Perea’s Tijuana Bar

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Homemade New Mexican food at its very best right here in Corrales

Latest visit: October 30, 2012
First visit: September 15, 2008

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My favorite Huevos Rancheros in New Mexico

Perea’s is an immensely popular Corrales institution. I found this tiny place more than a year-and-a-half ago, and it is one of the most comforting eateries in the Duke City area. This is homemade New Mexican food at its very best.

The building is one of the oldest in Corrales, and oozes charm through its thick walls and worn brick floors. The front room is a bar, and T.C. always welcomes me as I walk in. I usually eat in the back room at a table near the small front window where there is enough light for me to see by. If the weather is good, I eat outside.

Green Chile Cheeseburger

Green Chile Cheeseburger

The food is astonishingly good. Enchiladas, Frito Pies (get one with Carne Adovada), Tamales, Green Chile Cheeseburgers, and more are all excellent. The superior GCCB should be ordered with just meat, cheese, chiles competition style) — forget the salad stuff and mustard (this is my personal preference). This GCCB is currently #7 on my New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Hall of Fame. No French Fries here. The Carne Adovada is better than most you will ever get anyplace. The Red is legendary. Sides for the entrées are luscious beans and posole (NOT hominy).

Mayling Garcia

Mayling Garcia plays her Glass Armonica

The staff is like family, and they treat me like I am family. Mayling Garcia has been here for quite some time (ask her about the Glass Armonica). John Perea is T.C.’s son is, and tells me that there are big plans for the family place. They bought the property just to the north and plan to incorporate it into an expanded site with more parking. They will add dinner service soon [you heard it here first]. This will be a very welcome addition to the Corrales dinner scene.

Perea’s is one of my favorite places in New Mexico, and maybe even the universe and all its parallels. Go there. Often. Eat. Drink.

PS: T.C. passed away in 2012, and is sorely missed.

What others are saying

Gil Garduño —New Mexico’s Sesquipedalian Sybarite.

“The curious appellation “Tijuana Bar” dates back to the 1920s when the 18th amendment to the Constitution established Prohibition in the United States during the period 1920 to 1933.  Because Prohibition forbade the sale of alcoholic beverages, many Americans got their alcohol illegally or they went to Mexico.

“Tijuana was a popular vacation and honeymoon destination and it happens to be where proprietor T.C. Perea’s parents honeymooned in the 1920s.  The newlyweds visited a bar called the “Tijuana Bar” and decided then and there to use that name should they ever open a bar. Bureaucracy being what it is, once a license to dispense alcohol is issued, it’s very difficult to change the name on the license–hence Tijuana Bar.  It fits.”

Mayling Garcia and her Glass Armonica  


Perea’s Tijuana Bar

(505) 898-2442

4590 Corrales Rd Map.642279e
Corrales, NM 87048



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4 Responses to Perea’s Tijuana Bar

  1. Melissa says:

    My husband and I moved to Corrales in August from Baltimore. I’m not sure how he found your blog, but he did and forwarded it to me and I love it! We tried to go to Perea’s a couple months ago but it was closed (dinnertime) and we thought oh, we’ll have to remember to come back for lunch. But it always looks closed. And now I see your post. The owner passed away? Is the business closed for good now? So sad.

    • Perea’s Tijuana Bar is open for lunch only from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

      Although TC passed away, the place is still quite alive and is being run by John, his son, and the family is still in the kitchen.

      It is one of the best sources of excellent homemade New Mexican food anyplace in the state.

      Baltimore -> Corrales? We should meet. I grew up in Bawmer.

      • Melissa says:

        Yeah, we should. We saw that you spent some time there, but didn’t realize you were from there. Maybe it was on your Urbanspoon profile? I spent 6 years there and my husband spent 4. My husband’s a software engineer, and weren’t you? With those things in common and the love of food and cooking, I am excited to try your recommendations. We’re going down to White Sands this weekend and will be trying a GCCB at Owl Bar & Cafe on the way.

  2. Mindy Cole says:

    I’ve been working in Corrales for the last month and was lucky enough to discover Perea’s aka Tijuana Bar. The food is wonderful, the waitresses are charming and prompt and the owner, John is a gentleman and a great host. I love New Mexican food and finding Perea’s is the jewel in the crown. I love the old New Mex ambience and the prices are affordable. Great Carne Adovada (you can get a bowl of it over posole). I also can’t resist having their flan to finish things off. If you haven’t been to Perea’s yet, you’re missing out.

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