El Camino

4.3
133 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
El Camino is a restaurant and bar concept by Mauricio Couturier, created to provide an exciting and memorable Mexican dining experience in a kitschy neighborhood atmosphere. Our menu reflects an authentic blend of recipes and food concepts of popular modern foods from Mexico. We strive to seasonally source as much as possible from local area farms and businesses in San Diego. El Camino introduces a funky restaurant hangout to the Little Italy community that strives to be affordable, accessible, and addicting.
What 133 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
4.0
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JU
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

It is a cool Mexican cantina with great drinks and decor.

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

Overall amazing! Host recommended some of the best drinks to start off and I took her recommendations. Our server Tory was amazing always checking what else I needed.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Birthday. Was very fun and staff was nice, just need more waitressing especially for a big party of 15. Also did not know after 10pm there is a long line and had friends wait an hour in line. Overall very fun, food was good. Recommend for smaller parties.

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MD
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

I love this place! My friends had never been there and they really enjoyed the ambience. They and I will be back soon!

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JC
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Great place to hang. Food and service definitely a disappointment this time round

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MW
Nashville
4 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Favorite restaurant in Little Italy !!!

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OT
Baja California
3 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the place, service and food 👍🏼

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SH
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

The service wasn't so great. It wasn't very crowded and we had to wait too long after being seated for someone to come ask us if we wanted a drink. Then our drinks were empty for quite some time before we had to flag down the server and ask for another one

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service was just okay and the music was loud for being somewhat empty.

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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 5

It was really eh. The food was fine but over priced. Loud. But super cool space. We won’t be going back for dinner. But I hear drinks and dancing are cool here

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KK
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

The decor inside was nice. The music was way way to loud. Impossible to talk. They were playing disco music which didn’t really go with the Mexican Food experience. The drinks were not good either. My date ordered a Paloma which tasted like watered down sprite with some orange flavor. I ordered a sangria which also tasted like watered down wine. Food was good, service very slow.

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J
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Server felt very cold and bothered by request for salsa. Super cool environment, but it was cold in the patio. Not enough heaters. Squeezed a party of 9 onto one of their high tables. 4 of us had to sit on one side and it was very tight and uncomfortable. Wasn't impressed by food. Taco's were so so, not bad, just so so and guac didn't taste fresh. Not a horrible experience, but not fantastic either. Would return if invited, but wouldn't be my choice 2nd time around.

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T
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Service was ok table was dirty drinks where great food needs more flavor but over good atmosphere

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came here to celebrate my 25th birthday and it was incredible ! We sat in the outside area in our own private spot where it was a bit warmer. I love seeing the airplanes fly over! It was happy hour all night, and they had a taco Tuesday deal. The food was amazing ! I recommend the carne asada fries, and chicken tacos! For desert the fried ice cream was absolutely incredible. We got several pitchers of margaritas, and the sangria tasted so good (very cinnamony!) Our waitress checked in on us often and the guy who brought out the foot had about 6 plates he was able to carry and that was extremely impressive. All of the murals, and the Christmas lights really set the mood and it was an overall amazing experience. I’ll be returning again for sure!

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JK
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance, Mexican food and service, what more could you ask for!

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G
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

The music was extremely loud with offensive lyrics. They messed up our food two times and it was not very good. I will never go back and I will not recommend this place ever.

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AH
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Fun ambience and atmosphere. Food was tasty. I had a skinny (flaca) margarita and it was overdone on ice and not much tequila or other ingredients- skimpy not skinny. I chose beer for my second drink instead.

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CE
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Fun atmosphere and easy going vibe. A little pricey but what do you expect, your in SD. Only thing I recommend is shots in happy hour menu 😉 love this place.

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A
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I made a reservation and it was great ! Overall, food, drinks and everything else was amazing . Although the music was mediocre but still able to have great convos, dance and drink!

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L
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot but just noisy due to the planes flying over but if you get drunk enough you don’t even notice them. Lol.

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CS
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

I was a little disappointed that our carafe of water broke on the bottom and spilled in mine and my daughters laps. They gave us towels but they could have given us something complimentary, like guacamole or something. Also, disappointed that they don't have regular salsa. The planes overheard was awesome and the decor is fantastic.

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EG
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We dined at El Camino before a show at the Casbah on an early Friday night. We were a bit late and the hostess graciously allowed us to move to a booth instead of a high boy bar stool table - I like to have backs on my chair to help my posture :). Since it was an early night, it was still happy hour and we ordered a pitcher of margaritas for the 4 of us for $25. They were very good and those who selected salted glasses got a treat - one half the glass was one type of salt and the other side was a different salt. Not sure what it was but it was tasty. The margs also had actual tequila in them and were quite good. We also ordered their housemade guacamole, which was delicious, and their regular chips came with a roasted salsa (picante), a queso type sauce, and a green avo/tomatillo tasting salsa.

The best thing about this place is the decor - it is fabulous! Lots of Mexican Catholic mass candle pictures of saints, pinatas hanging, bright and festive upholstery, and just something to see everywhere. They had football on so I could see watching sports here. The Mujeres room was bright and festive too.

The food was liked by all in my group of 5. I had a veggie quesadilla and it was very tasty with big chunks of vegetables, including corn kernels, mozzarella cheese (less fatty than jack or cheddar), my vegan friend had the sweet potato flautas, and all in all the food was good, but a little pricey, given San Diego's expansive Mexican food market. It was worth it because the experience was excellent, the service very attentive, and they helped us take home the extra food with a nice bag so we could take it into the Casbah venue with no problems. Also, for Casbah fans, we Lyfted to the restaurant, which is about 2 blocks from the Casbah, and then home from the Casbah as parking is difficult in Little Italy. A very nice experience and we will definitely be back!

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

food was cold and very expensive ........................................................................................................................................ will not go back!!

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EO
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Servers did a great job despite it being really busy on a Friday night.

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JA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Fun spot to start sunday funday day drinking. Bottomless mimosas and good for groups.

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D
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious, the staff was very friendly. The happy hour prices were great for the value.

The only negative is if you sit on the patio planes fly overhead every few minutes, and it’s loud.

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MS
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I went here for my birthday. I brought in a large party (about 16).I made resevrtions before hand and they had a perfect table waiting for me. The service was outstanding! Very on top of orders and drinks. I would 100% recommend El Camino for any get together.

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Fun space. Had to negotiate with staff to move us to a bigger open table, not sure how they thought they’d serve 4 at the little table. Service was slow at closing out our check.

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T
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved this spot. That is all. No complaints. I will be back! Went for Taco Tuesday. Three street tacos rice and beans - about 7-8 bucks. We ordered margs saw planes fly, people watched and lived our best lives. The host was chill and the waitress was on her job. I will take any visitors to this spot to look like a cool local for sure.

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EC
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice and fun place to eat and stay for the night life.

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NR
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is great! On Friday night the DJ plays old school hip hop and R&B. There for the is good and the drinks are decent. Sometimes they also have live music.

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CG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

El Camino works for just about anyone/any occasion except for a quiet, intimate dinner. I've been there for date night, with the Girls, for a birthday party, pre-show dinner with another couple and with my husband and two young kids. Each very positive experiences. My kids like the lucha libre action figures that come with the kids' meals. The food isn't great, but good enough (e.g. salad was overdressed, tortillas a little dry, shrimp in ceviche was fresh and plenty though). Drinks are good. Parking is not good at all so Uber if you can. But, combination of all EC has to offer makes it somewhere I highly recommend and will go back to.

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M
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service! Great food! Great drinks! Friendly atmosphere!

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V
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Arrived late, during last reservation of evening. Food was delicious. Guacamole was superb, potato and soyrizo crispy tacos were phenomenal, and skinny margarita pitcher was divine. Enjoy!

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was super friendly and made us feel comfortable and my 13 year old extra special

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Coworkers/friends celebrating 3 June birthdays and one work promotion/farewell. The server was very attentive and always checking on us. The day was beautiful, the music was great and the mimosas were on point. The food was delicious and I will continue to come here as they always make me count down the days to when I can come back!

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Charlotte
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

In town for business trip and El Camino was recommended by a friend. Excellent location for drinks and dinner. If you want to experience Little Italy in San Diego - this is the place. Planes flying overhead was an amazing bonus to the ambiance. Hostess was especially accommodating, held reservation for a few minutes because of delay with driver. Excellent choice for visitors or locals. Would definitely visit again!

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was fun and great ambiance

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A
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a wonderful time meeting up for dinner and drinks with friends. Everyone was friendly and helpful from the hostess to the waitress to the karaoke jockey. That’s right, they have karaoke on Tuesday nights. I can’t wait to come back!!

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NH
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

I usually have a great time there.. it was my first time actually spending my birthDAY there. The ladies up front were really kind and welcoming. The downside was the waitress. Her attitude was not really welcoming. She wasn’t attentive to the table. She seemed as though she was ready to leave or not really like her job. There was absolutely nothing special about spending your birthday there so I wouldn’t recommend it for a birthday dinner but for drinking and dancing that about it. The food was alright. Went from being one of favorite restaurants to being kinda ehh about it.

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