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Today's Groupon gets you $20 worth of south-of-the-border-between-the-United-States-and-Mexico-inspired dishes and delectable drinks at Crest Café, a Zagat-rated feasting-ground. With celebrated breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, there’s a lot of terrain to navigate your curious taste buds through.

It takes a lot of love to sustain a neighborhood restaurant for close to three decades, and that love is well earned at Crest Café. Signature dishes span the entire day. Wake up with the Carolenas corn tortilla, which puts a delicious egg, salsa, jack cheese, and avocado breakfast on a bed of tortillas, similar to the one you woke up in ($7.95). For a sweeter bite, embrace your state pride with the three-raisin french toast with currants and Thompson and California golden raisins ($7.25).

When you’re in need of a midday or evening pick-me-up, the variety of delectables is highly impressive. Along with a great collection of pastas, salads, burgers, and sandwiches, there's the bell-pepper infused turkey meatloaf ($9.95), the Not Your Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie ($9.95), and the honey-glazed pork chops ($15.95). For those who leave room in their digestion chambers, the croissant bread pudding and butterscotch pecan apple crunch sing pretty melodies of filling-you-up and bass lines of mouth-thrills.

Crest Café makes food for people who eat food and serves up plates with a whole lot of love and attention. It's become a can't-miss local institution for locals and non-locals not living locally.

Reviews

Crest Café is a Zagat-rated eatery. Yelpers award Crest Café 3.5 stars:

  • The quintessential California cafe - and consistently the best cafe in town. Delicious, inexpensive food right in the heart of Hillcrest. – VanessaSD, Zagat
  • Crest cafe is one of San Diego's little gems. A complete straight up neighborhood place! Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, with wonderful weekend specials. – jennifero1724, Zagat
  • The Crest Cafe is awesome! When you are in need of comfort food with a little bit of flare, Crest is the place to go. – sam s., Yelp

Zagat Criteria

You don’t just become a Zagat-rated restaurant for no reason. Straight from Zagat rater Peter Bogard, here are his criteria for determining top-notch restaurants:

  • “How difficult would an adult find the maze on the children’s menu?”
  • “Do the restaurant’s TVs cover my parent’s silence after I admit I was expelled from dental school?”
  • “Are groveling dogs discouraged from wandering the dining area?”
  • “When is karaoke night?”
  • “Is the cute waitress really flirting with me or just being polite? I should ask for her number. No, I shouldn’t.”

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425 Robinson Ave
San Diego,
CA
US

Cheese Shop has been spotted on all seven continents, gracing locales along the Great Wall of China, beside the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and amid the crags of Glacier National Park. Franchises or trademarked cheese meteors aren't the worldly cause, however: the deli's Frisbee Challenge sends logo-emblazoned discs with wayfaring customers, whose photo ops earn them a discount and spot on the dining room's wall of honor. Second-generation owners Tom and Sandy Schutz helm the cheese-shop-turned-café within downtown San Diego's historic Horton Grand Hotel, whose Victorian stained glass windows filter soft light onto breakfasts of buckwheat pancakes and hash-brown-flanked omelets, which are served all day. Six varieties of gourmet grilled cheese anointed with spices such as pesto and jalapeños join overstuffed sandwiches piled high with house-cured and house-smoked morsels of sirloin, pork, and chicken. Outside, a brick patio crowns white wrought iron tables with cups of coffee, tea, and hand-shaken bloody marys beneath trees wrapped in twinkling lights. Cheese Shop also delivers meals to downtown homes and offices free of charge.:

627 4th Ave
San Diego,
CA
US

At Lil B's Restaurant, chefs prepare a wide range of beloved comfort foods, including homemade soups, spaghetti, fish and chips, and prime rib. These large-portioned dishes are served amid retro-futuristic decor that harks back to the classic all-American diners of the 1960s. Freshly baked pies and buttermilk biscuits are available as dinner companions.

1451 Washington St
San Diego,
CA
US

According to Zagat, the portions of breakfast plates at Broken Yolk Cafe can be "obscene"—although one could also consider them generous. Sometimes, these sizes are even considered a challenge. In 2010, Man Vs. Food's Adam Richman paid the restaurant a visit to tackle its infamous Iron Man Special: a 12-egg omelet, topped with chili and piled onto a 15-inch pizza pan.

Opened in 1979, Broken Yolk has spent decades fine-tuning its southwestern recipes—many enigmatically named for people such as "Betty" and "Tony G". Alongside steaming breakfast burritos and griddled buttermilk pancakes, the menu features nearly 20 omelets stuffed with fresh ingredients such as beef chorizo, avocado, and mushroom sauce. Shredded hash-browns are crafted from fresh potatoes, and the salsa is handmade each day. Until its official closing time at 3 p.m., Broken Yolk also serves sandwiches and half-pound Angus burgers. The local chain's six locations each feature their own private banquet room and secret underground passage to one of the other restaurants.

355 6th Ave
San Diego,
CA
US