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In San Diego for a week

Hey all

My dad's going to San Diego for a week on Saturday for a convention, and he was looking for some recs for decent restaurants. He's staying in the Handlery on Hotel Circle, just off I-8. He's looking for places near either the hotel or convention centre in downtown, or anywhere in between them.

He'd probably be leaning more towards American, BBQ, Mexican, Italian, or Seafood then Chinese, Thai or Japanese. If anyone has any recs for places for breakfast, lunch or dinner that'd be great. Budget would be kind of mid-range - nothing hugely pricey or really cheap.

Also - Does anyone know where he could pick up some Tapatio hot sauce while he's there? I got a bottle when I was in Los Angeles over the summer and I've been addicted since! I've found Hot Licks in Seaport Village but they don't list it on their site.

Thanks in advance

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  1. Tapatio is available at pretty much every Von's, Albertson's or Ralph's.

    1. First, on the Tapatio: any grocery store should have it in the "ethnic foods" aisle. As for places to go. . .he's pretty much in the heart of town. For Asian foods, he could go to Convoy Street, which is just west of the 163. I like China Max for Chinese and a few other places other posters will, no doubt, tell you about.

      He can travel to Hillcrest, which has great places to eat in Mama Testa (mexican), Arrividerci (italian), California Cuisine and Terra (among others). For something a bit touristy, but still interesting, he can go to El Agave, which has an interesting menu, but is inconsistent.

      1. For comfort-food, large-portion breakfasts, Hob Nob Hill is the place. If it were in Baltimore, the waitresses would call you "Hon."

        1. Ricky's is on Hotel Circle Drive South. I think it's really close to his hotel. It's a family owned diner. We've only gone for breakfast, specifically for their Dutch Apple Pancake. A very large yummy plate of cinnamon, brown sugar and apples on an souffle like pancake. Their omelettes and hash browns are pretty good as well--standard diner fare, won't knock your socks off but it's good enough.

          Mexican--Mama Testa's and El Cuervo. Both in Hillcrest, over the hill from his hotel. El Cuervo is dirt cheap. Mama Testa's is cheap and less "dive-like."

          American--Terra in Hillcrest.

          Seafood-Oceanaire in downtown. Dinner only.

          French bistro--Cafe Chloe. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

          Cafe 222 for breakfast and casual lunch. literally a hop and a skip away from the convention center.

          Tell him to skip Richard Walker's Pancake House. It's so not worth the $$ or time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: daantaat

            I think the OP is talking about the Convention Center right next to (on other side of golf Driving Range) from the Handelry.

            To the OP: The area of town where your dad is staying is probably the worst Chow-ish place in San Diego. I hope he has access to a car.

          2. whoa...is your dad going to schlep the tapatio all the way back to ireland for you?

            you might as well just order several bottles online and have them shipped. you can stock up, & it'll save him the trouble of having to transport it overseas.