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“Delicious, beautiful, exotic, perfect!”
Review of Cafe 21

Cafe 21
Ranked #257 of 4,776 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Idaho
Description: Cafe21 is a full service eatery - try our always savory, homemade dishes created with fresh, organic produce from local farms. Or cool down after a long day with our farm-to-bar, refreshing infused drinks made with organic vodka. We provide our home made bread sandwiches, fresh organic salads, hearty breakfasts, and wide selection of organic coffees, teas, and much more. Our heart and soul is invested into creating the most satisfying dishes from the finest ingredients straight from the earth. Stop by and taste what Mother Nature is stirring in our kitchen.
San Diego
1 review
“Delicious, beautiful, exotic, perfect!”
Reviewed July 16, 2011

I LOVE the food at Cafe 21. I first ate at their Normal Heights location, and I thought, this is way too good for this neighborhood (no offense to Normal Heights :) and I am so glad they've opened a Gaslamp location! I recommend Cafe 21 to anyone who ask where to go downtown, and a will try to limit myself to once a week, but it may prove difficult!

Visited June 2011
Thank SanDiegoFlyRides
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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286 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Had such hope”
Reviewed June 13, 2011

After eating at Cafe 21 I am very surprised to see the amount of 5 star reviews. I was not impressed, and not sure I want to go back to give it a 2nd try. When we arrived there were only 2 tables left, so we both took this as a good sign of things to come. The waitress came over pretty quickly, gave a run down on the menu, the specials, and what they were out of. Water came quickly. We both ordered the sangria...and then we waited. And waited. Finally the drinks came after about 20 minutes, and then the waitress disappeared without taking our order. She finally did come back, I asked her for some suggestions, ordered what she recommended (the kebabs), my wife ordered the fish. And then we waited....at least one hour, before the food came. Appetizers arrived with the food. I hate, hate, hate, hate, when restaurants do that. The table was small, so we had a hard time re-arranging everything to fit. The pierogis were very good! So we figured maybe it was worth the wait. When my kebabs came, they were still on the metal skewers (duh), and the waitress (a different one) said she would bring me some tongs to help remove the skewers as they were very hot, and they were. She never came back. So I had to use some extra napkins. And they were BORING, I mean it was overcooked meat on a metal rod. No flavor. The dipping sauces did nothing for them. The vegetables served with it were ok. My wife's fish was also over cooked and extremely bland. We debated dessert, but saw that it was bread pudding, and I'm a sucker for bread pudding, so we decided on that. It was pretty good! Almost worth coming back for, but I'm still debating. So at the end of the day, the apps were good, the main courses were not good, the dessert was excellent. Service was friendly, but almost non-existent. We were there for almost 3 hours. And it wasn't just us, everyone that was sitting when we arrived, was still sitting when we ate dessert.

  • Visited June 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Steve G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Kansas
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent food”
Reviewed May 23, 2011

Excellent food, was recommended by hotel staff at the Westin because we wanted some place we could walk to. The food was fresh, on site roasted/baked turkey, chicken, homemade potato chips, etc. Chicken crepes are awesome as was the chicken sandwich. our group got something different and passed them around. Also they make their own sangria. Service was also very very good. HIghly recommend if you're in the area.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank adeason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Absolutely delicious!”
Reviewed April 4, 2010

I dined at this creative eatery a few times now and am officially in love with the brunch menu! The brunch items are fresh, new and always consistently delicious. We've tried (and loved) the presto pesto eggs, salmon benedict, choc. chip pancakes, and rasmosas. This place is THE place for brunch!

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank SanDiegoLove2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Coast Cali
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“The best kept secret of San Diego...”
Reviewed August 15, 2009

I had a Restaurant.com gift certificate and thought I'd try this place out. I made the right decision! It's kind of in a weird location, too nice to be in the spot that it's in. The decor inside is very modern, more like something you would find downtown. The owner is very friendly and is really personable. The food is super yummy and the portions are HUGE. They also offer a really good selection of teas and offer huge glasses of coffee. The only suggestion I would like to make is that they really should move into a better location. I would never have gone there from looking at the sign outside, since it's right next to a liquor store. But I'm glad I had that certificate. Otherwise, I would have missed out on a great restaurant!!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Meggybaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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