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Apr 18, 2011 08:05 AM

Downtown cheap eats

Me and my husband are coming over to California for 17 days long honeymoon trip. In order to see as many amazing places as possible, we need to save money on things like food.
Coming to San Diego this Saturday for 3 days, staying in Holiday Inn Express Downtown, 1430 Seventh Avenue. Will have hire car with us.
Can you please advise some very cheap places to have quick lunch, dinner. Ideally lunch for $7-$10 pp and dinner for about $15pp.
Don't mind what cuisine.
Already found tip for Super Cocina and would like something closer to hotel..
Many thanks.

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

Holiday Inn
1617 1st Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

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  1. Bread on Market. On Market Street between 7th and 8th.

    1. Lots of happy hour deals and links for places to dine cheap..

      1. Congratulations on your marriage!

        One of our favorite cheap eats downtown is the Kebab Shop - And another is Burger Lounge (actually in Little Italy) -

        Have a great stay. Are you coming from Europe? Enjoy San Diego!

        1. I hope someone will comment about 5th Ave Grill you could walk from your hotel. I live in the neighborhood, and it gets great business and reviews. It is persian food and the place it full of taxi does this mean it is good, don't know, but the menu looks great.

          I agree, Happy hour is a great way to eat good food on the cheap.

 is a great web site to search happy hours in the gaslamp, eastvillage and little italy which are very near your hotel. . I love the one at Puerta La Boca it has lots of great food items and reasonable house wine.

          I also recommend the happy hour at Mr. A's. It is the best view of the city and happy hour menu is not bad at all. You could make a meal out of a few items. It is a great way to enjoy a pricey place for a moderate price If you look at the king of happy hour site it is in Bankers Hill-a neighborhood very near your hotel which also has other great places for happy hour or a regular dinner-Cocina Urbana for one

          4 Replies
          1. re: lyn

            Guys you are great, thank you ever so much for all your advice!!
            We are coming to your amazing country from Great Britain.

            Quick question, the Market on Market street is it shop or is it proper food market?(we love outdoor food markets, our favorite thing on all holidays:-)You usually get to taste amazing local food for cheap prices)
            Printing out all your suggestions and filling in my expanding folder :-)
            The Happy hours look really great! What a great way to save!
            Looking forward visiting Liitle Italy, also planning to go to drive in South Bay cinema on Sunday ( another iconic thing we see in American films, drive in cinemas..)
            Can't wait to be there, only 4 sleeps!

            (Last question, know it's not food related..Do you think we will have chance to park our hire car on the street by the hotel?Hotel charges $16 dollar per day and we wonder if we can park cheaper outside?)

            1. re: misablue

              If you are here on a sunday, I'd recommend going to the Hillcrest farmer's market, not quite brick lane, but still has it's own charm and plenty of affordable options as well as local flavors. As far as parking your car, if you are willing to walk a few blocks, you are far enough north that you can go farther north and park on side streets and walk to your hotel, you'd probably have to walk 4 or 5 blocks, but 16/night certainly adds up. Also, I'd sign up for local coupons from groupon, living social, tip city, uptown magazine etc.

              1. re: misablue

                ".Do you think we will have chance to park our hire car on the street by the hotel?Hotel charges $16 dollar per day and we wonder if we can park cheaper outside?"

                Doubtful. Most of the parking is 2-hour maximum and metered at a rate of $1.25 per hour. Granted only enforced between 8 am and 6 pm, so if you can find a spot overnight, you might be in luck. Other than that, it's a lot of space-hunting every two hours.

                1. re: misablue

                  If your visit will include a Saturday you could take the trolley to Little Italy (probably only 3 or 4 stops) and check out the Little Italy Farmer's Market, which runs from 9 am to 1 pm. One side of the street is all food vendors, the other side is all farmers. You could do worse than to eat your way through the market.

              2. Congrat's to you misablue and your honey bun!

                Our Taco Shops rock out here and their cheap and good.
                The Gaslamp link I gave you is great since most have the menus posted and happy hour is a great way to eat and drink for super cheap.

                The water taxi over from the Gaslamp to Coronado is a fun way to be on the water on a boat and the island is awesome..Sapori Italian gets lots of love on this board.
                Hotel Del Coronado just to walk around is a stunning older hotel on a great beach.
                Happy hour at the Brigantine across the street is everyday and the fish tacos for $3 bucks are excellent..brig beer and margaritas too!

                Ace Parking has a lot of parking structures downtown and I believe you can get a rate better than the $16 a night..just make sure you have in and out priviledges.

                When in Little Italy, you'll have to give your blessing to the Princess of Wales Pub.
                I'm a Waterfront gal and they have good burgers and its a classic dive that is a popular place.

                Keep us posted and have a great time in our lovely city!


                2 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Thank you guys!!
                  Last day at work today, flying from Heathrow to LA tomorrow and SD on Saturday!!
                  Beach Chick - I nearly forgot to mention Fish Taco! That is definately something we look forward to try (never had one before)! Looks like SD is famous for excellent Fish tacos!

                  I'm also very much in favor of the idea to eat our way through market in Little Italy!! :-)

                  Many many thanks to you all, lovely people of San Diego!

                  1. re: misablue

                    The Brigantine has an everyday happy hour with one of the best fish tacos for $3 and they have beer specials in the bar..go to the Shelter Island location close to downtown SD and walk around with all the boats.
                    Check in with us if you can...coming in from Great Britain, food prices are going to seem super cheap!
                    All the best and safe flight!