San Diego lunch near Santa Fe Depot?
Heading down (from L.A.) on Sat. to go to the MCA downtown. Any suggestions where to grab lunch in the 'hood?
I've checked the previous posts, but found all the neighborhood references kind of confusing and overwhelming. Excuse my provincialism, but my knowledge of your fair city is limited to downtown (incl. Gaslamp), Hillcrest, Barrio Logan, Ocean Beach, and La Jolla...
The depot is very close to Little Italy - for sit down try Buon Appetito, or for something more casual Mimmos Italian Village or Mona Lisa. There are some fun boutiques around there too. Extraordinary Desserts on Union also serves lunch and is worth a visit for dessert/espresso. I'd also recommend. Cafe Chloe on G St in the E Village, or Currant on Broadway - Currant is a short walk up Broadway and Chloe is a short walk or Trolley ride. I don't recommend St Tropez unless you're desperate.
If you like seafood - The Fish Market is also close - down by the water.
That area of downtown will be dead during lunch time on a Saturday. (However, during the week, Rainwater's, Currant Brasserie or Dobson's would be good nearby choices.) Your best bet is to walk or take the trolley to the Gaslamp district, or head north on Kettner or India Street to Little Italy. Chowhound searchs of both areas should provide you with many suggestions.
The American Plaza trolley stop is right across the street from Santa Fe Depot. St. Tropez Bakery, Cafe and Wine Bar is on the south side of the trolley stop. It would take you about 2 mintues to walk there from the train station. Both the Orange and Blue trolley lines stop at American Plaza and an all day downtown trolley pass isn't terribly expensive. The Orange Line to the Gaslamp stop will get you into the Gaslamp area where there are so many restaurants you'll trip over them. You can take the Blue line labeled Old Town to the Little Italy/County Center stop get off and walk 1 block East to India St. and be in the middle of Little Italy where there are also more restaurants than there should be.
If you don't want to try St. Tropez in America Plaza, your best bet would be to search recent SD threads that focused on the Gaslamp/Convention Center/Downtown. If you ask find something of interest ask us for directions on how to get there. Between your feet and the trolley system in that area, you have quite a few options available to you.
Santa Fe Depot's located on the western edge of downtown, so most of the restaurants listed in downtown or Gaslamp threads are reachable by foot or by bus. While San Diego doesn't have the best public transit, it's really good if you're moving around downtown.
Unfortunately, I can only help clarify that much... I haven't had lunch downtown in years, so I have no clue what's good there anymore.