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Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe

#230 of 3,767 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
Mexican, Southwestern
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3172 5th Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
+1 619-295-2070
07:00 - 21:00
Open now
All hours
Sun 08:00 - 21:00
Mon - Thu 07:00 - 21:00
Fri 07:00 - 22:00
Sat 07:00 - 21:00
More Info
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153 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 151: English reviews
Level Contributor
37 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Stopped in for Sunday night dinner. I got the chicken quesadilla which was really good but it was the house margarita that stole the show. Overall good meal, good drink and good service. Definitely will be visiting again.

Thank Rucklvl
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Really enjoyed my meal, and it was right next to my hotel. I had the fajita's and cream of black bean soup and I really want them to tell me how they made that soup, it was so good.

Thank louismkahn
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Yes, the cost is cheap but it just wasn't worth it. I ordered the carnitas. i could not believe the server would even bring it out to our table while trying to convince us that the carnitas was fresh. it was so dried out and maybe cooked on some other day. My partners meal was horrible also.

Thank Karen L
Apple Valley, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Fairly quaint diner feel, very colorful in aspect. Our waiter was most helpful and gave good recommendations. The bar has a lot of fun flair, as experienced on a later night, very helpful bartender.

Thank Julia M
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2016

As it is very close to the time share we were at we went for brunch one day. I had a wonderful breakfast enchilada plate with their Nortena sauce. Didn't want beans or rice as I generally find them tasteless and he suggested a fruit replacement. The fruit bowl was a good mix of fresh fruit. Mom ordered shredded beef... More 

Thank Pam M
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2016

This is a perfectly reasonable place to eat located near the western side of Balboa Park. The choice is good, the service is prompt and the staff are reasonable.

Thank John B
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2016

This was a great restaurant. I love Mexican food and where else to eat it but an authentic Mexican restaurant in San Diego. Sure was good. Not too spicy but spicy enough. Freshly made.

Thank sandidee5
Weston, Florida
Level Contributor
344 reviews
203 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

We had a feast eating at this restaurant, we enjoyed the ambience, drinks and food. We will be back for more, authentic Mexican food in San Diego. Great customer service, delicious food and good pricing. Highly recommended, we loved the Steak Tacos.

Thank Francisco A
Augusta, Maine
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

We selected this restaurant because it was relatively near the Zoo, solely based on the TripAdvisor reviews and our consuming desire for Mexican food. We were not disappointed! The food was served quickly and was all authentic and very delicious. We especially enjoyed the Serrano chile margaritas - YUM! Wish we had been in town longer so that we could... More 

Thank IslandDreamsinME
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
24 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2016

I'm a local so I've tried a huge number of San Diego's Mexican food places (tiny take-outs as well as up-scale), but this is THE best for a true Mexican atmosphere and a broad selection of great authentic food - yuumy fresh chips and salsa! It's a must for visitors who want a lovely, bright Mexican decor with wonderful flavors... More 

Thank Renatte A

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
USD 20
Mexican, Southwestern
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Reservations
Good for
Child-friendly, Kids, Cheap Eats
Open Hours
08:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 22:00
07:00 - 21:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 3172 5th Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Diego
  • Phone Number: +1 619-295-2070

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?