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Jul 24, 2007 11:27 AM

Great (not $$) food SD downtown

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.

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  1. Cafe Chloe, 9th and G.

    1. 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

        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

          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

            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


            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

              Friday's and Buca make me :*(


              1. re: krez

                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

            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

              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. 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

            2 Replies
            1. re: krez

              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

                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. 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

                  Glad you enjoyed the food as well as the Convention.