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Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe

#265 of 3,849 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
Mexican, Southwestern
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3172 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103-5839
+1 619-295-2070
07:00 - 21:00
Closed now
See 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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166 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Time of year
Showing 163: English reviews
Level Contributor
75 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2017 via mobile

Staying nearby and saw Jimmy Carter's on the corner, then someone recommended it. We were not disappointed. The food is fresh and the staff is attentive without hovering. We will definitely return this week - our first visit to San Diego.

Thank takemeaway927
Chelsea, Michigan, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2017

Food & service great, decor really fun. We were only there for breakfast but the food was good. Lots of choices besides Mexican if desired.

Thank atmerkel
Waikato Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2017

Dined here with the kids, partly because it was right across the road from our hotel - partly because we like Mexican and I love margaritas! Service was terrific, friendly without being pushy or intrusive, meal sizes were just right and the margaritas went down very well.

Thank Ann M
Deming, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
54 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2017

This cafe was across the street from where we were staying. The first time we went there was for an appetizer and drinks. The Nachos were very good and so were the drinks. We also went back for lunch. The Surf and Turf Tacos were delicious.

Thank Sue V
Level Contributor
358 reviews
298 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2017

This Mexican eatery is probably the funkiest of the number of competitors in this area, littered with colourful and surreal Mexican sculptures and paper mache figures. The flamboyant service complements the room, a simple cohesive family-style space adjoined by a lively narrow bar in the adjacent space. The food falls somewhat flat, though, generous on the plate, but either lacking... More 

Thank Huitzilipoxtle
Toledo, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2016 via mobile

Excellent Margaritas here! It's a small, family-friendly place near Balboa Park. Good food choices and easy to park on the street.

Thank Cynthia A
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2016

Out standing- My wife & I love Mexican food! Yet the 2 neighborhood places we here we live n LA are boring standard Taco/Enchilada/Burrito places with average tasting boring menus! Not Jimmy Carters! They are creative, authentic family recipes dating back a long time with rich wonder flavors. The Tahlapapacque (sic) and Mole sauces to die for! The Pork Carnitas... More 

Thank fjfisher601
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2016 via mobile

We seek this place out. Not touristy. Locals usually. Good Mexican comfort food. Reasonable price. Love it.

Thank dbbarker
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2016

My daughter-in-law and I took grandsons (4 and 7) here while the men in the family had a night out at the basketball game. Convenient location. Nice fast, friendly service, crayons and kids menu. Margaritas for the adults. Good selection of small plates. All made for a fine combination, meeting our needs.

Thank SylvanHollow
Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2016 via mobile

Cute little corner restaurant across from the Inn at the Park. We were hesitant at first but so glad we went in. In fact, we ended up eating there 4x this week (both breakfast & dinner). Wonderful service (Mike was fantastic) and really delicious food. Outstanding Carne Asade and the Veggie Medley is the perfect breakfast. We will definitely return!

Thank Stacey G

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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
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 92103-5839
  • 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?