Ortega's  A Mexican Bistro
Ortega's A Mexican Bistro

Ortega's A Mexican Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.ortegasbistro.com/
  • Phone: 6196924200x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday thru Friday: 11:00am - Midnight

    Saturday & Sunday: 9:00am - Midnight
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican / Southwestern, Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Liliaana Naverette
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Ortega's has two private rooms that can accomodate up to 75 guests
  • Private Party Contact: John Haugland (619)692-4200x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 3rd Avenue
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Ortega's A Mexican Bistro
Ortega’s Mexican Bistro features the authentic flavors of Puerto Nuevo. Experience Baja style lobster and table side guacamole while sipping a decadent pomegranate margarita. Enjoy dining in our restaurant or for a more energized evening, dine in our bar - La Cantina. Additional flavors include Banana Crusted Huachinango, Kobe Beef Bistek and Chicken Mole. Newly expanded and designed to capture the festive traditions and tasteful flavors of Puerto Nuevo.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMexican
Ortega's A Mexican Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
37 reviews since May 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (20)fit for foodies (15)good for groups (12)great for outdoor dining (12)great for lunch (10)great for brunch (8)special occasion (7)kid-friendly (7)late-night find (6)hot spot (3)romantic (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Excellent Steak
    Luv2Eat
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I had the Ortega's Beef Buritto. It's actually steak (Carne Asada) and it is fantastic! And the guac prepared at the table is awesome!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • michaaelh2o
    H2OMichael
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    it was music night and the band was awesome! They were Not to loud but played great songs and the drinks were cold, tasty too, the food was excellent and I will be back
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not So Great
    Stever
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    With all the options for Mexican food in San Diego, I would not make Ortega's my first choice. The menu was limited, and the food was average at best. For one example: most Mexican restaurants these days give you a choice of black, pinto or refried beans. Ortega's only offers refried, and they are not even very good at that.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Tableside Guacamole
    Lora
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Great margaritas, guacamole, and high quality Mexican food in a charming environment, right in the heart of Hillcrest! And love their happy hour menu, and the fact that it starts mid-afternoon.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Mexican Food
    2foodies
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Fresh ingredients and well prepared. Consistently great food. The Puerto Nuevo Tortilla soup us best I've had. Shrimp Tacos are the bomb as well as the Chicken Mole Enchiladas. Nothing in Old Town can compare. Love this place.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Mexican food in San Diego
    llg58VIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We found this restaurant through opentable.com. We liked it so much we ate there twice while we were visiting. The beef burritos actually were full of thick, freshly grilled steak slices. The tortilla soup and tableside guac were perfect. We'll definitely visit again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JdinsdVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Our favorite Mexian restaurant in San Diego - Always very good food and margaritas!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing Food
    Vince
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Wonderful food and great service! will definitely be back again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • overall it was good.
    lochi
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    My friend and I had dinner, he ordered the chicken mole and I the chicken pipian. He loved the chicken mole while I didn't quite like the chicken pipian. the sauce was not very tasty and the chicken seemed rubbery. I was a bit disappointed. I didn't eat even half of the meal. My friend ate all of it. From the sound of it seems my friend really liked the place and the food. oh and the appetizer, poblano/mushroom quesadillas was so delish! spicy for me but not for my friends. he laughed because I am mexican and thought it was spicy and I couldn't eat it. Again he really enjoyed the food and place. parking sucked though.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ElizabethVIP
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Delicious brunch, as always. Outside seating is in the parking lot, but it's nice to have the option.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • ldofrb
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    We love this restaurant! Always wonderful food and amazing service!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service.
    sdfoodie
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Great staff, great food, very nice drinks. Super cute décor and quite clean.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice Neighborhood Spot
    JayFagnanoVIP
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Found this on Open Table when looking for something not touristy. Food is solid, service is very nice and the room is comfortable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lobster was good
    Roger
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Chicken Mole Burrito was also good. The table side Guacamole was very good. The chips were very average not cooked on site. Salsa was average to bad, not fresh and too hot. The flour Tortillas were not bad; dry and cooked way to early. Service was average to bad taking too long to get a glass of wine and we were pretty much forgotten after our food was served.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, a bit pricey
    sapora
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Wonderfully executed Baja style food. A bit pricey for the portion size. We ordered the crab enchiladas and couldn't find any crab in it. Disappointing for the $16 price tag. Also ordered the shrimp tacos, got 3 small tacos with 4 pieces of small shrimp on each. Flavor was wonderful but portion size was small
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Kid Friendly
    AFlores
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    I was very disappointed to find out that this restaurant doesn't have a changing table in their bathroom. It was such an inconvenience. Needless to say I will not be returning any time soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Family business feel, good food
    DawnSanDiego
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    We made reservations on Cinco de Mayo expecting a mad house, but the wait staff wads attentive and responsive. I'd go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 20 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance4.4
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 388 reviews are from the Ortega's A Mexican Bistro reviews archive.
  • Excellent Mexican Food
    Lora
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    The best tableside guacamole, and superior Mexican food. Loved the Chicken Tortilla soup. The staff are prompt and welcoming, and the ambiance just right!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing Find
    Rednana
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    So glad we found this place. My husband and I love going to Mexico for lobster, but it has become increasingly harder to go down there with border lines and the drug war going on, But Ortega's has the most delicious lobster just like they make in RosaritoBeach. We most definitely will have birthday parties and family gathering at Ortega's from now on.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Choice from many
    Sony
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    We had out of town guests and we wanted to take them to some place where the food was excellent, typical SD scene and close to downtown--ah ha, Ortega's. This is the third time we have chosen this restaurant for hosting our guests. It never fails to delight them in all the ways we hope. The food is always delicious and it doesn't hurt that the bill is affordable! PS: The guacomole made at the table is always a "WOW" for our guests.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friendly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    On a recent visit to San Diego we were introduce to Ortega's.We went on a Friday night, with a group of 9. The waiters were very attentive and quick with our orders. We will return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding Experience
    Guinness
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    Wife ordered the shrimp omelet which she enjoyed very much. She especially liked the rosemary potatoes. Portion was huge--she only ate half. I had the carnitas hash which was absolutely fantastic. I can eat a lot and was barely able to put it all down. I was full the rest of the day. We also shared the made-at-your-table guacomole with chips. The guacomole was among the best I've ever had and the chips were light and seasoned just right. I also had a Bloody Mary which was fine and wife had some sort of fruity morning cocktail with mango that she liked. The price was fine. Everything I described was about $10 each, or just under. We'll definitely be back again. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • If You Love Mexican Food......
    Meriweather
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    Ortega will be a lovely experience! The guacamole is AMAZING! and made right at your table and the staff are attentive, aware, delightful and helpful. My only concern on this visit was that the Dorado was a little dry. The other 3 folks at our table were delighted with their meals! The mole was spectacular as was the Crab Enchilada. We always enjoy our trips to Ortega and will be back again soon.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mole'
    Hughie
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    Chicken enchilada with mole' and the dorado excellent !!!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty mole!
    PLEaterVIP
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    I really liked Orgeta's chicken mole enchiladas. The rice was Very good (I don't usually care much for rice in Mexican restaurants). The refried beans were typical. Warm chips--yummy, but salsa was VERY bland. The table side guacamole preparation was nice and it tasted VERY fresh, but too much onion. Sangria was good too. I'd say this place is a notch above your usual Mexican restaurant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our third Valentines at Ortegas
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Ortegas seems to understand what diners like for a romantic ambiance. The service is excellent, the 3 coarse lobster special was generous and delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Owner's wife is awesome!
    Luvtoeat
    Dined on 1/12/2014
    Our server pretty much disappeared after taking our order but the owner's wife took over and we had another great experience. Ortega's never disappoints!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brunch was excellent. The
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 1/12/2014
    Brunch was excellent. The French toast was amazing!!! The carnitas hash was delicious as well. We will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A little disappointing
    MugsyVIP
    Dined on 12/30/2013
    This Mexican restaurant is in our neighborhood. We had never tried it, but our daughter was visiting and she loves Mexican food. We were somewhat disappointed. The salsa was very salty, and the Chips were chewy, not crisp ( as if they were stale). Kids had Caesar salad which was soggy. We had enchilada mole, which was actually delicious. However, the rice did not seem fresh and the refried beans were like a soup, and were too hot to eat. We probably will not go back, given all the other great restaurants in the neighborhood. Service was very good. Staff were friendly.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The margaritas were good,
    catlori
    Dined on 12/23/2013
    The margaritas were good, very hospital bartender. Great guacamole. My lobster was a little dried out, but everyone else's plate were perfect.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great as always
    janie
    Dined on 12/8/2013
    We went there for a birthday dinner and were not disappointed. The food was delicious, the service friendly and prompt, and they gave us a great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great neighborhood spot!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    Love this place, great menu, great drinks and great service every time.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/1/2013
    We have been to Ortegas several times, but this time were disappointed. Three of the 4 meals were either tough (chicken), flavorless, or otherwise not up to par.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ortega's
    Luvtoeat
    Dined on 10/20/2013
    Homemade flour tortillas and queso fundido are the best!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic Mexican Food
    KimFamily
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    Excellent food and service. They deserve the excellent rating.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dont Bother
    mylifeVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2013
    Guacamole very good. Rest of meal including service and drinks....poor
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, but not great
    Haley
    Dined on 9/24/2013
    This was my second time dining at Ortega’s MB the first time was a couple of years ago and the food was AWESOME!!! The meals were served with authentic Mexican rice and beans. This past time the food just seemed to be more American Mexican-not authentic. They served black beans with all the meals and no rice. Please don’t get me wrong the food was good, but could be better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    bojo
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    Went for the Puerto Nuevo lobster experience. We shared a whole lobster meal. The lobster was warm as were the beans. Not much taste. The guacamole made at the table was good. The Pomrgranate margarita seemed weak. Had to park 3 blocks from the bistro.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • guacamole :)
    LloydVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2013
    Best guacamole, made at the table with fresh stuff. Salsa was good, but got a wad a cilantro stems that could have been left out. I had the Mole which was well done. My son had the enchiladas and said they were fantastic.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always good
    Ladyrazorback
    Dined on 9/1/2013
    Ortega's has always been a favorite. My family was excited when they opened a restaurant in San Diego. We didn't have to drive all the way down to Mexico for their famous and delicious puerto nuevo soup. The food is always consistantly good. The service isn't stellar. It depends on who you get. Overall dining experience is good. Decor is pleasant and bright. The breakfast options are great. I highly recommend eating here. It is a little pricey but worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.