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San Diego - Tapas?

We will be in San Diego in October and would love to try Tapas. Can take mass transit as we will have no car and will be staying in Old Town. Does the GasLamp area in SD have any? Thanks.

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  1. If you're looking for traditional Spanish tapas, I'd suggest waiting until you're visiting a better city for those. San Diego's Spanish food scene is pretty dismal. You'd be better off experiencing something done well here.

    1. We went to Cafe Sevilla a while back. I think it's OK, but nothing to write home about. It's at Gaslamp. The nice thing though if you can take public transportation you can load up on the sangria and not to have to worry about driving.

      The mexican restaurants at Old Town are kind of touristy, but a few are pretty good. Since you are staying there you may want to give those a try. They have breakfast too, I think.


      1. Not within walking distance of Old Town (it is in Pacific Beach), but Costa Brava is your best bet for tapas in San Diego:


        1. There's a tapas place in Hillcrest called Picasso that is pretty good. Reviews on here seem to be mixed about it but the one time I went I thought the food quality was pretty good. However it is rather pricey considering the size of the dishes.

          1. I'll second the vote on Cafe Sevilla, though I have liked it a bit more than the other comment indicated.

            However, they have become fairly pricey. I would like to check out Costa Brava because it looks to be fairly priced and I have seen a couple of recs for it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Wino

              What Costa Brava has going for it is the ambiance. It pulls off old world rustic like no other place I've seen in SD. I'm not a big fan of tapas in general, but the Patatas a la Brava are very tasty. The sangria is the real reason to visit though.

            2. We go to Cafe Sevilla for their paella and Tapas Picasso for the tapas (and sangria). Our group for tapas hovers between 6-8 people and the price per person is very reasonable when you split it up. We've found that the service can be a little slow sometimes, but after our first few dishes, we don't mind the lag. It means we don't have to feel rushed getting out of there and have more time to talk and catch up with each other.

              Old Town has some good Mexican food, but I'd avoid the Plaza... there used to be some good restaurants but I feel the tastiness has gone down since it was bought and revamped.

              1. Our favorite tapas place is a bit different...it's Italian tapas at Apertivo, located on 30th st. a half block north of University. Excellent selection of chicken dishes, pasta, salads, and specials like osso buco, rib eye, etc. All between $4 and $8. A short bus ride from old town.

                1. We love Appertivo as well. It is one of our favorites these days. And if you are not demanding Spanish tapas, this is the place to go.

                  1. Another option that I just thought of - not tapas, but if you are interested in some interesting cuisine is to try Bandars. They are persian and across the street from Horton Plaza near Gaslamp.

                    Little Italy has some good food too - especially gelato and pastries. It's very close to the tram stops.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: notmartha

                      If you do go to Bandar, consider sharing an entree... portions are huge!