Fogo de Chao’s
but items like panko-crusted
sweet and sour perch with Thai
peanut sauce delve into more
3029 University Avenue, North Park
Tip: They have separate vegetarian
and gluten-free menus.
Korean BBQ joint has grills at
the table to cook the meats.
Their basic buffet includes 11
cuts of meat, while the premium
menu expands to include
seafood and prime rib—both
options come with unlimited
sides. 4428 Convoy Street, Kearny
Mesa and 740 Nordahl Road,
Tip: There’s a two-hour time limit
on each table, so the earlier you
start cooking, the more you eat.
THAI: LOTUS THAI
With two locations in San Diego,
this modern Thai joint is a
popular noontime destination
because their lunch special
includes an entrée, soup, salad,
crispy vegetable roll and steamed
rice, all for one low price.
906 Market Street, downtown and
3761 Sixth Avenue, Hillcrest
Tip: Try the Tom Kha (sweet and
sour coconut soup). It’s the best
LEBANESE: MAMA’S BAKERY
Don’t be fooled by the mis-
leading name. This walkup
Lebanese restaurant is a tightly
guarded secret by discerning
San Diegans. Menu highlights include shawarma, falafel, lebna and
house-made flatbread baked in a traditional saj oven.
4237 Alabama Street, University Heights
Tip: If the outdoor seating area is full, take your order to go and picnic in
BRAZILIAN: FOGO DE CHÃO
Each table is given a card with a green
side and a red side at this authentic
Brazilian churrascaria. After perusing
the 30-item salad bar, diners flip their
card from red to green to signal servers
carrying massive skewers of 16 different
cuts of meat to descend with their offerings.
668 Sixth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter
Tip: Don’t be afraid to flip your card back
to red if you get overwhelmed. You can
always flip it back over to green when
you’re ready for more.
ERITREAN/ETHIOPIAN: MUZITA ABYSSINIAN BISTRO
Multiple vegetarian and vegan options are among this restaurant’s specialties,
all of which pair great with a traditional honey wine called tej, favored in
Eritrea and Ethiopia. The names of dishes may be hard to pronounce, but
all menu descriptions are in English to facilitate ordering.
4651 Park Boulevard, University Heights
Tip: Make sure to wash up before dining, as you’ll be eating with your hands.
FRENCH: BLEU BOHÈME
This Bohemian-leaning restaurant plays a little fast and loose with
French classics to put together delectable menu options, including
mussels done six different ways and Parmesan dumplings with smoked
duck bacon in a white wine sauce.
4090 Adams Avenue, Kensington
Tip: Avoid difficult choices with a special three-course menu available every day
from 5 to 6 p.m. and all day Tuesday.
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