2489 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA | Directions 9211032.752514 -117.194677
M-F 7-11pm, Sa-Su 7-12
Neighborhoods: Old Town, Western, Western San Diego
Avoid this tourist trap – I am a New Yorker who visited San Diego this past Labor Day weekend. I love Mexican food and was looking forward to going to this restaurant since I had heard very positive things about it. The burritos were inedible. Absolutely nasty. The only good thing about them was the fresh tortilla. I ordered a veggie burrito which had uncooked beans, some shredded velveeta-esque (i.e. not fresh) cheese, and clammy lettuce. The restaurant looks like its out of Disney and its filled with tourists, so beware - this is not the fabulous Mexican food that you thought you'd get so close to the border. I also had to wait about 45 minutes to get a table, so imagine the disappointment. This restaurant is in Old Town which is filled with alternatives that are lesser known but probably much better.
Overrated. After several stellar reviews, we were really excited to visit the restaurant, supposedly some of the best Mexican food in Old Town San Diego. However, Carnitas, the house specialty, was awful (tasteless and fatty). Another special, Carne Asada, tasted like charred beef. The restaurant would be great if you go for margaritas, chips, salsa, guacamole and their insanely fresh tortillas...otherwise, skip it.
Try to make reservations ahead of time for large groups – You can only make reservations for groups of 7 or larger, I believe, otherwise the wait can be up to 2 hours for a group of 4, especially on busy Friday and Saturday nights. I would recommend in that case to put your name down and walk around scenic old town, or go during lunch when it is less crowded and shorter wait. The homemade corn and flour tortillas are the best in the area, way better than other places that claim they have homemade tortillas. There is also mouthwatering rotisserie chicken you can see basting in the large windows next to the women you can see busily making the homemade tortillas. Their ceviche is also quite good, as well as their carne asada and carnitas sets. Parking is also best in the public free parking lot about a block away from the restaurant.
Excellent Margaritas – Me and my husband love this place we've gone once for our anniversary and will be going again for our upcoming anniversary. Nice atmosphere good mexican food and margaritas to die for!
Legendary Old Town spot known for warm tortillas, premium margaritas and Mexican specialties served in a family-friendly atmosphere. – In Short
The large picture window out front captivates tourists who watch jovial women making fresh tortillas, but it's the irresistible aroma of oak-fired rotisserie chicken and savory carnitas that draws people inside. A favorite with locals for nearly three decades and winner of numerous awards, this no-frills eatery serves up Mexican specialties like enchiladas rancheras and steak Azteca along with huge combination plates, tasty breakfasts and a choice of several killer margaritas.
Always enjoy going here – Old Town Mexican Cafe seems to be the most well known and loved Mexican restaurant in San Diego. The atmosphere and neighborhood are good in addition to the food. It can be extremely crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. The biggest challenge is driving into Old Town and finding parking during the busy season or special events.
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