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5 Nights in San Diego

My family of 4, 2 children under 5, will be in San Diego for 5 nights visiting family. We are staying in the Mission Valley area. The family we are visiting is clueless when it comes to restaurants.

We are looking for some kid friendly places (doesn't have to be Mission Valley area, but closer is better) that also are unique to San Diego and can provide us with some foods we don't get to eat on the East Coast. My family eats almost anything and we are always up for trying something new.

I've searched the board for Mission Valley restaurants, but don't have a feel for what's unique and relevant to San Diego.

Any suggestions would be extremely helpful. Thanks.

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  1. First, don't plan on eating in MV. It's a culinary wasteland.

    A short drive from MV, in Normal Heights, is Blind Lady Ale House. It's kid-friendly, and has a great lineup of local beers (something SD is justifiably famous for), plus pizzas, salads, and snack plates made w/ locally sourced produce. I would probably plan that for a night earlier in the week, near the weekend they get very busy.

    Super Cocina, in City Heights, has great homestyle Mexican food. There isn't really any other place like it in San Diego. It's very authentic food, and is kid-friendly too. Some people may try to dissuade you from going there because it's in a low-income neighborhood, but don't let that put you off. If you're from any big city in the US you'll wonder what the fuss is about.

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

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: Josh

      Yes to Super Cocina, the food is excellent, the staff is friendly, they'll give you samples of anything they're serving, the prices are very reasonable and I feel at home in the 'hood.

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

    2. How about the Linkery ? I have seen kids in there a few times, the food is very good, not too expensive, unique for SD (the restaurant which started the farm-to-table movement in SD), has good beer and wine list

      1. Here are some kid friendly places

        In n out. Which kids don't love burgers and fries? There's an in n out next to the mission valley mall.

        Phil's BBQ near sports arena - Beware, line can get really long

        Corvette Diner in liberty station.

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        Phil's BBQ
        3750 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

        1. If you are interested in a good beer selection and need something near the hotel, San Diego Brewing Co. could work for you. Food is nothing special but it is very kid friendly, is in Mission Valley and they can usually seat a big party pretty quickly. They have 1/2 price appetizers for happy hour.

          Mama Testa's on University Ave in Hillcrest (near Balboa Park/Zoo) worked really well for us with a 1 and 2 year old recently. Great salsa bar and tacos. We had our own high chair with us and I can't recall if they had a booster, though.

          Definitely agree with Josh and Honkman's recommendations below (other than sending an East Coaster who wants food unique to SD for pizza :) ) Blind Lady may work better for a very early dinner or weekend lunch due to the crowds and the fact that you have to wait for people to get up and take their table rather than being seated.

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

          San Diego Brewing Co
          10450 Friars Rd Ste L, San Diego, CA 92120

          1. Ricky's Coffee Shop in Mission Valley for some of the best apple pancakes..
            Bully's East for cheeseburger and Prime Rib
            JV's taco chop in Linda Vista
            Bay Park Fish Company for great fish tacos happy hour kid friendly.
            In and Out for double doubles
            Point Loma Seafood

            1 Reply
            1. re: Beach Chick

              2nd Ricky's and 3rd In and Out
              as one Chowhounder put it many years ago, Mission Valley is one of Dante's Circles of Hell for a Chowhounder.