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Sep 2, 2011 12:41 PM

Trolley Tour - Not to Miss Stops?

Mr. PP and I are thinking of taking a trolley ride around SD. Do you know of any great spots to eat within close walking distance of a trolley stop?

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  1. There is a trolley stop in Little Italy, lots of options there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: stevewag23

      Thanks. We very familiar with Little Italy-- but I had no idea the trolley stopped there. I was thinking far afield of the city center so it felt like a day's adventure.

    2. The Blue Line to Old Town will get you to Blue Water Grill, El Indio, Wine Vault, Lucha Libre, Karl Strauss and 57 Degrees at the Washington stops. Take it to Old Town and you will, of course, have all the eateries there at your disposal.

      The Blue Line south to the border will yield you a Taco El Gordo (at the "H" st stop, I think) and if you get off at Palomar and are willing to walk a few ugly blocks east to the Toys R Us you will find El Pescador and the torta ahogada trucks, both of which are pretty stationary at this location.

      One of the more interesting options is the Orange line east. The Euclid stop used to have some interesting options, not so sure now that Magnolia is gone.

      But, if you go further to Lemon Grove, both Coops BBQ and the Grove Bakery are on streets that front the trolly line. Get off at Broadway, and if you're willing to walk a little further east on Broadway, say about 2 long blocks, you should also be able to take in Carnita Uruapan.

      Staying on the Orange Line through Lemon Grove and on to La Mesa, get off at the La Mesa Blvd. stop and walk east on LM Blvd. about 3 blocks to Johnny B's. Nice little sports bar for all ages and a pretty darn good hamburger. Mario's of La Mesa is a couple blocks beyond Johnny B's. The Mexican food is okay, but certainly not destination worthy. Gio's is across the street from Johnny B's and has a nice patio in good weather. I've only eaten there once, for breakfast, which was pretty good. I think it wants to be a wine bar? La Mesa Blvd in both directions from the trolley stop is a pleasant stroll with kind of a village feel. Nothing particularly chow worthy but also not a bad place or way to spend an afternoon.

      Trying to think of some options that are worth riding the Green Line for but I'm drawing a blank. Green Line has the nicest cars but the dining along it isn't particularly noteworthy

      4 Replies
      1. re: DiningDiva

        I think the Washington St. stop is closed down right now, check the MTSD website before you plan your trolley trip.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          DD, this is D-vine. Thanks a bunch. Your reco's will help us plan our adventure. The trolley always looks like fun when it passes, especially if you're riding it to nowhere. I'm especially intrigued by Toys R Us stops, Carnita Uruapan, and the La Mesa stroll. And also thanks for the tip re: nicest cars on Green Line. You're amazing!

          1. re: pickypicky

            Glad to be of help.

            La Mesa did/ does an old time 50s car thing on La Mesa Blvd about once a month I think. You can probably Google for more info.

            In Chula Vista, the El Pescador taco truck is at 1008A Industrial (between L & Moss) and it is truly industrial. You're safe during daylight hours, but it's an ugly walk any way you slice it. I'd check the Blue Line route on their web site to see which stop you'd take for this place. I think it's Palomar but not 100% certain. Or you could continue walking up Palomar to Mariscos Godoy. It's been hit or miss for me, but I think I'm in the minority on this.

            Blue Line from downtown to Old Town and the Green Line are pretty mellow, Blue Line south and the Orange line are well used by homeless, gangs and noisy high school kids. Transit Police generally keep a higher profile on these lines. I've never felt unsafe on the Blue Line south, Orange Line it depends on who's in the car with me. Tickets are on the honor system, but don't try and beat the system. The Transit Police do come through and they do check. No, I've not been caught ;-)

            I have a friend who uses the trolley and bus system regularly and he kind of got me used to using the trolley line. I like it. Not always super convenient, but I like it.

            Mariscos Godoy
            651 Palomar St 25A, Chula Vista, CA

          2. re: DiningDiva

            If you want a good beer, Hoffers on La Mesa Blvd a block or so away from Johnny B's/Gio is a cigar shop with a bar that has 20 or so taps of good quality beer. They have an outdoor area for people to smoke and no smoking inside.

          3. As a bit of history- Gio was the original Drew Ford showroom location. The building/bar area still has the original crank windows. Just across from Gio is Centifonti's (look out the front door of Gio and Johnny B is to the left, Centifonti to the right). I like the breakfast at Centifonti more than Gio-house made hollandaise on the Florentine Benedict (made with proscuitto) is a craving...or if you are in the area in the afternoon, the Centifonti house made Gelato and candies are wonderful.

            I had Jury Duty downtown earlier this year and have one trolley pass left and was thinking of doing the same thing as you; I saw so many places I wanted to try...The Green Line has the newer cars because the stops and cars were handicap modified (can roll straight onto the car instead of having to use the elevator). The SDSU underground stop is filled with some great art.

            8365 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91941

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cathy

              Cathy, thanks for the rec on Centifonti for breakfast. I've kind of always wondered about it. One of the candies they do is a chocolate and caramel covered marshmallow, without or without nuts. I thought they looked fab-o but was ultimately disappointed in them. I kept wishing they'd used something other than a regular old grocery store marshmallow :-(. But, since I love downtown La Mesa I'll give 'em a try for breakfast.

              I think the SDSU stop is one of the nicer ones anywhere on the lines

              It's almost time for Trolley Dances - - and this year it will be on the Green Line from Grantville to Santee. Grantville station has a good sized parking lot and even though the tracks are pretty elevated, there are elevators for easy access. Nice plateform at Grantville too

              8365 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91941

            2. On the Orange Line in Downtown (Civic Center Sta) you have upscale dining at Dobson's Chop House, The Grant Grill and Currant Brasserie. Heading out to Barrio Logan at the Commercial/25th Ave station you have La Fachada and Taco El Paisa. As you continue on up to La Mesa on the Orange Line you have The AubreyRose Tea Room and La Torta Cafe. La Torta has very good, inexpensive sandwiches and The AubreyRose is only open limited days, so if it interests you, check before you go.

              On the Blue Line in Little Italy (between Cedar & Beech) you are close to Davanti Enoteca and Bencotto Restaurant or Burger Lounge for something casual. From the Washington Street Station you can walk to the restaurants on India St including, Saffron, the Wine Vault and Blue Water Seafood. The Old Town Station you are not far from The Cosmopolitan Restaurant and a some what long walk to El Agave.

              La Fachada
              20 25th St, San Diego, CA 92102

              La Torta
              730 H St Ste 1, Chula Vista, CA 91910

              Blue Water Seafood
              3667 India St, San Diego, CA 92103

              El Agave
              2304 San Diego Ave Ste B, San Diego, CA 92110