El Cajon Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in El Cajon

April 14, 2018 Dorsey Hagwood

El Cajon (/ɛlkəˈhoʊn/; Spanish: [elkaˈxon]) is a city in San Diego County, California, United States. In a valley surrounded by mountains, the city has acquired the nickname of "The Big Box." Its name originated similarly, from the Spanish phrase "el cajón," which means "the box" or "the drawer."
Things to do in El Cajon

1. Antica Trattoria

5654 Lake Murray Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942-1929 Delivery, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer, Accepts Credit Cards, Takeout, Television, Highchairs Available Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 20 - SGD 26 +1 619-463-9919
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 160 reviews

Antica Trattoria

Antica trattoria is a modern casual Italian eatery. Using organic and localy sourced Ingredients ,

Reviewed By kd_sachi - Chula Vista, California

We went here for my friends birthday a couple of weeks ago. I find it difficult to find really good authentic Italian food. This place is it. It is very cute inside and the staff is outstanding. The food is very fresh. This place can be a bit pricey but I don't mind paying for great food.

We started with mozzarella, moved onto a fantastic salad called Insalata Di Venere and then I had the gnocchi with braised short ribs as my entree. All of it was absolutely fantastic.

I always rate an Italian restaurant based off of the cannoli and I was not disappointed at Antica Trattoria. I love an authentic cannoli.

I liked this place so much I just made a reservation for 10 people to celebrate my birthday here!

2. Marechiaro's Italian Restaurant

14120 Olde Highway 80, El Cajon, CA 92021-2823 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Highchairs Available Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 8 - SGD 25 +1 619-561-6580
Excellent
67%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 127 reviews

Marechiaro's Italian Restaurant

Reviewed By krosas - San Diego, CA

This place is great! The service is always wonderful. On our first visit there, we mentioned it was our first visit. Our waitress brought us three things to sample. Needless to say, we were sold and have been back several times. Tasty food and good prices.

3. Phil's BBQ

9816 Mission Gorge Rd, Santee, CA 92071-3834 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Barbecue Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 619-449-7700
Excellent
52%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 197 reviews

Phil's BBQ

Reviewed By cjhill95 - Chula Vista, California

After many stops at various "BBQ" places, we found a winner...for the area! Being from Texas, I am a bit of a BBQ/smoked meat snob, and so far this is the best place I have found. Tried the ribs and chicken platter, and the ribs were fall off the bone tasty, and the chicken was nicely smoked and not dry. We got our with the sauce on the side, as I didn't want the meat swimming in extra sauce. The sauce was OK, but I preferred the flavor of the meat without the added sauce on top. The baked beans were good, only warm int he bowl, would have liked them a little warmer temp when served. Also tried the onion rings...those were good! Overall, we will probably go back...it is a nice treat when we don't want to light up our own smoker.

4. Antonelli's Deli

1354 N Magnolia Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020-1620 Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Delicatessen, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Breakfast +1 619-440-8460
Excellent
75%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 86 reviews

Antonelli's Deli

Reviewed By Stephanie H - El Cajon

I heard a lot about this place so we finally went! The sandwiches were huge. I got the roast beef and the flavor really wasn't that over the top compared to other good deli sandwiches. Perhaps because it was a basic sandwich. My boyfriend got a different sandwich and he said it was excellent! Next time we would get the smallest size because they truly are HUGE sandwiches. Also get there early or not at lunchtime because they get very crowded and you can be waiting for at least 1/2 hour to get your sandwich. I do believe you can call in your sandwiches too.

5. Anny's Fine Burgers

9862 Mission Gorge Rd, Santee, CA 92071-3873 Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible American Lunch, Dinner +1 619-258-8288
Excellent
66%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 77 reviews

Anny's Fine Burgers

Towne Center Shopping Center, just steps from the San Diego Trolley stop

Reviewed By Pentaxian - San Diego

A tasty casual dining restaurant in the Santee Towne Center, Anny's Fine Burgers has an amazing menu of burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and fries. Order from the convenient menu posted on the wall, get your order number, find a seat and dig in when the food is delivered hot and fresh. Drinks are from the fountain and refillable. Anny's has ample parking plus is just steps away from the green line station for the San Diego Trolley.

6. Izzy's Cafe

1252 Broadway, El Cajon, CA 92021-4901 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Cafe Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch +1 619-447-5067
Excellent
68%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 98 reviews

Izzy's Cafe

Reviewed By rovingruz - Cartersville, Georgia, USA

First but not last visit. Came with six others, we had a variety of breakfast items, had the stuffed croissant French toast, regular French toast, scrambled eggs, crepes, of course we shared to taste, everything was great. Food came out hot and tasted great. Lots of food, no need for lunch after this! Ordered crepes, got 5 large crepes. My friend had an omelet, couldn't even finish it. Loved everything!

7. Casa De Pico

5500 Grossmont Center Dr, La Mesa, CA 91942-3016 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Mexican, Latin, Spanish, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night +1 619-463-3267
Excellent
53%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 282 reviews

Casa De Pico

At Casa de Pico in La Mesa, guests can enjoy outdoor patio dining year-round, surrounded by trees, colorful flowers and splashing fountains. Rounding out the Mexican dining experience are the strolling mariachis and famous award-winning giant margaritas.

Reviewed By ccrowe3 - Lakeside, California

Our family recently dined at Casa de Pico in celebration of my son's birthday. We eat here a couple times a year and the food and service is always top notch. When it gets really busy it's kind of loud but that is the only...MoreHI good morning my name is Lino Rodarte. the casa de pico general manager . I wanted to Thank you for the very nice review about our food and service we hope to see you soon again !!

8. Brigantine La Mesa

9350 Fuerte Dr, La Mesa, CA 91941-4107 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Highchairs Available American, Bar, Seafood, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Drinks SGD 39 - SGD 66 +1 619-465-1935
Excellent
54%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 214 reviews

Brigantine La Mesa

Reviewed By Josephine J - La Mesa, California

Do not like the remodel. Carpet removed just makes for a noisy warehouse atmosphere. Every course was served with the same wilted collard green-like garnish. The menu was solely over priced seafood, have done away with great steaks. Must have been a bad night because seemed like everyone was serving food including the manager but all of our orders were mixed up or missing food. Won’t be back. Way over priced too.

9. Greek Style Chicken

1468 Graves Ave, El Cajon, CA 92021-2953 Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible Fast Food, Mediterranean, Greek, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner +1 619-401-0700
Excellent
74%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 48 reviews

Greek Style Chicken

Reviewed By ronmiller0032 - santee

After searching for a great Greek restaurant, we found this place about ten years ago and have been going to ever since. They always provide great service, great food and always consistent in terms of quality of food. We have never had a problem with anything they offer, so i recommend everything on their menu starting with there Gyros sandwich which is very good and filling for the price. Their Greek Chicken and salads are also very good and the party trays are also good when hosting a party and you don't want to hassle with cooking.

10. Black Angus Steakhouse - El Cajon

1000 Graves Ave, El Cajon, CA 92021-4558 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Steakhouse, Bar Dinner, Lunch, Late Night SGD 38 - SGD 41 +1 619-440-5055
Excellent
47%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
4%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 115 reviews

Black Angus Steakhouse - El Cajon

Great for steak and so much more… Black Angus Steakhouse has built its reputation on providing a Genuine American Steakhouse experience to remember. Our Chefs are proud to serve only Black Angus steaks that are carefully aged, fresh-cut daily, and grilled over an open flame. Our other specialties include a variety of succulent seafood, fall-off-the-bone Baby Back Ribs and our famous slow-roasted Prime Rib. Whatever you're craving, we pride ourselves at Black Angus Steakhouse for superior quality, friendly service, and great food. It's more than a tradition - it's our passion every day.

Reviewed By rovingruz - Cartersville, Georgia, USA

Stopped here for a late luncheon celebration, waitress was very nice though had trouble bringing the food ordered, perhaps she was busy elsewhere kept forgetting sides. Salads that came with the meal were fresh and good. We tried the strip steak, it was thin at one end and over cooked, normal thickness at the other end and cooked properly. Would have liked a bread refill. Overall atmosphere was pleasant, one did not need to shout to have a conversation. Chicken was cooked well, nice flavors. No room for dessert.

ThingsTodoPost © 2018 All rights reserved.