote (zapote negro), sweet and earthy green fig-mezcal (higo con mescal) and tart red plum (ciruela roja). Any ideas?
If you’re feeling antsy about ordering, or don’t speak Spanish, Tepoznieves offers a handy bilingual menu that you can carry with you from bin to bin. This will help you distinguish between guanabana and guayaba, cajeta and cereza, and Beso de Angel or Beso de Tepozteco. Still, there was never any explanation for Nardos, which Tepoznieves translated as “nard.”