#4 Old Town Mexican Cafe San Diego, CA
My sister-in-law Rachel took us down to Old Town San Diego to walk around, check out some shops and grab a bite to eat. Oh, we grabbed a bite to eat alright. Stumbled upon the Old Town Mexican Cafe... the crown jewel of this restaurant district. What a combination of food and atmosphere! This bustling restaurant had awesome written all over it. Sometimes you just know a restaurant is going to be good as soon as you walk through the door. The multiple people making tortillas as you enter didn't hurt Old Town's cause...this place just had it all (including a one hour wait). I started the meal with a halibut ceviche. Ceviche is the perfect marriage of what San Diego is known for, fresh fish and Mexican food. It was perfection, but only the start of wonderful things to come. Those said things are known as carnitas. Carnitas are the very reason Old Town is this high on my list. What are carnitas? The most tender pulled pork...slow roasted for hours, and then fried on a grill right before serving. The end product is served with refried beans and rice. I keep trying to order carnitas at other places since then...I'm ruined.