HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >

Old Town San Diego

ritas Apr 26, 2012 10:19 AM

Looking for Old Town dinner suggestions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. y6y6y6 RE: ritas Apr 26, 2012 11:09 AM

    Did you want touristy faux Mexican that is not very good? Then just do the tourist thing and eat where you see a menu outside that looks tasty. They are all about the same. If I had to pick one it would be Old Town Market Cafe. But just because it's less touristy.

    My suggestion would be to expand your question a bit. No one wants to advise you to eat mediocre food. I'd suggest going to El Comal. Or getting adventurous and heading to south county to a mariscos truck.

    3 Replies
    1. re: y6y6y6
      ritas RE: y6y6y6 Apr 26, 2012 11:23 AM

      thanks...its just that we are going to be staying in Old Town and would like to walk to restauarant. We are not into touristy stuff but like to eat just about anything, but it has to be good and I don't know the Old Town district. I know it is pretty touristy so I was hoping someone would give some suggestions for better than average food.

      1. re: ritas
        RB Hound RE: ritas Apr 26, 2012 12:22 PM

        El Agave and Berta's have their fans.



        1. re: ritas
          Josh RE: ritas Apr 26, 2012 02:01 PM

          Berta's is pretty good, though I haven't been in years.

      2. c
        Cathy RE: ritas Apr 26, 2012 11:17 AM

        25Forty Bistro and Bakehouse. http://www.25fortybistro.com/

        You can walk there when in Old Town. Great food and sometimes specials, depending on when you are going.Closed on Mondays. Lunch 11:30-2:30 on Thurs and Fri. Dinner Tues-Fri from 5 pm.. Open from 10 am Sat & Sun

        2540 Congress Street 92110

        7 Replies
        1. re: Cathy
          Beach Chick RE: Cathy Apr 29, 2012 07:21 AM

          Friends went to 25Forty Bistro and loved it...isn't that the one in the back of the famous haunted Whaley House?
          Guadalajara Grill and El Agave are good choices..
          Perry's is good for breakfast/lunch which is very truck stop fare.
          I still like Old Town Mex to see my girls making those tortillas, have a marg, and some cheesy Mex..flame away
          ; )

          1. re: Beach Chick
            Cathy RE: Beach Chick Apr 29, 2012 08:04 AM

            It's on the same block as Old Town Mexican Cafe...Congress is the street West of Old Town Avenue. Closer to Twigg than Harney. ( Whaley is East of Old Town Ave and South of Harney).

            The name on the building is 25Forty Bistro and Bakery and they do make some nice pastries and breads. Always good food here.

            1. re: Cathy
              fungshe RE: Cathy Nov 19, 2012 11:58 PM

              Whaley is at the corner of Juan and San Diego Avenue. The cafe in the Whaley gardens is the Creole Cafe and it is said that it is the best Creole food in the region. I'd like to know others opinions of that as I'm not a Creole food fan so I cant vouch but it does get raves from the visitors, I work at the property is why I know this. El Agave for Mexican s great, but keep an eye on the prices, it can bust ones budget. We ow have two sushi houses, Sushi Harney and Sushi Tadokoro
              2244 San Diego Ave. (Old Town). We also have a Thai place now and Bentowich which is Japanese. Back to Mexican food...I think people like to just automatically diss the tourist spots without having actually tried them. Sure there is plenty of cheese smothered stuff but some places have been there for decades and are serving up their abuelitas own recipes, so you might want to check the attitude at the door and discover what's actually there. Just my two cents.

              1. re: fungshe
                SaltyRaisins RE: fungshe Nov 20, 2012 11:44 AM

                "I think people like to just automatically diss the tourist spots"

                Case in point: Brockton Villa. The last two meals I've had there, one with out of towers and one with just us (just to make sure I wasn't mistaken) were really very good, and the service was even better. Not the best restaurant in SD, but far far far from the worst.

                Never on the weekends, though.


                1. re: SaltyRaisins
                  fungshe RE: SaltyRaisins Nov 20, 2012 08:05 PM

                  Good point! For Brockton Villa, the view and the wonderful historic beach cottage is worth the visit in itself! ;)

                  1. re: fungshe
                    bizzwriter RE: fungshe Nov 21, 2012 01:49 AM

                    Just bring along a gas mask for those days when the breeze carries with it the pungent aroma of thousands of seabirds and sea lions that "do their thing" on the rocks and cliffs across the street from the Villa.


                    1. re: bizzwriter
                      fungshe RE: bizzwriter Nov 21, 2012 10:06 AM

                      Its the coast... sea life, sounds, smells etc.. its the ocean. What might be the preference bizzwriter condos along the shore or?

        2. s
          svnirvana RE: ritas Apr 26, 2012 11:50 AM

          There is a trolley station in Old Town, so it would be easy to get to Little Italy or Downtown via the Blue line.

          1. w
            wanker RE: ritas Apr 26, 2012 01:03 PM

            Casa Guadalajara and El Agave are respectable, the rest are souless tourist traps.

            3 Replies
            1. re: wanker
              pantani RE: wanker Apr 27, 2012 09:47 PM

              I have had some enjoyable meals at Bertas. It is more South American than mexican.

              1. re: pantani
                Beach Chick RE: pantani Apr 29, 2012 07:35 AM

                Berta's is very popular during baseball season with the MLB players dining there who miss their country's home cooking.

              2. re: wanker
                globocity RE: wanker Nov 21, 2012 04:11 PM

                Casa Guadalajara has to be one of the most egregiously poor restaurants in OT. Their food is on par with Tio Leo's and South of the Border. CG is probably best suited for sitting on the patio and drinking margaritas. Then moving onto El Agave for dinner.

              3. f
                Fort Point RE: ritas Apr 29, 2012 07:15 AM

                We had a excellent lunch at the Cosmopolitan Restaurnant and Hotel. Nice patio area in the middle also.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Fort Point
                  Beach Chick RE: Fort Point Apr 29, 2012 07:34 AM

                  Glad to hear you had a great lunch at the Cosmo resto..

                  1. re: Fort Point
                    MrKrispy RE: Fort Point May 3, 2012 01:00 PM

                    We had horrible dinner service at the Cosmo, but have grown fond of weekend brunch there. You actually get to eat outside in a large open space, and enjoy a drink or beer, and the menu is well above any other places in the area. The food has been more consistent than El Comal (the last 6 months at least).

                    If locals can bear the thought of having to be seen near those wretched tourist things, and deal with parking, Cosmo is a great choice for lunch.

                    1. re: MrKrispy
                      globocity RE: MrKrispy Nov 21, 2012 04:10 PM

                      El Comal is one of my favorites for Mexican food in SD.

                  2. w
                    wrldtrvl RE: ritas Nov 20, 2012 10:51 PM

                    Well, I have always liked El Agave. A lot. It is NOT Tex-Mex, heavy on the cheese sauce. Moe, chiles en nogada, etc. amazing collection of tequila. For me the big drawback--very expensive.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: wrldtrvl
                      scottca075 RE: wrldtrvl Nov 21, 2012 10:47 AM

                      I like El Agave a lot too and it is Chilango (Mexico City) style food not Tex-Mex.

                      New to Old Town since this thread started is Sushi Tadokoro.

                      Harney Sushi isn't bad and the fact that it is open to Midnight most nights is a big plus in its favor.

                      1. re: scottca075
                        globocity RE: scottca075 Nov 21, 2012 04:13 PM

                        Some might find the noise and high prices (for what you get) at Harney a turn off. But I've never had bad sushi there and it can be fun on a Friday night with a group of friends. I keep forgetting about that spot.

                    Show Hidden Posts