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Hilton Mission Valley dining without a car

Staying at Hilton Mission Valley without a car. Looking for nearby dining options for two nights, including a birthday dinner with the friend who is accompanying me. Please help! Thanks!

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  1. Oh dear, you are staying in a culinary prison. Mission Valley and it's first cousin, Fashion Valley are home to some of the worst restaurants on the planet.

    Get thee into a cab and go to the 30th Street corridor. The distance is not far from Mission Valley, there is a wide variety of cuisines, and the neighborhood is packed full of all things wonderful: food, music, and art.

    The heart of this area lies at the intersection of 30th Street and University Avenue, west of the 805 freeway exit for University Avenue.

    Two of our favorites restaurants are Urban Solace and The Linkery, but also check out Jayne's Gastropub, Heaven Scent Desserts, Sea Rocket Bistro, Spread, just to name a few.

    We also love The Farmhouse Cafe, which is located a few blocks out of the 30th Street area on Adams Avenue (I think they are near 28th and Adams), but the food and service are excellent and well worth a trip for a wonderful meal.

    1. Get a car or budget for cab fare. Or, stay anyplace but Mission Valley; it's never too late to change.

      1. Well Bully's, off Texas St., is OK for a steak about 1 mi. from where you're staying and OK for a birthday dinner. Mission Valley is sort of a black hole for cuisine, if possible rent a car and check out the threads. 2nd. Dagney's suggestions.

        6 Replies
        1. re: cstr

          Bully's is the only restaurant in that area that I frequent. I get my sober friend to drive, and I order the Bully's Burger with cheddar medium rare with steak fries and a salad with their house made thousand island. Definately fun at night with a good alcohol buzz. The old school booths are quite comfy too.

          1. re: Captain Jack

            Agree about the burger, they'll cook it the way you want, it's good sized, tastes excellent and you can have a salad with it. I usually sit at the bar, I believe 'stretch' the bartender, man this guy is tall, takes real good care of me. He pours very generously.

            1. re: Captain Jack

              I haven't tried the Bully's Burger, but I will agree about the cocktails :-D. One of the few places in town where the bartenders really know how to make a decent drink.

              About the only other place in MV would be the Fish House in the same center as Borders

              1. re: Captain Jack

                C.J., I tried Bully's about 6 months ago after about a 20-year hiatus. Loved the atmosphere and cocktails, but had a prime rib that was tough and gristly, and haven't been back. Looks like I should give them another try and order something else.

                1. re: mcgrath

                  Hey mcgrath,
                  I only order the Bully's Burger with cheese. It comes with your choice of two sides and I usually pick the steak fries and the salad. With tax and tip I'm out of there for around 15 bucks. If I am REAL hungry (which I often am) I will double up and order the tasty calamari sandwich as well. This also comes with two sides and together the two orders make for quite a feast few people could finish for about 30 bucks.

                  Also I should point out when I go to Bully's, it's usually because they are open late, which is an all to rare commodity in this town.

                  It has been many moons since I have deviated from this ordering practice at Bully's. The prices on the rest of their menu make me feel like: why not head to Cowboy Star instead if I am going to pay that much?

                  1. re: mcgrath

                    I only go there for their burger and a beer, I feel their prices on the rest of the menu are so close to Donovan's or Cowboy Star, or in fact most high-end steak houses that I can't justify eating a mediocre steak there.

              2. Nothing like a Bully Burger extra cheese medium rare with gobbs of mayo, steak frites, side salad with bleu cheese dressing and a cold beer..
                the burgundy naugahyde booths and the dark lighting..I'm a real prize when I come through those doors..hee hee
                I would head to Albie's Beef Inn..talk about old school and pretty decent food..

                3 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  BC, you don't match their booths do you?

                  1. re: cstr

                    cstr..are we cut from the same demented naugahyde?
                    ; )

                2. Provided there is not a lot in Mission Valley to meet "chowhound" expectations...you still have a few option which won't leave you crying yourself to sleep at night.

                  They include the afformentioned Bully's, Gordon Biersch Brewery, Seau's (owned by Jr. Seau), I've heard Fuji Sushi is decent, and King's Fishhouse. From Hilton Fuji is practically Next door, Gordon Biersch and King's are just across the freeway, and Benihana and Bully's are each about 1 mile away in opposite directions.

                  If you are looking for a decent place for dinner close by, these are your best bets. If you are looking for San Diego Culinary experience...see the previous replies. Hope this helps a little more than just saying "don't do it!'

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: csils

                    Your post makes me think that MV eateries DO have a purpose! You could have a 1980's themed dine around. Start with a workout at Bally's, then on you go to Benihana, TGI Fridays, Bennigans, Bully's, and In Cahoots (which was Confetti in the 80's).

                    1. re: Dagney

                      That's funny! Kind of blows my mind that all those places are still around.

                    1. Thanks for the feedback! Sounds like a cab ride is in order. Any other neighborhoods worth considering in addition to 30th Steet? Thanks!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: azcarrolls

                        Convoy Street is a quick jaunt up the 15 or the 805 freeways. There are a couple of threads on Chow devoted to the many gems on Convoy. You will find a bounty of many different types of quality Asian fare, frozen yogurt, bakeries, and at least one Irish pub.

                        One of the current darlings is Yakyudori Ramen, for some of the most wonderful ramen noodles around. Izakaya Sakura is a solid japanese restaurant if you want a choice of sashimi and other cooked entrees. Shirahama has some of the best sushi in San Diego, although many will counter that Kaito in Encinitas is the tops. (Ongoing battle).

                      2. You guys are killing me with the SD history lesson! I am proud to say I was not old enough to enjoy those places at the time, though I definitely remember seeing them!

                        As for the OP's question - bad news is you will definitely need to get in a cab. Good news is you don't have to go far. For the birthday dinner, I'd recommend Farm House Cafe - make a reservation, even if it's only 2 of you because it's small. Excellent food and wine - French country influenced menu - not terribly expensive. Olivier, the chef and owner is French and worked in some of SD's nicer restaurants before opening his own place. His wife Rochelle runs the front of the house.

                        For your other night, I'd suggest either Blind Lady Ale House - further down on Adams Avenue, or Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano - Blind Lady has funky inventive pizzas, salads, charcuterie and desserts, and lots of great local microbrews. It's kind of a hipster scene & can get crowded. Pizzeria Bruno has a Naples style pizza oven, traditional pizzas and a little more quiet atmosphere. Either way you can't go wrong with the food - and they're both close to MV.

                        Farm House Cafe
                        2121 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

                        Blind Lady Ale House
                        3416 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA

                        Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano
                        4203 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103