This hacienda-style Mexican restaurant is locating next to the famous Bazaar del Mundo. Built in 1829 by town leader, a Peruvian-born rancher Juan Bandini as a single-story adobe for his family. The word “adobe” refers to an architectural style, earthen brick, or a type of soil.
It is a perfect spot to rest and refresh. Mariachi band strolls by while you enjoy your food. The waiters are in old Mexican style dress. You can take place indoors in one of the three elegant rooms or outside in the patio, which has beautiful trees, flowers and a fountain in the middle.
The restaurant hosts a full bar; beer and margaritas are house specialties. Here you can drink something waiting for a table or for your food until not served.
Favorite Dish: Traditional authentic Mexican dishes are offered, such as enchilada combinations. We may say that the enchilada is the Mexican lasagne. Unbelievably tasty and succulent.
Update 2008: Casa de Bandini has temporarily closed for rehabilitation and restoration !!
Update 2009: Photo 5
This is one of the classic tourist restaurants that seems to get everyone to the place at least once. I have been working in San Diego on special projects for over a year and decided to try it out. Parking is a hassle anywhere any night in Old Town. But after finding a spot I wandered in to the restaurant and the hostess took my name and I waited about 15 minutes before being taken to a table on the pation by the fountains. I waited about 10 minutes before being waited on. My waiter was very indifferent and didnt even brighten up when I spoke to him in Spanish. He brought the chips and salsa and an incredible huge and delightfully refreshing Mango Margarita.
As I was watching people around me, i realized that this is one of those restaurants where you need to be with someone.....dining alone in this place was not as much fun as it could have been if I had had friends.... dont get me wrong, I dine out almost everynight alone and some places are just more fun if you are with someone!
Favorite Dish: I dont even remember what the entree was but I still can remember the Margarita....it was blended on and poured over the ice in a glass that must be 32 oz or more.
Our VT connection....Lmkluque guided us to this wonderful spot for our brief but pleasant VT meeting. Great to finally see who was on the other end of the emails. The restaurant is lush with plants and spanish decor, fountains and tiles. We sat in a secluded area ... cool, quiet and comfortable... sipping on our Margueritas, chomping on chips and salsa. SMACK, go my lips at the thought of it!! :-) Who needs dinner?
We waited for a table of 10 guests for over 2 hours on a Thursday night. The service was rude, slow, and they acted like they were doing US a favor.
The ambience is good. The waterfall if pretty.
Favorite Dish: The chips and salsa are very good, if you can have them brought to your table. The rest of the food is bland.
One of the busiest restaurants in Old Town, Casa de Bandini is a beautiful showcase of old San Diego architecture with heavy Spanish influence. The inside is finished in stucco with dark, intricately carved woodwork and tiled floor. The upper floor has a wrap-around veranda, with small tables where you can have a drink while you wait for your name to be called. Outside there is a beautiful patio with large fountain in the middle. Each table is covered by an umbrella so you are protected from the hot sun, but it doesn't take away from the ambience of the patio itself.
The servers are all dressed in traditional Mexican style, and there were 2 gentlemen playing Spanish guitar and singing. Very beautiful!
We had a very busy afternoon ahead of us, so we declined the Margaritas. They were absolutely huge, and we were afraid they would either put us to sleep, or they would be so good we couldn't have just one...
Favorite Dish: The food was very good, and very plentiful. There were many other items on the menu, but we each ordered a different 'combo' plate, so we could try a bit of everything. Of course, the meal was preceded by the traditional chips and salsa.
Go with an empty stomach and be prepared for REAL mexican food. There is no americanizing here and the servings are HUGE! If you order a large margarita you must know that it is the size of a bowl. No exaggeration here, I can fit my head inside the glass. Yes, I've tried. I could eat there everyday for the rest of my life and not get tired of it.
Favorite Dish: Any of the seafood dishes. All are wonderful! The tequila lime shrimp is great, has a TON of shrimp. Be careful though, it's a spicy dish.
The food is great, it's ALWAYS crowded and the outdoor seating is expansive and wonderful.
Set in Old Town, the restaraunt, and old adobe built in 1829, adds so much to the dining experience!
NOTE: Patience required. You will have a bit of a wait to dine (I've waited up to 90 minutes for a table). While waiting, sit in their outdoor bar area and have some drinks, maybe some appetizers. With good company, good beverages and some appetizers, the time will pass quickly.
Favorite Dish: I don't have a favorite. The menu is so extensive, I like to try different things every time I go.
AH! I do love their margaritas though...on the rocks, with salt.
This restaurant has won a lot awards, and several of my office colleagues recommended that I give Casa de Bandini a try on my vacation trip there. Nancy and I were not disappointed, and made a return trip. The ambience is a real draw. A historic landmark in Old Town, this restored adobe hacienda was built in 1829.
Favorite Dish: I heard several people talking about how great the chicken with mole is, but didn't try it. As good as my meals were, I wish I had. One night I had seafood in a pastry shell, another an enchilada plate - both very nice.
Old Town State Historic Park is where the city of San Diego began. La Casa de Bandini was built in 1829 and soon became the social center of Old Town. Today is a Mexican restaurant where the margaritas are great.
Get to Old Town some time before lunch or dinner to have a walk around the town. There are many restaurants into old California typical houses, old banks, stores...
Favorite Dish: It is a very touristic restaurant, the food about average, margaritas great and the place fabulous.
On our second visit to this fine restaurant, we managed to get a table on the patio. A festive atmosphere reigns here, with flowers, performing mariachi band, gurgling fountain, and lots of good natured banter. After the sun went down, it got a little cool - even in June, but propane heaters keep the chill off.
If you take the Old Town Trolley to Old Town the first restaurant you will pass is Casa De Bandini. It combines excellent Mexican food with an restored 1829 adobe hacienda.
On our first time at Casa de Bandini, we chose to eat in one of the three elegant dining rooms. I did not get a photo, but found this one at SanDiegoRestaurants.com and wanted to show the interior.
The Mariachi Band is excellent!
Favorite Dish: Enchiladas were excellent but my son liked the Mexican Fried Ice Cream!