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Four days in San Diego


I asked this question on the forum dedicated to San Francisco and LA and I had
many answers.


I hope you will also contribute to the same question that I put on the website of San Diego
Thank you in advance! ..

We are French and we will stay a few days in San Diego in May 2013.

We will stay at Dolphin Motel, 2912 Garrison St.

Do you know any restaurants located near the periphery of this Motel? ..

We can use our rental car, but we do not want to make many kilometers.

Of course, we want to avoid upscale restaurants and favor those who could help us discover the different flavors of the city: American (Burger),Mexican, Italian, Chinese ... (French, we know! ......


Thank you in advance.

Excuse our bad English ...

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  1. Point Loma Seafood and Pearl (Restaurant in the Pearl Hotel) immediately come to mind.

    Point Loma Seafood is not fantastic cuisine, but it's a San Diego spot and very enjoyable.

    I've not been to Pearl, but have attended several social functions where they've served and always been impressed.

    1. Sorry everything I mentioned was on the outskirts of San Diego. But it's fun to try to stick to a theme, and I chose fish tacos, we had so much fun trying them all. I can't imagine going to San Diego and not concentrating on Mexican food, so many different types and qualities, can be lots of fun treasure hunting for the best.

      1. A new seafood bistro with an excellent selection of craft beers is very near your motel. It's called Fathom and is at 1776 Shelter Island Dr. Very good early reviews. Also very plain and basic but with wonderful views.

        1. What are some of the things you plan on doing here in San Diego? I'm sure we can direct you to some great places to eat that fit into your vacation plans.

          And your English is better than my French, so no need to apologize.

          4 Replies
          1. re: zmirzlina

            Hello and thank you all for your answers ! ..

            Jet lag is important and it is difficult to communicate ! ..

            We are in indecision: either take the car or use the bus.

            What is the most rational means of transport ?

            Regarding the things we plan on doing in San Diego:

            - The downtown (Gaslamp)
            - Coronado
            - Seaport Village
            - La Jolla
            - Mission Beach
            - Balboa park

            It may be a bit utopian to want to visit as many sites so little time! ...

            Precisely according to these sites, and without targeting the high-end restaurants (this is the end of our trip and our budget will be consumed almost) what restaurants (Italian, burgers, mexican, bbq) can you advise us.

            Thank you in advance.

            1. re: topfrance

              The bus system in SD is unfortunately nothing compared to most places in Europe. If you don't want to spend a larger part of your time waiting/traveling slowly with your bus you should consider renting a car.

              1. re: topfrance

                - The downtown (Gaslamp)

                Neighborhood, Craft and Commerce, Cowboy Star

                - Coronado

                Burger Lounge

                - Seaport Village

                Sushi bar at the Fish Market

                - La Jolla

                El Pescador, Whisk and Ladle

                - Mission Beach


                - Balboa park

                Bruno's, Mama Testa, Marsicos German Truck

                Yes, plan on renting a car if you want to get around.

                Safe travels!

                1. re: topfrance

                  In Mission Beach you must go to Roberto's Tacos. It is classic San Diego street food and an institution. It's on Mission blvd right across the street from the Giant Dipper roller coaster.

              2. On Harbor Drive, 300 meters from the Dolphin Motel, is Jimmy's Famous American Tavern. Great burgers and right on the water. Every Monday, they have a burger and a draft beer special for $12. They also have a great happy hour if you are getting low on funds ($3 beer, wine, wells).

                5 Replies
                1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                  Thank stiflers_Moms

                  Excuse me, but I find it difficult to translate in french :
                  "if you are getting low on funds "

                  Can you please rephrase otherwise.

                  Thank you

                  1. re: topfrance

                    sure - if it is at the end of of your trip and most of your budget has been consumed, $3 beer, wine and well drinks might be a good option for you.

                    1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                      Ah .. Ok! .. I understood !..
                      It is an expression typically English! ..
                      I took note of the information together! ..
                      I looked at the website and effectively the place is great! ..
                      Thank again! ..

                    2. re: topfrance

                      I don't know how well my dashboard translator works but it says

                      si vous devenez bas sur des fonds

                      1. re: MacTAC

                        Thank you MACtac

                        That does not mean anything in French! ..

                        I can translate your expression: if you become low with your money !..

                        Funds in french is a word that is rather a designation reserved for accounting or banking.

                        In French we could possibly write: "If you're almost dry" (financially)

                  2. In Coronado, I recommend Leroy's Kitchen. I ate there for the first time a few weeks ago and had a great meal. Pork Osso Buco on top of an amazing saffron risotto. The calamari was good too. It was topped with pickled red peppers, which was different. You can make a reservation on Opentable and get a table easily. Good luck!


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: master815k

                      thank you all for your answers ! ..
                      I have taken note of your recommendations.
                      In the event that I would need additional information, I will certainly contact you again.

                    2. Hello,
                      I still have a small question.
                      I have my son who loves to eat Prim Rib BBQ pork.

                      Do you have any references on which restaurants have this dish?

                      Thank you

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: topfrance

                        I think you're asking for BBQ pork ribs prime rib is beef. Coops West Texas BBQ in Lemon Grove is a good choice.

                        1. re: Rodzilla

                          Thank Rodzilla !..

                          Yes, I asked for BBQ pork ribs !... Excuse me !...

                          I have noted the adress.

                          But it is far enough from 2912 Garrison St! ..

                          Is that the traffic is fluid from Garrison St to 2625 Lemon Grove Avenue?

                          Thank again.

                          1. re: topfrance

                            Lemon Grove is pretty far, but Coops is the REAL BBQ, and, in my humble opinion, represents food and flavor you won't get in the best of France.

                            France is one of my favorite restaurants. Yes, the entire country. But when I travel there, I miss BBQ, and go to Coops shortly after my return home.

                            In Point Loma, near the Sports Arena, is a place called Phil's. many hundreds of people line up there to eat what they call BBQ. While I refuse to call it that, I have enjoyed meals there, and you may as well. It has the advantage of being close by, and might be the flavors your son is seeking.

                            Try it. You might like it.

                            1. re: Fake Name

                              I noticed Phil's but I did not know if it was recommended! ..

                              This is done.

                              I pointed Phil's also on my GPS.

                              1. re: topfrance

                                Given how many areas you want to see while you're here, I agree you should go to Phil's for BBQ rather than all the way to Lemon Grove, where there won't be much else you'd want to visit. Phil's may not be "authentic" but when it comes to BBQ, people have passionate opinions and you'll never find general agreement. Phil's is wildly popular and the food is tasty. But be aware there can be long lines to get a table - go early or at an off hour.
                                Enjoy your visit!

                                1. re: elizabethpl

                                  Thank you very much @ elizabethpl's

                                  I noted this restaurant in my "little papers"! ...

                                  I should not fail to visit him!.

                      2. @ wrldtrvl

                        Thank you for this information! ..

                        However, write in English because the moderator will remove your conversation and responses are attached! ..

                        Nevertheless, congratulations on your French is very good!

                        Thank you again for the names of the restaurants.

                        1. To get off topic, just some local advice. Knowing you are traveling with your son, the Dolphin Motel is a bit on the seedy side, hourly rates, etc. There are many other affordable motels in the area that might be better. Hotel Circle, Old Town are 2 other areas to look.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: globalsurf

                            Merci globalsurf..
                            The Dolphin motel is NOT a place to stay!!
                            You can cancel your reservations.

                            1. re: Beach Chick

                              Thank Beah Chick

                              I do not understand because on a famous site notation the motel is ranked 11 out of 270! ..

                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                BC, it appears the Dolphin is not the same place you once frequented ; ) everybody has a second chance....


                                1. re: Fake Name

                                  Guess they have cleaned up nicely after all those 'hourly' visits years ago...I know I have!

                                  I only want the best for my our French family!

                                  À bientôt

                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                    I drive by that place every day - it's modest but clean looking, and the neighborhood is fine, so I wouldn't worry. I think it caters especially to people who are going on the sports fishing boats that leave the Pt. Loma docks across the street, so there are a lot of people leaving the hotel at 3 or 4 a.m. to catch those early boats. Hopefully they're quiet!

                                    1. re: elizabethpl

                                      As a native San Diegan and have lived for several years in the La Playa area (next to SDYC) the Dolphin Motel was notorious for its seedy clientele and hourly rates..

                                      If it has cleaned itself up, that is great.

                            2. oh, and go to Slaters 50/50 for their burgers.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: globalsurf

                                Thank you @ globalsurf! ..

                                It is very nice of you, but someone recommended the Dolphin Motel and thebright already booked! ..

                                We are 4 to go in California. My wife and myself and my son and his girlgirlfriend.

                                Shame not to take advantage of having your information sooner.

                                Thank you for the address of the burgers.

                                Excuse my bad english.

                              2. Another place you might enjoy is Nick's at the Beach in Ocean Beach. It's nearby, just on the other side of the Pt. Loma peninsula from your motel, facing (yep) the ocean. It's not exceptional food but it's fine, not too expensive, and the view of the surf and surfers, and OB Pier, is great. Or just go for sunset cocktails. Shades, the restaurant downstairs from Nick, is fun for breakfast (or a cheaper dinner) on the patio and more ocean views. Then just cross the street for a beach walk.

                                1. Hello

                                  Have you also some references restaurant in the neighborhoods of Gaslamp and Seaport Village?

                                  Thank you

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: topfrance

                                    Topfrance, I think the most common reference you'll get from this board on the Gaslamp and Seaport Village is to avoid them at all costs.

                                    Seaport Village is a nice spot to walk around because it's right on the bay. But really, it's a bunch of shops selling trinkets and doo-dads to tourists. The restaurants there are mediocre to average...nothing very interesting and nothing very good.

                                    The Gaslamp is an old seedy part of town that was rennovated years ago. It is now mostly over priced restaruants, bars and clubs catering to the convention crowd and young, under-30 adults looking for sex, drugs and rock and roll.

                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                      Doo-Dad's ??? are you from the Shirley Temple days?

                                            1. re: cstr

                                              Supposition my friends. Supposition

                                            2. re: DiningDiva

                                              Sex, drugs, and rock n roll? Lol. DD will rap your hand with a hickory stick if you into THAT PLACE.