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Where to eat lunch near San Diego Zoo?

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Any recommendations on where to eat lunch prior to an afternoon at the Zoo? We'll be having dinner at Market so don't want anything too heavy for lunch. We've already eaten at The Prado so we want to try something new. We like French, Italian, California, Japanese, Thai. Don't want Mexican. Thanks!

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  1. Have yet to try it myself but based on reviews here (and the fact that the menu had me salivating) I would definitely consider Avenue 5 (http://www.avenue5restaurant.com/).

    Another consideration would be Arrivederci (ristorante-arrivederci.com/) on 4th Ave, also in Hillcrest. Only caution would be that the service can be a bit lax so if you're on a tight schedule, probably not a good choice.

    Another Hillcrest option - and a good one for a lighter lunch - is Chow. It's primarily a noodle house but they've got other options. Located on University/5th.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mimosa

      Avenue 5 is great and really close to the park (I think just a block over from it). I've had lunch and dinner there and both are very good and very reasonable.

    2. Not too far away to the north is Hillcrest, and if you're going on Friday or Saturday, Ono Sushi on University opens at noon. For Italian, you could try Arrivederci on Fourth Avenue. There's also Terra on Vermont, just off University, which I'd classify as more standard "American fare".

      1. La Vache is a decent choice for a french inspired restaurant. Also- there is a little coffee house on Park Ave called Urban Grind, they have a menu of good lunch fare. Cafe One Three had a few issues when they first opened, but recent posts suggest they have smartened up their food and service. Extraordinary Desserts is definately worth a visit.

        1. not sure how close you want to be but by car Guild is pretty close. your meal won't be heavy.