HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >


Lunch Spots in Mission Valley

I'm looking for good lunch spots that are easy on the price but not to far from where I work. Looking for the area of Friar's Road and Mission Center Road in Mission Valley. Lunch is short for me, so good food, quick, and cheap is the way to go. I'm tired of spending over $6.00 a day on lunch when I'm a "starving student."

Thanks for any ideas.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Aside from lunches like Wendy's or McDonald's, there aren't too many places to pick up lunch for under $6, especially if you're looking for a restaurant meal.

    However, you do have Costco and Ikea close by, both of which can feed you for pretty cheap. Ikea has plenty of lunch options, including their meatball plate, in the little cafeteria-like restaurant. Not sure of all the menu prices, but I know it's pretty reasonable. At Costco, you can get a slice of pizza, bratwurst, or the chicken bake and a soda for way under $6. You could even throw in a churro! I just don't know how many days in a row I could eat at Costco or Ikea.

    If you're really looking to keep costs down, why not bring lunch to work a few days a week? That would give you some extra money to spend on lunch the other days.


    1. There's a decent and relatively inexpensive Japanese/Sushi place on Camino Del Rio N., in the same shopping center as Chili's.

      1. Most of the menu is priced in the $6-10 range at SanSai Japanese Grill. It is chain (www.sansai.com) and the Mission Valley location is on Hazard Center Dr. south of Friars Rd (near the Food4less).

        We found it surpisingly good. The Sansai Plates were tasty and healthy, with a choice of pork, beef, chicken, salmon, or shrimp and two salads.

        1. The breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks are $2.95 and you can eat them for lunch (as I am doing as I sit here using wifi) (egg, cheese and ham, heated up on an english muffin)and, really, you can this stuff called "coffee" there for $1.60.

          Quizno's has a selectionof 4 sandwiches for $2.99. Far right side of board on the wall.

          Sushi Hut in Ralphs Center has some interesting stuff. You can get 1/2 orders of some of the rolls, but I was not overly thrilled with them. I like the Bento specials and wraps a bit more.

          Nordstom's Cafe. Oh yes. If nothing else, get a bowl of soup and you can be happy, especially if it is raining out.

          Pat and Oscar's has sandwiches and combos. Daphne's does, too.

          Stop and listen, please: Little Cesar's inside Sears...stop and listen: tell them you want the $5 pizza, but with cheese only, and that you want it 'well done'. They will have to make you a fresh one and it is good.

          Drive over 15 and turn left at the light at Stuart Andersons-then Right into the mall with the Starbucks and Petco. Saigon Star Vietnamese is excellent. Rubio's has $1 fish tacos on Tuesdays, Ra-Ka-De-Ka is Thjai and good and if you are there after work, San Diego Brewing has Happy Hour- 1/2 off all appetizers until 6 p.m...I think HH starts at 4 but am not sure right now. You can make a meal of the appetizers.

          1. Okay, for $6 or less

            Friar's & Mission Center Rd.
            * Ralph's - deli, hot and cold food, salad bar, and I think a soup bar
            * El Portal Mexican
            * Subway
            * The Indian place
            * New sushi place
            * St. Tropez Bakery (oops, probably over $6)
            * BK
            * Starbucks

            Hazard Center - Friar's and Hazard Center Dr.
            * Intermezzo Cafe, next to Starbucks and across the parking lot from Prego

            Mission Center Rd. & Camino del Rio N
            * Baja Fresh
            * Fuddruckers
            * Skip Chevy's
            * Food court in the Mission Valley mall

            Take Friar's Rd. east to Qualcomm Way, go south towards the I-8 to the first stoplight and turn right --
            On the left
            * Wahoo's for fish tacos
            * the deli across the entry driveway from Wahoo's
            On the right
            * Sombrero's
            * The chinese/America place next to Sombrero's
            * Sub*Marina
            * And I think Daphne's has gone into the spot formerly occupied by Anthony's Fishette and next door to the Naval Credit Union

            Fenton Parkway
            * Oggi's Pizza
            * The chinese place close to IKEA
            * IHOP
            * Cold Stone Creamery
            * Oki Tan
            * McDonalds
            * IKEA
            * Costco
            And in the over $6 category
            * The Little Fish Market
            * Islands

            One of your bet bets would be to take Qualcomm Way over the I-8 (where it becomes Texas St.) and go up to the stoplight at Camino del Rio South. turn left and go past Bully's. Between Texas St. and I-15 you will see 4 or 5 small signs advertising deli's and little cafes in the office buildings along that street. They are usually breakfat/lunch places open only M-F and cater to the folks in those buildings. I can vouch for the one called Sally's Place at 3534 (or maybe it's 3435) Camino del Rio S. No sign on this one, but pull around to the parking lot in back and you'll see the entry. Prices are very reasonable, the small staff friendly. The food will never set the world on fire, but it's not bad either.

            3 Replies
            1. re: DiningDiva

              I second the reccomendation for san sai japanese grill. There prices aren't too high and the food is really fresh and good. I go there a lot to get the teriyaki beef which has an amazing flavori paired with the sumi salad and sometimes i get their california roll which is also great.

              BTW their teryaki sauce is really good too

              1. re: lovesfood11

                We are also fans of SanSai--LOVE the Sumi salad.

              2. re: DiningDiva

                Sally's Place is at 3435 Camino Del Rio S # 106, San Diego, CA 92108-3910. Her sandwiches are so reasonable and you get a small side with each sandwich. Agree, prices are sooooooooo reasonable!!

                Sally's Place
                3435 Camino Del Rio S, San Diego, CA 92108

              3. I cannot remember the name of the place but it is a mexican place in the shopping center with the Costco and the Ikea on Fenton Pkwy. I lived in the apartments across the street for the first 6 months i lived in San Diego.

                It's next to Oggi's by the Starbucks.

                I loved the burritos and it's set up Chipotle style where you pick out the ingredients and they serve them out. But more traditional tasting.

                I don't remember the prices but I do remember thinking it was really reasonable.

                2 Replies
                1. re: jensvp

                  When it was there, it was called Fins...

                  1. re: Cathy

                    Actually, Fin's wasn't set up like this (picking out the ingredients) but the two places that have been there since Fin's folded use this format. It's a Tacos Del Mar now, and use to be Mondo's after it was Fin's.

                2. Longhorn; just below Kaiser Hospital

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ibstatguy

                    El Sombrero and El Portal for inexpensive mexican food. There is a new Hilberto's where the Roberto's was...skip it...bad food.

                    I really like SanSai, the first time I ate there it really opened my eyes. Fast casual dining with such good quality, selection, and reasonably priced. Not the most inexpensive option.

                    Ralphs deli has a good deli. Sandwichs, fried or baked chicken. Soups. Mac and Cheese.

                    1. re: SteveRB

                      That Ralph's also has a pretty good salad bar. Skip the soups, they're over priced for what you get.