El Jardin Cantina

4
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680 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican

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Casual
Fun
Bienvenido a El Jardín Cantina! We welcome you to fiesta with us and experience down-home Mexican hospitality at its best. Savor our sizzling platefuls of goodness made with thoughtfully sourced ingredients, created by Rise & Shine’s collection of culinary talent, who have a real knack for presenting authentic flavors. Our cost-conscious menu includes classics such as Camarones a la Diabla and our amazing Tacos a la carta selection and along with tasty selections of wine and cerveza, our bar churns out some of the best signature margaritas in town. Let your mind unwind with our Coco Loco Margarita made with Tequila blanco.
Enjoy the festive surroundings we’ve designed to get your fiesta started!
We’re true to our name, with garden-inspired décor. Our style is clean, yet cozy - reflecting our welcoming, unpretentious vibe.
Open for our epic Happy Hour, dinner and weekend brunch, El Jardín Cantina is everyone’s favorite casual “Mex-ilicious” destination!
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What 680 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
4.0
food
3.8
service
4.3
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New England
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Drinks were absolutely fantastic but food was only okay. Was a great value at happy hour, so I thought it was still worth the money

JI
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Ok place but limited menu and average food

K
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best meal I had while in San Diego. Everything felt like it was prepared with the love and care straight from a purely Mexican kitchen. You can tell all the ingredients are made from scratch. Presentation was beautiful, service was exceptional, and the decor gives El Jardin the feeling that you're on a patio in your neighbors backyard.

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed the evening dinner

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

We arrived about 15 minutes prior to our reservation hoping to get seated early. Despite an apparent abundance of empty tables, we were told the staff was still clearing tables and would need to wait. We were finally seated about 5-10 minutes after our scheduled reservation time. The food was average at best and overpriced for the quality and portion size. I grabbed a couple

U
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food1service1ambience4

If one was to judge a book by its cover I would have passed on this restaurant. Call me old fashion but I believe a good old greeting goes a long way, and this was just the thing lacking from the hostess tonight. Good thing I’m not one to judge a book by its cover and decided to over look the less then welcoming hostess. For an upscale Mexican food restaurant where you just dropped $90 the food should be spot on, however, that was not the case at El Jardin. Perhaps it’s not all their fault because not many places can do upscale Mexican food and get it right. We had the guacamole trio which lacked flavor, the carne asada taco in which the beef had a very strong distinctive taste, the carnitas tacos were flavorless, and the under seasoned chicken mole where the chicken lacked seasoning and was layer on top of rice and very little mole sauce. Overall if you are going to be dropping $90 for “upscale Mexican” food your flavors and food must be on par. This place fell short forcing me to leave this less then favorable review.

ST
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience2

We waited so long to be helped by a server, the food was bland zero flavor it did not have any seasoning nor salt.L (lamb barbacoa with white rice not good at all!) The nachos where cold and flavorless. The prices were expensive for the taste. The manager was sweet and comped a few things however we will not return to this place nor recommend It.

S
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had 7 things from the menu and they all had very nice depth of flavor. The service was informal yet excellent.

e
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food5service4ambience5

The food was fabulous. Unfortunately, there was menu items not available. I felt the restaurant did not order menu items accordingly for busy new years dinner reservations.

T
Raleigh
8 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience2

The food was very good overall, but our experience was not. The outdoor patio was cold despite the heat lamps, and our service was terrible. Several items from the menu were unavailable, the service staff forgot about our entree. After an hour we finally got our server's attention and the kitchen was able to make another, but by then, we were no longer so hungry anymore. I don't recommend this place unless you are very patient about service hiccups and foibles.

RP
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The food was delicious as always. Because of the holidays (the day after Christmas) the food and drinks were slow to be served.

J
Palm Springs
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The service was excellent. We sat outside and the ambience is excellent. There is a very large circular fireplace with seating arranged around it. The inside is well done with a wall of colorful sombreros adorning the wall, as well as other authentic touches.

The food was good; however, my chief concern was the value. The menu is relatively simple (2 pages for food); the prices are not exorbitant but not cheap either; and, the portions are very small. This is a restaurant that you must eat a meal BEFORE you dine here or you may not be satisfied unless you order many things on the menu - but that will set you back a few $$$.

The house margaritas were very good and I feel like I got good value for those in terms of how well made they were.

Again, service was excellent but I would likely not return just because of the small portions but not small prices. I would recommend visiting & dining outside.

TB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

I grew up with Mexican food, and some of the dishes here reminded me of my childhood. The elote preparado, lamb barbacoa, and birria were my favorite! Service was kind of slow, and our food took some time but the manager was apologetic.

LA
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

We did like the look of the restaurant and the servers were very nice and service was excellent. I just think that the menu is too limited...no burritos and/or enchiladas and very few taco choices. What we ate was good ...not outstanding . Happy Hour prices are very reasonable.

J
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Delicious food and drinks! Beautiful restaurant and fun atmosphere!!

PL
San Diego
24 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great restaurant - love the evening ambiance. Beautiful place for dinner or to entertain. The food we had was really good, especially the Mole Chicken! Very fresh tortillas, good margaritas, good guacamole, too! Wished that there were a few more options on the menu. Lots of choices for tacos, but wish they had a fish taco among the choices. Would definitely recommend, though, and expect we will go back.

l
San Diego
42 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience5

Food poorly seasoned long wait despite being only people in restaurant. Sorry

CP
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

The food was not what we hoped. All the dishes were just average. The Mole was really disapointing, I love mole and this was a very sad representation. The Barbacoa was a joke. All in all we would not be back.

MT
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice restaurant and great food and lovely atmosphere. I look forward to my next visit.

AL
San Diego
18 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience5

We were very disappointed by experience at El Jardín. I was hoping that after the reopening things would be better. The atmosphere is great and the decor very fun and aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, it ended there. The service was terrible- we had to ask the manager to send over our server multiple times. It was not an overly crowded time. It was so slow and we had to ask/remind for things multiple times. The food was ok, but not anything I would go back for or recommend. It was a bit overpriced, and you even had to pay for basic chips and salsa. The menu only had tequila and mezcal drinks- which one of friends does not drink, but there were no other cocktails on the menu. I had the margarita flight and the prickly pear was good. The others seemed watered down and bland. I would not recommend this restaurant or go back.

CP
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience5

The ambiance and atmosphere is great, this place is perfect to grab drinks with someone. The food however is unimpressive and completely overpriced. The salsa was mediocre at best. You’d think if you’re paying $7 for one taco it would blow your mind, but that is not the case. I’ve had better street tacos for $.50 cents.

v
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We were asked when placing our reservation if it was a special occasion and we stated it was a birthday. I assumed that if they asked, something might be done to recognize it...nope, nothing. We even mentioned it to our server.

DU
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome happy hour values, fun and inviting atmosphere, attentive service, and delicious food and drinks. Definitely a gem!

LJ
Denver
47 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent all around. Margaritas, guacamole, fish tacos. All were delicious. Too cold to sit outside, but the patio looks great.

OT
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Went to El Jardin for happy hour, was good but not great. The house margarita was nothing special, they do have a strawberry spicy margarita which was great. Happy hour prices and offerings was nothing special and in San Diego obviously there’s better tacos out there. I’d go again only if someone else chose to go there.

M
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall2food4service2ambience3

The hostess stand was a mess. 3 people standing there and we still waited about 5 mins before anyone even acknowledged our presence. (There were 6 of us so pretty hard to miss.). We were seated quickly after that. Service was slow, awkward and 3 mistakes were brought to our table. Food was tasty but left us overall feeling items were not explained well, not complete and we were left overall unsatisfied. We found ourselves saying “it’s good but if it had...it would be better.” I would not recommend.

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall2food1service1ambience3

Very Loud. Unorganized. Food was subpar. Service was spectacularly slow.

P
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience4

The service was not good. Had to wait 20min to get our drinks. The food was great! Hopefully next time we can get better service.

DB
Orange County
14 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Had brunch there on our visit to San Diego. Patio was very cool. Food and drinks were excellent. Great spot for outdoor eating on a nice day.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience5

The food was limited and bland.

CT
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a beautiful restaurant with delicious food. I will be back!

E
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience4

I really wanted to like this place, the ambiance and atmosphere are great. However the service wasn’t great. I was there to celebrate a birthday and it was notated in the reservation and nothing was mentioned. My friends are one point had to refill her own water from the container at the bar. I’ve worked in restaurants before and I really hope that was just one bad night but not a reflection of their everyday. It was a disappointment.

ID
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It's a very hip place/area. The food is great and the ambiance upbeat and lively. My kids loved this place.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

The service was definitely lacking. Waited 30 minutes even though we had a reservation. The server was nice, but food took a little while to get. Normally we get chips and salsa but they charged us for that , even though they didn’t tell us.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to El Jardin Cantina for their "Date Night" special. The food was delicious, the music was lively (but not too much you can't talk), and the service was exceptional. Definitely plan to go back again.

MB
San Diego
19 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Unlike other reviewers experience the service was fine for our brunch (we had reserved so were seated quickly). The food, however was very disappointing. 2 had the Huevos con chorizo and it was an appetizer size portion - scrambled eggs with beans, no attempt to present. I had the Los Verdes Chiaquis which was awful. Eggs were fine, but the nachos were soggy, the whole thing totally uninspiring.

We won’t be returning I’m afraid.

BK
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

Was disappointed in the small menu. Not much to choose from. Should come with a warning about outside seating and airplane noise.

CS
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience5

Amazing outside patio but the service was mediocre and the hostess I felt had an attitude. The food was good but felt super overpriced. $7 for one small taco is ridiculous.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Food was ok. Portions were in miniature.

V
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

My boyfriend and I chose to dine at El Jardin Cantina to celebrate our 1yr anniversary. We made a reservation a couple weeks before. When we arrived, we checked in with the hostess. She informed us that our table was being prepared. While we waited, less than 2mins later, another couple arrived with a reservation at the same time as ours, and they were seated immediately. A few minutes after that, our table was ready. The hostess walked us to the table and walked away before we even sat down. No one pulled out a chair, handed us a menu, informed us that our waiter would be with us shortly. One of the runners brought us two glasses of water a few minutes after being seated. My boyfriend and I decided on trying the “date night” special since it was a Wednesday evening. We looked over the menu, made our choices and were ready to order within a few minutes. We sat there for about 15mins until the waiter finally approached us. Unfortunately, the waiter’s customer service wasn’t to par. He vaguely greeted us. Didn’t ask if we had any questions about the menu items, you know, the typical questions most waiters ask. When we mentioned we were gonna order from the date night menu, it felt as though we were being rushed. It was very fast. He took our order for the entire evening all at once. We ordered two margaritas (which were delicious) - those came out about 10MINS after ordering. We order the ceaser salad, the mole, the birria & a side of guacamole. The food was delicious, there could’ve been a few more chips included with the guacamole. We had left over guacamole. The birria was amazing, but there could’ve been a few more beans added to that plate. My boyfriend had the mole, he said it was good but it was luke warm when it was brought out. There was also tortillas brought out. I personally think that there could’ve been a couple more tortillas added based on the amount of food on each plate.
Overall, i don’t know if we’ll be back anytime soon or at all.