Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Jul 10, 2009 07:23 AM

Dining near San Diego Arena?

I'm going to the American Idol concert next Saturday and need a place nearby for an early dinner. Last year we went to the BBQ restaurant that is practically in the parking lot (forget the name, it was a Chowhound rec) , but want something a little nicer and preferably Mexican. We don't mind walking a bit or even parking at the arena and taking a cab to and from so we can drink before the concert. Any help would be appreciated, 'cause you guys have never steered me wrong-thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I am almost sure you mean "San Diego Sports Arena" (not trying to be a jerk)

    If that is the case, Phil's is the bbq spot.

    There is a lot of mexican food in that area (like all of san diego) but no recomendations.

    If you want a cheesesteak go to Gaglione Brothers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: stevewag23

      Sorry about that, San Diego Sports Arena.

    2. The area around the Sports Arena is dominated by the franchise chains like Red Lobster, and Chilis. The Pearl Hotel on Rosecrans is a notable exception, and a short cab ride. I really like their braised Berkshire pork belly. It has a cool retro-chic vibe as well. I reviewed it a while back on my blog if you are interested.

      1. Your four closest choices are to stay in the Sports Arena area and choose from the Chain Restaurants Chilis, Olive Garden and Black Angus, and Soup Plantation are all within a short stroll. Next to Soup Plantation is Ember's Grill, mid range Independent Italian Restaurant. If Your next closest option is to go over to Rosecrans and Midway and eat some of the best Thai in San Diego over at Antique Thai. Slightly farther options lie in Ocean Beach where you can find The 3rd Corner a great wine bar and bistro.

        1. I was going to recommend Embers (it's right on the corner of Sports Arena/midway/point loma as you get off the 8 freeway). It's a big family owned (as far as I know place) and the food was good. It wasn't anything i'd rave about but I certainly had no complaints at all. I really enjoyed the mushroom (i think) Quesadilla's. Off the top of my head, that's the only thing super close (walking/quick cab)) that isn't Phil's, Chevy's or Olive Garden.

          If you are venturing a little further, Sammy's Woodfired Pizza is a great choice, there's one a little ways down West Point Loma Blvd.

          Don't really know of "Nice" mexican close by unless you wanted to cab to Old Town.

          1. Old Town is basically contiguous to the Midway/Sports Arena area and you could go to Guadalajara Grill or Old Town Mexican Cafe..
            Anyone remember when Garcia's of Scottsdale was on that corner?
            We used to hit that up before concerts at Sports Arena.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              I remember Garcia's. My buddies and I used to troll for hotties in the bar there. We also used to hit Foggy's Notion before and after Sports Arena concerts.

              1. re: Captain Jack

                OMG...Foggy's Notion..Loved that place!
                Great for burgers and beer after those concerts..
                We never payed for our drinks at Garcias..we were the hotties.. ; )

                1. re: Captain Jack

                  Foggy's Notion, OMG, that was *the* place to go when I was in college. Well, that an the Aspen MIne Co.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    Foggy's notion had the crab races, right?

                    And speaking of places to eat in that area, didn't the Cocos turn into a 24-hour diner of better repute? Small chain from L.A. or something?

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      Aspen Mine Company...close to SDSU and I was a little sister for SAE and we'd have some of the best Toga parties there..
                      DD..we probably had Mateus wine and Boone's Farm together...hee hee

                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        Mateus and Boone's Farm, I shutter at the memory!! And we thought we were soooo sophisticated ;-). I knew quite a few SAEs and was a little sister for the TKE hosue for a while. I was probably a couple years ahead of you though