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Family-style, neighbourhood places in San Diego

Oh My..............Soon we'll be coming to town. Someof us live near NYC, DC, Chi, & NO.
Gimme some pretty good stuff on my plate. Price, decor, who cares.........Nov. early I'll be there. Chowhounds has never failed me. Seeking small, family style, neighborhood places where someone cares about feeding me well is the goal. Pasta Mia in DC, long lost Trataria d'Alfredo in NYC, Nora's Cuisine in Las Vegas (& that Thai place holy cow) , Mandina's in NO, on and on...........don't let me down Chowhounds, where do I go in Dan Diego, California?

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  1. Well, there are many places in San Diego that meet your needs. Where to eat in San Diego with parameters similar to yours is probably one of the most common post on this board. The archives - and not old, out of date info - is jam packed with suggstions. Reading and tagging onto the end of what was arguable the most negative post about this city on the entire board isn't going to help you much.

    San Diego is a sprawling city. Where are you staying and will you have a car? Rapid tranist and taxis are not an efficient way to get around San Diego, with the exception of the trolley around downtown. Fine Dining is not San Diego's claim to fame. It does, however, have a number of interesting mid-range, casual, bistro-style eateries that are well worth seeking out and that have eater-friendly price points. Many can be found along the 30th St. corridor in North Park. Like beer? San Diego is your place. Mexican? Not so much. We've got taco shops galore but there's way more to Mexican food than tacos and burritos. You'll find tons of recs for all these things and much more in the archives...but not on this thread.

    Either read the archives or start your own thread, just don't expect much help from this thread. It's been devisive since the first post

    1. The Station Tavern in South Park is a great family place. It's a burger place with many beers on tap.

      1. Yeah, give us which part of town and we can break it down for you.

        7 Replies
        1. re: stevewag23

          Chowhound is really a wonderful site for a traveler whose interests lie beyond the ho-hum. I certainly appreciate being redirected to find assistance. I will be attending the National Realtors Convention held near downtown where more than 30k can be accomodated. For dinner I prefer a table cloth and cotton napkin. It is wonderful to have a server who is proud of their work & plate. A neighborhood establishment whose owners like feeding hungrey appreciative guests is my kind of place. For some post 7 PM dinner suggestions I would be truly grateful.

          1. re: ChristianW

            Dobson's in the Gaslamp for the mussel bisque en croute is to die for..great burger too.
            Cafe Chloe in East Village/Gaslamp is wonderful French bistro.
            Cowboy Star gets lots of love on this board for the meat lover.
            Oceanaire in the Gaslamp for seafood.
            Grant Grill at the US Grant in the Gaslamp..excellent fine dining
            Baci's for some of the best Italian on Morena blvd./Sea World Drive.
            Fish Market Downtown at the Oyster bar or sushi bar is really good..drinks and app's on the bayfront patio..restaurant is average and the upstairs Top of the market is pricey but good.
            Waterfront in Little Italy for the great dive bar experience and a good burger..fries blow.
            Bertrand at Mister A's for drinks and app's..killer views of SD.
            Top of the Hyatt in the Gaslamp for after dinner drinks.

            some of these are not 'Family Style' but good anyway..have fun Christian and report back!

            1. re: Beach Chick

              Wonderful post, BC. From here I can surely find a place where some good friends, who rarely get together, can spend some time to enjoy the food, San Diego weather and good company. Many thanks.

              1. re: ChristianW

                I third the suggestion for Cafe Chloe.

                If you are looking for recomendations near the Gaslamp, it is pretty simple: Cafe Chloe.

                (Just make sure you want to call it an early night).

                Oceanaire for oysters.

                Skip the rest.

                1. re: stevewag23

                  You really should try Cowboy Star. We weren't sure what to expect but were quite impressed with the food (and normally we are not really steak eaters). It's also nice to see a restaurant with sweetbreads on the menu

                  1. re: honkman

                    You know I have been for lunch before and I did like it.

                    Never been for dinner.

                    I should give it a shot.

                    Sweetbreads sounds good. What else do you recommend?

              2. re: Beach Chick

                Strongly second Cafe Chloe and Cowboy Star. Cafe Chloe is the restaurant we frequent most after Better Half closed and Cowboy Star was also great after our first visit.
                BTW, I would stay away from Italian restaurants (including Baci's) in SD. Italian food is really not the strength of SD. You might get some average (often overpriced americanized Italian (like Baci's) but nothing beyond this.

          2. What you're asking for, CW, doesn't really exist in SD. The places that have been around forever are terrible. SD is not a "neighborhood" city. Our biz is tourists, making money, and copying what restaurants other places do five years after they did it. If you have a car, try the Farmhouse Cafe in North Park. It's a bistro (with French chef owner) sometimes patronized by neighbor locals. Blind Lady Ale House also in North Park is a CA-style pizza joint with incredible artisan beers (best selection in SD). In BirdRock/La Jolla, you'll find locals (and their too many kids) at Don Bravo Bahia eating lobster burritos and enchiladas. Yes, there are places in "neighborhoods" but mostly "neighbors" are busy driving across town to other places. You won't find much of that camaraderie here except among bar patrons which, again, are probably not locals/neighbors.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pickypicky

              Farmhouse Cafe is a good suggestion.

              The only knock against the place is it is kind of hard to package with something else.

              It is a great spot if you lived close by.

            2. Oooops. I missed your "cloth napkin" requirement. Scratch the Ale House and Bahia.