Imperial Eats

Food And Dining

Imperial Beach has a reputation as a top spot for surfing, but there are plenty of worthy options for eating, too. Here are three great picks, all on Palm Avenue.

Meijo Sushi and Japanese Food {600 Palm Avenue; 619.429.4373}

If you’re into sushi and other things Japanese, this is your place. The teriyaki combination platters, egg rolls, and katsudon bowls are all delicious, but where the restaurant really excels is its sushi rolls, which range from the expected standards (Crab, Hamachi, Spicy Tuna, and the like) to creative rolls that range from Tiger Eyes (calamari stuffed with salmon) to the Monkey Roll, a sweet-meets-savory creation stuffed with tempura shrimp, cream cheese, and avocado, then wrapped with banana tempura and avocado on the outside. Best of all, prices are reasonable (average $3-5 for sushi à la carte).

Jalisco Café {1669 Palm Avenue; 619.5754955}

Since 1940, Jalisco Café has been a local tradition for authentic Mexican food. Some favorites to consider include Pozole or Menudo (both made fresh, daily) and the “Flying Saucer,” a crisp flour tortilla stacked up with refried beans, seasoned shredded beef or chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, and plenty of guacamole. A word to the wise: it’s huge, so stick with the half portion.

The West Coast Café {208 Palm Avenue; 619.429.0340}

This casual spot, located a few blocks from the beach, serves a mean Pastrami Sandwich, along with breakfast all day. Or you can go right to the sweets and dig into a giant Cinnamon Roll paired with a specialty latte. A few seasonally appropriate options include the Candied Apple Latte—a double shot of espresso with caramel, apple, and steamed milk—or the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Latte. Dining inside is comfortable enough, but if the weather allows it, the outdoor patio is a must.