Places to eat in Chula Vista

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Most Viewed Restaurants in Chula Vista

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    Casa Bella: Incredible steaks

    by Agraichen Updated Jul 2, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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    La Bella Pizza Garden: Filippis' Competitor

    by lmkluque Updated Jun 26, 2012

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    In the heart of downtown on Third Avenue, this family owned and operated Italian restaurant's has been one of Chula Vista's favorite pizza places. This is not fast-food pizza like Dominos--which opened a shop across the street--this is a neighborhood family Italian restaurant . Like Filippis' Pizza Grotto. Both opened their doors in the mid-1950s and have been in competition since. Or maybe not. It seems that each restaurant has it's own loyal clientele.

    Okay, just so you know my bias, I was manager of Filippis and Filippis is my favorite.

    Favorite Dish: The flavor of the food is different from Filippis, but it's good too. I like the Peperoni & Mushroom pizza, Lasagna and Chicken Parmesan. Beware, the Veal Parmesan comes with french fries instead of pasta--which is how it's served at Filippis.

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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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    Los Arcos: A bit of Mexico

    by Agraichen Written Jun 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Los Arcos is a Mexican restaurant chain that has expanded into the US. Just a few miles from the Otay Mesa border in Chula Vista, Los Arcos brings very good "fast food" that tastes as good as the places I eat in the Baja.

    Favorite Dish: I chose the perenial favorite, fish tacos while my wife had a mixed sea food dish. Both were excellent.

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    Via Lago by Busalacchi: Excellent Trattoria

    by Agraichen Written Jun 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Set in a small mall of of Eastlake Parkway, this branch of the Busalacchi Restaurant chain brings a bit of San Diego's Little Italy to Chula Vista. Lunch time seems to not be this restaurant's specialty as I've rarely seen many people at lunch; at times I'm the only patron.

    Dinner however is another matter. The place is usually packed and reservations needed on weekends.

    Favorite Dish: The pasta bolognese is excellent. I was told the chicken parmesan was the best a friend had ever had, but I was not quite as enthusiastic. It was good, but I have had better. Portions however are huge and most entrees will partially go home with you.

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    The Steak House on Broadway: AKA: The Butcher Shop Steak House

    by lmkluque Updated Jun 24, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Step into the past. Red leather booths, red velvet flocked wallpaper and dark wood, especially popular in the late forties early fifties, can be experienced at this popular restaurant!

    Have lunch here!

    Walking into the dimly lit dining room from the sunny outside is like going blind. You can hear but not see a thing! Close the door, stand still for a few moments until the pale glow begins to reveal the scene.

    The Butcher Shop has a reputation for being "connected." If that is true or not I haven't a clue, unless the photo of Frank Sinatra with the owner is telling. Actually the owner of the ButcherShop and Frank Sinatra do have a connection, Del Mar Race Track.

    Update:

    The Butcher Shop Steak House was sold some years ago, but since the quality of food did not suffer at all, I didn't mention that. However, now not only has it been sold the new owners have changed the name to The Steak House on Broadway. They are still using the history of the original owner and I'm sure that it is with his permission.

    Neither the decor nor the food has changed so it is still a great old place to experience.

    Favorite Dish: Prime Rib At It's Best!

    The drinks are strong, they make the best potato skins I've ever had, the prime rib is tender and delicious. What more could anyone want? Oh also I suggest that you order their homemade bleu cheese dressing--it is the best--for your salad and enjoy!

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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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    BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse: Changed again!

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 5, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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    Zorbas Greek Buffet: Greek Buffet!

    by lmkluque Updated Jun 26, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A Greek all-you-can-eat buffet for one low price. The open dining room arrangement is not a favorite with me, but the food is better than average so I dine here when in the mood for hummus and tabouli.

    This is a family owned restaurant and watching the interaction between family members as they work, is pretty entertaining anytime, but on the weekends, lively Greek Dancers put on a very festive show.

    Favorite Dish: The buffet includes popular dishes such as Spanakopita, Dolmathes, Moussaka and Lamb.

    However, my favorites are the ample Salad Bar, Tabouli, Hummus, Pita bread and Baklava is my first choice of the many delicious items at the dessert bar.

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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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    ...Talavera Azul: New To The Block! Stella's is now....

    by lmkluque Updated Jun 24, 2012

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    The building's been there for years, but Talavera Azul hasn't been there very long. They serve breakfast and lunch. The interior decor is restive it's a great place to sit outside on a sunny day having coffee and reading a good book!

    Update:

    Stella's is out and Talavera Azul is in. Talavera Azul means blue pottery. The decor is a pale blue with lots of pots around the place. The menu is now Mexican and the two most popular items are Chilaquiles and their Cafe de Olla. At least that's what I've been told. I haven't tried either yet.

    Another thing I'll have to check on is whether or not they serve dinner. On their web page they say, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yet, they state their hours as 7:30 am - 2 pm? Interesting.

    Favorite Dish: The menu is now Mexican but I haven't seen it yet or tried any of the food. I will let you know my opinion after I've checked it out.

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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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    Cilantro Live!: Very Vegan

    by LauraWest Updated Apr 9, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Organically grown, all raw vegan food -- are you ready for this? And in old downtown Chula Vista, too. The sparsely, modern decor of this storefront restaurant contrasts with the rich, varied flavors of this food. Highly recommend it! And plan to return for more healthy, delicious food and to watch the cooks work in the open kitchen.

    Even my non-vegetarian brother liked it! This is a guy who didn't appreciate vegetables at all until he was into adulthood!

    Favorite Dish: Their global approach is their best. Try the ginger lemonade, a cold drink.
    Their wonderful web site has great photos, etc. of much of the food.

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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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    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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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