There are snack bars and full service restaurants throughout the Zoo and if I'd make a suggestion it would be The Treehouse Cafe serving hot entrees in a casual setting or Albert's Restaurant because of their location in the treetops with outdoor dining and spectacular views.
Albert's is a full service restaurant offering grilled steaks, seafood and chicken dishes and a full-service bar! It is opened for lunch daily and in the summer months also open for dinner.
However, in the spirit of helping you save money--even the snack bars are very expensive--I'll tell you that the Zoo allows us to bring in our own food. Lockers located behind the House of Reptiles are big enough to store a picnic basket or small cooler until it's time to eat.
Favorite Dish: It's hard to tell that the item on the plate is pizza, but it is. Usually I bring a small bottle of water for each of us, milk or orange juice to share in paper cups, fruits to snack on and either a sandwich, pizza or one time the girls voted for cold spaghetti with a salad and garlic bread left over from dinner the night before. Go figure.
There are lots of wonderful little nooks to have a picnic. One of our favorites is along the tropical trail of Fern Canyon. On the day of this pizza feast the girls voted to eat under the grandstand of the Wedgeforth Bowl because it was close to the lockers and they didn't want to carry the ice chest all over the zoo after lunch. I heartily agreed.
There are 3 different Santana's locations in San Diego. One is located in Point Loma on Rosecranz Blvd. , one Is between Point Loma and Mission Beach on Sports Arena Blvd. And the other is some where in Pacific Beach, who cares. All locations are very close to all the main beach spots and tourist hot spots.
Favorite Dish: By far the best and only thing to ever even consider ordering is the 1 pound California Burrito, it is the BEST!!!! It comes with carne asada, sliced and cooked/fried potatoes, cheese, pico de gallo, and I always order sour cream and guacamole on it. The alos have very good lemonade and the red and green hot sauces at the hot sauce bar are phenominal. This is a place that you have to go to, if your visiting San Diego.
My experience at this food court was limited to the Athens Tavern, which I'm told no longer exists at this mall. For the record, I had souvlaki, rice pilaf and dolmades. Having said that, there are plenty more kiosks to choose from, like Sbarro, from which Sean brought back some pizza for Debbie and the girls, as well as The Great Steak & Potato Co., Hot Dog On A Stick, McDonalds (they're sure enough everwhere!), Orange Julius, Panda Express, Rice King, Subway they're everywhere too!, and a couple of others.
This city is full of good international restaurants. Trotador's best Japanesse restaurant is Ichiban in Pacific Beach (Garnet Avenue), popular prices and amazing food. Hawaiian restaurant at Promenade Mall in Mission Beach with great views to the wild surf. Downtown is a nice place to go dinner, actually Gaslamp Quarter has the best restaurants in town. Some of them, Ole Madrid and Cafe Sevilla for Spanish food. La Strada and Mama Anna for Italian cousine. The Field, Irish dishes.
Ichiban is a typical beach restaurant, very friendly. Ole Madrid has very unique atmosphere, after 10pm they open the club (highly recomended, dress up). La Strada and Mamma Anna typical good Italian restaurant.
Favorite Dish: At Ichiban, of course, sushi. They have plate of the day, good way to try everything at a good price!!
Ole Madrid Trotador's best dish is the halibut romesco.
This is my favourite place. I go there at least once a week becasue if you eat right here then the food is very good for you. Plus it is quite cheap.
An assortment of soups, salads, pasta, muffins and desert is served.
Favorite Dish: The clam-chowda soup and thechinese wonton chicken salad.
Also the muffins are great.
If you like Mexican food (which I don't, mostly) you have come to the right place. There are countless Mexican joints with authentic fare... ranging from stands on the beach to fancy restaurants. Old Town is the Mexican-themed area that caters to tourists, but has good restaurants, nevertheless. Try Old Town Mexican Cafe or La Pinata.
Or try one of the many Alberto's, Roberto's, Royberto's, etc, that you will undoubtedly drive past at some point.
We have the best Mexican food anywhere. Best maragaritas at Casa de Bandini in Old Town. Don't miss the Gaslamp Quarter - dozens of restaurants on 5th Avenue downtown.
Secrets that locals know include: Hob Nob Hill (American food), DZ Akins (best deli in town), Hillcrest (lots of ethnic choices and eclectic stuff like Corvette Diner and Kimo Sabe and Pizza Nova)
Favorite Dish: eeek. Get a fish taco at Rubios if you want real San Diego food.
I could go on forever with places to eat, but I'll stop at 3.
Foggy's Notion is my peresonal Favorite. Besides the food being great, the restuarant itself and atmosphere with keep you busy for at least an hour. Anything you can imagine is inside this place. For example: There is a fully assembled fire truck from the early 1900's hanging from the roof! They serve a great assortment of greasy foods here as well.(are you starting to see the greasy trend here). They also have cool names for their foods. I recommend the 51/50 (just another huge burger).
Favorite Dish: Everything is great! It's always packed with locals, but the service is still pretty speedy.
My favorite restaurant is Roberto's, of course. A great
little, fastfood Mexican style restaurant. You have to try Fish Tacos at Rubios too.
Its very cheap and there are about 100 of these things in San Diego.
Favorite Dish: 3 rolled tacos with guacomole and a California Burrito(carne asada with french fries)
For pizza it has got to be Jay's in carlsbad calif.
For Mexican it has to be La Paloma in Oceanside
For hamburgers it is Islands or In and out
My favorite restaurant is the Beach House in Cardiff by the Sea.
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