Ethnic, breakfast restaurants and cafes hidden near UCSD

    A casual atmosphere, low prices and great food are the main ingredients students look for, especially in La Jolla. The following restuarants offer all this and are conveniently located near UCSD.

    Don Carlos Taco Shop

    737 Pearl St., Ste. 113, La Jolla

    While the assortment of authentic Mexican food is plentiful in San Diego, this taco shop diversifies its menu by serving many vegan and vegetarian dishes. Their authentic Mexican dishes include chimichangas, burritos, tortas and enchiladas with a vegetarian version of each, which also substitutes potatoes for meat. The vegetarian burritos offered include mushroom-tofu, black bean and cheese, and potato and veggie, which are enjoyable alternatives to the usual Mexican meal. Their menu also includes a little twist: hamburgers and fries. “Why hamburgers? Because we can!” is their motto.

    The shop’s specialty is tamales, which are made daily and feature unique ingredients. For Thanksgiving, they prepared a cranberry and turkey filled tamale. Others include three-bean, pineapple and mushroom-tofu. They make about 3,000 tamales a month and more than quadruple that during the holidays for catered events.

    This restaurant has simple, Mexican decor and is well-loved by its regular customers. Sit outside on the brightly lit patio or in the yellow booths indoors. There is always great service and the atmosphere is extremely welcoming. On Friday and Saturday nights, they deliver only to students. Most everything is under five dollars, making it very affordable for the college student.

    Harry’s Coffee Shop

    7545 Girard Ave., La Jolla

    This friendly, old-style coffee shop, complete with large, comfy brown booths, is the perfect setting for a cozy breakfast. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., their home-style breakfasts are served all day. Their variety of “ummlettes” as well as specialties like huevos rancheros and eggs benedict are beyond par. Their extensive menu includes an entire page devoted to pancakes. Among those served are banana pancakes, blueberry, wheat and dollar-style. Bring a little bit of Harry’s breakfast magic home with their homemade cinnamon apple syrup and oatmeal pancake mix.

    For the post-breakfast crowd, Harry’s serves great sandwiches, burgers and milkshakes. They even offer a liver and onion platter. The tuna fish sandwich is also a local favorite, as well as the delicious and buttery Rueben.

    European and Russian Deli

    4150 Regents Park Road, Ste. 110, La Jolla

    In a little cove off Regents Road, this small but inviting family-owned Russian, Polish and Jewish Deli serves up an assortment of European fare. Their simple menu includes sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts, all of which are sensibly priced. For strictly Russian cuisine, try the chicken Kiev, cheese-and-chicken stuffed mushrooms and the peroshkis. Their hefty portions satisfy the biggest of appetites and everything is made fresh to order with quality ingredients. In addition to menu items, the deli case includes pre-made meals like cooked sausage with Russian salad and seasoned rice with chicken.

    Russian magazines, boxes of crackers, sliced bread, candies and other provisions adorn the walls and along the window sills are dozens of tiny babushka dolls. Most of the clientele are friends of the family and can be heard chatting in Russian throughout the day. This makes the outsider’s experience that much more authentic.

    Mañana’s

    3030 Kurtz St., San Diego

    Offering authentic Mexican dishes like rolled tacos, chile rellenos and burritos, the Mexican fare at Mañana’s is muy bueno. Like most Mexican restaurants, a majority of their meals include rice, beans and a drink. Be sure to try their homemade horchata. Almost everything served is under three dollars.

    The atmosphere of this quaint restaurant is laid-back and easy-going. Two men, at most, work diligently in the kitchen where they serve their customers. The service is quick, friendly and efficient and the drive-thru makes it effortless to enjoy a hot Mexican meal. For walk-up customers, the seating is outdoors only.

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