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Mar 13, 2007 08:23 PM

5 Nights, Different eats in San Diego, Under 15pp

Three girls and I are going to San Diego in Mid April. We are staying in the Chula Vista Area. We are pretty much up for anything, however we are all young and on a budget. Most of the places I have seen in these posts, while all very interesting, are at best affordable for us at lunch time. Could you please suggest a few places that are good but cheap?

PS: I am from the south and Magnolias looks pretty authentic upon browsing the menu.

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  1. Convoy Avenue. Convoy Avenue. Convoy Avenue.

    10 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      I googled this, is it a business or just a street/district where good/cheap food is located?

      1. re: shockingbluerose

        It's a street with tons of Asian restaurants. Not very close to Chula Vista (30 min. at least). While there are some fun little restaurants, I don't know if it would be worth it unless you are already planning on being in that general area.

        1. re: mangiatore

          I know we are planning to spend a day in the down town area, a day in the fashion vally mall area (because from my last very short visit, I think that's the biggest mall in the area) and a day at the Zoo/Balboa park.

          1. re: shockingbluerose

            A HUGE new mall opened at Otay Lakes within the last couple of months. It's probably bigger than Fashion Valley, although FV now has the only Bloomingdale's in San Diego. Also, the Las Americas (outlet) mall is located in San Ysidro and is known to be pretty good shopping. Otay and San Ysidro are both much closer to Chula Vista than Fashion Valley.

              1. re: shockingbluerose

                There's a pretty decent sushi place in downtown Chula Vista called California Sushi. It's on 3rd Ave, a block south of F St. The Lemon Roll is a favorite of mine.

              2. re: DiningDiva

                Not directly related to food, but the stores at Otay Lakes are a little different than Fashion Valley. I haven't been to Otay Lakes, but I think they're the kind of mall where they aren't anchored by big department stores. They have smaller, upscale stores like Anthropologie, Talbots, J. Jill, etc. Las Americas Outlets have Coach, Nike, BCBG, etc. Fashion Valley has the only Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry in the county--good for gawking.

                For food at Fashion Valley, Nordstrom's Cafe has pretty good food as well as The Cheesecake Factory. Share your dishes at The Cheesecake Factory and you'll leave stuffed with extra $$ in your wallet for more shopping!

                Convoy Ave is about 10 minutes north of Fashion Valley.

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  What's the address for this new mall ? I couldn't find anything on google.

        2. Kearny Mesa (which is where Convoy St. is) is going to be your best bet. Numerous good Asian restaurants, and not very expensive.

          1. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/86702

            The above link is an older post but has a decent list of places in Chula Vista. Might give you a starting point.

            I would also add Mama Testa's in Hillcrest for tacos and excellent salsas, Bronx Pizza and El Cuervo (also both in Hillcrest).

            I would third Convoy Ave.

            1. If you're not afraid of venturing south, some of the best cheapest food in the area can be found at Tijuana's street taco stands.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mangiatore

                We were actually thinking of venturing a little further than that to Ensenada for a day.

                1. re: shockingbluerose

                  If you are truly on a budget, I would ignore any recommendations that you visit Puerto Nuevo (between Tijuana and Ensenada, famous for lobster). It's a fun and the food can be good, but it's not cheap. Unless you're obsessed with lobster, the food you get on the side of the road is every bit as good if not better, and you can fill your stomach for 1/3 the price.

              2. I grew up in Chula Vista, and still head down there about once every few months to La Bella's Pizza. This place has been family-owned and operated for over 50 years. Maybe it's a childhood thing but I still love their pizza. Good eats, and inexpensive. It's on 3rd Avenue between Parkway and G Street. Down by the bay in Chula Vista is The Galley, which has a nice view and decent "usual" fare (burgers, pasta, etc.). Close to it is Bob's by the Bay. Okay for food, pricier than The Galley, but nice bar and view. Both have outdoor seating. I agree with the other posters - you won't find better "cheap eats" combined with good food any one location like you will on Convoy Steet. I'm just trying to give you some options closer to where you'll be staying. Have fun, and report back on your dining experiences!

                1 Reply
                1. re: phee

                  Thank you! I was hoping for a good outdoor place and also a pizza place. Those will go on the list for sure!