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“Atrocious service. Overpriced food. Otherwise fine.” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Caroline's Seaside Cafe

Caroline's Seaside Cafe
Ranked #25 of 1,238 Restaurants in La Jolla
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $10
Cuisines: American, Cafe, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Kids, Families with children, Dining on a budget, Scenic view
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Atrocious service. Overpriced food. Otherwise fine.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2013

I'm attempting to phone in an order to Caroline's as I write this. I've been on hold five minutes so I'm guessing I'll have time to finish the review before they get back to me. This restaurant is located in the middle of the campus of Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus and is supposed to be the place to go for students and staff to grab a quick lunch as well as for the general public to enjoy a beautiful ocean view.
Alas, the ocean view is the only thing to recommend this restaurant. The staff's friendliness is hit-or-miss. They are inflexible and disorganized. The restaurant is frequently out of basic foods. (Don't bother ordering a bagel there. If they do have any, they'll botch the order). The management is tripping over itself to appear to be offering a sophisticated eatery but it can't get the basics right and - since the same complaints have been made for more than a year from multiple sources - it doesn't appear to want to try to.
Still on hold.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank powegian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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231 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    112
    90
    19
    5
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
64 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great breakfast with incredible views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

We were so happy that we stumbled upon this little cafe. The eggs were delicious, the orange juice was tasty, and the overall value was outstanding considering the prime location overlooking the La Jolla beaches. We enjoyed watching all the surfers almost as much as we enjoyed our breakfast. We'll definitely be back to this great find.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank carpaydm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highland Park, Illinois
Level Contributor
149 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Go for the view”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

The view from this cliff side point is spectacular. The oatmeal is undercooked and other breakfast items were less than ordinary. The slow service allows you to extend your enjoyment of the scenic coast.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Pcsk8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Always great!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2012

I have been to Caroline"s several times and never disappointed. The view is outstanding, food pretty good. It is the best breakfast place - scrambled eggs and delicious scones. I was with college age grandchildren -( not much for younger ones to do) , but sitting in the sun directly over the sand, sipping coffee, is a wonderful way to start the day!.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Eleanor H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Stay classy La Jolla”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

My last day in SD and 2 hours to spend before going to the airport, went for a drive, saw this place driving down the hill, next problem - finding a parking space....
La Jolla is a classy Pacific coastal town (by USA/Californian standards) and doesn't do public parking. Not near Caroline's at any rate.
Eventually took my chances after doing a circle round the block and parked on the main road next to Scripps - note that parking Mon-Fri is all for the UCSD guys so you'll probably best taking your chances parking on the hill down to La Jolla Shores. No probs parking on the UCSD (car park / lot) at the weekend I believe. A kind couple warned me that the red mark on the pavement kerb - sorry, sidewalk curb - where I parked would mean a steep parking fine (oops...) fortunately they were just leaving, and left me a space 5min walk to Caroline's. Thanks random couple !!
First signs were good, it's mainly a student hangout in the week, with some savvy locals, too, so I ordered a Seaside Burger. Took number back from the till to my chosen table, 5-10min wait time was good.
The burger was of the posh nosh 'artisan' variety i.e. plain white bun with decent quality burger, 2 tomato slices, a little blue cheese i.e. not very much at all, 2 slivers of fried onion, a dab of ketchup and a side salad au naturel - had to ask for balsamic dressing - I was told it's already 'pre-dressed'. Not really, but no trouble getting more. Enjoyed it though the max 1 hour parking time was nagging me so couldn't try dessert.
An observation - why do prepay self-service canteen places leave a space for "Tip" on a credit card...even before you've experienced any service at the table to be able to make a proper judgment !
The register server was smiley and friendly though, so rounded my bill (check...) up to nearest $5.

It's kind of pricey ($15 for a basic dressed burger and an iced coffee with no milk) but the Pacific view is unsurpassed. Recommended.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Fun2Fly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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