10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try

Old Town San Diego Restaurants - Old Town Historic Park

Old Town San Diego restaurants are known to be some of the best in the area, but it is also known for their long-term history. As soon as you set foot in Old Town San Diego, you’ll immediately be surrounded by culture. Did you know Old Town San Diego is called the “birthplace” of California? In 1769, Father Junipero Serra established his first mission in a chain of 21 missions.

Anytime we visit San Diego, Our family always stops here first. There is so much history and culture in Old Town San Diego, not to mention great shops, restaurants, and hotels, so why leave? It never gets old, even if we’ve seen the same shops repeatedly. The beautiful culture makes walking around Old Town such a treat for everyone.

Not only is old town known for its history, but it’s also known for its incredible restaurants. I’ll demonstrate the best places to eat in Old Town San Diego; they have a variety of super delicious and family-friendly restaurants.

With so much walking and shopping, we naturally build an appetite, so where should you eat? Well, let me share some great Old Town San Diego restaurants for you and your family to enjoy.

Old Town Mexican Cafe

Old Town Mexican Cafe - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
Old Town Mexican Cafe Getting Busy Making Their Famous Hand-Made Flour Tortillas

Old Town Mexican Cafe has become a staple in Old Town San Diego, and you can easily spot it from a distance due to the lines forming out the door. Old Town Mexican Cafe has been around since 1977, starting the trend of making freshly made tortillas to order. Old Town Mexican Cafe serves traditional Mexican and American breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a full bar. All their entrees are just memorizing and worth the wait.

We recommend chorizo con huevos (Mexican pork sausage and eggs), chilaquiles (green salsa), huevos rancheros, and their pozole and menudo. Their menu also has traditional items like bacon and eggs, pancakes, breakfast burritos, omelets, steak and eggs, and many other delicious breakfast items.

Not much of a breakfast person? Don’t worry; their lunch and dinner items are spectacular. You can count on some fantastic carne asada, chile colorado, chile verde, enchiladas, and tacos; they also have many healthy options. One of our favorite lunch/dinner items is the Old Town Famous Carnitas with freshly made flour tortillas. Wow, that dish hits the spot every single time! The carne asada steak plate is another favorite that leaves you wanting more.

They have a full bar, serving fantastic margaritas, cold beers, and more. This place has homemade Mexican meals that will satisfy the cravings. Before you leave, you can buy a pack of their homemade tortillas to take home with you. It’s a treat, and we love bringing these tortillas home.

Cafe Coyote

Cafe Coyote - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
This Is Just One Of A Few Exterior Sitting Areas At Cafe Coyote Surrounded By Some Shops Such As Mexican Candy, Ice Cream , And Many Others

Cafe Coyote has become a popular restaurant and has made a name for itself over the years. Cafe Coyote opened in 1989 and has been the best Mexican restaurant for 20 years. This restaurant is located on the famous San Diego Ave in Old Town San Diego. It is easy to spot because of the fantastic smell and the lady making fresh flour tortillas outside the restaurant.

This restaurant is a two-story building, and they do a good job using all the space they can to pack the people in. This place always has a line, but it moves very fast, and the wait isn’t so bad, especially with fresh flour tortillas in your hand. Cafe Coyote has a variety of endless food on their menu, such as carnitas, chile relleno, burritos, taquitos, carne asada, and so much more. All the popular Mexican dishes will be found here and will not be disappointing.

Cafe Coyote has a full bar serving the freshest margaritas, cold beers, and the best Michelada flights. I love coming here and getting an ice-cold Corona beer with a salted rim and lots of lemons on the side; put it all together, and you get greatness. A cold beer pairs well with their skirt steak plate, rice, beans, fried jalapenos, and a side of grilled onions and freshly made tortillas.

Tuetano Taqueria

Tuetano - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
Pictured, You Will See Tuetano Taqueria’S Quesabirria, Birria On Homemade Tortilla, And Birria With Cheese On Homemade Tortilla Tacos

Tuetano, which means bone marrow, is one of the best birria taco spots I have ever tried. This taco spot is in Old Town San Diego in the Old Town Urban Market on Twiggs St and Congress St intersection. Please believe me when I tell you this place is amazing because amazing is an understatement.

Pricilla, the chef and owner, is from Tijuana, Mexico, and comes from a family of restaurant businesses. She opened up Tuetano Taqueria over five years ago and has left her mark around San Diego. Tuetano Taqueria is recognized in many magazines and food blogs, such as the popular Eater LA, and has won the Michelin Star Award several times.

Tuetano Taqueria serves quality food with an excellent presentation. The birria taco has a tender, flavorful meat packed with juices served on a handmade tortilla with grilled cheese. Each bite of these tacos is an art and something you can’t explain until you try it.

Everything here is crafted and made with so much love and care, from the food to the freshly made aguas frescas to the most amazing micheladas I have ever tried. Usually, Micheladas consist of store-bought tomato juice, lemons, and spices. At Tuetano Taqueria, everything is made in-house, and I promise you will never have anything like it. They have tamarind micheladas that are unique and out of this world. The flavors of tamarind, lemon, and spices bring this drink together, especially when you pair it with a Mexican craft beer! Wow, it’s a masterpiece and something I’ve never seen done.

Tuetano Taqueria will not disappoint and will forever be embedded in your memory. Everything at Tuetano Taqueria is made to order, so sometimes the food does take a while, but it is worth the wait! Greatness always takes time. Tuetano, you are amazing.

Casa De Reyes

Casa De Reyes - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
Walk Right Into The Fiesta De Reyes Plaza And You Will Immediately Run Into Casa De Reyes Restaurant

Casa De Reyes, a Mexican Restaurant, is great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Casa de Reyes is located in the plaza, surrounded by 17 shops selling anything from clothing, toys, souvenirs, and much more. Casa de Reyes serves traditional Mexican breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a few specialty items like La Bandera de Mexico (special enchilada plate), Tampiquena Especial (steak & enchilada plate), Blackened Tilapia and Shrimp, Chicken Mole Poblano, and many other tasty items.

Casa De Reyes has a full bar with a great selection of refreshing margaritas, sangrias, draft beer, import/domestic beer, and some Latin wines. Casa De Reyes has an outdoor patio seating area in the middle of the plaza, giving you a beautiful view of the plaza. This place does have some heavy foot traffic due to the plaza, and you may have a wait time, but waiting here is fine since there is plenty to see.

The Casa de Reyes plaza has a stage where Ballet Folklorico dancers give you a fantastic show while you sit or browse the shops. This plaza offers so much, from food, wine tasting, entertainment, and shopping. Casa de Reyes is a must when you come to Old Town San Diego.

Old Town Jerky and Root Beer

Old Town Jerky - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
Old Town Jerky And Rootbeer

Old Town Jerky & Rootbeer is a little hidden gem in Old Town San Diego, bringing you over 50 different brands of root beer and other sodas. They also have a wide variety of unique jerky you can’t begin to imagine. You can find sweet, spicy, and exotic jerky here.

I encourage you to stop by anytime you are in Old Town San Diego and help yourself to your favorite root beer and why not make it a root beer float? Not alone? Don’t worry because they always offer a Buy one Get one Free special!

Our kids love coming here, and they always become overwhelmed by the many soda options but always enjoy the process. Our son Nick always tries something different every time we come.

We love coming here, and it’s been a family tradition since our kids were little and are always excited to see what rootbeer Nick will try next.

Barra Barra Saloon

Barra Barra Saloon - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
Exterior Seating At Barra Barra Saloon In Old Town San Diego

Barra Barra Saloon is in Fiesta De Reyes Plaza, where all the beautiful shops and entertainment are. Barra Barra is a Mexican restaurant combining old Mexican flavors with an American flare. The atmosphere at Barra Barra represents old ranches in Mexico, from the table tops to the chairs; it all has a story behind it.

Barra Barra has over 20 tequilas and fantastic margaritas such as “Lo Mas Caliente” and “El Sueno.” Barra Barra has all the Mexican favorites and specialty items like Barra Barra Pork Carnitas, Carne Asada & Camaron Platter, Baja Shrimp, and many other exciting options. You can find handmade tortillas here, which are always appreciated and bring you a little bit of Mexico.

Harney Sushi

Harney Sushi - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
Sushi Roll At Harney Sushi

Although Old Town San Diego is known for their history and great Mexican restaurants, they offer many other great options.

Harney Sushi is a fantastic sushi restaurant that has been open for over 12 years, serving the best sushi in the area. Harney Sushi won multiple awards for the best Sushi bar in 2010 and 2011. They have been mentioned in over 13 magazines that named them the best Sushi in San Diego. This place is a hidden gem that every sushi lover should try.

Harney Sushi’s interior is dimly lit, with beautiful murals. They have a variety of sushi rolls with different types of fresh fish. They offer vegetarian rolls, noodles, and various ramen. Harney Sushi has a full bar and makes some of the best martinis, such as their lychee martini, that pair well with any sushi rolls. Other cocktails you must try are the Basil Kiss, Endless Summer, Pomegranate Paloma, Strawberry Hibiscus Martini, and Cilantro Lime Fizz.

Harney Sushi is the perfect place to visit to satisfy your sushi cravings in Old Town San Diego.

Pizza Bella Italian Bistro

Pizza Bella - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
Check Out These Pizzas From Pizza Bella!

Pizza Bella refers to itself as “The best-kept secret in Old Town.” We must agree! Pizza Bella has been awarded the best pizza in America and has won three other awards for their fantastic food. They have been in business since 1970 and continue to make a name for themselves.

Their fresh and authentic sauces make their pizzas and pasta so creamy and flavorful. Some popular pizzas are the Pesto Delight and their Sigma-Chi pizza (voted the best in America.) Pizza Bella also has a variety of Italian sandwiches, soups, and salads. They have a great wine selection and cold beer from locally crafted breweries around San Diego.

Perry Cafe

Perrys Cafe Food - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
Perry’S Cafe: Chicken Fried Steak And Gravy With A Side Of Sausage

Perrys Cafe is located right on the edge of Old Town San Diego on the corner of Pacific Hwy and Taylor St., and I highly recommend you stop by. Perry’s has been around since 1985 and specializes in serving traditional American, Italian, and Mexican breakfasts. This place resembles a diner in the 50s, where the food brings comfort and joy.

At Perry’s, you can get anything from traditional bacon and eggs, pancakes, warm muffins, biscuits and gravy, and burgers, all made fresh and served homestyle. This place is still family-owned, and they always take pride in serving their customers and ensuring everything is perfect. Perry’s is always a great place to grab a delicious meal.

So look no further and make this San Diego County Landmark your next breakfast destination.

Jack and Giulio’s

Jack And Giulios - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
Jack And Giulio’S Bruschetta

Old Town San Diego has another fantastic Italian Restaurant that will amaze you. Jack and Giolios are family-owned restaurants that have been in business since 1961. Jack and Giulios were named best restaurant by OpenTable in 2021 and a diner choice award in 2019.

This place keeps its authentic flares alive with hand-made pasta and homemade sauces made fresh every day. Each dish is made with lots of love and crafted to perfection. Their Tortellni Verde is a masterpiece, spinach pasta filled with ricotta and parmesan cheese, tossed in their creamy mushroom porcini sauce, so nothing less than perfection.

You can complete your meal with their fantastic cheesecake and a creamy cappuccino. Jack and Giulios are genuinely one of a kind.

Map of Old Town San Diego Restaurants

Click on the “Play” button on the map, and feel free to click on any point locations to view where all the restaurants on our list are located.

Parking Map of Old Town San Diego

Parkingmap - 10 Best Old Town San Diego Restaurants You Must Try
Parking In Old Town San Diego

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