Cafe Secret

4.3
347 reviews
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$30 and under
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Peruvian
Located in the heart of downtown Del Mar, Cafe Secret offers authentic traditional Peruvian cuisine from recipes passed down for generations from the owner's family. Cafe Secret prides itself on serving dishes made with only the freshest ingredients, provided by local purveyors. Voted best Seafood by San Diego Magazine!
What 347 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined 14 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Delicious fish and great service. Will be coming back here

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y
Vancouver
9 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Our seafood meal was very good, but was pretty pricey.
The setting was quaint but not charming enough to be romantic because it’s mainly on the sidewalk.

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SE
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

They didnt have our open table reservation. Too many menus for different things that were confusing. The menus were dirty and taped up. There were 5 of us, only 2 people liked their food. Way overpriced for what you got. Waitress was sweet but overwhelmed.

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TB
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The food was great. WE ordered the fish and the steal entree. Had yucca for appetizers. Everything was cooked to perfection and tasted great. The seating is open to the side walk and they are doing some construction on the road but it was still a nice place to have dinner. It is a little tricky to find your way in because of the construction barriers but worth the effort. The construction will be done soon anyway.

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GG
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All the food was great. Really liked the Peruvian Beers. Jazz soundtrack was excellent.
Will definitely come back.

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WT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

While the service was very good, the environment was not what I anticipated. Overall, the experience was quite muted.

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EV
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our favorite dish is the "Lomo Saltado" and in their Menu it still says they use Filet Mignon, There is a new owner at the restaurant and they used some cheap hard and un-tasty meat instead of Filet Mignon and it was horrible. The waiter was a Spanish kid that was super friendly and helpful, and we told him about the missing Filet Mignon in the recipe. We have had issues with the Cafe Secret in the past and after this issue with our food we will never come back since it's not cheap and our expectations must be high because of the high charges.

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BC
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing! This place is def a hidden gem. Great staff, wonderful food and a beautiful patio.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. Great food and authentic feel, maximizing on the great outdoor weather!

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TG
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Overall I’d rate our experience as ok. My filet mignon was suppose to be cooked rare. It wasn’t. We were looking forward to having their Tres Leche dessert and were disappointed to find out that it was changed to accommodate vegans and gluten free customers! Bummer for us.

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k
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food - delicious! This is a hidden gem! My only complaint would be that it's kind of dirty - it needs a deep clean.

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KR
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cafe Secret has delicious, authentic Peruvian food! As someone who has been to Peru, I can confidently say the food here is just as amazing, if not better, than the food I ate in Peru. Ambiance and customer service is great as well. Would highly recommend this restaurant!

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OM
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great taste, beautiful location and ambiance, friendly, attentive service

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KS
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Excellent food, but slow service. Maybe short-staffed on the floor because once the orders were taken, the food didn’t take long to come out.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

All of our entrees were way over salted and missing ingredients. My meat was a mixture of undercooked and over cooked meat.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Easter Sunday

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NM
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Lovely date spot in Del Mar that feels like you're dining in a secret garden.

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T
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

The service was good and we had a nice time. Food was okay. We ate there for dinner and tried the lamb dish and the one with mixed seafood in a creamy red sauce with rice. We weren’t wowed by the food for that price, but it wasn’t bad.

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SR
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great hidden find!! The place was amazing. Everything was outstanding from the food to the service and even with my child they made it worth the visit.

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M
San Diego
20 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We have been there before and if was very good. This time I had the special "Surf and Turf" lobster ravioli and 'filet mignon'. The meat was absolutely horrible! Dry, tough chewy, it tasted like an over cooked cheap cut of meat. The server was surprised that I didn't like but agreed that it wasn't done right. She offered to replace the meat, but I refused it. They were kind enough to como my meal. I'm glad because I'd be very upset to pay $35 for that! Honestly it's not be worth that much if it was good. The food there is flavorful but overpriced.
The service was good, but a bit slow. Having said that, my husbands meal was very good, I've had the raviolis before and they were delicious. I'd go back.

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KJ
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Just an absolute delight. The ambiance was friendly and warm. The food was just amazing, from the starters all the way to the desert. Peruvian recipes are taken to a much higher level at Cafe Secret.

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SD
San Diego
38 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Love this quaint local secret.
Interesting menu, always welcoming server
Delicious Peruvian food, new items, pet friendly.
We always try to bring friends here to try something new!

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OT
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

We did not have a great dining experience at Cafe Secret. We ordered, for the 4 of us, empanadas (which they only had vegetable) and were luke warm and as a result tasted horrible. And also for the table, ceviche which was, for the price of $17, a small bowl with more yams and hominy than fish. What a rip-off on that dish. I brought a special bottle of wine for my birthday and the corkage was $25 (more than some of their wines). Entrees were ok, the lamb stew was flavorful and the filet was small and chewy. Service was slow; the waitress said a server didn’t show. She was disorganized and couldn’t coordinate the dishes, the ceviche appetizer came in the middle of dinner. Judging by the other tables, most people were having similar experiences. She was apologetic and didn’t charge for the ceviche or my tiny Birthday desert. Overall a disappointment, especially for the charming section of DelMar. We would not go back nor recommend this eatery.

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R
New England
99 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Nice patio dining experience. Good for dog owners. Food is good, though quality is not uniform. The classic fish ceviche was less fish and more accompaniments, and the parihuela much too salty.

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JV
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great little place. All seating is outside (but plastic around this patio and heaters all around). Authentic Peruvian food. Good service, fun time!

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OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were very impressed with the service, food and ambience. The live DJ playing love songs was a very nice added touch for Valentine’s Day!

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KJ
San Diego
17 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This place is just a little local gem with authentic and delicious Peruvian food. Definitely going back and bringing more friends.

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BD
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious and unusual cuisine! Beautiful, romantic outdoor setting.

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U
San Diego
30 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my favorite neighborhood restaurant.
I have a friend who comes from Germany every years, and the first thing he wants to do is go here and get the ravioli!!

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a
San Diego
37 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Food was good and reasonably priced, but the service was amateurish.

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BM
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

Great location away from central Del Mar, not too crowded or too noisy for a Sat night. Great menu selections. All delicious, loved the 'Macho'.

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TS
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Definitely try the cheese ravioli! One of the best dishes I’ve ever had!

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G
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have never had a bad meal at Cafe Secret.

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AK
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went there with a group of friends for a holiday dinner.
Food was good, service was excellent! We had a great time.
The place has a cosy and nice ambience.

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TK
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am glad that I picked a great place for getting together with friends from out of town. Great food. Empanadas was wonderful, entrees were great.

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TS
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful time! The food was delicious, the service was great, and the overall feel of the restaurant was festive and pleasant!

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JD
San Diego
43 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our longtime favourites for our date nights. Always love the place. Food is always wonderful, service is always perfect, and it’s always a delight.

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DB
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was very good, nice sized portions. Rustic outdoor ambiance.

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KA
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Cafe Secret is my favorite restaurant. Good, contemporary Peruvian cuisine. Friendly service. Dog friendly. We often take our guests there for lunch and/or dinner.

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S
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Delightful spot with wonderful menu items, great ambience and really good service.

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