Places to eat in Chula Vista

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Most Viewed Restaurants in Chula Vista

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    Casa Don Diego!: One Of My Favorites

    by lmkluque Updated Feb 6, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Casa Don opened it's doors more than thirty years ago and I've been going there ever since. It is a family owned and operated restaurant and bar with consistantly good food.

    Every ten years or so, the decor is re-done to keep-up with the changing times. In fact the outside tables are a newer addition, convenient for their smoking patrons.

    Update:

    No more smoking on the patio. Chula Vista passed a "no smoking" law so you have to go out to the sidewalk or parking lot to have a smoke.

    Also, the owners have retired and sold the place to another family, who has kept the name, the flavor of the food and the welcoming hospitality. On my last visit since the ownership change I noticed that the décor was really plain and I asked about that. The waiter who has served here through all three owners mentioned that it was because they were in the process of redecorating. So, I expect the next visit it will be lively and colorful.

    Casa Don is a restaurant and full service bar with fast and friendly service. However, they will not rush the pace of a meal.

    Also I like their Sunday Brunch.

    Favorite Dish: The Margaritas and Mexican Coffee are well made and delicious. Carne Asada is my all time favorite dish, but also I like the Chicken Fajitas and the Chili Rellenos very much. It all depends on my mood at the time.

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    Venga Venga Cantina & Tequila Bar: New in Otay Ranch Town Center:

    by lmkluque Updated Dec 12, 2013

    Who could resist entering a restaurant so invitingly named? "Venga! Venga!" ("Come! Come!") It's only been open for a couple of months so I didn't see it the last time I went to Otay Ranch Town Center.

    The décor was Mexican Cowboy Rustic. Really simplistic, but it still offered a warm and comfortable feel even though the day was cool and drizzly outside. I hadn't planned to stop there so just ordered food to go. Of course, I had to take pictures for VT and as I took the second photo, the manager, Sergio saw me and asked if I had taken a picture of their courtyard. He graciously opened the huge doors to reveal a small courtyard surrounded by the indoor dining areas of the restaurant. Low table & chairs for gathering together for drinks or even a meal.

    In the long hall between the two doors leading out side was a long communal table where anyone can sit to have a meal or a drink and meet other people. It actually seemed an extension of The Tequila Bar. The day I was there only a few customers were at the bar watching College Football on one of three or four TVs. They have over 100 different types of tequila. They actually infuse the flavors themselves. I didn't have one but some of them sounded pretty interesting.

    Sergio answered all my questions about the place and seemed pretty proud of it. He said that the bar was open until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays, but as the business grows they are permitted to stay open every night until 2 am. The cashier, food server and bartender were helpful, nice and welcoming.

    This is a Richard Sandoval Group restaurant, it is up-scale, offering an eclectic style of Mexican food. I hope to see it thrive in Otay Ranch Town Center.

    To Be Continued....

    Favorite Dish: The menu is a bit different from the average Mexican Café type restaurant but the choices look interesting and the food I ordered was different than I'm used to but it was good.

    To Be Continued....

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    Black Angus: Great for Affordable Prime Rib

    by lmkluque Written Dec 7, 2013

    The Black Angus is a chain restaurant that specializes in prime beef. It is located on E Street near the I-5 freeway. The price of the meal is it's selling point. The décor is cowboy luxury, the seating is cozy and the service is attentive. They have a full service bar and usually locals hanging out there in the evenings.

    They do not offer outdoor dining, but I like their tall backed booths, which give a sense of privacy while dining.

    However the price of the food and drinks are considerably lower than in the other Steakhouses in town, and the ambience is just as good. Another plus is that almost weekly in the Sunday newspaper, they offer a coupon for the Black Angus, Prime Rib Dinner for two for under $40,00.

    To Be Continued...

    Favorite Dish: I really like the Prime Rib Dinner, which comes with "all-you-can-eat" salad and their delicious fresh baked bread. Oh, before hand I order a Beefeater Martini.

    To Be Continued...

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    Dolphins Restaurant & Bar: Jake's, Bob's On The Bay,South Bay Fish & Grill!

    by lmkluque Updated Dec 5, 2013

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    The nautical theme of this restaurant is both casual and elegant. Something like the Captian's dining room on a ship. There are several dining areas including patio dining and the full service bar, which is large and airy. Even in the main dining area the tables are raised to offer views on the bay.

    The name has recently changed with new ownership, but the look of the place and the menu seems to be pretty much the same as it had been. I personally prefer eating on the patio. However, from the bar or inside at an enclosed dining area there is a lovely view overlooking the maraina.

    Friday and Saturday nights live music adds to the ambience and Sunday brunch is spiced up with Jazz.

    Update:

    As of a couple of weeks ago, the restaurant is under new ownership, but it seems that only the name has changed. The décor is the same, the service is still friendly and accommodating and the food is really good.

    Favorite Dish: "The menu is basically seafood with a fussion of Asian and Mexican added to some dishes. They offer chicken, beef and pork as well as pastas and vegetarian dishes along with the choice of seafood.

    The meal I had since the new owners took over was a Teriyaki Salmon dish and it was really a delicious flavor.
    Happy Hour or the Early Bird Special is a good way to sample the food if you are on a budget.
    $3 Select Draft Beers
    $4 Wells & Wines
    ½ Off Marked Appetizers

    Happy Hour 3:00pm to 7:pm in the grill daily offers reduced price on house beer, wine, well drinks and half off some of the appetizers.

    The Early Bird Special is offered between 3:00pm and 6:30pm Daily. You can enjoy a three course meal from a good but limited menu for only $14.95.

    Expect the prices to change as time goes by.

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    Wings-N-Things: Old, But New to Me

    by lmkluque Written Nov 10, 2013

    Honestly, this is not the type of place I usually go to for lunch or dinner. It just so happens that my sister likes it a lot and while we were out tending to cell phone business, which was around the corner, she dragged me in for something to eat. Okay, she didn't drag me, I have heard of the place and thought it was something new, but found out that Wings-n-Things have been around for a while. I was curious so checked it out for VT'ers.

    This store is located in a strip mall on Broadway just off H St. If this is your thing, then it is close enough to the Chula Vista Center to stop in.

    Also, it seems especially suited for families and larger parties.

    Favorite Dish: There is not much choice to the menu and it seems that the sole focus is the Chicken Wings. The sauce can be mild or hot, we had mild because darling sister doesn't care for hot. On the plate with about 6 wings covered in sauce was carrot & celery sticks and little cups of ranch dressing dip. Also soft bread sticks came with it. The chicken wings we had came without bones (if you have them with bones, they will give you 8) the flavor was good but nothing special and surprisingly the bread was really nice for soft bread sticks.

    I personally would rather get my chicken wings at Happy Hour of another restaurant, but my sister loves it and so, it seemed, did quite a lot of other people. They also serve beer and wine but I didn't try any of that.

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    Ono's Cafe: Hidden Find in Bonita

    by Agraichen Written Oct 11, 2013

    Hidden in the back of a "strip mall" along Bonita Road is a wonderful find. The location is not something you'd see from the street so it appears to attract only a local clientele.

    Miso soup is served with each meal. It's light and quite tasty.

    My Teriyaki Sliders were of, but my wife's Tempura was some of the best she's ever had. Bento Boxes are only $9.95 for a good sized lunch.

    Sapporo and Karl Strauss is served on tap.

    Favorite Dish: Tempura is excellent.

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    El Torito Mexican Restaurant: A Pretty Good Mexican Chain Restaurant

    by lmkluque Updated Jul 21, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Update:

    El Torito has moved from Chula Vista to National City. It is located in the Plaza Bonita mall.

    A festive and fun place to gather with friends or loved ones! El Torito is a chain restaurant and can be found in many locations throughout California as well as other States.

    The budget minded might be interested to know that Happy Hour, Monday through Friday, between 4 and 8 p.m. at El Torito is an economical way to satisfy your hunger. During this time, drinks are less expensive and appetizers--Antojitos--are half price in the bar--Cantina and are quite filling. Later in the evening there is dancing in the Cantina.

    The restaurant sections are full most of the time but usually the wait for a table is not long.

    The restaurant is located west of I-5 on a quiet street and there is plenty of free parking.

    Favorite Dish: Tequila Shooters, Chicken Fajitas, Ceasar Salad, which is not a traditional Ceasar Salad, but rather a signature version with a delicious cilantro-pepita dressing! I like this dressing so much I buy it from the grocery store to have at home.

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    Black Angus: Great Steaks

    by Agraichen Written Jul 2, 2013

    The Black Angus chain has always been a perenial favorite for steaks. Recently I discovered one at the end of E Street in Chula Vista. Close to the "down town" area there is a surprising array of hotels in the area and a number of restaurants.

    Favorite Dish: The filet mignon is one of the best. Mine was done to perfection. The sides were prepared perfectly as well. Wait staff was attentive but not overly so.

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    Casa Bella: Incredible steaks

    by Agraichen Updated Jul 2, 2013

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    Located in the corner of a small shopping area, The Shops of San Miguel," Casa Bella, formerly Villa Capri, is a small, locally owned Italian restaurant with an excellent and ever changing menu. There is a set menu of "regular" dishes and weekly "specials" menu which changes.

    The "just right" lighting is great for intimate dining in the small dining room or the brighter Patio Room for more informal dining.

    The wine list is well thought out and has a choice for most any palet and wallet. The friendly and knowledgable wait staff are always prepared to make suggestions to accompany the meal.

    Favorite Dish: The pastas are excellent, but my favorite is the petite filet. Ive dined in numerous Ruth's Chris, Mortons, and other "signature" steakhouses, but I think the fillet at Casa Bella beats them all.

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    Oggis Pizza & Brewing Co: Great Pizza

    by Agraichen Written Feb 1, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While searching the Eastlake area for another restaurant I discovered Oggis in a small out of the mainstream area. The main "shopping malls" area across the 6 lane "city street."

    Surprisingly Oggis turned out to be a chain with franchise opportunities being sold.

    However even more surprising was the quality of the Pizza that I got. It's one of the best I've had since I moved to CA from Boston almost 40 years ago.

    The menu is quite lengthy and it will take some time to get to all of the major categories but I'm impressed and will be back. Some ratings on VT's "sister site" rate Oggis only "ok" but those locations appear to be in Orange County, not San Diego.

    Favorite Dish: Thus far the Pizza is the best. Done to perfection.

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    My Cup of Tea: Not Exactly a Restaurant or Coffee Shop

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 5, 2012

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    This is a first in Chula Vista, as far as I know. A cute little tea shop that not only sells tea, but also the cups and pots and so many accessories that it's fun just to browse the shelves.

    To Be Continued....

    Favorite Dish: I haven't actually had tea here or bought anything yet . I thought they were opened til 6 pm so went yesterday to try it out. It was about five when I got there but I was too late. They are closed on Sunday, close at 3 pm on Saturdays. Monday through Friday they are open 10:00 am until 6:00 pm.

    I'll give it another try Monday and let you know if it's as good as I've heard.

    To Be Continued....

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    Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill: Another Break from Shopping!

    by lmkluque Written Aug 5, 2012

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    I've eaten at several Rubios and this is the newest store in the Chula Vista area. My sister especially likes Rubio's so I've gone with her when she's in the mood. That's pretty funny because she doesn't really like fish and that is Rubio's signature item.

    This one is located at the CV Center and at first the palm thached umbrellas looked pretty funny in this newly renovated section of the mall. I guess i'ts grown on me, as now it looks not funny but, inviting, like a place on the sand at the beach in Mexico! Maybe that was their plan all along. You think?

    This isn't exactly a fast food place, but could be if in a hurry. When I think of Rubio's I do think of taking a seat, inside or most likely outside, to eat my meal.

    The food and service have always been good and the people working there are fun and friendly.

    Favorite Dish: You can order anything you like but for me it's always Fish Tacos. Fish Tacos are a favorite at the beach in Mexico and Rubio's trys to re-create that experience. They have shrimp tacos and the other usual items expected at a Mexican restaurant, but really, the Fish Taco is pretty good if you can't go to Mexico at the time..

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    China Little Cafe Express!: One of the Best in CV!

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 5, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Under Construction:

    China Little Cafe Express has closed. I don't yet know what will be opened in it's space so until then I will leave this tip for those who are researching for information about this restaurant.

    This is the second location for China Little Cafe Express. I found it for the first time across the street from the Chula Vista Public Library in an old little strip mall. The food was delicious and the price was heavenly. $.99 per item. When the strip mall was torn down to make way for the new Police Department, China Little Cafe Express moved to a new and modern building on the corner of Third Avenue and H Street. The price went up ten cents, to $1.09 and the flavor, freshness and choice stayed the same. They are very generous with their servings and it is still one of the best places in San Diego for Chinese flavor.

    I always order food to go, but they have a several tables in the very clean establishment and very friendly ladies to serve the food and who will make good suggestions. Besides the buffet style choices, there is a menu to order from.

    Favorite Dish: They offer many of the usual items, such as very tasty orange chicken or broccoli beef, fish and spring rolls but one dish that is outstanding in flavor is their green beans in black sauce. Delicious!! I also like their noodles, mushroom chicken and kung poa chicken.

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    BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse: Changed again!

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 5, 2012

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    A mix of American, Italian, Asian and seafood can be found on this chain-restaurant's menu. They offer smoking on the outside patio, a full service bar and a festive atmosphere.

    During Happy Hour the drinks are less expensive and two dollars are taken off regular appetizer prices as an enticement. Not a bad deal.

    This is not one of my favorties, but there is nothing wrong with it or it's food, and there is plenty of near-by parking!

    Update:

    The place has changed names and owners. Now, it is BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. It's a big place so great for groups. Sort of a sports bar with TV's everywhere. The service is good enough and the menu is extensive.

    Favorite Dish: The convenience of sitting down after hours of shopping is what makes this place worth suggesting. I do know people who frequent BJ's but I'm not one to go out of my way to eat here. I say this, not because of the quality of the food but because it is a big sporty type of place and that isn't really for me. However, there are many people who love these big, sometimes noisey places and would have a great time here. It is nice and comfortable, just not my style.

    The menu is extensive and includes both light and heavy dishes, so no matter what you're in the mood for, you'll find something that will appeal.

    I have stopped here for a rest from shopping or to meet someone for drinks. I order a Bloody Mary. At meal time the Terryaki Salmon is pretty good.

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    Mea Kwan Thai Cuisine: House of Munich/ Edelweiss No Longer!

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 5, 2012

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    This charming building is one featured on the Historical Tour of Chula Vista. Between the years of 1953 and 1968 this was home to Zontek's Cafe. After 1968, the new owners changed the name to House of Munich and the menu to German cuisine. More than thirty years later another change in name--Edelwiss--and menu--Austrian.

    Edelweiss was the first and only Austrian Restaurant in San Diego and along with a fine meal it is a gathering place for Austrians and those wanting to practice the language.

    Update:

    The restaurant is located next door to the Vogue Theater and opened for lunch and dinner during the week and dinner only on Saturday and Sundays.

    Favorite Dish: Besides Austrian specialties, they occasionally offer entertainment and always there are those wonderful Austrian desserts.

    Update:

    The Germans left, then the Austrians left, now the Thais are here and seem to be doing well. I haven't tried this restaurant yet and have heard mixed comments about it. It seems that people either really like it or really don't like it. Their prices seem to be a bit higher than most so that might come into play here. I've been told that the proportions are a good size. Thai is not a cuisine that I am familiar with, though I've had it a few times.

    When I try this out for myself I'll tell you about the experience.

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Comments (1)

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Mar 15, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Buffalo Wild Wings will be opening a restaurant in Otay Ranch Town Center, Monday, 17 March 2014!
    If you are a wing fanatic or a sports fan, this might be the place for you. Check it out. I'll write a review after I've tried it out.

Chula Vista Restaurants

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As the second largest city in San Diego County, Chula Vista has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from.  The restaurants are scattered all over the city.  Third Street and Boadway...

Map of Chula Vista