I live in Santee (East County San Diego)……These are my top picks for you. Mexican food/ taco shops are what San Diego is all about. Here are some options for you below. Basically, if I ever moved away from San Diego, these are the places I would miss and crave.
Mexican/Taco Shop- Lolitas http://lolitasmexicanfood.com http://lolitasmexicanfood.com/ I would recommend the California Burrito (Carne asada, french fries, sour cream) or the Carne Asada Chips (Basically nachos…..carne asada, shredded cheese- not melted though….weird but works, guacamole and sour cream). Lolitas is the best tasting taco shop in SD by far IMO. Here is another place El Pollo Grill http://www.elpollogrill.com http://www.elpollogrill.com/. Best pollo asado burrito in San Diego. Great chips too
Fish Tacos- http://www.tjoysterbar.com/english/ourmenu.htm http://www.tjoysterbar.com/english/ourmenu.htm. Best fish tacos in San Diego IMO. Best part…only $1.00! They are a little small and you can eat 5 at a time but for a buck they cannot be beat. My order usually consists of a shrimp ceviche tostada and 3-4 fish tacos. Under $10.00 and absolutely delicious. Its a real small place though and does get crowded so its best to get there right when they open.
Egg Rolls- http://www.yelp.com/biz/a-chau-san-diego http://www.yelp.com/biz/a-chau-san-diego. They make these little Vietnamese egg rolls. They have 2 types…ones with a traditional wrapper and one made with rice paper. I prefer the rice paper…crispier and crunchier. They fill them with a pork filling, carrots and some rice noodles. They are addictive as can be. Cheap too… 45 cents each. Great snack.
Royal Mandarin- http://royalmandarinrestaurant.com/index.html http://royalmandarinrestaurant.com/index.html. This is where buffetbuster mentioned (National City) The regular food is just ok…the reason to come here is the Salt and Pepper wings. Deep fried chicken wings coated with msg, salt/pepper and green onions. These things are like crack. They are incredibly delicious and always super crunchy. You get get an order of about 12 for $8.00 or so. We ALWAYS get these for parties or pot lucks at work. Haven’t met a single person who does not like them.
Fast food burgers- If you haven’t had one already, definitely head to In N Out for a double double http://www.in-n-out.com http://www.in-n-out.com/ . If you are in North County San Diego there is a place called Farmer Boys http://www.farmerboys.com http://www.farmerboys.com/ . They have “The Farmers Burger” which is double patties, cheese, bacon and avocado. Its one of the best fast food burgers I have ever had.
San Diego pizza sucks….if you are coming from NY, dont even bother trying any pizza out here ;-).
Thats all I can really think of that I personally would crave and miss if I ever moved. If you can, definitely try Lolitas. I could eat there every single day and never get sick of it.
Thanks BB, I hadn’t thought of “Pinoy” food, and that’s not that easy to get, anyway. Good out of the box thinking!
Great ideas so far!
Well, if you want the west coast perspective on Mexican cuisine (as opposed to Tex-Mex here in Austin), there is Jalisco’s on Palm avenue, Indio’s and for monster burrito’s there is Santana’s on Rosecranz. Point Loma Seafood is great for freshness and variety.
For authentic gen-u-wine regional Southern California Roadfood
it would be a sin not to stop byhttp://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/6565/ob-smoothie-bar-sub-express here.
Also I was very pleased with http://ichibanpb.menutoeat.com Ichiban which was written up in the pre website Eat your way across the USA book
Keep in mind Southern California has the most and the most diverse Asian Restaurants in the country…
I’ll be headed out to San Diego from the East Coast, and want to explore some “West Coast foods.” Other then Mexican, esp. fish tacos, what/where can I find dishes that are representative of the San Diego/SoCal area? Thx.
I enjoyed Farmer Boys too.
It’s a step beside RF, but I always hit Croce’s when I’m in SD. Unique, earthy dishes. (Although it has been a while.)
I agree with Strongy78, don’t bother with pizza , but with all do respect NYNM is looking for something unique, don’t bother with burgers, since you’ll find just as good and better in NYC ( I can blindfold myself and find at least 1/2 a dozen better ones within a one mile radius of my condo)
For another unique So-Cal experience you cannot miss the granola at The Cottage in La Jolla, certainly some of the best I’ve ever had. Don’t just go with me, if you’ll check chowhound you’ll see other locals agree that San Diego is all about the Asian Cuisine besides Mexican
Just south of San Diego is National City, which has a huge Filipino population. I drove down there with my Bayawan born girlfriend and her daughter and let them pick a place out. After looking at the menu of several different restaurants, they settled on http://villamanila.com Villa Manila and were very happy with their meals.
San Diego area
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