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Any good restaurants downtown?

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Headed to San Diego next weekend to buy a good meal for a Naval cadet stationed there. He appreciates good food, but we're staying downtown and we don't really want to drive.

I've been looking at the discussion here and the better restaurants seem to be in Rancho Santa Fe or at the Grand del Mar. Anything closer to downtown?

Looking for perhaps a French restaurant or steak place for Saturday night and a sumptuous brunch on Sunday.


Santa Fe Cafe
445 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024

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  1. Cowboy Star downtown for steak is a good option. Otherwise Cafe Chloe, French inspired bistro style, is the best option foodwise downtown. Everything else will require driving.

    1. Honkman covered Cowboy Star and Cafe Chloe, you might want to also factor in the Grant Grill in the U.S. Grant Hotel. For that sumptious brunch you might want to consider the Westgate Hotel. It's not your basic hotel fare and they are known for their Sunday brunch.

      The major downtown hotels in SD generally do a fairly nice job with food.

      Cafe Chloe
      721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

      1. We like Bice downtown for Italian.

        Cowboy Star has been mentioned, but Flemings, The Palm and Donovan's all do a nice job as well. Oceanaire and Donovan's Seafood on 5th do a nice job with seafood. Nobu is good for sushi.

        San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

        207 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

        1. Grant Grill at the US Grant Hotel
          Jsix at Hotel Solamar
          Oyster Bar or outside patio at Fish Market Downtown for drinks and app's..next to the USS Midway
          Cowboy Star
          Westgate Hotel for brunch

          Please thank him for his service from all of us at Chowhound!

          1. Thanks so much for the input and I will pass along the gratitude to him, as well!

            1. Stopping in to tell you we loved Cowboy Star - looked a bit unprepossessing from the outside but we had some of the best steaks we've ever tasted.

              Also went to the brunch at the Westgate Hotel, which was also a big hit. A bit strange that there was no apparent signage in the lobby and no one around to direct us to the brunch location. Had to stand in line at the reception desk for guidance and once we were seated the hostess was a bit unrefined, announcing the brunch price before saying anything else, which seemed crass to me. However, the room was elegant and the food was wonderful.

              Thanks for the good steers.