Where to Eat in Imperial Beach: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Lean Nau

Imperial Beach is a residential beach city in San Diego County, California, with a population of 26,324 at the 2010 census. The city is the southernmost city in California and the West Coast of the United States. It is in the South Bay area of San Diego County, 14.1 miles (22.7 km) south of downtown San Diego and 5 miles (8.0 km) northwest of downtown Tijuana, Mexico.
Things to do in Imperial Beach

1. Family House of Pancakes

562 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91910-5308 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Vegetarian Friendly Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch SGD 10 - SGD 10 +1 619-425-5133
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 189 reviews

Family House of Pancakes

Reviewed By Denekia

My sister was in town so we tried this place . It’s small and snug feels like your at breakfast with everyone The food portions are very large we shared two plates between the four of us. The food was delicious.Even though the gave you a lot you didn’t walk out feeling heavy or sluggish. The service was very good and helpful. I would definitely return and recommend

2. Stardust Donut Shop

698 Highway 75, Imperial Beach, CA 91932-1312 Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible American Breakfast +1 619-424-6200
Excellent
49%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
3%
Terrible
10%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 28 reviews

Stardust Donut Shop

Reviewed By mynahbird1 - El Cajon, California

This is a small place located in IB on the corner of Palm Ave. before you take the strand to Coronado. If you blink you will miss it...I did! Twice!!! The sign is faded and not eye catching. When you finally find it you'll wonder how you missed it. It's sort of a drive up get out get your donuts and leave type of place. They're closed on Sun & Mon, I found this out when stopping by on Mon. When I get there all donuts are gone except cinnamon rolls, apple fritters and some other maple thing....NO donuts...all gone! They opened at 930a is what I was told and they close when they run out. I got there at noon. I felt obligated to get something so I got the cinnamon rolls. They were pretty good, not very big but it was tasty. I can almost imagine what the donuts taste like. hmmmm

3. katy's cafe

704 Seacoast Dr, Imperial Beach, CA 91932-1842 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Free Wifi American, Cafe, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch +1 619-863-5524
Excellent
60%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 160 reviews

katy's cafe

Reviewed By rubij - Anacortes, Washington

I was so glad to have found Katy’s cafe! I was passing through the area and was looking for a healthy option for breakfast, Katy’s cafe met my expectations. Staff is supper friendly and food delicious, not pricy. One can enjoy eating inside or outside, the beach is a block away. Perfect place to eat.

4. Par Amour

10 Evergreen Ave, Imperial Beach, CA 91932-2471 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Wheelchair Accessible French, American, Cafe, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner +1 619-423-1434
Excellent
84%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 49 reviews

Par Amour

Reviewed By Johnnyc1962 - 07960

Everything was excellent. The Soup was outstanding and the crepes and omelette was best I have had in a long time. The people were extremely nice and I would come back again and again

5. Cowa-Bunga

10 Evergreen Ave, Imperial Beach, CA 91932-2471 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Wheelchair Accessible American +1 619-628-0508
Excellent
57%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 69 reviews

Cowa-Bunga

Reviewed By misty_bee_Wyo - Sheridan, Wyoming

I had a mocha frappe here after trying one at Babycakes that was terrible, but sadly the frappe here was equally terrible. In fact, they both had the same horrible undertaste, so maybe both shops are using the same bad frappe base. This shop itself smelled wonderfully of fresh waffle cones and had a nice selection of ice cream, though.

6. Italianissimo Trattoria

323 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910-3910 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +1 619-651-1457
Excellent
73%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 179 reviews

Italianissimo Trattoria

Reviewed By tstlkechkn - Portland, Oregon

What can I say, this place is awesome!

I arrived, was greeted, sat and had water and warm fresh bread in less than 5 min!

I ordered a Cesar, bruchetta, and tortellini. The salad was spot on with fresh i ingredients, a proper proportioned dressing to salad ratio. And the dressingwas very nice!

The bruchetta was toasted crispy with some nicely chopped tomatoes with herbs and topped with cheese. The flavors melded nicely, the bread was toasted just right to stay crispy... a great appetizer gor sure!

The pasta was hand made. The chicken and cheese filling was wondrous. The sauce with peas, and mushrooms just brought a nic comfort flavor to the whole dish.

I finished the meal with a nice cup of custard, that was very good then to find rum soaked biscuit on the bottom.... uuh yum!,

I will be going here again!

7. Coronado Brewing Company

875 Seacoast Dr, Imperial Beach, CA 91932-1828 Highchairs Available, Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards American, Bar, Brew Pub, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner SGD 16 - SGD 18 +1 619-437-4452
Excellent
50%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 146 reviews

Coronado Brewing Company

CBC Pier-Side --- A coastal migration has extended the Coronado Brewing Company empire to Imperial Beach, allowing visitors to the country’s southernmost city and its namesake pier to enjoy a taste of our authentic, award-winning Southern California beers in tandem with coastal views and a chill, seaside vibe. Walk-up to the counter and order any of our core, seasonal or specialty beers and some casual edible fare with a coastal twist. Grab a seat at the bar or snag a table and settle in for a truly memorable sun- and surf-adjacent dining session, or get your grub to go with a growler fill for the road.

Reviewed By ECMTravelers - Saint Paul, Minnesota

We were in the area on vacation and ended up going to Coronado Brewing twice, since it was wonderful and only a few blocks walk to where we were staying. The food was amazing. Even the buffalo chicken strips blew me away. The Turkey pesto panini was great. Burgers were great. So was the pasta salad. My 3 year old, who always thinks she likes chicken nuggets even though she doesn't, took one bite and said "these are really yummy" and then ate most of them. I can't recommend this place enough. Unfortunately, I knocked it down 1 star because the beer was mediocre. Of the 4 we tried, nothing was particular bad, just nothing was particularly wonderful either. That was disappointing, because this place was specifically recommended to us for the beer. I'd definitely go back if in the San Diego area again, but it would be the amazing food that brings me back.

8. Tacos El Gordo De Tijuana

689 H St, Chula Vista, CA 91910-4222 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible Mexican, Latin, Fast Food Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 26 +1 619-691-8848
Excellent
64%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 297 reviews

Tacos El Gordo De Tijuana

Reviewed By Jay P - Schwenksville, Pennsylvania

I’m visiting family in San Diego and was told I had to try Tacos El Gordo De Tijuana in Chula Vista. I’ve traveled globally and know trying new things makes the world a more interesting place so agreed. We drove down getting there about noon. What you will first notice is how non-descript it looks. This is not a fancy place, just a taco joint that would look just at home in Tijuana as in Chula Vista. As we walked up, we noted the line out the door. The tacos are worth it so don’t get discouraged! Well, actually, there were three lines, two of which were out the door. Look at the marquee above the front of the lines as you can only order certain things in certain lines. The left had tripe (stomach), brain, tongue, and head tacos; just to the right of this line you can ask for peppers/onions to add to your taco; the middle line was asada (steak) and chorizo tacos; the line to the right line is where you order adobada tacos. All move along fairly quickly so don’t get discouraged. After you order and get your tacos, take them to the counter to pay and then find a seat. For us, this was pretty darn hard as there is limited seating and we had a VERY full restaurant. Don’t be shy – ask 2 people in a booth if they’re willing to share or ask a group if they are about to leave. Also, the tacos are small so try a number. My very small niece had 3 and I had 5 without feeling overly full. I tried the tripe (don’t sneer, it was GREAT), asada, chorizo and two adobada. All were GREAT but I think I liked the adobada just a little bit more followed by the tripe. I think that is why the line on the right is the longest. All said, Tacos El Gordos is GREAT, well worth the drive down from N. San Diego. I'm truly baffled seeing ratings below excellent. I guess if you want a restaurant with table clothes and a candle, this is not your place. If you want GREAT tacos, then don't worry about the lines and give it a try. I’ll definitely be going back again!!

9. SEA 180 Coastal Tavern

800 Seacoast Dr, Imperial Beach, CA 91932-1803 Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Valet Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Takeout, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards American, Seafood, Fusion, Bar, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Brunch, Drinks SGD 20 - SGD 39 +1 619-631-4949
Excellent
54%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 415 reviews

SEA 180 Coastal Tavern

Located in the Pier South Resort, SEA180° offers innovative cuisine and oceanfront dining in Imperial Beach.

Reviewed By Michael H - Burke, Virginia

This restaurant is the best restaurant in San Diego and only a 15 minute drive on 75 from Coronado on the Strand. Breakfast - try the Stone Crab Benedict!!! with homemade potatoes in fresh onions and cilantro. Dinner - Fish and Chips is made with fresh Gropper and 3 large pieces and garlic French fries. The Fresh catch of the day is OUTSTANDING!!! and you cannot go without trying the large plate of sliced brussel sprouts in a balsamic reduction and candied chopped and fried bacon bits!!! This is the real deal. Located in the Pier South Hotel with a heated patio on the beach overlooking the South Pier. A MUST

10. Babycakes Bake Shop

874 Seacoast Dr, Imperial Beach, CA 91932-1829 Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible, Seating +1 619-575-2253
Excellent
62%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 23 reviews

Babycakes Bake Shop

Reviewed By Revelation35 - St. Louis, MO

My friends brought me a salted caramel cupcake and it was delicious. The frosting was light and airy and paired perfectly with the moist vanilla cupcake which had an unexpected chocolate center. I hope to try other flavors when I return to the area next year.

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