Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.06mi
  2. Distance: 0.29mi
  3. Distance: 0.31mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi
  1. Distance: 0.06mi
  2. Distance: 0.29mi
  3. Distance: 0.31mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.06mi
  2. Distance: 0.29mi
  3. Distance: 0.31mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi
  1. Distance: 0.06mi
  2. Distance: 0.29mi
  3. Distance: 0.31mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi

About Ortega's A Mexican Bistro

Ortega’s Mexican Bistro features the authentic flavors of Puerto Nuevo. Experience Baja style lobster and table side guacamole while sipping a decadent pomegranate margarita. Enjoy dining in our restaurant or for a more energized evening, dine in our bar - La Cantina. Additional flavors include Banana Crusted Huachinango, Kobe Beef Bistek and Chicken Mole. Newly expanded and designed to capture the festive traditions and tasteful flavors of Puerto Nuevo.

141 University Ave #4
San Diego, CA 92103
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Mexican, Mexican / Southwestern

Hours of Operation:
Monday thru Thursday: 11:30am - 10:00pm

Fridays: 11:30am-11:30pm

Saturdays: 10:00am-11:30pm

Sundays: 9:30am-10:00pm

Cross Street:
3rd Avenue

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(619) 692-4200

Website:
http://www.ortegas.com/

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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Private Dining

With two kitchens, bar area, and two private rooms, Ortega’s is the perfect location to host your next event. Reserve any of the spaces below for a truly exclusive celebration.

Ortega's A Mexican Bistro Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.3

ambience

4.0

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

81% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (8)
Cozy (5)
Happy Hour (5)
See All
Good for a Date (4)
Good for Groups (4)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Authentic (3)
Fun (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Special Occasion (3)
Spicy (3)
Creative Cuisine (3)
Casual (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Local Ingredients (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Great Beer (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Business Meals (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Seasonal (1)
Vegan (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
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615 reviews
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vip
 (San Diego)·Dined 3 days ago

Excellent service! Excellent food! We will definitely plan on returning. Great alternative to Puerto Nuevo!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Been here quite a few times over the years. Prices have seemed to have gone up, and they were kind of high before. Food is good but not good enough in relation to the price. Had the carne asada burrito and the beef was overcooked. My husband had the chicken enchilada thing and the chicken was mediocre at best. Margarita was weak, and I'm a light-weight. Waiter was good though.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 31, 2017

We went for lunch New Year's eve, had the lobster- which was excellent and not TOO pricey! Server was helpful and nice.

Tags: Hot Spot, Fun, Cozy, Special Occasion, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Great Beer, Spicy, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 29, 2017

Menu is creative. Chips are great. The price is relatively high. The food was prepared well but quite salty. Parking i the area is generally quite challenging.

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Great value... we drive from Orange County for the lobster

It’s great... and nice place

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
·Dined on December 24, 2017

The food was excellent and the service exceptional!!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Took my parents here for dinner last night. The restaurant had relatively high reviews so we were excited. We had reservations yet 5 people walked by saying someone would be with us shortly yet it was 10 minutes. It smelled like a fishing dock inside, which was very off putting. I wasn’t impressed by the food, service or ambiance. Needless to say, we won’t be back.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
·Dined on December 24, 2017

My wife and I took our kids here for a family meal because my son was visiting from out of state. This is a great place to relax and enjoy some truly authentic home made Mexican food. From the first bite you can tell everything is freshly made and that includes the chips and the hand made guacamole. The server will prepare the guacamole right at your table, and man is it good. I highly recommend this place and will go back soon.

Tags: Good for Groups, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 27, 2017

We're visiting from LA... wanted Lobster but we went to the Lycium Theater so we had 9:30 res on a Sunday... the place looked like it was closed... but they were WONDERFUL!!! Very nice and so understanding... we had the lobster feast!!! YUMMMMMMMM EEEEEEEE it was totally what we wanted and was grateful that they didn't make us feel like we were putting them out at all.. completely opposite!!! Nice staff

So "thank you guys"!!! It made us Huge huge HUGE!!! Fans

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Fun, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 19, 2017

I don’t know what they put in the food but we many visits to the bathroom

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
·Dined on November 7, 2017

The experience was fun, delicious and an all around great experience!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 5, 2017

The food is excellent and seems to be adjusted seasonally.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Came here to catch up with someone I hadn't seen in many many years, so I wanted a reasonably quiet place for conversation. Came earlier than our reservations and sat at a bar table and took advantage of happy hour. Food was great., Margaritas were made with fresh lime, and the service was good as well. The corner of the bar was quiet enough on a Saturday 5-8 that we could easily hear each other, and we decided to stay here for dinner rather than switch to the main dining room. This isn't my first time here. I have been fro weekend brunch, dinner, as well as happy hour. I will definitely come back again.

Tags: Cozy, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Great food, was hoping it would be like Puerto Nuevo and it was.

Staff service and attitude could use some improvement but the food more than made up for it. We’ll be back.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service3
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 4, 2017

The waiter was friendly and ambience was good, but the waiter forgot our guacamole and messed up my friends order. Also my mahi mahi on my salad was very dried out I could barely eat it. Was not enthused with the food at all.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Great good and service. Always enjoy stopping by for brunch when I'm in town

Tags: Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 12, 2017

They seated us quickly and our server was wonderful ! ! ! :)

Tags: Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Good experience. Food was good and the service was spectacular.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 13, 2017

Menu was not extensive but food was tasty. We ordered the fish tacos and carnitas. The salsa was not my favorite. The service was friendly. Good local establishment.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 12, 2017

Went here for friends bday and it was a large group. Great service great food, great atmosphere! Thank you Ortega!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Great Beer, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 25, 2017

Super delicious food. Lobster was a good or better than Mexico! Delicious dip and soup. We'll be back soon!!!!

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Good for Birthdays, Tasting Menu, Authentic, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 20, 2017

Great authentic Mexican food. The Chicken Mole was outstanding. We will definitely return and invite friends and family.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on August 20, 2017

Birthday brunch with friends.

Although the reservation was for 6, 8 people were there. The servers were totally accommodating.

Everyone's food was as expected.

Very delicious.

Only problem was the noise

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on August 19, 2017

Love ortegas!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on August 13, 2017

We really enjoyed our dining experience while visiting San Diego.

Tags: Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 13, 2017

Fantastic Mexican food, in a fabulous area of town.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 9, 2017

Yummy - we enjoyed everything!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 24, 2017

Hadn't been in a few years, but won't go back. There are much better options for Mexican in San Diego. Tasteless molé (how does that even happen?). Steak and lobster wasn't very good. Carnitas was very good however. Margaritas better elsewhere.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 23, 2017

Friendly, tasty guacamole
Very salty
Enjoyable meal

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food4
ambience4
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 22, 2017

Warm home made tortillas, delicious food, great atmosphere, excellent margaritas

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 20, 2017

Really good food, nice little patio, vibrant neighborhood

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on July 19, 2017

Perfect for bringing friends together and right before drinking in Hillcrest

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 11, 2017

Oh my, this was our first time at Ortega's and we had the steak and lobster. It comes with the best tortilla soup ever! And the salsa! What can I say, it was so good we wanted to bring some home. The lobster was prepared Puerto Nuevo style and was really good. The steak was perfectly cooked and tasty.

The waiter was nicely friendly but not intrusive. I could go back there every week - it's that good.

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Casual, Kid-friendly, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Great for Lunch, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 5, 2017

Great value, friendly atmosphere. Tasty food. Generous portions excellent for splitting. Cooperative parking.

Tags: Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 18, 2017

The fact we were able to get the steak and lobster special and the mimosa special on a holiday was very impressive. We feasted like a king and queen, drank lots of champagne and even had dessert all for $75.00!! (before tip). Very good food and value for the money. My Dad was complaining about the parking lot view but in the end he had a great time and was very pleased with his meal and service. Thank you!

Tags: Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 14, 2017

Nice spot in Hillcrest for Margaritas and some authentic Mexican fare. Didn't knock my socks off, but it's consistent and accommodating. Parking is sometimes a challenge here.

Tags: Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 10, 2017

Great! Service! Food!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 10, 2017

I was pleasantly surprised with Ortegas. The food was very fresh and the salsa was tasty. I ordered the huevos rancheros and they made them just just. The sauce was super yummy and spicy just the way I like it. The rice and beans were great too. They had a nice kids menu with plenty of options. They did not have apple juice so my kids ordered water and that was given in a closed lid cup to prevent accidents. I would definitely go back.

Tags: Casual, Spicy, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Fun, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Cozy, Late-night Find, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Kid-friendly, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 3, 2017

The service at Ortega's keeps declining. It's a big reason why their business has dwindled.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service1
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on May 30, 2017

Great food and friendly service keep me coming back. The guacamole, made tableside, is fantastic and the Mezcal Mule is pretty tasty too.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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