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These 15 San Diego Restaurants Are Guilty of the Same Offense

The recent openings of Mesteeso and Maestoso got us thinking—what other San Diego spots are guilty of similar-sounding monikers? Here, we parse some of the most egregious examples



Brazil-sourced coffee beans—the name is a phonetic spelling of the Portuguese word “mestiço,” meaning “mixed race”—roasted in San Diego and served from a cart at the brewery by San Dieguito Lagoon.


A modern Italian restaurant whose name means “majestic”; chefs double as servers and pasta rolls around on carts. 


Shake Shack

New York–born burger chain in Mission Valley and new restaurant hot spot, Westfield UTC; coming to Carmel Valley’s One Paseo complex next year. 

Carnitas’ Snack Shack

Pork-centric eatery with a backyard party vibe in North Park and cruise ship clientele at its harbor-side location.

The Crack Shack

Top Chef Richard Blais’s ode to hormone-free chicken and eggs in the form of sandwiches, salads, and “oysters” (aka nuggets).

Joe’s Crab Shack

Nationwide seafood chain with two San Diego locations serving literal buckets of Dungeness, popcorn shrimp, and po’boys with chicken or shrimp.


Blue Water Grill

An upscale mini chain that turns out classic seafood plates like fish and chips and clam chowder; locations in resort towns, including Coronado, Carlsbad, Temecula, and Newport Beach. 

Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill

No-frills locally loved spot known for its fresh local catch—daily specials can include bourbon butter jalapeño lime sautéed mussels—and lengthy lines along India Street.


Roberto’s Taco Shop

A taqueria launched in San Ysidro that has spawned more than 60 locations across California and Nevada; predecessor to Lolita’s, started by Roberto’s son-in-law, Joaquín. 

Rigoberto’s Taco Shop

Taqueria with a smaller footprint spanning eight locations within San Diego County; beloved for its breakfast burritos (served all day).



Pronounced “Jordan”; ocean-facing restaurant inside Tower23 Hotel in Pacific Beach; recently renovated with a new menu and sushi bar.

El Jardín

Liberty Station spot focusing on über-traditional Mexican recipes (e.g. a mole recipe straight from its origin city of Puebla) wielded by ex-Bracero chef de cuisine and former Top Chef-er Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins. 


El Zarape

A divey taco shop on Park Boulevard, popular with takeout enthusiasts who love their burritos and fish tacos. 

El Zarape Tequileria

Mexican restaurant, also in Normal Heights (just a few blocks from El Zarape Mexican Eatery, right), known for traditional plates; originally owned by the couple behind the other two Zarapes before they sold it in late 2016.


El Zarape Mexican Eatery

Modern spin-off of the Park Boulevard eatery (same owners), serving tacos, enchiladas, and Tijuana hot dogs in a sit-down space on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights.

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