Marcela Valladolid's Top Places to Eat in San Diego

Marcela Valladolid reveals her favorite San Diego eats (photographs by Dhanraj Emanuel).

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Photo By: Brad Swonetz ©Brad Swonetz Photography

Marcela's Favorite Eats

Mexican Made Easy host Marcela Valladolid, a San Diego native, points Food Network Magazine to the best dishes in town.

Calamari Steak Sandwich From El Pescador Fish Market

Marcela's son, Fausto, is obsessed with the grilled octopus at this seafood market and cafe, but she usually goes for the calamari steak sandwich. It's a crusty roll piled high with charred calamari, lettuce and tomato. An old boyfriend introduced her to the insider spot. "I kept the restaurant but not the boyfriend," she says. 627 Pearl St., La Jolla; elpescadorfishmarket.com

Tacos de Cachete de Res (Beef Cheek Tacos) From Romesco Baja Med Bistro

When Marcela craves tacos she heads to this restaurant, just 5 minutes from her house, for the beef cheeks and a glass of wine from Mexico's Guadalupe Valley. The meat is braised and served with warm corn tortillas and a tart tomatillo salsa. "The ingredients are really fresh and local," Marcela says. 4346 Bonita Rd., Bonita; romescomexmed.com

French Toast From Kono's Surf Club Cafe

This oceanfront cafe makes French toast exactly the way Marcela likes it: with tons of butter and maple syrup. "It's cinnamony and super soft," she says. For weekend brunches, Marcela adds a side of Kono's crisp home fries and chooses a seat on the restaurant's sunny deck, overlooking the beach and pier. 704 Garnet Ave., San Diego; 858-483-1669

Cheeseburgers and Animal-Style Fries From In-N-Out Burger

After Marcela wraps up a season of her show, she rewards herself with two In-N-Out cheeseburgers. "I've been ordering the same thing since high school," she says. "It's my prize." She also gets the semisecret, off-the-menu "animal-style" fries, topped with melted cheese, grilled onions and Thousand Island dressing. Multiple locations; in-n-out.com

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