A week in San Diego
Hi everyone, I'm coming from cold Toronto down to (hopefully more sunny then rainy) San Diego for business on Thursday. I'm staying in the gas lamp district and am hoping for some chowhound recommendations. Top of the list is mexican food as I simply cannot get that in Toronto but any type of suggestion is welcome. Bonus points as well for nice patios and cheap prices.
Thanks in advance!
In the Gas Lamp Candela's is the best Mexican food with great ambeiance though prices are not cheap. If you have a car and don't mind driving to a working class neighborhood in North County then Hacienda De Vega in Escondido is great high end Mexican food. If you just want a hole in the wall type tacerias then those places are every where.
I'm really sad the state park service screwed up Old Town State Park. It used to have the BEST Mexican food in town but now all concessions are run by some company from Delaware and the food is mostly crap. Why would anyone ever think a company from Delaware knew anything about Mexican food?
I have to say the most recent visit to Hacienda de Vega in Escondido was overall disappointing. We went with memories of wonderful meals from previous visits only to find most dishes to be pretty flat and uninteresting. Gone was the care, freshness in flavor, distinctive combinations. Present was clumsy and indifferent service and intrusively piped disco tracks . Outside heaters didn't work very well either. (We transfered to an inside table at the first opportunity but not until a number of dishes had turned cold). A number of alternative options have been cited on this Board. We don't plan to return to H de V any time soon.
Market and 8th has Bread on Market, which I think is one of the best bakeries in the area. Great stop for breakfast or a snack.
Old Town's Mexican food isn't the best, but it's an option as the trolley can take you there. I hear Casa Guadalajara is pretty good for Americanized Mexican.
Here's an old thread about Mexican food along trolley stops:
Market and 9th is Valentine's- a great taco shop.
Around the corner on 9th (just north of Market-that block) is The Kebab Shop.
4th just north of Market (again that same block) is the Cheese Shop Deli. Just sandwichs and breakfasts, but good.
Horton Plaza has food places on top floor and inside the Nordstrom Department Store is a kind of fancy Cafe that is inexpensive and good. There is a view of the bay from their windows and some outdoor seating.
It will be chilly, especially at night.
You should also try the Tin Fish they have really good fish tacos/burritos and a great outdoor scene for both sun and people watching. The Cheese Shop on 4th has really great sandwiches and breakfasts. If you do a search on the board for Gaslamp or downtown you should find lots of recommendations.
Alambres on 5th has pretty good tacos and a patio. Gaslamp isn't long on good Mexican food, unfortunately. For cheap eats, check out Ciro's Pizza on Market, between 6th and 7th - they have really good thin-crust pizza and outdoor seating, though far from scenic.
If you like beer, you should hit up Downtown Johnny Brown's and try some of San Diego's amazing craft brews.