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Old Town/Balboa Park Recommendations

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We are midwesterners (Cleveland, OH) here in San Diego County now...will post after I get home in Cleveland about our chow experiences and give everyone an update, but I need some fast recommendations for upcoming day tripping to Old Town and Balboa Park area for lunch and dinner in the next few days...what do you recommend as far as Mexican or seafood? We would like sit down restaurants rather than ordering at a counter or eating at places with limited table space - after being on our feet most of the time, we kind of NEED to sit down and enjoy a meal and a beer before continuing on. Hopefully, the weather gets better - it rained for a few hours today & has been rather chilly. Thanks for all your help....

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Balboa Park
1549 El Prado Ste 8, San Diego, CA 92101

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  1. I would do the Prado for lunch in Balboa Park..
    Dinner in Old Town, I would do El Agave or Old Town Mexican..
    It's supposed to be gorgeous this week..whats a little rain and a 7.2 earthquake..
    ; )

    www.cohnrestaurants.com
    www.oldtownmexcafe.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      I also second El Agave as the top choice in Old Town, but, in lieu of Old Town Mexican Cafe, I'd choose Casa Guadalajara as my backup if you wanted to stay in Old Town. The last time I was at OTMC, the food was dried out from sitting under a heat lamp for too long. Not good when you're expecting sauced enchiladas. :)

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      Old Town Mexican Cafe
      2489 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110

      Casa Guadalajara
      4105 Taylor St, San Diego, CA 92110

      El Agave
      2304 San Diego Ave Ste B, San Diego, CA 92110

      1. re: Beach Chick

        Old Town Mex! ...mediocre at best,except for a couple items. El Agave great but shouldn't someone have mentioned the exorbitant prices ? Although it is a great dining experience, visitors to our city should be given a little fair warning.. ...La PiƱata on Juan St. is good for the cost conscious visitor and directly next door to them is Casa Guadalajara on the higher end (but not exorbitant by any means), which has more than a few good dishes. Of course there is also Peruvian, sushi, Italian, Creole, in Old Town to choose from.....and in Balboa Park- What about the new restaurant at the sculpture garden where Waters Cafe use to be? Has anyone tried that out yet? I think it is Italian?

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        Casa Guadalajara
        4105 Taylor St, San Diego, CA 92110

        Balboa Park
        1549 El Prado Ste 8, San Diego, CA 92101

        El Agave
        2304 San Diego Ave Ste B, San Diego, CA 92110

      2. I will second El Agave. Very good moles and an excellent tequilla selection that probably is not available in Cleveland. Prado is better than it has to be for being in a tourist location and the setting is sweet. Cucina Urbana is the new board darling, and is not far from Balboa Park or Old Town. I believe they have a happy hour as well.

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        Balboa Park
        1549 El Prado Ste 8, San Diego, CA 92101

        El Agave
        2304 San Diego Ave Ste B, San Diego, CA 92110

        2 Replies
        1. re: Captain Jack

          Mama Testas might fit the bill for Mexican. Close to Balboa Park.

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          Mama Testa
          1417 University Ave Ste A, San Diego, CA 92103

          Balboa Park
          1549 El Prado Ste 8, San Diego, CA 92101

          1. re: Ewilensky

            I'd 2nd Mama Testa's.

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            Mama Testa
            1417 University Ave Ste A, San Diego, CA 92103

        2. Hane sushi is super close for seafood.

          1. Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe is a block from Balboa Park and has authentic Mexican food. The prices are reasonable. The aguas frescas are really good.

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            Balboa Park
            1549 El Prado Ste 8, San Diego, CA 92101