Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.53mi
  3. Distance: 0.81mi
  4. Distance: 0.81mi
  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.53mi
  3. Distance: 0.81mi
  4. Distance: 0.81mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.53mi
  3. Distance: 0.81mi
  4. Distance: 0.81mi
  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.53mi
  3. Distance: 0.81mi
  4. Distance: 0.81mi

About Terra American Bistro

Terra American Bistro began in Hillcrest May 1998 and has since moved to the East College District of Rolando. Chef/Owner and Cookbook Author Jeff Rossman supports local food purveyors and sources all ingredients carefully, with a commitment to buy all products that are cultivated sustainably and humanely. Terra specialties include Steamed Carlsbad Black Mussels, Chipotle Marinated Skirt Steak, Pumpkin Raviolis and Lobster Macaroni ‘n Cheese. This neighborhood Bistro serves up farm to table fare and offers the perfect combination of sophistication and casual elegance. The team’s ambition at Terra is to create a relaxed and casual atmosphere to enjoy great food, local craft beer & wine.

7091 El Cajon
San Diego, CA 92115
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, Comfort Food

Hours of Operation:
Champagne Brunch: Sunday 9:00am - 2:00pm
Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am-2:00pm
Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday from 4:30pm

Cross Street:
El Cajon and 71st St

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(619) 293-7088

Website:
http://www.terrasd.com/

Catering:
Whatever the occasion, our goal is to make your event a complete success. With overflowing creativity and a gracious and dynamic staff, let Terra be your hospitality partner. We promise to exceed your expectations with an uncompromising commitment to perfection. Whether you are planning a simple luncheon or an elaborate six-course dinner, Chef/Owner Jeff Rossman will work with you from the start. He would be delighted to create a custom menu for you and your guests.

Parking Details:
Street parking available and on weekends & evenings parking in business lots around restaurant.

Public Transit:
San Diego Trolley stop on 70th street.

Executive Chef:
Jeff Rossman

Private Party Facilities:
small parties up to 16 can order off the menu and larger parties need to contact our banquet department for special menu with pricing. Private parties can buy out the restaurant or possibly host an event on Saturday afternoons or Monday evenings.

Private Party Contact:
Lisa or Jeff: (619) 993-1437

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Nightly Specials
4:30-6:30

Tuesday - $2 taco night, changes weekly
Wednesday - Wing night + corkage free night
Thursday Date Night - $39.95 dinner for 2(all night)
Friday Fish Fry - beer battered fish + chips $16
Saturday - mussels + a glass of house wine $14
Sunday Family Night - kids 10 + under eat free. one free meal with each paying adult(all night)

Terra American Bistro Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.4

ambience

4.1

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Local Ingredients (26)
Neighborhood Gem (23)
Special Occasion (22)
See All
Good for a Date (20)
Fit for Foodies (18)
Creative Cuisine (18)
Casual (16)
Healthy (16)
Authentic (14)
Great for Lunch (13)
Good for Anniversaries (12)
Good for Birthdays (11)
Comfort Food (10)
Good for Groups (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (10)
Organic (9)
Worth the Drive (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Cozy (8)
Gluten Free Options (8)
Happy Hour (8)
Quiet Conversation (8)
Good Vegetarian Options (8)
Great for Brunch (6)
Notable Wine List (5)
Seasonal (5)
Tapas (5)
Disabled Access (5)
Business Meals (4)
Great Beer (3)
Pre/post Theatre (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Romantic (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
People Watching (2)
Vegan (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Fun (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
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1266 reviews
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 (San Diego)·Dined 2 days ago

I had the bass special off the Farm to Table Menu. It was amazing! My boyfriend had the Rigatoni Bolognese and the banana bread pudding for dessert which he really enjoyed. Unfortunately I could not try his dishes because they were not gluten free (but there are plenty of gluten free options). I would definitely recommend Terra. The food, service, and ambiance was great!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on January 9, 2018

Set a reservation for a birthday lunch for five for two birthday boys. Our waitress seemed to have a handle on things with taking our order, however 3 out of our party of 5 had things wrong or missing. It took 20 minutes to fully rectify a missing fried egg on a burger along with a side of cotija and Parmesan for a salad and mussels. The birthday boys also had liquidous whipped cream on their desserts which sat for 5 minutes in front of us before being tableaide.

I had hoped Terra would have knocked it out of the park after that... then our bill came. We were charged $33ish for a $16 bowl. Our waitress said she and management thought the computer had it wrong from restaurant week and gave us a comp instead of an accurate bill. That took another 10 minutes of waiting to figure out on their end.

Bummed and while I love the food, likely won’t be back.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service2
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Our service was spectacularly terrible! Food was great, but we prob won’t be back.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience2
service1
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 4, 2018

We enjoy the fresh ingredients and unique menu items. It can get quite loud sometimes so be prepared. My steak was medium, I ordered medium rare. My son enjoyed the lemon grass soda flavor but said it had too much 'string' in it.
On another occasion I had the lobster mac and cheese. It was good because I love lobster but the cheese sauce was not above a 3.5 star.
Every time they serve squash, they cook/serve it unpeeled...I don't like it.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 4, 2018

The filet mignon was delicious , high quality meat cook to perfection!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 31, 2017

I’ve been here a number of times and truly was never very impressed. This time was different! It was truly the best burger that I’ve had in probably 28 years since I used to eat my favorite in New York’s East Village. Charred on the outside and full
of flavor. I’m goin frack and I wish I could eat it right now!

Tags: Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 31, 2017

I love love love this place. Great food, friendly staff, and my go-to for any special occasion.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 26, 2017

I had eaten at Terra many times in Hillcrest so I knew that this was the perfect place for Christmas since we no longer live in San Diego. I love the ingenuity of their menu ideas and the food is always just wonderful. Thank you for a very Merry Christmas dinner.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 25, 2017

We visited Terra Bistro on Christmas day a couple of years ago and decided, rather last minute to do it again.
The menu selections were all amazing, delicious, and we'll presented.
Nick, our very special waiter treated us like royalty. I think that having dinner at Terra may be our regular Christmas tradition.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Disabled Access, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Wait staff is friendly but non-intrusive.
Entrees are cooked to perfection.
Timing of service is well coordinated.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Healthy, Organic, Special Occasion, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Another amazing meal at Terra, we’ve been going since they first opened in the new location, never a disappointment!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 24, 2017

The pumpkin ravioli was to die for. The pork chop was delicious too! The happy hour prices were super reasonable!

Tags: Good for Groups, Authentic, Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Casual, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 15, 2017

This is the best restaurant in the Rolando/west La Mesa area. We go there once a month or so even though there are a few good restaurants in the area. There just aren't many, so Terra is the local go-to. Always well-prepared Bistro-style food. Love this place.

Tags: Casual, Worth the Drive, Great Beer, Cozy
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 29, 2017

First time visit and rather surprised at location. However, pretty welcome on opening the door. All staff that we encountered were very nice, friendly and even gave my friend and me a "taster" of the soup which I ended up ordering to take home after a delightful light lunch. Never felt rushed and we stayed for a couple of hours chatting away! Mary and I'll be back soon. Incidentally, husband enjoyed the soup very much.... good sign.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 24, 2017

The reviewed meal was the special limited Thanksgiving menu. The food was outstanding. The only issue was that service was somewhat rushed. We have experienced that issue before at special occasion meals at Terra. We did get everything just as we wanted it, though!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

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

We dined at Terra American Bistro to take advantage of their Thanksgiving Day special tasting menu, and had a terrific time.

One of us had the traditional Thanksgiving meal, with a generous service of turkey, corn bread stuffing, a warm cranberry drizzle, and roasted root vegetables - overall, this was very tasty! The other dish was Terra's fish special, which was Grouper. The menu stated that the fish was locally-sourced, but our server couldn't say where the fish came from. I don't recall seeing Grouper being locally-sourced in San Diego, but I could be wrong. Anyway, the dish was also very good, with the fish being cooked just right.

For drinks, one of us ordered a glass of wine from a pretty good list of choices. It was an $11.50 glass of Rodney Strong chardonnay, but was a very small pour in a very small wine glass.
A sore point with me is that Terra, as well as many other local restaurants, does not seem to get the message that we want local, small, and independent craft beer! There are so many choices in our area, that offering "Big Beer" such as Ballast Point or St. Archer should be a crime! Terra would do well to remove those beers from the restaurant's taps, and instead offer independent local beers.

Service was a little slow at times, and since it was a busy Thanksgiving Day, that's understandable (except for the loooonnngg wait for our check!)

Overall, the experience was excellent, the food very good, and the atmosphere was good for our day off from cooking on Thanksgiving Day - we'll definitely come back.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Excellent Thanksgiving dinner! We weren't expecting great food on a Thanksgiving night -- but the chef did an awesome job. I had grouper and my husband had the turkey. Christine always gives good service at the bar. I wouldn't mind coming back again next Thanksgiving.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Tapas, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 23, 2017

Good food is a given - turkey was moist & gravy excellent. Stuffing a big bland.
Great service as akways - Nick is a gem, and the woman busing - name escapes me, but she Honduran if I remember correctly - was really on the ball.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Happy Hour, Worth the Drive, Quick Bite, Comfort Food, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 23, 2017

The happy hour is awesome for the small plates and great promotions throughout the week

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 19, 2017

We have been to Terra several times and always had a great meal and experience. This was unfortunately a little different experience. The wait staff, while friendly, was slow and not as responsive as normal. It was a Saturday night, however it did not appear to be overly busy. That said, it was the long wait time to get food, and my wife's salmon dish being under cooked that made the meal less then desirable. We do enjoy Terra and is a welcome addition to the area. We will go back and hope this was just an off day. Hey, it happens.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

We ordered the lobster Mac and Cheese and their chefs brisket special.
Flavor was spectacular!!!!! Amazing quality with wonderful presentation.
The brisket was perfect, a little bit of fat with meat and flavor was so full. Slightly sweet and smoked taste with the tenderness of the meat that just melted in your mouth.
We ordered the brownie with ice cream and let me tell you. My wife does not eat brownies but this dessert was The Exception along with handmade ice cream.
Very impressed and would definitely have future dinner dates here.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Great for Brunch, Late-night Find, Special Occasion, Tasting Menu, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Afternoon Coffee, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 13, 2017

Love this place, it's a new favorite. The bread pudding is excellent

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 11, 2017

One of the best hidden gems of La Mesa! Don’t let the exterior fool you the food is outstanding.

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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Amazing, quality, farm to table food. As well as a wide variety to choose from on the menu.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Lunch, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Great for Outdoor Dining, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 4, 2017

nick was great as always. it seemed as if it took longer than normal to be served dinner, but overall great

Tags: Good for a Date, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Vegan, Bar Seating, Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 29, 2017

I always enjoy the food at Terra, but lately the speed of service/time to get food is much longer (over 45 min) and the 3% surcharge that's added to the bill (minimum wage increase?) is a turn-off. The dining area could use some more sound dampening - lots of chatter from closely seated other patrons.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

Wow, just wow! I will definitely be coming back and I don't even live in the area. We came down from LA to visit friends who suggested Terra for brunch. We had the $6 bottomless mimosas, because, what's brunch without bottomless mimosas? The service was efficient and friendly, waters and MIMOSAS constantly filled. I ordered the Seafood Bennys which were beyond delicious!!! I'm not even usually and eggs benedict person, but I wanted to try something different and they did NOT disappoint. That dill hollandaise sauce was ridiculous and the eggs were poached to perfection, no runny whites. And don't get me started on the home fries!!! YUM! Others at my table ordered the breakfast burger (which was a tad salty, but still very good) the steak and eggs and the breakfast burrito. Everyone was happy with their meals. Looking forward to coming back again and trying something different......or I might just have to get the same dish again!

Tags: Healthy, Cozy, Bar Seating, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Happy Hour, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Comfort Food, Sunday Lunch, Good for Groups, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Brunch, Good for a Date, Disabled Access
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

We love Terra! Staff is great and never disappointed with the food. Made an online reservation which was very easy. Had a dessert which was seasonal and amazing. Love that the menus change every season and food is very creatively prepared.

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

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 22, 2017

The special was Scottish Salmon. When we told our server we weren’t familiar with that term she said she had no idea what it meant because their salmon came from Catalina. The lobster Mac n cheese had literally no cheese. We’ve had three prior meals that were all much better but this evening was unacceptable.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 21, 2017

So happy to learn that the pumpkin raviolis are back on the menu as they are a family favorite. We totally enjoyed the calamari and the roast beef along with the RAVIOLIS.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Great food and great service! Highly recommend! Lots of different food options to choose from, including gluten free!

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Healthy, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Two of our company had their food delivered cold. One had their food delivered undercooked twice. Parties of similar size to ours, and who had arrived after us, had their meals delivered significantly before ours were delivered. I had great hopes for this restaurant and the concepts on which it was based, but have been disappointed the last two times we ate there. If something isn't done to change the situation I am afraid the place may not survive. As it now stands, we will not eat there again.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 15, 2017

The dinner, service and atmosphere was wonderful. We were delighted to see how
busy the restaurant was.

Tags: Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 13, 2017

GREAT ALL THE WAY AROUND....COULD NOT BE BETTER.....EXCELLENT MENU ITEMS

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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

Great food and service, I love the changing menus with the seasons! It’s never boring, and service is always friendly and efficient. We even got a special happy birthday song from our waiter, Mike!

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 9, 2017

Always fantastic and friendly staff! The food is always outstanding and we enjoy Terra often. Casual great place!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Casual, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 8, 2017

If so good to see the pumpkin ravioli back on the menu for the winter months. The food here is outstanding. It is well prepared and the presentation is good. The bartender is the best.

Tags: Great Beer, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Disabled Access, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Consistently excellent dining! Healthy, delicious menu options.

Tags: Special Occasion, Casual, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 4, 2017

Always a great meal at Terra. Great service in a relaxed atmosphere.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Casual, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 1, 2017

We had a very nice time. The food is wonderful and the service was great.

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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

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