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Oct 3, 2013 04:21 AM

Need a plan for 4 days in SD - with gourmet children...

Ahoy -

Bringing my two excellent eaters aged 5, and 7 to SD for 4 days. I'm at a conference at the Town and Country, and I am looking to stay fairly close (no trips to Carlsbad, La Jolla may be a possibility)

I need:

A great burrito (my eldest will turn 7 while we are in SD, and could eat burritos all day - he deserves something delicious, but also in a fun atmosphere - I was thinking Lucha Libre?)

A great burger (Neighborhood?)

Fish Tacos (The CHers seem to steer us away from Rubios - I need something a step up from a truck with a bit of atmosphere)

Sushi (For my younger...)

I would also like a few tips for great ice cream or frozen yogourt.

Any help would be useful. I am looking really forward to it!


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  1. Lucha Libre isn't the best taqueria in town by any stretch, but I think for a 7 year old it would be a lot of fun. You can call ahead and reserve the booth that's the interior of an old Cadillac.

    Here's a thread on the SD claim to fame, the Carne Asada Burrito -

    JVs Taco Shop on Morena, which is not too far from the T&C, has a lot of fans. If you want to upscale it a little bit Casa Guadalajara in Old Town has a nice patio setting and ginormous burritos

    For fish tacos try Blue Water Grill just down the street from Lucha Libre. Line out the door on weekends and lunch, generally not as busy at dinner. The Brigantine also does a better than average fish taco. It's a mainstay of their happy hour menu, but is on their regular menu as well. I think the closest Brig to T&C is probably in Point Loma on Shelter Island. Not too far but traffic on Rosecrans can be a b*tch

    Enjoy your visit, the weather is supposed to be great this weekend.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      "JVs Taco Shop on Morena, which is not too far from the T&C, has a lot of fans."

      That means that either Diana has never been there (which I find almost impossible to believe), or she doesn't want to give it her stamp of approval. :)

      Another possibility for burgers is (gasp) Hodad's, in either the Gaslamp or OB. Kids might really like their shakes. You could also do pretty well in OB for burritos and fish tacos. I'm not sure if kids can get into South Beach Bar & Grill, but there are other places.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          Apparent, Diana is what my iPhone thought "Diva" should be. Goodness...

    2. I can cover the ice cream/frozen yogurt request. You'll be close to Fashion Valley mall which is home to a Pinkberrys. If you'd rather to self-serve. there's a Yogurtland in Hazard Center, which is also in Mission Valley. For ice cream, check out Paplecco's in Little Italy for gelato, and Mariposa in Normal Heights for ice cream.

      And for sushi, your best bet would be either Hane Sushi in Old Town or Azuki in Banker's Hill, close to Balboa Park.

      4 Replies
      1. re: phee

        Did you mean harney in old town? Hane is in banker's hil... I would never take kids to hane. I doubt a 5 year old would appreciate that quality and the atmosphere is rather pristine. Seems crazy to spend that much money.

        1. re: sf415

          Oh, yes I did! Thanks for the correction. Harney would work well, and it's close to MV.

          1. re: phee

            Harney's looks a bit ridiculous (I mean that in a good way) - would it be OK for kids?

            1. re: chemfemme

              I think so, yes, especially on a week night.

      2. Burritos - I'd definitely go with Lucha Libre for your son. Its a fun atmosphere, especially if you get the champion's booth, and the burritos are okay. As taco shops go (and that's where you go for a burrito), Lucha Libre is pretty good. Not great, not phenomenal, but pretty good.

        Burgers. . .there are a fair number of places in San Diego that do burgers (to the irritation of some). Neighborhood is as good as any.

        Fish Tacos - If you haven't had Rubio's before, then its not bad. Better fish tacos are found on one of the many Mariscos trucks around town. There are a fair number of posts about them on this site.

        1. Mama Testa has some excellent tacos and an amazing salsa bar. Very festive atmosphere and good for kids. The owner beat Bobby Flay in a fish taco throwdown if that kind of thing is important.

          If you want to stay close by, Bunz is in Mission Valley. I would not call it a great burger, but was very good with very good shakes.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JRSD

            Perfect recs. I am going to see if I can get the champion's booth for LL, and I had flagged Mama Libre's. Is Blue Water Grill better than Rubios?

            Per the burger, I have made caloric room for one fast food burger (Hodad's or In-n-Out animal style) and one "better" burger. I have narrowed the latter down to Sessions, or Neighbourhood.

            Still waiting on a good sushi rec...

            1. re: chemfemme

              Yes, Blue Water is better than Rubios

              1. re: chemfemme

                Blue Water is definitely better than Rubio's - they are using fresh seafood in their tacos AFAIK. Rubio's is fast food. It's OK in a pinch, but you can do a lot better than that.

                For sushi, you really aren't that far from Sushi Ota in east Pacific Beach (just west of I-5, on Mission Bay Drive north of Balboa). The guidebooks and many people still think they are the best in San Diego, Quite a few chowhounders think Kaito is better, but that is up in Encinitas and way out of your range.

            2. JV's taco shop is close by USD and quite good
              Bay Park Fish tacos
              Luce..for burger
              Sushi Ota in Mission Bay
              George's at the Cove for fish tacos in La Jolla..ocean terrace
              Brigantine happy hour everyday for fish welcome