This is my second choice in Old Town. One of the deciding factors, of course, the food is very good. Also, it stays open later--until midnight--than most restaurants in the area.
It is very popular and often times there is quite a wait. Benches are provided inside and out while you wait and for those interested, there are two huge windows on either side of the entrance which offer a view of their tortilla ladies, making and cooking flour and corn tortillas. On one side there is also a huge cooking spit where rows and rows of whole chickens rotate over an open fire until tenderly cooked.
Favorite Dish The menu is extensive, the food is very good and there is a full service bar. Service should please you in this lively local's hang out, attentive and efficient, though the place is usually packed.
My favorite meal is Chicken Fajitas or Carnitas and a margarita. If I'm in a specially festive mood I like 1800 tequila shooters.
I'm a San Diego native, and trust me, this place is way over-rated. Always crowded, greasiest chips and worst-attitude service. It's just old and gross. Do yourself a favor and go to Miguel's Cocina down the street. Great food, chips and service.
I had a reservation for El Agave in Old Town, a higher end Mexican restaurant, but I had eaten a calamari sandwich at Point Loma Seafoods late in the afternoon and wasn't extremely hungry so I cancelled that and stopped by the Old Town Mexican Cafe for a snack. There was a 15-20 minute wait for a table on a Wednesday night around 8 pm so since I was by myself I just went and had a seat at the bar where they serve the whole menu.
The bar service was very quick and friendly, I had a nice chat with another solo traveler sitting next to me, he had eaten here the night before and thought the food was very good and came back. It's a bit of a tourist trap due to it's location smack dab in the middle of Old Town and the food is not authentic Mexican food but the restaurant has been around for at least 25 years so people must enjoy it.
Favorite Dish I ordered off the specials menu, a carnitas tamale and cheese enchilada ($8.95) and a strawberry frozen margarita, my total bill was under $14 with tax. The food was pretty standard Tex-Mex (Americanized Mexican food), nothing I would seek out again but very reasonably priced and good for families.
Our feet were getting tired after nearly a full day of sightseeing -Maritime Museum in the morning, Old Town after a substantial Fish and Chip Lunch at the Harbour Cafe. So we were not really hungry but it was a very hot February afternoon and we ceratinly fancied a rest in those nice gardens we could see down the street and from which came the sound of a Mexican band.
It was no ordinary garden but the patio overspill of the Old Town Mexican Cafe, very busy but we found a table and noticed everyone around was tucking in to large plates full of food.
It seemed churlish to only order an orange juice so from the menu we chose a chicken salad to go with it.
Perhaps one day we will remember that a light snack is one of the hardest things to find anywhere in America! But we enjoyed it and the touristy atmosphere and the music!
Food is wonderful, atmosphere is festive. There are women in the window making the tortillas by hand! The margaritas are wonderful - makes you want to have to wait for a table just so you can get one!
Favorite Dish Chile Rellenos, chimichanga, and a big margarita - es muy bueno!
The carnitas here are awesome. And the serving is a lot for one person. I definitely had 2 meals for the price of one. A definite place to stop if you love Mexican food and priced fairly cheaply. Also I recommend eating here instead of in Old Town because the food is a lot cheaper and a lot more authentic.
We ate here because my Neices soon to be mother-in-law chose this place for her birthday meal! We had them sing Happy Birthday to her in spanish which was really special! We had a wonderful time and the food was great!
Favorite Dish I had the typical meal of enchilada's, rice, beans and a cool tall glass of margarita's!
I had lunch today, Monday September 27, 2004, at your restaurant. I am sorry I stopped by. I ordered the lunch 2 camarones enchiladas, soup of the day - potatoes and 2 XX drafts beers. The reception was terrible, I did not felt welcome. My server was courteous and friendly, Thank You Victoria. The 2 camarones enchiladas were terrible; two small shrimps cut into 5 pieces on each enchilada and a lot of tomatoes and onions with hot green peppers. I expected WHOLE "SHRIMPS" and lots of "SHRIMPS" I was disappointed.
Favorite Dish The chips and salsa are very good, that was my lunch!
Favorite Dish This Chicken Fajita with strips of onion and bell pepper cost US$6.95. It's only on the appetizer on the menu, but already enough to feed me as a main course!!! Well, its presentation not very nice, but I tell you it was very delicious!!!
Favorite Dish We were attracted to dine in this restaurant because of 3 things: First, yummy roast chicken in the window; Second, long queue outside, and Third, tortilla ladies!!! The food turn out great! What more, they have live mexican music inside!
Watch the famous "Tortilla Ladies" make fresh corn and flour tortillas...a meal at the Old Town Mexican Cafe is one of the best bargains in San Diego. Three people ate there and the bill came up to just over $30.00 (including drinks).
Favorite Dish Try the Camarones Especiales which is succulent gulf shrimp, sauce and vegetables wrapped in a flour tortilla with Mexican rice and refried beans. It also comes with a soup (seafood and vegetable which is delicious) or salad option. And you must try one of there famous margaritas.