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Diners' Choice: Best Value restaurants in East County

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for the best value restaurants in East County? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Jive Lounge restaurant
4.7
4.7 (35)
$30 and under
Cocktail Bar
Jamul
About the restaurant
Our electric live entertainment venue just steps away from the casino floor features some of Southern California’s hottest DJs and best local bands along with great food, craft beers, and signature handcrafted cocktails.
Make your reservation today! A deposit of $20 per person will be required at the time of check in for your table. This deposit of cash or a credit
Card hold for the amount will be lifted when your party has surpassed this amount of purchased food or
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 9, 2024
B.I.G. is amazing and I’ve returned twice because of them. I reserved a both and there was only one waitress so getting drinks didn’t happen often unless I walked up to the bar. Smoking especially cigars shouldn’t be allowed in the lounge area.
A photo of Antica Trattoria restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2312)
$30 and under
Contemporary Italian
La Mesa
About the restaurant
Antica Trattoria is a warm restaurant with an old-fashioned sense of hospitality that quickly became a gathering place for dinners in Lake Murray and the rest of San Diego when it opened in 2001. For Executive Chef and Owner Francesco Basile, good cuisine is about honest flavors, fresh ingredients, and simplicity. That's the kind of food he grew up eating by the seaside in Sicily and it's what he learned in culinary school in Italy.

Why eat ordinary when you can eat extraordinary?

About reservations: We have a 15-minute grace period. Please call us if you will be running later than 15 minutes. If a later time slot is available, you may be able to switch your reservation.

We may contact you, so please ensure your email and phone number are up to date. Your table will be reserved for 1 hour 30 minutes for parties of up to 4 guests; 2 hours for parties of 5 to 8 guests; and 2 hours 30 minutes for parties of 9+. We cannot guarantee special request for tables.
Top review
Rickvip
Dined today
We had a wonderful meal, service was great and and overall top dining experience
A photo of Lemon Grove Bistro restaurant
4.9
4.9 (53)
$30 and under
American
Lemon Grove
About the restaurant
In addition to offering comforting American favorites, our menu provides a selection of flavors inspired by our chef’s culinary experiences, ranging from classic Spanish fare to Italian favorites. Our menu changes seasonally to feature the freshest ingredients and provide an exciting dining experience throughout the year.

The Lemon Grove Bistro is in a historic mission-style building in the heart of Lemon Grove. Since 1912, it’s been a place where locals meet and build connections, whether they were picking up their mail at the Sonka General Store in 1944 or ordering custom cakes at the Grove Pastry Shop in 2012.

Come for the food. Stay to experience the inviting ambiance of the historic building and its new garden. Let’s build community--together.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
The outdoor seating area is really nice. The food is amazing and the owner is super friendly!
A photo of Terra American Bistro restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1529)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
La Mesa
About the restaurant
After a 3 Year hiatus on Opentable....they're back!!

Terra American Bistro and Chef Jeff Rossman have been binging the Farm To Table-Modern American Bistro experience to San Diegans for over 25 years now. Having relocated from Hillcrest to the East College area close to SDSU 11 years ago, the rotating menu features local fish procured from Tommy The Fishmonger @ Tunaville and local farm fresh produce from the bounty of San Diego County. Featured menu items include 12 Hour Braised Short Rib, Grilled Flat Iron Steak Chimichurri, Roasted Salmon with Herb oil, Terra's Wagyu Burgers, Nashville Chicken Sandwich and the famous Banana Bread Pudding with Jim Beam Butterscotch! The team’s ambition at Terra is to create a relaxed and casual atmosphere to enjoy great food, local craft beer & wine. Terra has many awards for best neighborhood joint: it's where the locals go!!
Top review
PaulaH
Dined 2 days ago
Great food, great ambiance and service was a bit slow but the food came out fairly quick. They did give us a yummy free dessert for my hubby’s birthday. I will miss this place.
A photo of Grove Steakhouse at Viejas Casino restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1699)
$31 to $50
Steakhouse
Alpine
About the restaurant
The Grove Steakhouse has been awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award. Resplendent with luxurious décor and a warm, inviting atmosphere, The Grove offers classic and contemporary cuisine for the definitive gourmet experience. Relax in calming ambience while you’re pampered by our world-class service. Our attention to detail and gourmet selections will make your dining experience a pleasure long remembered. Experience an exciting new menu, which includes an array of tantalizing entrées and desserts that are sure to satisfy and inspire you to return again and again.
Top review
RexS
Dined 3 days ago
Delicious Dinner...We had the Scallops, Octopus, & the pork tenderloin!! Great service & a very peaceful ambiance. Thank you for making our wedding anniversary special.
A photo of Baron Long Bar & Grill restaurant
4.6
4.6 (494)
$31 to $50
Californian
Alpine
About the restaurant
Baron Long Bar & Grill features a familiar food menu, along with craft beer & cocktails for friends and family to enjoy while dining in a comfortable, energetic, sociable sports bar environment. We’ve put our spin on American bar food classics using the best local ingredients and freshly prepared food that is sure to please sports fans and foodies alike.

Guests can watch the action of their favorite game on our 16 TVs located throughout the restaurant, including (10) 85” screens. Share some appetizers over drinks with your friends or order your favorite burger from our extensive food menu. The beverage menu boasts a seasonal craft cocktail menu, 16 draft beers from our showcase keg room, focusing on notable San Diego breweries, as well as two rotating taps that will pique your interest frequently.

Top review
Kymmyvip
Dined 2 days ago
We sat outside on the new patio area….. Wow it was beautiful. Food was great as always. Our waitress Saher is an absolute doll. She is always so friendly and helpful. We love Baron Long. The only disappointment was that they removed the dirty fries from their menu. Those were soooooo delicious!!
A photo of Giardino Neighborhood Cucina restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1017)
$30 and under
Italian
Lemon Grove
About the restaurant
Located in the middle of Lemon Grove’s charming downtown area, Giardino is a welcoming and casual Italian inspired cucina where the neighborhood gathers for fresh and flavorful classic dishes found throughout Italy.

Giardino offers an Italian-inspired menu of seasonally-driven dishes that use timeless Italian techniques and fresh ingredients. Guests will find items such as fresh seafood, pastas, pizzas and salads, as well as a variety of elements made in-house.
Top review
CarlaL
Dined 3 days ago
We went for our daughter’s birthday. Our large group of 12 was in the private room. The service provided by Shannon was exceptional! The food was excellent and every one enjoyed their entrees. I personally had the pasta meal that came with the cheese wheel which was delicious! I highly recommend this restaurant and will definitely be back.
A photo of Brigantine La Mesa restaurant
4.8
4.8 (4059)
$30 and under
Seafood
La Mesa
About the restaurant
A San Diego tradition since 1969, the Brigantine has received many accolades in our 40+ year history: "BEST SEAFOOD", "BEST CASUAL SEAFOOD", "BEST HAPPY HOUR", and even "BEST SWORDFISH IN THE WORLD", according to USA Today - just to name a few.



Well-known for our signature Clam Chowder, Grilled Swordfish, and Crème Brûlée, the Brigantine is a favorite among locals for consistently fresh seafood, succulent steaks and grilled meats.



With an updated nautical decor, the busy Oyster bar is hands-down the local favorite. Lush flowering foliage outdoors creates an elegant dining experience on one of two charming patios.



The La Mesa Brigantine serves dinner 7 nights a week, lunch Monday-Saturday, and brunch every Sunday.



Join us for our signature Happy Hour.
Top review
Kristi
Dined 2 days ago
Great place to come for special occasions. The seafood doesn’t disappoint. The appetizers are delicious, we had calamari and brussel sprouts. What would we do in east county without The Brigantine?
A photo of Casa Gabriela restaurant
4.6
4.6 (630)
$30 and under
Mexican
La Mesa
About the restaurant
Chef Gabriela Lopez brings her elevated Mexican cuisine to Downtown La Mesa. Using her grandmother's recipes from Guadalajara crossed with her cosmopolitan upbringing in Tijuana, Chef Gabriela's menu features authentic hand-crafted dishes and imaginative takes on classic dishes. All of Baja California is represented along with influences from other regions in Mexico.

The spacious outdoor garden, cozy loft, and private dining areas are the perfect places to enjoy tequila and mezcal based cocktails, family celebrations, or brunch with friends.
Top review
JNix
Dined 7 days ago
Sat on patio. For a date night . Love the place . Happy hour menu very yummy and drinks were fantastic. Left very full. Waiter Jeremy was fantastic. Miss seeing Mark . I guess he moved on . He was awesome waiter . Hopefully he’s still with Cohn restaurant’s. Jeremy was Johnny on the spot for our needs. Great service. Had the Flan for dessert.. omg unbelievably yummy! We shared the dish. Looking forward to go again and again this summer. Thanks for the great service, ambiance and food! 6/24
A photo of Farmer's Table - La Mesa restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1973)
$30 and under
Farm-to-table
La Mesa
About the restaurant
Excited to announce that we officially have four locations open in San Diego including Bay Park, Little Italy, La Mesa, and Chula Vista. As a family run operation we believe every good neighborhood deserves an eatery where locals and visitors can enjoy “honest food done right”. Here at Farmers Table, we specialize in farm-to-fork cuisine that focuses on bringing locally sourced organic ingredients together to be savored in an inviting family-friendly atmosphere, where adults and children can enjoy many different food options that are just right for them. If you are looking for a magical brunch this week, come stop by for an unforgettable night.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 13, 2024
A lively spot in downtown La Mesa. The reservation was ready on time. Would like a vegan option at this location.
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