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Jun 21, 2005 07:11 PM

Del Mar (CA) Dinner recs

  • s

Will be staying mid-week at the eternally funky Del Mar Motel so no "white tablecloth" restaurants, please. We'll only have "beach clothes". Anything new or old that I've missed CHs? Have heard about AMERICANA, PACIFICA DEL MAR and the fish tacos (only) at POSEIDON in the "don't dress up/good food" category.


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  1. Who ever told you about fish tacos only at the Poseidon is correct. Great setting but very disappointing food. Haven't been but heard good things about Americana. I would stick to appetizers at Pacifica. Can get pricy and I don't think the food is worth is. Again great setting though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lynne

      definitely recommend Americana! they do all 3 meals and well! casual kind of place, outdoor seating available. been many times, consistently good food!

    2. Pacifica del Mar does get pricey and tends to be dressier at night. Not sure what you call "beach clothes," but if you have a non-tank top shirt and cotton skirt and if the guys wear khakis and a collared shirt of some sort, you'll be ok. No flip flops or shorts.

      Its sister restaraunt, Pacifica Breeze Cafe, is open for breakfast and lunch. I think they are better than the formal restaruant. Outdoor seating, casual and great view of the water.

      Might want to check out Sbicca's, just down the street from Americana's. It's a pretty popular place, semi-casual. A lot of people I know like it and they have some kind of wine special during the week. I have "ordered wrong" for my entrees the few times I've been there, although I liked my appetizer, salad and dessert. Not a t-shirt and shorts for dinner place. If you wear a skirt or khakis, you'll be ok.

      Also take a look at En Fuego, just north of Americana. Casual, good Mexican food. Supposed to have great margaritas. Can show up in shorts/nice t-shirt and be ok. Outdoor seating only.

      Rendevouz in the Del Mar Plaza has an interesting menu--Chinese fusion/noodle/dumpling house concept. I've been only once but thought it was worth going back. On the casual side. open for lunch and dinner.

      for lunch, try Board and Brew for great sub sandwiches. somewhere tucked below street level off Camino del Mar.

      Champagne Bakery and Cafe next to L'Auberge Hotel has good sandwiches, quiches, salads, soups, etc.

      1. Thank you both so much for your suggestions. I used "Beach Clothes" because we'll have some young (read: impoverished) people with us for one of the nights and didn't want to put them in an uncomfortable situation. Buying their meal is not possible, so finding someplace deliciousAND affordable is important.

        On the other nights, we'll try to hit all your suggestions during our stay. We'll even wear "Real Clothes". Really appreciate your help. Thanks.

        1. Ditto on Americana - particularly for breakfast. It's better than Pacifica Breeze for breakfast. Board and Brew is a local favorite, and very inexpensive - great sandwiches. If you have a car and you're craving great Mexican food, head a bit south to Fidel's on Genevieve in Solana Beach (or Tony's Jacal across the street - it's a local rivalry) or for great taco shacks, try Raul's in Encinitas (just off 101 across from 7-11) or Juanita's on 101 in Leucadia, or any Roberto's (in my opinion, still good, but 1 step below the 2 listed above) location (just north of DMM on Carmel Valley Road, south on 101 in Solana Beach). Also - there's a farmer's market right near your hotel in downtown Del Mar on Saturdays - Village Mill makes some great bread if you want to take it home.
          Also - for great, NY style cheap pizza slices - Buongiorno's off Stevens in Solana Beach.

          2 Replies
          1. re: basschow

            ..or Don Chuy right by Fidels and Tony Jacals. What is the consensus here on these three? Personally, I think the food at Don Chuy is the best. I haven't been to Jacals in a long time. Fidels seems 'standard' to me (except for the tortilla soup, which is worth the visit). Drinks are also pretty good at Fidels.
            At Don Chuy I like La Montaña and anything with cactus. It looks like a dump, but I like the food! No bar scene or worthwhile bar items at Don Chuy.
            Just my thoughts, wondering what others think on these three mexican joints so bizarrely clustered together for no apparent reason.

            1. re: rotochicken

              Fidels is horrendous. Crappy texmex food. Drinks weren't so hot either. Ketchup like salsa and greasy chips says it all.

          2. Sorry but the fish tacos at The Poseidon are weird. They come with some sort of aioli on them, two for $8. I would rather eat a classic Rubio’s fish taco than that any day.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pablo

              why would you go to Poseidon for fish tacos? That's not what they specialize in. It is usually safe to go with whatever they have on their special for the day or by the staff's recommendation.

              1. re: p_dubs

                Also Cafe Del Mar is pretty good for breakfast and dinner. Nothing spectacular but decent and reasonably priced food in a nice outdoor setting (no view). I would skp the food at En Fuego, but the drinks are good and it is a fun bar setting. Up the street a bit in Solana Beach (if you have a car), you might also want to check out Beach Grass Cafe (known for breakfast but not bad for dinner and pretty casual). There are not too many cheap places in Del Mar proper, other than Board & Brew which is not open for dinner.