HOME > Chowhound > California >

Great (not $$) food SD downtown

krez Jul 24, 2007 11:27 AM

Hey, I'll be in SD soon and meeting some friends there that are foodies. I want to find a great place by the convention center that has interesting food, and where we can have a conversation. But my friend has promised to pay so I don't want to pick a very expensive place.

Would be nice to find a very "San Diego" place, or a hidden gem. Any type of food is good.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Josh RE: krez Jul 24, 2007 11:37 AM

    Cafe Chloe, 9th and G.

    1. phee RE: krez Jul 24, 2007 11:40 AM

      If you're coming in for Comic Con, places close to the convention center will be jammed so holding a conversation during dinner may be hard to do! Also, there are some decent places in The Gaslamp close by, but many are on the more expensive side.

      The Tin Fish. Close to the convention center, inexpensive, good food. May be a little lower-end than what you want.

      Kiyo's (on 5th Ave) if you like Japanese. They've been around longer than most Japanese restaurants in San Diego, yet remain "a hidden gem", IMO.

      Three others to consider: Cafe Chloe (French Bistro), Red Pearl Kitchen (Pan Asian), and Bandar (Indian).

      8 Replies
      1. re: phee
        krez RE: phee Jul 24, 2007 12:12 PM

        Thanks, these are great suggestions. I've seen Cafe Chloe recommended a lot here, but I don't see any prices. Any idea?

        1. re: krez
          jturtle RE: krez Jul 24, 2007 12:23 PM

          For dinner they may be a bit pricier then you wanted but the quality is excellent.
          I think their steak frites is around 20ish? The desserts are about $7 I think? They have very reasonable wine prices though and a great selection. It is a wonderful little place and a hidden gem. Last time for two with a bottle of wine, two appetizers, entrees and dessert I want to say it was around $100.

          1. re: jturtle
            phee RE: jturtle Jul 24, 2007 12:25 PM

            And you could go to several other places in The Gaslamp or East Village that dish up terrible food and you'd pay alot more for it!

          2. re: krez
            Josh RE: krez Jul 24, 2007 12:40 PM


            Gaslamp is generally expensive for dining. If you're looking for lower cost, there are some chain places like Friday's and Buca Di Beppo.

            1. re: Josh
              krez RE: Josh Jul 24, 2007 12:44 PM

              Friday's and Buca make me :*(


              1. re: krez
                Josh RE: krez Jul 24, 2007 03:16 PM

                heh, I agree.

                Downtown is short on cheap, but as phee and daantaat pointed out, Bandar is another good, moderately-priced option.

          3. re: phee
            daantaat RE: phee Jul 24, 2007 12:33 PM

            Bandar is Persian. Moderately priced for a lot of food.
            I third/fourth Cafe Chloe. Great little place. They have really good pomme frites and cheese plates.

            1. re: daantaat
              phee RE: daantaat Jul 24, 2007 01:45 PM

              Persian. I knew that! What can I say - it's been one of those days!

              I don't think you need to rely on chains for the lower-cost places. In the grand scheme of "expensive", I don't think any of the places mentioned so far fall in that category.

          4. k
            krez RE: krez Jul 24, 2007 03:24 PM

            Lots of good info here, thanks! I think we are leaning Cafe Chloe - seems to be a favorite with everyone. Now if only they had Tin Fish catering the Expo hall instead of those nasty hot dogs....lol

            2 Replies
            1. re: krez
              Josh RE: krez Jul 24, 2007 03:26 PM

              A good snack in the Expo hall, that's not too caloric and reasonably tasty, are the soft pretzels from San Diego Pretzel Company. The owner makes an effort to produce stuff that's healthful, provided you avoid the sugary one w/ icing, and the one w/ nacho cheese sauce.

              1. re: krez
                Cathy RE: krez Jul 24, 2007 03:39 PM

                On 9th just north of Market-Kebab House
                Cheese Shop for breakfasts and lunch (closes at 4 p.m.)
                Horton Plaza upstairs
                Ralphs Supermarket- Market and 3rd (south of Horton Plaza)
                Albertsons Supermarket 14th and Market (both supermarkets have wonderful deli selections and hot foods a well as sandwiches

              2. k
                krez RE: krez Jul 30, 2007 09:44 AM

                I have to thank you all for your recommendations. We did Cafe Chloe for dinner (even though I forgot the address and our terrible concierge didn't know where it was....). It was great. We got the frites appetizer - yum! I had the steamed mussels - they were perfect. The bf had the macaroni gratin - incredibly cheesy yummy with a peppery kick. And the friend had the pan seared wild salmon which was perfect.

                We also tried the Cheese House a couple times which was great for lunch and not too crowded. And Tin Fish - If I would've known their tacos were the size of a burrito I probably would've just gotten one! But that was pretty good too.

                We also went to Hash House on Sunday morning (it was packed). Food was solid and tasty. What we didn't know was they had Alice in Wonderland (HUGE) portions. We should have split the meals but didn't know better and the waitress didn't tell us. Seriously, the pancake (1) was like 2 feet in diameter with a 1/4 lb of butter scooped on top! Was fun anyway. Thanks again!

                1 Reply
                1. re: krez
                  Cathy RE: krez Jul 30, 2007 05:00 PM

                  Glad you enjoyed the food as well as the Convention.

                Show Hidden Posts