Your cultural awakening begins in the morning at H&H Car Wash. Part car wash, part Mexican restaurant, H&H has been featured on the Food Network—and for good reason. Stop in and order some huevos rancheros or some menudo. Your taste buds will be thrilled to be eating authentic Mexican food. You can then head over to Segundo Barrio, a historic neighborhood near downtown where you can take a walking tour of the amazing murals. You can either pick up a map at the Visitors Information center or download the Visit El Paso app and be guided through their uploaded map and voice guide. Take the walk and completely immerse yourself in the border street art. This is also the perfect opportunity to take a couple of photos and see for yourself how culture and art come together. Since you’ll be in the area, head downtown and do some shopping, which has a lot to offer. Settled in buildings that have been there for about 100 years, you can view the historic architecture and find some great deals. Since the majority of the shopping is close to the downtown port of entry to Juárez, be sure to have your passport and make the walk over the bridge. You’re going to want to go to the Kentucky Club for their famous margaritas. If you don’t have your passport, then stay downtown and head to Coco Loko for some mouth-watering food. The restaurant has a spicy selection of over-the-top food like clamatos, nachos, ceviche and more. Be sure to try a Modelo beer with shrimp and hot sauce placed on top for the full experience. If you’re not ready for your day to be over, you can head over to Rosa’s Cantina, the bar made famous by Marty Robbins. Enjoy some drink specials, get a bite to eat if you’re hungry and look at the memorabilia hanging on the wall.
Your second day should include listening to a traditional Mariachi band play. You can eat, drink and listen to their Spanish ballads at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. If you’re in town during the racing season, you can also catch a horse race. If not, take turns between gambling at the casino and listening to the Mariachi band while relaxing with a drink.
Since your friends and family will want some exceptional gifts brought back, head over to So El Paso. You’ll want to pick up some of their delicious salsa to bring back home (for yourself, too). Since this is located in the Cincinnati and University area, you’ll also get a feel for this college-driven neighborhood. You’ll want to make time for a drive around the University of Texas at El Paso campus. A lot of El Paso culture comes from the history of the campus, and its unique Bhutanese architecture creates another great photo opportunity. Make sure to loop around the campus towards I-10 to get a panoramic view of our sister city, Juárez, sitting right on the other side. For a late lunch or dinner, Montecillo, a cool shopping area made from restored box cars, has a great restaurant called Malolam. You can never go wrong with the tacos or corn in a cup, or you canget the Juárez dog, a traditional, spicy hot dog. If you’re there late in the evening you can catch some live Latin music or a DJ playing an array of Latin and American music. Once you’re done, you can walk two box cars over to Chuco Relic for more souvenirs, this time in the likes of El Paso T-shirts with sassy taglines, pins, cityscape prints and Loteria cards (the Mexican Bingo).
Your last day in the Sun City should include boot shopping and getting the last of your cultural experience through a gastronomical lens. For breakfast, order the “Machaca plate” at Kiki’s Restaurant—another restaurant that has been featured on the Food Network! This hearty breakfast of eggs, beans, Mexican rice and green chile is unmatched. As far as boots go, you’ll want to head to Lucchese, a world-known brand, and take a tour like Arnold Schwarzenegger did. Even if you’ve never been a “boot person,” it’s a huge part of El Paso that you’ll want to experience. For a snack, Dayvasos serves a savory selection of food. While they are most widely known for their clamatos, their “Papas Locas,” potato chips with soy sauce, hot sauce, beef jerky, shrimp and more are a must try. You simply can’t leave El Paso without eating the famous nachos at The Tap. The giant neon sign welcomes you to their downtown hole-in-the-wall location. Don’t let the appearance fool you, this is an El Paso staple you won’t soon forget.