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week to eat SD

comming from Denver and Maryland to spend a week in Mission beach. love hole in the walls, mexican, breakfasts, BBQ.
so where would YOU go for 21 meals?

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  1. Since you're staying in Mission Beach, check out La Playa Taco Shop (aka Lara's) for great, inexpensive, and friendly burritos, breakfast and otherwise. It's on Mission Blvd next to the Catamaran resort. A few blocks south on same side of Mission is Cafe Mono-- good coffee, omelets, sandwiches and always room to sit outside. Neither are quite hole in the wall, but places that cater to locals and tourists alike, which is not always true at the beach.

    -----
    Lara's Taco Shop
    3973 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

    Cafe Mono
    3833 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

    1. Perry's Cafe, Cafe Coyote, La Dona New Mexico Cafe, The Mission, Hob Nob Hill, Hash House A-go-go and the Catamaran Sunday brunch for breakfasts.

      Rocky's Crown Pub (burgers), South Beach Bar & Grill (fish tacos), Phil's (BBQ), Dirty Birds (chicken wings), Sushi Ota (sushi), Gabbiano Pizza (sub sandwiches), G-Spot Grill inside the Pennant Bar (burgers or taco tuesday) for lunches.

      Costa Brava (tapas), Green Flash (on the boardwalk), World Famous (another nice beachside place), JRDN (best restaurant in that area, Narraya (if you like Thai), Beaumont's in Bird Rock, and Davanti Enoteca in Little Italy.

      There are my 21. Some are total dives, only two could be classed as foodie joints (well maybe three), but they down home.

      There are a dozen or two more, but not sure how far afield you want to roam.

      -----
      Costa Brava
      1653 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

      Rocky's Crown Pub
      3786 Ingraham St, San Diego, CA 92109

      World Famous
      711 Pacific Beach Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

      Sushi Ota
      4529 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

      Hob Nob Hill
      2271 1st Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

      Green Flash
      701 Thomas Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

      Gabbiano Pizza
      2912 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

      Dirty Birds
      4656 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

      Cafe Coyote
      2461 San Diego Ave Ste 200, San Diego, CA 92110

      3 Replies
      1. re: scottca075

        scottca075,
        thanks just what im looking for.
        I'd say within a 20-30 minute ride would be the limit...unless im being told its worth the effort.

        1. re: scottca075

          Is Davanti Enoteca San Diego even open yet? I ate at Davanti Enoteca in Chicago this evening - and it was delicious - yet I was surprised to see how incredibly similar the menu was to Cucina Urbana. Curious to see how that plays out. (The online menu doesn't give it away, but the paper menu at the restaurant was nearly identical.)

          1. re: yashmeen

            Walked by Friday night (08/05) not yet open.

        2. With Mission Beach in the thick of things in summer..traffic can be horrendous, in and out of MB, so you want to make sure you have beach cruisers to navigate around.

          Breakfast:
          Kona's
          World Famous
          Green Flash
          Mission

          Lunch:
          Cafe Athena
          Bahia Don Bravo's
          Taco Surf
          Green Flash
          World Famous
          Luigi's
          Coaster Saloon
          Cass Street Bar and Grill
          Firehouse
          Chalboard Deli

          Dinner:
          Saska's
          Green Flash
          World Famous
          Surfside sushi
          Lamont Street Grill
          Filippi's

          Tons of taco shops in the area and most are excellent but don't know all the names.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Beach Chick

            I went to Luigi's this weekend and the pizza was awful. Good beer selection and nice patio, though. Hoboken in PB had better pizza even though it was not incredible. Also have enjoyed Isabel's Cantina in PB for breakfast.

            1. re: JRSD

              Yeah, Luigi's has gone downhill over the years.

          2. You can get some decent breakfast/brunch right in mission. Worthwhile dinners - I'd travel.

            Rubicon Deli - breakfast/brunch/lunch
            The Mission - breakfast
            Taco Surf Shop - burrito

            outside mission - hash house a go go

            worth the drive

            Kaito sushi do the omakase
            finer dining - Blanca
            lucha libre is pretty damn popular

            19 Replies
            1. re: Rodzilla

              Hash House is for us one of the worst breakfast places in SD. Only interesting if you like quantity over quality.

              1. re: honkman

                totally agree, no quality and not even good hangover chow. You need a steam shovel, for the mountain of slop, and a chain saw for the rosemary tree trunk.

                1. re: cstr

                  Hash House A Go Go puts out very good breakfasts. How many other places in SD offer smoked salmon hash, a sun-dried tomato, basil & goat cheese scramble, a sage fried chicken benedict? I see you criticizing cstr and honkman, but I don't see 21 suggestions or even one besides a B&C.

                  1. re: scottca075

                    Oh, how about Cafe Chloe, LaVencia, Nine Ten, Cavallion for a start.

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

                    Nine Ten
                    910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

                    1. re: cstr

                      add Misson Cup Cafe and The Cottage.

                      Cavaillon does a pretty mean smoked salmon scrambled eggs...

                      good food doesn't necessarily mean large portions or extensively big menu...

                      -----
                      Cavaillon Restaurant
                      14701 Via Bettona, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92127

                      1. re: cstr

                        So Cafe Chloe, LaVencia, Nine Ten and Cavallion are holes-in-the-wall places? And I looked at all the menus, except for "LaVencia" that either I don't know or you meant the La Valencia, but not one had house made smoked salmon HASH on the menu or anything with goat cheese that I noticed. I also wouldn't say Cavaillon is especially convenient to Mission Beach.

                        All that is besides the point. Instead of running down Hash House, you could have simply said, here are some of my favorites, left it at that and let the OP make their choices.

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

                        Cavaillon Restaurant
                        14701 Via Bettona, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92127

                        Nine Ten
                        910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

                        1. re: scottca075

                          The idea of a message board is that people not only come up with name after name of restaurants but also discuss and agree and disagree with those named restaurants. If you search for Hash House you will find that it is very often critized here for having very low qualityof food and only shines with its quantity. You might disagree with it but if you bring up restaurant names you have live with it that others will strongly disagree with it. Without such a discussion it will be hard for anybody to make a decision where to go.

                          1. re: honkman

                            >>>Without such a discussion it will be hard for anybody to make a decision where to go.<<<

                            A fair point when comparing Addison to the Pamplemousse Grille, but maybe less relevant to someone looking for joints.

                            -----
                            Pamplemousse Grille
                            514 Via de la Valle, Suite 100, Solana Beach, CA 92075

                            1. re: scottca075

                              Why ? I see no difference in the relevance of such a discussion if we talk about high-end or joints. A disappointing meal is a disappointing meal independently at which restaurant you ate (and yes I know the money paid is different but I like to avoid disappointments also at lower cost restaurants).
                              And also aren't such discussions (especially about joints) the whole purpose why CH exists ?

                              1. re: honkman

                                I have never had a disappointing meal at Hash House. Never had eggs underdone, the bacon crisp and flavorful, they use innovative ingredients a lot of which are made in house.

                                It seems to be one of those places like to build their "sophisticated" palates reps on by trashing with out a lot of reasons.

                                1. re: scottca075

                                  Hey, if you like Hash House, enjoy it. Demanding that others do is a bit much, though. There are places I like that get maligned on here all the time - different strokes. I don't accuse people of ulterior motives for disagreeing with me.

                                  And FWIW, I also think Hash House is absurdly overrated - along with Mission, El Indio, Lucha Libre, Cheesecake Factory...

                                  1. re: Josh

                                    "Cheesecake Factory..."

                                    I see what you did there. :)

                                    1. re: Josh

                                      Not demanding that others enjoy it, I was asking for more detail about why other than a "it sucks, don't go there" comment especially when no substitute restaurants were offered. The comments didn't seem helpful to the OP.

                                      Absurdly overrated depends on what someone says a place is. If say say, "OMG, Lucha Libre has the best burrito in San Diego, nothing else compares". I'd say yeah, that is absurdly overrating it. If you say Lucha Libre is a fun place with decent CA burritos, then no, that is not absurdly overrating it.

                                      1. re: scottca075

                                        Details were already mentioned several times - if you have relative low prices and very large portion of food and you still want to make some money you have to get very low cost (and low quality) ingredients which is the case with Hash House where the low quality of the ingredients is obvious by the mediocre taste of the food. In addition, even if you mentioned that they use "innovative ingredients" after looking on their menu I couldn't find a single dish with innovative ingredients but just rather boring standard fair which you will get at many other places. Other examples for places with better food were already mentioned before

                                        1. re: honkman

                                          You mean you don't find deep-fried, inedible dry spaghetti strewn all over your food innovative?

                                          Or the superfluous rosemary branch stuck in every dish, whether appropriate or not?

                                          Or the self-consciously kitschy brunch item of a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon with a side of bacon?

                                          1. re: Josh

                                            Still waiting on all your recs Josh. How about a post to help the OP, especially in the Mission Bay area.

                                            1. re: scottca075

                                              He's gotten a lot of good suggestions, I think.

                                              I did recommend Super Cocina below.

                                              If he wants the best dining options, driving outside of Mission Beach is probably a necessity.

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

                        2. re: scottca075

                          I’ll dump a little love on Hash House. It’s not meant to be a delicate breakfast - it’s a hearty Midwest farmer’s meal. Something you’d eat it you were going out to slop hogs or hog slop all day long. Or work the fields. Anyhow, I wouldn’t turn down a breakfast there and I often think I should try them for dinner. I still get a little giddy remembering the huge plates.

                          The Tractor Room is still owned by the HH dudes, right? That’s another option right down the street. I do think that the OP should be aware of the weekend lines at HH.

                          I do want to know more about this Cheesecake Factory. ;) Maybe CH will automate a link for me....!

                          -----
                          The Tractor Room
                          3687 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

                          Cheesecake Factory
                          2015 Birch Rd Ste 705, Chula Vista, CA 91915

                    2. re: Rodzilla

                      I'd skip Lucha Libre and go a little bit further down San Diego Ave for Las Brasas. Best Breakfast Burrito in town.

                      -----
                      Las Brasas Taco Shop
                      1890 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110

                    3. Good suggestions. Double votes for a few:

                      Cantina (most popular for breakfast, but I like for lunch or dinner and never crowded for those)
                      Rubicon Deli (sandwiches, obviously, but they're great)
                      The Mission (breakfast, possibly walkable for you, best on a weekday due to crowds)
                      JRDN (upscale for PB hotel restaurant, best for brunch/lunch on the pretty outdoor patio or a casual drink/bar snack at night)
                      Rocky's Crown Pub (perfect for you -- divey, great burgers, good house pale ale)
                      Surfside (casual sushi)
                      Sushi Ota (regarded as one of the best in San Diego, fancier sushi although in a strip mall)
                      Cass St. Bar & Grill (impressive quality for a small bar kitchen, laid back setting)
                      Beaumont's (local feel but not divey, menu basically mirrors latest dining trends but does so pretty well, avoid live music nights unless you like nodding mutely to your companion as fair-quality jazz or other live music completely overwhelms the small dining room)
                      Firehouse (younger skewing but still family friendly, nice patio seating, straightforward but varied menu with some attention to quality for breakfast or lunch)

                      Preferences are personal, but a few local institutions that I don't think match the hype (by all means check 'em out but don't say I didn't warn you):

                      Kona's (admittedly cheap and large egg based breakfasts but totally generic and heavy, terrific views from the outdoor seating area at least)
                      Costa Brava (quaint place but heavy, oily Spanish food)
                      World Famous (great view and people watching, prices in the dining area and crowds in the bar area often outstrip the quality of food/service)
                      Saska's (old school casual local steakhouse, divey, but sadly you could cook better food yourself with your hands tied behind your back)

                      -----
                      Costa Brava
                      1653 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

                      Rocky's Crown Pub
                      3786 Ingraham St, San Diego, CA 92109

                      Sushi Ota
                      4529 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

                      Saska's
                      3768 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

                      World Famous
                      3625 Dalbergia St, San Diego, CA 92113

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: CTDub

                        To all thanks...... this helps.
                        Any great bakeries?
                        coffee beans? I see several Pete's...

                        1. re: Technor

                          Bread & Cie in Hillcrest, awesome stuff especially the pecan rolls. 350 University Ave

                          1. re: Technor

                            There is Bread & Cie in Hillcrest that is next door to a Peet's Coffee, but closer to you in Pacific Beach are the French Gourmet and Charlie's Best Bread (next door to a great Vietnamese place). The Mission also has a great bakery. In South Mission Beach there is a great local coffee place whose name escapes me, but it is at the stop sign at Mission & San Gabriel. If you just want beans, look at Whole Foods in La Jolla.

                            -----
                            French Gourmet
                            960 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109

                            1. re: Technor

                              And speaking of Pete's, (I know you were talking coffee there) if you go to Little Italy in SD, go to Pete's Meats on India for an Italian sausage sandwich. Excellent, cheap, dive. Perfect.

                              1. re: Technor

                                In Ocean Beach (next beach over from MB) there is Azucar which is a Cuban Bakery. They have some lovely pastries and make a pretty good Cafe Cubano. There is a scone with guava and cream cheese and I love their Mojito Cookie. Get it to go and head down the street to the sea wall or pier.

                                Liberty Station in Point Loma (a little out of your target neighborhood) is home to Con Pane and my favorite cinnamon roll in town. They make it with their brioche dough and plenty of cinnamon and gooey stuff. Also like their sandwiches. And if you go, you're not that far from the Elegant Truffle, a little hole in the wall candy shop. The truffles are good the chocolate covered (house made) caramel is fabulous.

                                -----
                                Point Loma Cafe
                                4856 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

                                Azucar
                                San Diego, San Diego, CA

                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                  I'll happily second Azucar! They make a mean Cafe con Leche and their scones and guava pastries are awesome. Street parking is generally pretty easy before 10:30 and you're close to Sunset Cliffs which features some of the prettiest coastline in San Diego.

                                  Also in OB is Poma's for meatball subs and South Beach for fish tacos. Sessions Public has great craft beers, chicken oysters & salt wings. Don't be lured by the lines at Hodad;s though - you're better off getting a burder at Rocky's in Crown Point. Enjoy your trip!

                                  -----
                                  Hodads Restaurant
                                  5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

                                  Azucar
                                  San Diego, San Diego, CA

                                2. re: Technor

                                  I noticed that you mentioned coffee beans as opposed to coffee or espresso (drinks). Are you looking to buy some beans to take back and brew at home? (If so, for brewing or for espresso?)

                                  If not, what kind of coffee or espresso drink are you looking for?

                                  Depending on what you're looking for in this area, I'd be happy to suggest a couple of our top places...

                              2. Burgers:
                                hodad's
                                Breakfast/Brunch:
                                Prep kitchen
                                Cantina Isabella
                                Super Cocina
                                The cottage
                                Fig Tree inn
                                Sandwiches
                                K's Sandwiches
                                Cali Baguette
                                Dinners
                                Sushi Ota
                                Okan
                                Bencotto
                                Whisk n Ladle
                                Tender Greens
                                Pizza Port
                                Minh Ky

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

                                Sushi Ota
                                4529 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

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

                                Fig Tree Cafe
                                5119 Cass St, San Diego, CA 92109

                                1. Folks, this is fantastic.
                                  Got to agree that one person’s dive is a treasure or a dive to avoid. Just reading about your favorites or dislikes helps a great deal thanks!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Technor

                                    Will you have a car?

                                    1. re: Josh

                                      Yup. Traveling isn’t an issue.

                                      1. re: Technor

                                        In that case you must pay a visit to Super Cocina in City Heights. Best Mexican food I've had in SD.

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

                                        1. re: Josh

                                          Huge 2nd, SC is a great place for slow cooked Mex delights. They will give you samples to taste and are very helpful to explain the entree's. Some of my favs are chicken with cliantro and pork in an adobo stew. Prices range from 3.99 for a single portion to 7.99 for a combo plate with a choice of 2 items. Inside is very basic but comfortable. They take credit cards. Here's the website.

                                          http://supercocinasd.com

                                          Also just 2 blocks up will be a Marisco's German Food truck with, what I believe, are the best baja fish tacos around. For a buck, you'll get a fish taco and a cup of awesome seafood soup.