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Ocean beach, San diego. Where to eat.

Hi all. Staying in Ocean beach area. In need of non touristy delicious fair priced authentic Mexican food. Being from NYC everyone says we have no idea what real Mexican food tastes like. So here we are asking for advice.

Also interested in seafood and other local hits. We do have a baby with us most of the time so it will be early dinners and not super expensive, etc... Will have 1 date night this week for the good place.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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  1. Olive Tree market is great.

    You will also be close to Point Loma Seafoods.

    1. South Beach Bar and Grill. Their fish tacos are excellent. Can any OB-tions advise if Qwiggs is still around?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Dagney

        Qwiggs has been closed for several years.

        1. re: Dagney

          I like the happy hour at south beach for inexpensive, decent oysters and 1/2 price appetizers. I think they do not allow anyone under 21 in the place as it is a bar not a restaurant, and so it could be a problem to bring the baby.

          It is definitely not a nice date type place, and is not "real" Mexican food, but I think it is worthwhile.

        2. Ortega's Cocina at Newport and Cable is going to be your best bet for Mexican in that part of town. They make some very good food, and at dinner often have really nice specials. Another place that's decent, but not as good, is Rancho's Cocina on Sunset Cliffs and Niagara.

          South Beach is a common recommendation for fish tacos, but they're just OK. Very Americanized, with yellow cheese, ranch dressing, and flour tortillas.

          Another place I'd recommend, with lots of couching and caveats, is Nati's, but I have to emphasize that it is completely inauthentic in every way. It's very Americanized, and is not the place to go expecting a virtual trip to Mexico. That said, for California-style gringo Mexican food, it's quite tasty. The main point of interest is that it's really old, and has been there since the '60s. There's a funny picture up from 16 Magazine ca. 1976 with Shaun Cassidy sporting the Nati's logo on his t-shirt. The biggest reason I include this is because it's probably the family-friendliest dining spot in all of OB, where nobody will look askance at you bringing an infant. South Beach is a bar, and it's not really a kid-oriented atmosphere. Certain items there should never be ordered (carne asada, fish tacos). Good items are ground beef tacos, and cheese or ground beef enchiladas. Anything else is likely to disappoint.

          Another place worth your time is the Lighthouse Ice Cream parlor, which is next to South Beach. Skip the ice cream, and head for the freezer case. It's stocked with frozen fruit bars from Oasis, which is a locally owned, tiny shop that makes really delicious bars from fresh fruit.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Josh

            I figured Qwiggs was gone, glad I checked.

          2. For Cuban (or regular) coffee, nice meat-filled pastry, great cookies and desserts, I recommend Azucar at the top (away from the beach) of Newport. Everything made fresh, and they take pride in what they do.


            1. For date night, try 3rd Corner, even if you have baby in tow. Its a bistro and wine bar with really good food and a great wine selection, but it's definitely not stuffy. I haven't been impressed with Thee Bungalow since the Cohen's took over and it's much more expensive. A more casual place is Pepe's Italian. It's just a local fun pasta joint.

              1. If you want a cheap and easy taste of SD Mexican, go in to Nico's on Newport Ave, and order a carne asada burrito. Heaven.

                Definitely check out South Beach for the fish tacos, although I am not sure they will allow babies in there anymore. I second 3rd corner for date night.

                1. If you will be in OB, you can't miss HODAD's for bugers. The place is loud and the line looks long, but it moves very quickly. No Shoes No Shirt no Problem is their slogan.

                  They have some of the best burgers and shakes around. I would suggest sharing a shake, they are large with a giant scoop of ice cream on the side.

                  They have been featured on Diners and Dives and CNN. It is almost like the Yogiism, "It is so crowded that no one goes there anymore."

                  My parents enjoy the 3rd Corner. You buy your wine in their wine shop and bring it into the resteraunt.

                  1. Hey all, thanks for the recs. My sister in law (lives here) sent us to Nicks for dinner. Must say that the fish entrees were very very good, price was fair and the view was awesome. Nice sunset walk before dinner and stroll up Newport after. Nicks was very baby and family friendly. You all live in a beautiful town. Would love to come home to OB each day after work. I think we might try 3rd corner for dinner after sunset and wine on the beach. Will also try 2 of the Mexican places as well.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pulled pork

                      Just remember that alcohol is now banned on the beach, so be careful.

                    2. SO which is it? Aqui Es Texcoco or Super Cuchina. Everyone tonight suggested these two as the best of their kind.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: pulled pork

                        If it's down to one of those two, I'd suggest Super Cocina. Aqui Es Texcoco is awesome, but they only have a handful of items. Super Cocina has a broader selection of dishes to choose from.

                        1. re: Josh

                          I agree with Josh, far more variety as SC. Your going to love this place.

                            1. re: pulled pork

                              We went to Super Cocina! Loved it. HAd two combo plates.
                              Pork chunks in gravy
                              Roast pork
                              Beef stew

                              Nice, nice, nice.

                      2. Don't miss out on Pepe's on Sunset between Niagara and Narragansett. It's Italian, not Mexican but you will like the place. Homemade pasta, fresh salads, congenial atmosphere. Very local, family oriented, reasonable.
                        Ortegas are probably the most creative Poma's have good take out sandwiches, and anything from Olive Tree Deli is a winner. Good Pastrami sand.
                        Super Cocina is fabulous but Texcoco you don't want to miss, it's worth the trip. Real McCoy and you can't find this stuff everywhere. Even their drinks are superior..fabulous horchata and jamaica..don't go for the canned sodas. Do try their flan, it's excellent.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: P Macias

                          Went to Ortegas for lunch. Excellent stuff and very nice staff. Chef was friendly and talked recipes. Also loved South Beach bar and grill. Fantastic ceviche (a bit different and sweet), loved the mahi taco and the fried fish taco.

                          Went to a drive through Robertos (or is it Rolandos?) by Midway and the Stadium. YUK! Needed drive through because we were wearing towels only. Just horrible, salty, bloated and gassy. Not a pretty evening my friends.

                          Thanks for all the advice. Can't wait to get back to SD one day. Torre pines for the trails and beach, Ocean beach for just plain relaxing and the amazing weather. You people are pretty damn cool too.

                        2. hanging with our dogs at dog beach this weekend...we headed to Azucar for their famous guava filled cream cheese pastry..$1.50 of pure pastry love..

                          Hodad's line is out of control..best to call ahead for a To Go order and don't wait in line with the sheep and eat your burger on the beach.