Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Sep 14, 2008 09:44 PM

Anything to eat in Visalia?

We were shopping in Visalia today and got hungry. I noticed quite a few cute, independent cafes that upon a closer look were either for sale or had closed. The only restaurants I saw (on Mooney) were chain or franchise spots. I could have kicked myself for not checking with Chowhound before we left. But I took a chance and ended up in a Mexican place on the boulevard that served Guadalajara style. Perhaps 4 of the 12 tables were occupied. When I saw the Mexican couple next to us had left a good bit of their food on the plate, I asked them how the food was and they said okay but the look on their face said YUK. I was already sorry I stepped foot in this place. Mexicans don't leave half their dinner on the plate when they leave. Chips were served before the meal and the salsa was more like the water that is served with fish cocktails
. They did have a salsa bar but that stuff wasn't very good either. I ordered enchiladas verdes and the sauce was again watered down, the chicken stuffing also contained potatoes and onion, the beans could have come out of a can and the rice was bland and no flavor. I left half of it on the food. Now, In case I have to go back there, please tell me what is worth the stop or at least where not to stop. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Visalia is a great place to visit! I have eaten at both Acequia on Main (211 W. Main) and Cafe 225 (225 W. Main). Both are really good. I think Acequia is a little more high end and I tend to eat at Cafe 225 a little more often although I only get to Visalia only two or three times a year. You can't go wrong at either. Please report back,

    1. Here is my post from a few months ago:

      just had dinner at Pita Kabob tonight (2226 s mooney) and it was EXCELLENT ! Little strip center but good food, excellent staff, clean, huge portions. We had the mezza plate (hummus, baba ganoosh, dolmades, tabouleh, falafel, tzatziki, pita bread) and then chicken kabobs (I would have had lamb but my friend...can't. eat. lamb.) She also had salad and rice, both of which looked OK but why? When there is all this other good stuff to eat? BTW, the baba ganoosh was VERY smokey. Good.

      Pita Kabob
      2226 S Mooney Blvd, Visalia, CA

      1. Hi Patricia,

        If you're looking for Mexican food I would recommend Chapala's Mexican Restaurant at 1737 W Caldwell. Southbound on Mooney Blvd, turn East at Caldwell. The restaurant's is down about 1/4 mile located on the righthand side..
        I love their Stuffed Shrimp wrapped in bacon, yummy! The service there is always friendly and the food is great. My mom loves their seafood.
        If you're looking for quick traditional Mexican food try Amigos ( Love their carne asada. They're at 5113 W Walnut Ave.
        I would also recommend Pita Kabob -Mediterranean food - for a change of pace (
        The only items I've ordered there so far, for my hubby: the Combination Plate - $13.79 - which consists of : beef, chicken & lamb kabob ($1 extra for the lamb), rice pilaf, greek salad (I add feta cheese to it another $1 extra). It also comes with pita bread & two dipping sauces - love the garlic sauce!
        We're going to be heading down to San Diego sometime next month. What Mexican restaurant would you recommend for us? We're going to be staying near "Old Town". Your recommendations appreciated, thanks =)

        3 Replies
        1. re: bebe07

          Hi Bebe,
          Thanks for all the info on Visalia, I'll pass it on to my kids in Lemoore.
          I'm flattered that you'd take my recommendations for Mexican food in SD.
          My personal favorites have been reviewed on this board quite a few times so you can do a search and see what you think.
          Super Cocina at 3627 University probably has the greatest variety and most everything is delicious, the staff and owners are great and very helpful. You can sample dishes from their buffet before you order them. Very authentic and don't let the neighborhood scare you, just go in the day time. $
          I love Mama Testa's at 1417 University in the Hillcrest area. Here you can taste tacos from many states in Mexico. I love the Muchos Machos with pasilla chiles and oaxacan cheese. Do try a side of their potatoes, perhaps in lieu of beans and rice? And the salsa bar is something to rave about. $$
          Aqui es Texcoco is my to die for and not to miss barbacoa place. South of San Diego, in Chula Vista but worth the effort. They are located in a strip mall at 1043 Broadway in Chula Vista. This stuff is addictive. $
          You'll be in the Old Town area and I have to say I think most of the places there are tourist traps. I can't think of any in the area I'd recommend.
          I know you'll have a great time, it's considerably cooler down here. ;-0) We'll be waiting for your reviews.

          1. re: P Macias


            I know this has nothing to do with Visalia, but having grown up in Chula Vista (and based on Kare's reviews) I went to Aqui es Texcoco the last time i was there and have to agree - it's really good. :)

            1. re: tavmark

              I wish I had known you were in town. Please let me know when you get down here next time. I love Texcoco. We don't have anything like it anywhere in San Diego. If I were to recommend a singular San Diego chow experience this would be it. The taste lingers and sticks in your brain and makes you want to return. The salsas are some of the best I've ever tasted and I always leave with some of the red sauce and use it on everything! It's similarly as addictive as the eggplant ap at Cracked Pepper Bistro in Fresno. It's actually dangerous to live in such close proximity. So, I'm not surprised you liked it! Let me know when you're in town.

        2. Back in 2002 or 2003 I remember having a solid meal, if unimaginative meat, at the Wine Press... Escargot, Pate.. some kind of Mesclun salad, Sweetbreads, Creme Brulee... decent wine list. All prepared & served very competently.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            You would be referring to the Vintage Press, which was *the* place in Visalia and one of the best within 100 miles in the 60s through 80s. We haven't been in probably 20 years and unfortunately don't recall much talk of them since.

            1. re: PolarBear

              You are right... it was the Vintage Press.

              1. re: PolarBear

                It's been several years since we've eaten there, but my opinion is they have gotten over priced for what they serve now. They are no long the fine friendly place they were in the '80.

            2. We don't get down to Visalia very often and when we do we're usually restricted to the downtown area so I've kept a record of a few places on Main St. that have been good in the past. IIRC, dimsumgirl has has a couple of good experiences in this area, but again we haven't been back for a while.

              Acequia on Main
              Cafe 225
              Aleiandras Mexican Restaurant

              A few others that hounds have mentioned:

              Mr. Gable's (one block north of Main Street at the Fox Theater)
              La Dolce Vita (character owner-chef),
              Hagopian's Deli - kebab sands
              The Depot
              Colima's on Main Street - supposed to have good fish tacos