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Old School Restaurant in San Diego

Taking a quick trip to San Diego and looking for old school restaurants or coffee shops - the older the better with good old American comfort food like a real hot turkey sandwich, meatloaf, etc. Wouldn't hurt if it had some old school ambiance like semi- circular leather booths, dark woods - I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Anywhere in San Diego County

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  1. For the leather booths, old school ambiance, try Bully's in Mission Valley or Red Tracton's in Del Mar. For the coffee shop route, this thread was just posted today and has some good suggestions:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/519796

    I would add Rudford's on El Cajon Blvd., Brian's on Washington, and Brother's on Waring Rd.

    1. How about the Chicken Pie Shop? It's been around forever and you can get chicken pies or open faced roast beef sandwiches. Gravy. Peas. Old folks. Doesn't take anything but cash but good old fashioned lunch ! (I used to go there in 1978, haven't been for a VERY long time, but I think it is still there *and hasn't changed a bit* !)

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      S D Chicken Pie Shop
      2633 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

      3 Replies
      1. re: dockhl

        Been going there since I was a kid which is longer ago than I'm admitting to on this board...

        1. re: dockhl

          I know that it is what it is...but it's terrible. The pot pies are somewhat edible...but the canned peas and carrots, the drab interior...why would anyone want to dine here, other than to indulge in nostalgia of days gone by? And nostalgia for what? Bad food? I found it very depressing... And the OP wanted nice circular booths and ambiance? Not here...

          1. re: DBrooks

            I have to agree. The pies are mostly crust and the interior is gloopy and tasteless. It's like bad institutional cafeteria food. Sadly IMHO, most of of the good old style places in SD have either updated themselves out of existence or closed.

        2. Hob Nob Hill in Hillcrest.

          1. Albie's
            Bully's East
            Old Trieste
            Red Fox Inn..is that still around?
            Harry's Coffee Shop in LJ
            Manhattan's

            I wish Lubach's was still around..

            3 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              I wish John's Waffle Shop in L.J. was still around...I kinda miss sitting at the counter and having a waffle or an omelet.

              1. re: nileg

                nileg..
                I so miss John's Waffle Shop too.

              2. re: Beach Chick

                in this town i don't think that red booth and meatloaf are featured together often. So given the great suggestions I would offer the following breakdown:

                Coffee house/diner/comfort food(so far offered):

                Phee's thread posted
                Harrys Coffee Shop in La Jolla
                SD Chicken Pie Shop
                Hob Nob
                Rudfords
                Brians
                brothers
                Albies ? not sure

                Red Booth in this town seems to be more old school/lounge/steak/sinatra:

                Bully's (Del Mar, La Jolla, especially Mission Valley)
                Red Tractons - (excellent suggestion, by the way)
                Red Fox Inn (not sure, heard it was closing)
                Old Trieste (very old school, but please dress accordingly - sort of a dignified, hushed atmosphere)
                Dobsons - downstairs
                The Godfather restaurant - clairemont
                Manhattan's - old school NY Italian, jazz on fridays
                Whaling Bar - La Valencia Hotel - La Jolla

                again, first group is the food you are looking for, second group the atmosphere. It is San Diego and I don't think we really roll the same way. If anyone has better breakdown let me know...my husband will adopt you.

              3. Harry's Coffee Shop in LaJolla, back to the 60's, even the wait staff looks like the 60's, Broken Yolk in Pacific Beach as well. Maybe Filippies Pizza in Little Italy only, for a basic tomatoe pie or Bully's for a steak.