Imperial Beach -- near bike path
Honestly, there are only a couple of places I can recommend in IB. It's a bastion of fast-food chains and taco shops, but there are two I've been to that are pretty good. The Olive Oil Organic Cafe is inland a bit on Palm Avenue around Carolina St., and they make some good sandwiches. You could also try The Wave Cafe on Seacoast Drive, which is fairly generic but the food is decent and the service is good. If you're out and about early and want to do some carb-loading, try the Stardust Donut Shop right on the 75 as you're leaving IB. The guys that own the place open early and don't seem to have a consistent closing time, but they make the best cinnamon rolls.
Jalisco's Cafe opens at 7am. Mexican food at its best. Machaca Especial is my favorite. Meijo will be better than you expect. The hot food is plentiful. If you're hungry get the combo A. Chicken Terikayi and a cali roll with all the fixin's for $11.95. I find if you stick with the hamachi, maguro, and eel you can't go wrong on the sushi end. The more explorative choices may not be as fresh. There is a little Thai place on Seacoast that semi-delivers, Aroma-Thai.
Food is fresh and edible. The Tin Fish at the end of the pier is still a solid choice but you have to pay a bit more for the location. The Fish and Chips is spot on and the fish tacos cannot be ignored. Agree the donuts at Stardust can be mouthwatering but have your order ready. The boys have a bit of 'Soup-Nazi' in 'em. But if you have any sense continue on to Chula Vista and Palomar street to Mariscos Godoy. Plenty of postings on Chow. I went yesterday and was again 'lifted' into sobriety.
651 Palomar St 25A, Chula Vista, CA
The Tin Fish
2750 Dewey Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
Meijo Sushi serves very good Japanese food. They have a diverse menu with delicious cooked and raw offerings and daily specials.
And also they provide super friendly service. It is run by a local Korean family (say hi to Mindy). Lots of military families from the base make this their local spot.
We usually order the soft shell crab appetizer, mixed sashimi platter, salmon skin hand roll, scallop hand roll, uni sushi and salmon egg sushi, but there are lots of non-fishy choices like chicken and beef teriyaki.
There is ample free parking in the mini-mall where the free standing building is located and you can easily chain you bikes up to the metal railings in front of the windows.
We have been regularly stopping in there for a meal on our way back to home to Baja for ten years now.
600 Palm Ave Ste 300, Imperial Beach, CA 91932