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Cheap Eats in Del Mar/La Jolla/San Diego Area

Hi! My hubby has an interview in La Jolla the second week in Sept. and I'll be traveling with him. We are from Texas and we love Mexican food! We are staying in Del Mar but we will have a rental car.. are there any good cheap places (we are use to a $25 - $35 bill for the two of us)? We love Mexican (especially chorizo) as I said before along with Italian, Pho, Seafood (not me but my hubby). We also like to try new foods so we are pretty open. Thanks!

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  1. $25-35 in La Jolla? hmmm.

    Great (all caps) Mexican in SD, just maybe a little different than in TX.

    1. Fidels in Solana Beach, one town north of Del Mar. Try the steak or chicken Fajitas with chili's. The dish has been a favorite of ours for years and is about $12-$13. Friends from Austin flock to Fidel's when they are in town for the races.

      1. For the best Mexican food in the north county region, I would recommend both Bety's Tacos and La Especial Norte in Encinitas.

        Both also happen to fit in your budget nicely

        Bety's is a family operation. Bety and her husband are from Mexico City originally and cook a mighty fine meal.

        La Espeical Norte has been there for over 30 years. Specialty is Mexican soups, but everything is yummy.

        We eat at one or the other at least once a week.

        La Especial Norte
        664 N Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

        Betty's Tacos Restaurant
        1464 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024

        1 Reply
        1. re: Enorah

          Second both and I would also add Don Chuy in Solana Beach for good Mexican.

        2. There're some great Pho places just East of La Jolla in Mira Mesa; you could pretty much pick any of these & not go wrong:

          Lucky Seafood
          9326 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA

          Pho Ca Dao Restaurant
          8373 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92126

          Bolsa Restaurant
          9225 Mira Mesa Blvd Ste 118, San Diego, CA 92126

          1. The huevos con chorizo at Super Cocina is excellent. You will need your rent a car for this place though.

            1. Some nice & inexpensive Mexican in La Jolla is Porkyland @ Torrey Pines Rd. & Girard. You want to try the Carnitas, of course, and I like it on a California-Style Burrito, in Soft Tacos, on a Torta with Avocado, picked out of a catering pan with a fork...

              Porkyland Restaurant
              1030 Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

              1 Reply
              1. re: Freddie Freelance

                Sorry, but after being a huge Porkyland (both La Jolla and Barrio Logan) fan for many, many years, the last time I went to Porkyland in La Jolla, about two months ago, it totally sucked plus the prices have doubled in the last two years. The good news is that there's no longer a wait...

              2. Love Fidels for their chile rellenos and white meat chicken burritos..
                Tony Jacals and Don Chuey are always excellent too..
                La Especial Norte rocks (best chicken tortilla soup) and if you want gringo mex at the beach, we always have a good time at Las Olas..enjoy the Roberto's Taco Shop on the 101 in Solana Beach for some great chicken tacos with guac..Brigantine in Del Mar for $2+ fish tacos for happy hour.
                VG donuts in Cardiff...Yum!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  I think the Brig HH fish tacos price has risen a bit over the $2 mark. $3.75 at Shelter Island @ HH. Not sure about Del Mar, but must be pretty close.

                  1. re: foodiechick

                    I eat at the Shelter Island Brig quite a bit and my last receipt for fish tacos last month was $2.75 for HH..maybe they went up in the last month..that's why I did the $2+...since I know a lot of the girls there maybe I got the local rate..
                    back in the day, we use to show our dock key to get additonal % off.
                    $3.75 for a fish taco at HH is a little steep..imo

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      Your post really sparked my memory...it is $3.25 now, not $3.75 - still. We hit HH at SH Brig before Humphreys shows and the increase shocked me a little. Guess they finally had to pass on their increased food/operational prices in this faltering economy.

                2. I want to thank all of you so much! I cannot wait to go to these places! I will give a report when we get back to dull food Plano! We will defiantly go to Porkyland... my husband's interview is at the Salk and I think that is on the same road... plus we will by driving around look for an apartment all around there... just in case he is offered the job and accepts.

                  Thanks again! :)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: hungry_girl78

                    I just thought of a great place very close to La Jolla. It is La Torta on 4864 Cass St. in Pacific Beach. This is Mexican torta specialty house. I am a huge eater and can barely finish the Super Natalia torta with home fries. The house-made orange habanero sauce from the salsa bar is excellent as well.

                    1. re: hungry_girl78

                      Porkyland is in the village of La Jolla. The Salk Institute is on top of the hill, so to speak and next to the UTC area of La Jolla. Most of the more affordable housing is in the UTC area, rather than the village of La Jolla. Down the hill, in La Jolla Shores, is Piatti's, which has good Italian. They serve lunch and dinner. Dinner may be pushing your budget, though.