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Jul 10, 2000 03:00 PM

San Diego eats

  • c

I stumbled upon this site a couple of days ago and thought I’d add my 2 cents about the chow of my hometown, San Diego.

San Diego’s signature food (by way of San Felipe, Mexico) is the fish taco. They can be found everywhere, but eat them at Rubio’s, a fast food chain that got its start here. Rubios has an extensive Mexican menu most of it good – try the chicken quesadilla.

In the Mexican takeout category, Robertos and its cousin chain Albertos also serve good chow. The carne asada burrito at 2:00 a.m. is especially good. The Robertos on Carmel Valley Rd. in the Del Mar area is great because it has picnic tables with a view. Note: the success of the aforementioned chains has led to the fact that almost every small Mexican take out restaurant has the suffix “berto” in its name. For example: Alibertos, Humbertos etc. etc. Some of these are good others not so good.

For standard sit down Mexican food, I agree that the Old Town Mexican Café in Old Town is excellent. Order the carnitas and get there early in tourist season.

As for burgers, the In and Out chain serves great ones. Fresh ingredients, great fries, great shakes. And, if you are in need of souvenirs buy some of their t-shirts, the shirt of choice of the surfer crowd – at least the post 30 er 40 year old ones I hang with.

Ocean Beach which hasn’t changed much since the late 60s is home to one of my favorite hamburger joint, HoDads. Great burgers, fries, and shakes with an atmosphere similar to the beach joints of my youth.

For walk up sea food try Point Loma Sea Food on Emerson St.. Have a crab cake sandwich and enjoy the view of the bay.

As for a pizza try, Bronx’s Pizza on Washington St. Excellent New York style pizza.

Well, I’ve blabbered enough. I’ll share some of my favorite sit-downs later.


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  1. Hi Chip: Welcome! Can I ask how you 'stumbled' upon this site? That always interests me because I ended up here quite by chance some years ago and never left. You are a great resource already. Thanks for all those good tips. San Diego is a dream destination of mine. pat

    1. Chip,

      I lived in San Diego for two years and was very impressed with the food. Everywhere there is great Mexican food. Rubio's is good, though I never did like Roberto's as much as everyone else. It may be the one I went to (Mission Beach) was not as good as the rest. My favorite fast food Mexican was Taco Surf on Mission Blvd in Pacific Beach. Great prices, incredible food--good fish tacos, wonderfully flavorful chicken fajita burritos, and a tostada grande that has to be eaten to be believed. I've never had anything from there that wasn't very tasty.

      The other thing I would recommend to anyone visiting San Diego is to cruise the restaurants out on Convoy. Excellant noodle houses, tofu places, carry-outs and dine-ins. I found great Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese and Thai restaurants there, plus some unusual and interesting Chinese places. Almost all of them with very competitive prices.

      Please post more about your favorite spots. I still get over to San Diego once in a while, and it is nice to know good places to eat.

      2 Replies
      1. re: e.d.

        Thanks for the info about San Diego eats. I'm heading out there soon for the first time and have been combing some guidebooks to get a handle on the food. I've not been too inspired by what I've read.

        I'm there for three nights. Where should I absolutely eat? I'll definitely be filling up on fish taco's during the day.


        1. re: Amanda

          For sure hit Fins and Wahoo's. Also seoul BBQ on convoy, and emerald seafood also on convoy. You can't go wrong out on convoy

      2. It just doesn't get any better than this little place in Del Mar ... it's good food and a view that is GREAT. You can walk in with $5, and go away full.
        Visit this place early during lunch as it's crowded and parking a premium.
        Chris Carmichael


        1. Those are all good choices and relatively cheap eats. I'd add Del Mar's Epozote.

          If you are able to spend a little more, don't miss CA Cuisine, Terra, Positanos, Pampelmousse, Bandar....

          1 Reply
          1. I am looking for the recipe for Robertos carne asada burrito, please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!