Countdown to Restaurant Week: Viva Mexico!

San Diego Restaurant Week is just two weeks away.  From January 16-21, you can sample three-course menus at more than 150 amazing restaurants all around town for just $20, $30 or $40.

Taking advantage of these restaurant week deals is a no-brainer.  But, with so many tempting options, how do you choose?

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be breaking down the offerings and making some suggestions to help you plan your strategy and make the most of San Diego Restaurant Week.  Because, as a wise man* once said, knowing is half the battle!

Cafe Coyote in Old Town

First up, one of San Diego’s most iconic culinary traditions.  Given our proximity to Mexico, you can find great Mexican food all over San Diego but nowhere will you feel the festive, south-of-the-border vibe like you will when you’re in Old Town.

The neighborhood is home to Old Town State Historic Park, an area dedicated to San Diego’s history under Mexican rule, and filled with awesome restaurants like:

  • Café Coyote boasts a bright, festive patio right on San Diego Avenue that is perfect for people watching and relaxing with a frosty margarita (try the prickly pear!).  Their Restaurant Week menu, priced at $20, includes flautas made from handmade tortillas and filled with tender beef, chipotle chiles and Monterrey jack cheese; plump shrimp sauteed in a chipotle cream sauce served with rice, refried beans and fresh tortillas; and turkey enchiladas in a traditional spicy chocolate mole sauce. Plus, for $12 more, Café Coyote’s tequila ambassador is offering tequila pairings for each course.
  • Settle into a cozy table at Casa Guadalajara or opt to sit out by the fountain on the patio and you’ll feel transported to Old Mexico.  It’s not only because of because of the strolling mariachis but, the festive music played by Luciano Rodriquez and his family (they know over 2,000 songs by heart!) makes every meal feel like a fiesta.  Priced at $20, Casa Guadalajara’s Restaurant Week menu is a steal – even before you consider the live entertainment.  And, be sure to check out the gorgeous works of folk art hanging all over the restaurant, it’s a feast for the eyes, ears and tummy!
  • If you are looking for something more upscale, El Agave is your spot. Famous in San Diego for their hand-crafted approach to classic recipes, here you’ll find exotic ingredients like huitlacoche – Mexico’s answer to the truffle – as well as several types of rich, complex moles.  Priced at $40, their Restaurant Week menu costs a bit more than others in Old Town but it’s worth it if you’re interested in exploring the flavors of authentic Mexican cuisine.  Plus, if you go, you can marvel at (and maybe even sample) some of the more than 2,000 different varieties of tequila on display in their Tequila Museum.

So, hungry yet?  San Diego Restaurant Week is only 14 days away, make your reservations today!

*Okay, it was GI Joe who said that but it’s still good advice!

This entry was posted in Culinary, Insider Tips, San Diego Events and tagged , , , , by Kate. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kate

I own, and use, a library card, a record player, a sewing machine and a meat smoker.  Ride my bicycle every day and will, sometimes, wear my roller skates in the house. Have a wealth of useless knowledge – for which you will be thankful when we’re teamed up in Trivial Pursuit.

How would you describe your ideal San Diego day?

Hike through the spring wildflowers in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Watch the July 4th fireworks over San Diego Bay. Eat Julian Apple Pie a la mode and check out the autumn leaves. Ice skate and enjoy the twinkling holiday decorations at the Hotel del Coronado. All in the same day.

If you were invisible, where would you go?

I’ve always wanted to be able to stop and restart time like that Twilight Zone episode back in the 80’s, “A Little Peace And Quiet,” but, you know, without the a-bomb at the end. Basically, I just want to avoid waiting in lines.

What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?

Brunch, without a doubt. Also, cocktails by the pool, outdoor movies in Balboa Park, scouring the swap meet for vintage finds, hanging out on the patio at the Casbah between sets, lawn games and backyard barbecues.

Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?

Give me uni plucked from the sea by local divers, a warm, crusty loaf from Bread & Cie, luscious Carlsbad strawberries, sweet local lobster in season and creamy Fallbrook avocados. And, most definitely, a grass-fed beef burger with Winchester gouda and a cold San Diego craft brew.

Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player are…

Honestly, I buy my records at the thrift store and depend on my husband to download new music. Lately he's been stacking the deck pretty heavy with 90's indie rock, bluegrass covers and drone metal.  Go figure.

For more San Diego dining dish, follow Kate on Twitter @katebuska.

4 thoughts on “Countdown to Restaurant Week: Viva Mexico!

  1. Pingback: Ghosts, cowboys and cocktails: Old Town San Diego | Bristol vs the world

  2. I have been to Casa Guadalajara, and old town many times. It is a great place to dine and wine(Tequila). Thanks for the information, heading out there tonight.

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