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Mar 20, 2002 06:27 PM

Best Mexican food in Old Town-San Diego?

  • s

A couple of friends are coming from New Mexico to visit me in San Diego and want to tour Old Town. Where can we get a good Mexican dinner and/or good atmosphere in that area? Where's the best Mexican food in Old Town?

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  1. If you have to eat Mexican food in Old Town, the carnitas at Old Town Mexican Cafe isn't bad. In my opinion, the restaurants there don't have great Mexican food because it's pretty standard tourist fare. If it's a nice day or a clear night, the view from Alcapulco is kinda cool, but again, their food is just okay.

    1. El Agave!!

      Very traditional southern mexican food.
      If you like mole this is for you!

      1. It may be touristy, but that's because you can't get it anywhere else! I like Casa Guadalajara...especially if you can sit out back by the huge tree. Casa de Pico and Casa de Bandini are also good.

        1. Wow, that is a toughie. I was raised in New Mexico and San Diego doesn't have anything near as good as NM chile. For that matter, neither does anywhere else. My kids asked me to ship them some when they were in Europe. NM chile is truly addictive. Old town might be fun to shop in but to eat? Once upon a time when the Mexican's still lived there, we had the Aztec Dining Room. El Indio used to sell ground NM red chile but stopped long ago. The Bazaar del Mundo has atmosphere and mariachis. Coyote Cafe has fresh tortillas and cigars across the street. Margaritas are everywhere, have two or three and eat anywhere.

          1. Unfortunately, I can't answer your question. But I can share with you the experiences that we had at a recent meal in Old Town. We decided to go to El Fandango, and the only reason for that restaurant is that El Fandango is rumored to be haunted by a victorian lady in white. A bit silly, yes, but we had decided to make a fun "ghost theamed day", by visiting the Whaley House, Villa Montezuma, and a few other ghostly attractions around San Diego.

            We got there and was delighted to find a large but shaded patio. It being Sunday, they offered a complimentary champagne with breakfast. I decided to have the mexican scrambled eggs, only because it had nopaltitos (cactus), which I've never tried. My omlette was fairly bland in general, even the cactus was nothing special, with the look, feel, and taste like over-cooked green bell peppers. It came with a side of beans, rices, and tortillas. At our table, we also had the Chilaquiles with Chicken, and Chorizzo con Huevo, which was decidely the tastiest and best plate at the table. The chilaquiles (sauted tortilla chips) was decent but nothing special.

            We didn't see any ghost, and it's not likey they would show up at 11:00am on Sunday. They actually quite low-key, not trying to use the story as a promotional piece. We asked a busboy about it, he said, he hasn't seen anything, and showed us a newspaper clipping of the the ghost sighting in a very small frame.

            El Fandango Restaurant
            2734 Calhoun Street
            San Diego