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Isabel's Cantina, San Diego, CA

Isabel's Cantina

4.2
4.2
240 Reviews
$30 and under
Fusion / Eclectic
At Isabel's Cantina, Chef Isabel Cruz fuses Latin and Asian cuisine

into sensual and creative concoctions that are both remarkably addictive and surprisingly healthy. By incorporating ingredients from spicy pork carnitas to tofu, Chef Cruz creates a vegetarian's haven as well as a meat-lover's paradise. The exotic dining space is at once dramatic and hip, with accents such as an enormous 15-foot Buddha statue staring down at the dining room. Casual booths, stark lines, and warm colors create an atmosphere not found elsewhere in Pacific Beach, attracting crowds for brunch, lunch, and dinner.

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Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary Mexican
  • Hours of operation
    Breakfast Daily: 8:00am - 3:00pm Lunch Daily: 8:00am - 3:00pm Dinner Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Phone number
    (858) 272-8400
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Executive chef
    Isabel Cruz
  • Neighborhood
    Pacific Beach
  • Cross street
    Cass
  • Parking details
    4 private parking spots in front of the restaurant. Easy to find non-metered street parking beyond that.
  • Additional
    Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 240 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.2
4.2 based on all time ratings
  • 4.2Food
  • 4.1Service
  • 4Ambience
  • 2.7Value

NoiseModerate

240 Reviews
  1. Carol

    San Diego

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on March 1, 2020

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Love the food !

    Is this helpful?

  2. VictoriaC

    Phoenix

    46 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    46 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2020

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Absolutely excellent! Will definitely go back. Food excellent, great service, welcoming , and very nice surroundings.

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  3. Missy

    Oklahoma City

    26 reviews

    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on February 2, 2020

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We love the fresh healthy menu with plenty of options for vegans, foodies and other health conscious individuals. The Mexican dishes are our favorites but the specials are always creative and delicious too. Can’t wait to go back!

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  4. Jody

    San Diego

    39 reviews

    4.0

    39 reviews

    Dined on January 11, 2020

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Great neighborhood spot

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  5. OpenTable Diner

    New York City

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 16, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food, reasonable price, fun ambiance, friendly staff- all good! I will definitely dine at isabellas again

    Is this helpful?

  6. rachelb

    San Diego

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 16, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    Lots of variety in the menu. Food tasted fresh. A bit noisy the day we were there but nice decor and ambiance.

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  7. MitchellG

    Anchorage

    26 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on November 2, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Seemed like a bit of a local spot, a little hard visually find, but trust the GPS it is where it says it is. I took my wife and 2 young sons to Isabel's for her birthday dinner while staying in Pacific Beach on vacation. The food and drinks were great. My wife said her tamale was the best she had ever had. We had a nice dinner and no complaints.

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  8. MikiV

    San Diego

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 20, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    This is PB's best spot for a great, quiet dinner. Just out of the party zone the area's known for.

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  9. Jody

    San Diego

    39 reviews

    4.0

    39 reviews

    Dined on August 31, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Nice local spot

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  10. TheIndependent

    Sacramento

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent margaritas, and the red sangria was pretty tasty too. We all three enjoyed our meals - Brazil Bowl, Ahi Platter, and Green Tamales. The decor is fun, and the atmosphere and service was outstanding.

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  11. AmandaS

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 30, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    love love love this place! one of my favorite places in PB

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  12. KR17

    Portland

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on June 22, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    we loved it so much for dinner that we went back for brunch on the weekend!

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  13. AmyM

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on June 14, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    The food was ok, great flavor but the meat was tough. Server was nice and the restaurant had a chill vibe.

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  14. AmandaS

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 8, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Love love love

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  15. RobertA

    Seattle

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on June 1, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great service, nice ambiance, innovative and delicious food, and reasonable prices

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  16. EllenJ

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 11, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always an excellent meal...the Chicken Diablo and the tamales are family favorites. Good service with friendly and professional staff.

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  17. AmyE

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 5, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Breathtaking, calm, healthy, and serve was great! Used a groupon to check it out, we will be going back forsure! The atmosphere is almost as good as the food!

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  18. JoyG

    San Diego

    12 reviews

    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on April 20, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    BF’s soyrizo is always good. My nut crusted Fish was just ok.

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  19. Brenda

    Seattle

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 6, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We met with a large group of friends and they were very good at accommodating us. We ordered the guacamole for the table which was delicious. I ordered the chile relleno which was the best I have ever had. The pork carnitas were delicious; tender and moist.

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  20. QuentinC

    Richmond

    25 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on April 5, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Quick easy in and out not packed would recommend to anyone

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  21. BrigidM

    Denver

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on March 23, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Isabel's has been my favorite place in PB for the last 8 years (since I have lived there). The food is AMAZING! I went there because I am moving away and had to have my "last supper" there. The service was top notch and I only wish I could have eaten one of every entree!! Love it. Highly recommend. :)

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  22. Pablo

    San Diego

    25 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on March 15, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    This restaurant has Great food. Also the atmosphere is very nice. The service was excellent.

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  23. KimF

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 24, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Outstanding, friendly service and fantastic seafood!

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  24. RayM

    San Diego

    15 reviews

    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on February 23, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Did not take reservations on Saturday. Need to update that

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  25. NikkiP

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Good was delicious! Make a reservation, there were a lot of people waiting for a table by the time we left.

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  26. food1st

    San Diego

    115 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    115 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    The food was very good. Ahi won tons, Mexican chopped salad, double happiness lettuce wraps and tamales with carnitas. They seemed short staffed and the service very spotty. Some small children were running around, opening the front door and that made the ambience challenging.

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  27. iluvfood

    San Diego

    15 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Awesome food as always! It was quiet and slow which is quite different from the Sunday breakfasts I have had there. The food is amazing !! Double Happiness is my favorite!! And you cannot beat their prices . It is such a steal in a beautiful setting. We’ll be back again for dinner soon!

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  28. JeffD

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 9, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Isabel's is an incredible restaurant offering healthy, delicious food, with a calm and intimate ambiance. Great for date nights! We were served by Ryan who was kind, attentive, and provided excellent service. Brian, the manager, offered great recommendations and also offered exceptional customer service to us. We appreciate quality food, calm and romantic atmospheres, with vip service. This is exactly what you can expect from Isabel's. Best, JD

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  29. DonnaR

    Fargo

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 2, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We came to Isabel’s for a nice evening to celebrate friendship and to enjoy a healthy, delicious dinner. The Budda bowl exceeded my expectations and the wine, a Rose’ was spectacular! Our server was wonderful as well! Sure to come back very soon! Thank you, Isabel for a great time!

    1 person found this helpful

  30. Nothebest

    San Diego

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 27, 2019

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Expensive, not great quality, slow service. It’s tucked away and hard to spot.

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  31. LauraD

    Vancouver

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 25, 2019

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    The venue was very inviting. The food was okay. Over priced for what you got. We ordered the fish tacos which really didn’t have much taste and had a bone. Also we had the chicken and beef lettuce wraps. They came with romane lettuce leaves which was very difficult to make into wraps. The only toppings that came with it were cucumbers, bean sprouts, and the best part was the peanut paste. Both entrays were $16. We both had desserts which the menus showed $7, but the bill showed $8. Both desserts were very good but not worth $8.

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  32. Blondie

    Portland

    27 reviews

    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on January 19, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    New favorite find! Original. Loved everything. We will be back.

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  33. JoeS

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 5, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My date said it was awesome. Great food and atmosphere

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  34. EmilyB

    Denver

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on January 5, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    The ahi tuna platter was out of this world and the blackberry mule was delicious. Very cool atmosphere. Can't wait to come back for brunch!

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  35. ZenaL

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 29, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Fresh-squeezed fruit juices, healthful greens, delicious brown rice and vegetable combinations plus wonderful takes on Mexican food for the carnivore. The service was consistently attentive.

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  36. Duke

    San Diego

    13 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on December 15, 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Healthy and delicious food in friendly and casual atmosphere

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  37. Doats

    San Diego

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on September 14, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    alana is a great cook. i like isabels and coffee cup so very much.

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  38. pup1

    San Diego

    64 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    64 reviews

    Dined on September 8, 2018

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    The restaurant has food that is fine, however, there are no lights in the patio in front of the restaurant and it is not very inviting from the street and as you walk in. Some lights to illuminate the front of the restaurant would be much more appealing.

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  39. OpenTable Diner

    Sacramento

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on September 7, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Isabel’s is a wonderful place to meet friends and family to visit and share a wonderful meal. The House Chips, Guac and Salsa were so fresh. The hostess/ waitress was super pleasant and attentive.

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  40. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Birthday thank you! Food always amazing

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FAQs

Isabel's Cantina is rated 4.2 stars by 240 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing
Google Map for Isabel's Cantina

966 Felspar St, San Diego, CA 92109

Additional information

  • Cross street
    Cass
  • Neighborhood
    Pacific Beach
  • Hours of operation
    Breakfast Daily: 8:00am - 3:00pm Lunch Daily: 8:00am - 3:00pm Dinner Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary Mexican
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking details
    4 private parking spots in front of the restaurant. Easy to find non-metered street parking beyond that.
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Mastercard, Visa
  • Executive chef
    Isabel Cruz
  • Additional
    Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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