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Where are some of your favorite places to have lunch in SD?

Some of my fave's are..

George's out on the ocean terrace
El Pescador
Fish Market Oyster Bar Downtown
Las Cuatro Milpas
Point Loma Seafoods
Con Pane

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  1. Santanas
    Super Sergios
    Grab n Go India Street

    Super Sergio's
    4125 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

    1 Reply
    1. re: Fake Name

      I second Saigon! It's my favorite lunch place in the world... the City Heights one, that is, not the Hillcrest one. Majorly lacking in ambiance, but a bowl of pho and an order of spring rolls is the best.

    2. sitting on Sunset cliffs with a deli sandwich from Olive Tree Market or a burrito from Nico's.

      1. 2nd El Pescador, excellent grilled fish sammies
        Maritiza's in Clairmont for a Carnita's plate
        The Cottage in LJ
        Marisco's truck on Industrial or the truck in OB
        Burger Lounge

        1. Super Cocina
          Brett's BBQ
          Surati Farsan Mart
          Bull Taco
          Urban Solace
          Pho Cow Cali
          Aqui es Texcoco
          Tacos el Paisa
          Yakyudori Ramen
          Ba Ren
          Fibonacci's Campus Point Bistro
          taking something to the Torrey Pines Gliderport and eating on a picnic table there

          Urban Solace Restaurant
          3823 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104

          Surati Farsan Mart
          9494 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126

          Super Cocina
          3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

          2 Replies
          1. re: DougOLis

            Second Yakyudori Ramen, Ba Ren, Pho Cow Cali.

            Add Mama's Bistro.

            1. re: Indirect Heat

              I openly admit I am not a ramen expert but lately I do love going to Yakudori ramen for lunch at least once a month. I also like: Tender Greens, Bread Cie, Salad Style (to go), Lean n Green, and a lovely little place for a leisurely lunch in Hillcrest is Olivetto. None of these are spectacular but they are just what I love for lunch. PLSF is too insane at lunchtime for me but I love the scallop sandwich.

              Tender Greens
              2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

              Olivetto Restaurant
              860 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

              Salad Style
              807 F St, San Diego, CA 92101

          2. All al fresco La Jolla edition:

            George's Terrace
            Birdrock with an El Pescador plate
            Bahia Don Bravo
            Patio at Trattoria Acqua (not gazebo)
            Barbarella (garden sidewalk)
            La Jolla shores beach with a Cheese Shop sammy
            Piatti patio
            The terrace at AR Valentien
            La V - back terrace overlooking Scripps Park

            1. Okay, because I work Downtown. . .

              Mama Gucci's
              La Gran Tapa
              Old Gallery
              Ai Sushi

              I used to like the Sixth Avenue Bistro, but the service is spotty, at best.

              Mama Gucci's
              1157 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

              Sixth Avenue Bistro
              1165 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

              1 Reply
              1. re: jmtreg

                Dobson's downtown. It is so old school, but they have the best sourdough bread and delish comfort food. The bartenders are awesome and Mr. Dobson himself is always around to greet you.

              2. Okan
                Izakaya Sakura
                Tender Greens
                Copper Chimney Indian truck
                Surati Farsan Mart
                Mama Testa's
                El Cuervo
                Sab e Lee
                Buga Korean BBQ
                Coffee Cup Cafe
                Pacifica Breeze Cafe

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

                Surati Farsan Mart
                9494 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126

                Pacifica Breeze Cafe
                1555 Camino Del Mar # 209, Del Mar, CA

                Tender Greens
                2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

                Coffee Cup
                1109 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 92037

                7 Replies
                1. re: daantaat

                  I'm envious; I'm lucky if I get out of my office for lunch, much less the La Jolla Village / UTC wasteland. I really should pick up an occasional sandwich from Spirits of St. Germaine, though - I've heard from multiple sources that they are pretty good.

                  1. re: RB Hound

                    Have you been to Fibonacci's before? It's run by Waters Catering and they have some pretty good options. Nothing crazy (other than their TJ Bacon Dogs last week) but it's a lot better than most corporate cafe places in the area. Worth checking out.

                    1. re: DougOLis

                      Tried Fibonacci's for the first time on Thursday and it is a good addition to area. Philly Cheesesteak was bit underwhelming, vegetarian quesadilla was quite good. We were in a hurry and didn't have really time to look through the menu but saw that Andrew Spurgin was cooking at that day.

                    2. re: RB Hound

                      RB, have you ever been to Croutons? i'd love to hear some CH opinions - my next door neighbor is the founder/CEO of the company but i've never been there.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Yes I've been to Croutons, especially the one on the UCSD campus (there is also one in front of the La Jolla Village Square Ralph's).

                        It's pretty decent. Like I always do, I overdid it early on and got a bit tired of it, but I got back from time to time. I almost always get a soup/sandwich combo.

                        I have not been over to Fibonacci's (in Qualcomm/SAIC land). I may want to try that sometime as well - good suggestion.

                        1. re: RB Hound

                          thanks for the response. he wants me to consult for him on some menu adjustments they're planning to make, and i said yes without ever having eaten the food...i was mildly concerned about what i might have gotten myself into ;)

                          one more thought for you - Bristol Farms on Genessee at UTC. certainly not cheap as grocery stores go (but neither is Whole Foods!), and i haven't been to this location, but the quality of prepared and takeout food at their LA stores was usually good.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            I lived right by Bristol Farms for a few years. Though their deli sandwiches were pretty decent, they don't really warrant any sort of trip (in my opinion). I liked their crepe bar, and though I understand why they ditched it, that was the only thing that I felt that stood out.

                  2. Wow..what great places you all lunch at!

                    1. i very rarely eat lunch out, but when i do i love outdoor seating with a view. can't beat Cardiff State Beach with takeout from Seaside Market!

                      other faves:
                      - Swami's
                      - Lotus Cafe
                      - Naked Cafe
                      - Rimel's
                      - Ki's

                      Swami's Cafe
                      1163 S Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA

                      Naked Cafe
                      106 S Sierra Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075

                      Rimel's Rotisserie
                      1030 Torrey Pines Rd Ste E, La Jolla, CA 92037

                      Lotus Cafe
                      765 S Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I had forgotten about Rimel's! I LOVE their rice plate with the rotisserie turkey! The sauces that come with it are so complex and wonderful. Yum!

                        1. re: liza.calderon

                          this is SO great to know - i've never had their turkey...i love the grilled mahi mahi and the fire pit-seared scallops.

                          just steer clear of the mussels - i had them at the Cardiff location a couple of months ago and they were HUGELY disappointing.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Anyone like Hodad's for lunch???
                            We love watching drive ins and diners and their bacon hamburger looks pretty darn good...

                            Previous San Diego holdiday
                            El Pescador was really good for pick up lunch
                            Georges at the Cove (great fish taco's and gorgeous view for lunch)
                            Mama Teste's loved the salsa bar! (take out )

                            This future trip Super Cocino and Mariscos German are musts to try!

                            Hodads Restaurant
                            5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

                            Mariscos German
                            3515 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104

                            1. re: palmtree38

                              You're probably going to get an earfull about Hodad's, but just go. Depending on where you're staying there are many Marisco's locations.

                              1. re: palmtree38

                                Hodad's makes decent burgers, but they're not worth the line around the block that they often have. If there's a short line, I think they're a perfectly lovely lunch place.

                                Hodads Restaurant
                                5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

                                1. re: Indirect Heat

                                  so whats the scoop on these diner/drive in places?? Is it restaurants that want or need a pick up so they get noticed from this show?

                                  Any other drive in dinner place that would be a better choice in SD?

                                  We are going to Mariscos on University/35th... Hear this is a good location..

                        2. Yesterday we had lunch at Tender Greens-- and it was as delicious and fresh as when it opened. Chef Husband and I were away 15 months, half of that in Sonoma, and this was our first visit back to TG. As we sat outside in the Perfect San Diego Sun and ate our lunch, we tried to remember any place in Sonoma, Napa, or Marin as pleasant, fresh, and reasonably priced as Tender Greens-- and couldn't. Northern CA has incredible bread, cheese, wine, and produce, BUT, as we learned, most of the everyday restaurants we visited were ho-hum. Before leaving, I did nothing but bitch about SD restaurants, and now I'm just happy to be back and find out that my TG Tuna Nicoise Salad is still perfectly composed and dressed. ( No one has the al fresco dining we do. . . )

                          Tender Greens
                          2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: pickypicky

                            "( No one has the al fresco dining we do. . . )"

                            I'll gladly second that, especially yesterday and Wednesday, just about perfect

                            1. re: pickypicky

                              "as we learned, most of the everyday restaurants we visited were ho-hum" - Our experience is the other way around. There are of course also numerous disappointing restaurants in SF and the wine country but there is still a very large number of everyday restaurants with outstanding food for good prices which I would love to have in SD, e.g. Scopa, Barndiva, Zin, Willi's Seafood Bar, Zin, Ad Hoc, Oenotri, (and that's just a few in the Healdsburg/Napa area)

                                1. re: honkman

                                  Funny- I'm in Yountville right now and dammit, I can't find a drive-thru anywhere. I suppose Taylor's Refresher (now Gotts Roadside bla bla) will have to do for lunch. Breakfast this AM will be an armload of goodies from Bouchon Bakery.

                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                    Gott's has the best Ahi burger...
                                    The Grill at Meadowood Resort for breakfast or Redd for Sunday brunch..
                                    Have a great time and we'll see you this Wednesday!
                                    BTW, I'm so jealous..bring me some Silver Oak Cab..
                                    ; )

                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                      Here for a wedding, so food options are narrowed.

                                      Ahi burger? Nah...

                                    2. re: Fake Name

                                      Not a drive-thru but the sandwiches at Dean& Deluca and Oakville Grocery (both in St. Helena) are quite good.

                                      1. re: honkman

                                        Fremont Diner, Hwy 121, between Sonoma and Napa. No website just incredible food.

                                        1. re: honkman

                                          Oakville Grocery is a wonderful display of excellent sammy material and tons of sides, their sampling stations are incredible.

                                    3. re: pickypicky

                                      Y'all didn't have much el freshco in TX...Mammm!

                                    4. Wet Stone Wine Bar; Cowboy Star; Red Door; Dobson's; Craft & Commerce

                                      Wet Stone Wine Bar & Cafe
                                      1927 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                                      1. Hey Beach Chick,

                                        I'm sorry nobody backed you up on Las Cuatro Milpas!

                                        I'm here to say that if you want GOOD old fashioned Mexican food this place is hard to beat...

                                        Thanks for your support, pRon

                                        1. There are a number of hotels that have great outdoor dining venues. The Veranda at Rancho Bernardo Inn, 1540 at L'auberge Del Mar, Torrey Pines Inn, plus I like sitting outside at Blue Ribbon Pizza

                                          1. Super Cocina
                                            Opera in Sorrento
                                            Chin's in Convoy
                                            The Kebab Shop in Mira Mesa
                                            Little Lamb Hot Pot (Clairemont)
                                            Okan in Convoy
                                            Nijiya supermarket in Convoy

                                            Super Cocina
                                            3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: royaljester

                                              Koon Thai Kitchen
                                              Pho Hiep + Grill
                                              Bud's Louisiana Cafe
                                              Spicy House
                                              King's Fish House (mission valley)
                                              Point Loma Seafoods

                                            2. Barrio Logan
                                              * El Porvenir (Carnitas Taco)
                                              Little Italy
                                              * Lounge Burger
                                              * Mariscos German/Alex (South Park & City Heights - Mixto, Pulpo, and Marlyn Tacos)
                                              * Caffe Calabria (light sandwiches/Paninis)
                                              Kearny Mesa
                                              * Yakitori Yakyudori (Shio Ramen)
                                              * Okan (Bento lunch)
                                              * Santouka (Tonkotsu Ramen)
                                              Mira Mesa
                                              * Luong Hai Ky (VN-style Chinese - everything)
                                              * Pho Cow Cali (everything)
                                              Solana Beach
                                              * Rudy's (Carne Asada plate or Torta)
                                              * Las Brisas Taqueria (Menudo & Carnitas)

                                              ...still need a viable replacement to the now defunct Umenoya (Miramar)

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: cgfan

                                                Love Super Cocina--near my workplace in the hood.
                                                When I'm on vacation, I love Chocolat in Hillcrest and Fairouz Cafe in Midway area.
                                                Playa Grill in Costco Mission Valley has great early happy hour Merry Pigglest sliders and margarita lunch

                                                1. re: cgfan

                                                  Hey cg!
                                                  Are they opened back up... El Porvenir?
                                                  Great list!

                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                    Thanks BC... I don't get out there often enough, but by being open again if you mean since a year or two ago, then yes, they have. They still run with the same charming disregard for typical food service, which is partly why I love to go there. My understanding with the new owner (who still is family) was that his goal was to restore the original family recipe.

                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                      Ooops, just had a chance to drop in to El Porvenir today, and it turns out that they got foreclosed on and had to shut down. They did say that they might be featuring their cooking at the market just down the street, however.

                                                      That's so sad, especially since they've been in business for so long.

                                                  2. The Linkery, great links! Stopped by while in the 'hood, had a link sammie and a cold craft brew. Attentive service, fresh ingredients, great flavor, works for me.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: cstr

                                                      Wish Jay would make a soy sausage with lots of herbs and garlic..if that's possible.

                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                        You should try their grilled broccoli (whch is killer), the baked goat cheese and a house salad. You could be well satisfied, just add a good draftie or 2!.

                                                        check the website:


                                                        1. re: cstr

                                                          We ordered a baked goat cheese there by accident; turns out it's huge and delicious!

                                                    2. Just saw Larry Himmel of Channel 8 talk about Haggo's Tacos in Leucadia..
                                                      Chef James Haggard, formely of Rancho Valencia resort, opened up a funky organic taco trailer resto..
                                                      I am so all over this place!


                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                        Saw this photo on instagram of Haggo's and wonder 'hounds like it?

                                                        Haggo's Organic Taco
                                                        1114 N Coast Highway 101
                                                        Encinitas, CA 92024
                                                        (760) 753-6000

                                                      2. Supernatural Sandwiches on Wednesday and Thursday in Barrio Logan....their Neptune sandwich with bay scallops, bacon, cilantro, and special sauce on brioche is nothing short of sensational.


                                                        Azucar in Ocean Beach--excellent Cuban pressed sandwiches.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: El Chevere

                                                          Supernatural's web site now says Thursday and Fridays for lunch in the Barrio Logan site, Saturday afternoons in North Park (Ripe Produce), and Sundays at the Hillcrest Farmers Market.

                                                          And though that technically is in the Barrio, it's only a few blocks from the ballpark - so it's not deep within. :)

                                                          1. re: RB Hound

                                                            they may have recently switched dates...when in Barrio Logan they alternate between the Sushi on a Roll location next to Cafe Virtuoso and the Farmers Market....I'm usually there on a Thursday and the sandwiches are packed with flavor and just the right amount of food--not too much, not too little.

                                                          2. re: El Chevere

                                                            Haven't made it back to Azucar for the Cubano, but I did try the pastelito de guayaba my one time there.