Cafe Reviews


You have to leave the beach sometime. Here are other recommendations for when you do.

BREAKFAST: For an early-morning breakfast, with ocean breeze and view, pop over to Kirby's in Del Mar, 215 15th Street, 1-619-481-1001. Sit up on the new deck, grab a newspaper and inhale the sea air along with wonderful hot, homemade popovers, scones and muffins. . .If time's not on your side and you need a cheap, quickie breakfast, stop at Solunto Baking Co., 1643 India Street, 1-619-233-3506, near downtown San Diego. Solunto's provides bread to many of the city's delis and sandwich shops, and one bite will tell you why. Grab a loaf (there are doughnuts and pastries, too) and a cup of coffee, sit at one of the half-dozen tables, and watch the a.m. scene in a genuine neighborhood bakery. . .Got more time than cash? Want a million-dollar view for less than five bucks? Head to the 11th floor of the Summer House Inn to Elario's, 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla, 1-619-459-0541. Daily breakfast specials (except Sunday) are $4.25. Sit on a love seat directly in front of a huge picture window with a sweeping view of the La Jolla coastline. Try not to think about earthquakes.

LUNCH: At lunchtime, check out the original Filippi's, 1747 India Street, San Diego, 1-619-232-5095, a thriving Italian deli. Walk past the cheeses, meats, olive oils, biscotti and sun-dried tomatoes to the dining area in the back for an outstanding sub, pizza or pasta dish. It's crowded around noon, but it's hard to eat better for less. . .For unusual takeout, scoot north a couple of miles to Saffron, 3731 India Street, San Diego, 1-619-574-0177, for grilled Thai chicken. A breast-and-leg combo plate comes with a big portion of jasmine-scented rice, a tasty Cambodian salad and your choice of sauces for $4.20. There's outside seating nearby. . .Experienced Zonies know all about the Mexican food at 50-year-old El Indio, 3695 India Street, San Diego, 1-619-299-0333 (and three other area locations). It's cheap, fresh and bountiful. The fish burrito holds a big slab of cod, guacamole, olives, beans and cheese. Grab a seat on the patio across the street and demand they open a branch in the Valley. . .Dying for a burger? Monday through Friday you can find a great lunchtime bacon cheeseburger at Qwiig's, 5083 Santa Monica Avenue, Ocean Beach, 1-619-222-1101. It comes with soup, two skewers of roast potatoes and a fabulous ocean view for $7.25. . .You'd have to swim with the fishes to get a fresher seafood lunch than the one at Point Loma Seafoods, 2805 Emerson Street, San Diego, 1-619-223-1109. Order up a crab sandwich for $4.22 or a seafood plate for $5 at the counter, and sit in the adjoining room overlooking the harbor. If you can't spring for a full-blown seafood restaurant, this is where you want to be. After all, 50 million gulls can't be wrong. COFFEE: Just want to lounge around with a cappuccino or caffä latte? At downtown's Java, 837 G Street, San Diego, 1-619-235-4012, along with great coffee you get to mellow out and sip in the middle of an art gallery with student-bohemian types. . .The energetic can take the ferry over to Coronado and get a caffeine jolt at Kensington Coffee Co., 1106 First Street, 1-619-280-5153. This summer you can sit outside and watch zillion-dollar condos going up across the street.

DESSERTS: Got a sweet-tooth attack? Don't see your dentist. Instead, rush over to a table at Extraordinary Desserts, 2929 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, 1-619-294-7001. Run by a Parisian-trained pastry chef, it's open until 11 p.m., midnight on Saturday. The fiercest craving should evaporate after absolutely decadent chocolate macaroons, cherry strudel or white-chocolate cheesecake.


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Howard Seftel