Wahoo’s Tacos
This quality chain of restaurants was started by 3 surfing Brothers who were turned onto fish tacos on one of their many trips to Baja. Wahoo’s has 4 locations in San Diego County. Encinitas, La Jolla, Point Loma and Mission Valley. Go to their website for the address. Wahoo’s serves fish, carne asada, chicken breast, shrimp, carnitas (stewed pork) or blackened mushroom for your vegetarians. They also serve combo plates featuring super fresh and healthy rice and your choice of black or into beans. Teriyaki and Kalua Pork also make an appearance on the menu. Everything at Wahoo’s is fresh, tasty, cheap and healthy. Give them a try for inexpensive quality food.   

5010 Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach is the address and they serve up one of San Diego’s best burgers. Hodad’s has been voted Best Burger many times over the years and the recipe stays the same. Tender flavorful meat combined with fresh crunchy fixins on a nice tasty bun.   A funky beach décor caps off the Hodad’s experience. Try to get a seat in the window facing the boardwalk or grab a seat in the front end of the VW Van parked inside.   

La Posta Taco Shop
If you visiting San Diego you are obligated to take a trip to a “taco shop”. The carne asada burrito is king in this town and La Posta serves up one of the best. Located on Washington St. at Third Avenue between Mission Hills and Hillcrest. Cheap, fast and good is what you get whether it’s a carne asada burrito, a quesadilla, a beef taco or cheese enchiladas. Most of the hundreds of taco shops will server cheap tasty food but this one is better than most.

Yoshino Japanese Restaurant
If you like Japanese food at a very reasonable price, try this restaurant on Washington Street, just east of I-5.  Daily lunch specials, dinner nightly, and a selection of Japanes beer and sake.

Pho Ca Dao
Not touristy per se, but a great place to drop by if you visit the Leatherneck Aviation Museum in Miramar.  It's a local favorite place to get incredibly cheap vietnamese noodles, rice dishes, and eggrolls.  It's on Mira Mesa Boulevard near the corner of Camino Ruiz.  There's also another location in El Cajon.

Rockin' Baja Lobster in the Gaslamp Quarter and Old Town has a fabulous Happy Hour with discounted drinks and appetizers; hearty enough to make a meal. While the restaurant /bar is a southwest 10-unit chain, it doesn't give that sense.