10 Must-Try Restaurants in El Cajon: Where the El Cajon Locals Eat

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Updated on June 9th, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With stunning mountain views, beautiful weather, and close proximity to San Diego, there are lots of reasons you might love living in El Cajon. And when it comes to restaurants, El Cajon locals most likely have a favorite spot to eat. But if you’re a new resident or recently rented an apartment in El Cajon, you might be curious about what restaurants to go to for a meal out. Redfin has you covered with a list of 10 must-try restaurants in El Cajon. Find out where the locals go for a bite to eat.

view of el cajon downtown and mountains

#1: Testo Pepesto Italian Restaurant

Cuisine: Pizzeria and Italian restaurant
Address: 221 E Main St, El Cajon, CA 92020
Testo Pepesto Italian Restaurant’s Website

Located in downtown El Cajon, Testo Pepesto Italian Restaurant is a fantastic spot to have a casual Italian meal whether you’re craving bruschetta, Caesar salad, Italian sausage sandwich, lasagna, or tiramisu.

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#2: Por Favor Mexican Restaurant

Cuisine: Tex-Mex restaurant
Address: 148 E Main St, El Cajon, CA 92020
Por Favor Mexican Restaurant’s Website 

Serving the community since 1974, Por Favor Mexican Restaurant’s El Cajon location is another option to add to your list of must-visit restaurants. From enchiladas, taquitos rancheros, chile relleno, and Sonora fundido, to enchiladas del mar and buñuelos, there’s plenty to try on their menu.

#3: Philly Steak Subs

Cuisine: Sandwich restaurant
Address: 312 Ballantyne St, El Cajon, CA 92020
Philly Steak Subs’ Website

You can find authentic Philly cheesesteaks without ever having to leave Southern California. At Philly Steak Subs you can order Philly cheesesteak with the works, pastrami and provolone, Philly fries, and veggie subs.

#4: Ali Baba Family Restaurant

Cuisine: Middle Eastern restaurant
Address: 421 E Main St, El Cajon, CA 92020
Ali Baba Family Restaurant’s Website 

Another one of the many restaurants in El Cajon you should consider grabbing a bite at is Ali Baba Family Restaurant. A Middle Eastern restaurant, you can find their location serving beef, lamb, and chicken kabobs, dolma, marinated lamb shank, falafels, lentil soup, Arabic coffee, and kunafa.

#5: Greek Chicken

Cuisine: Greek restaurant
Address: 955 E Main St, El Cajon, CA 92021
Greek Chicken’s Website 

Greek Chicken, known for their Greek-style lemon chicken, has plenty of options for those looking for a new spot to try. You can also order gyros, plates, sandwiches, and sides.

bacon burger and fries on a block

#6: Funky Fries and Burgers

Cuisine: Burger joint
Address: 115 W Washington Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020
Funky Fries and Burgers’ Website

Funky Fries and Burgers is a burger joint serving smash burgers, burgers topped with grilled onions, fried eggs, mac and cheese, or avocado, funky fries with a variety of toppings, and jalapeno poppers.

#7: Busy B Thai Cafe

Cuisine: Thai restaurant
Address: 330 N Magnolia Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020
Busy B Thai Cafe’s Website

If you’ve recently moved to El Cajon and are searching for a Thai restaurant serving favorites like fresh tofu rolls, tom yum soup, mango chicken curry, catfish delight, and pad see ew, you can find that at Busy B Thai Cafe.

#8: New York Giant Pizza

Cuisine: Pizzeria
Address: 356 N Magnolia Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020
New York Giant Pizza’s Website

A pizzeria located in the heart of El Cajon, New York Giant Pizza is the perfect place to grab a bite whether you’re looking for a veggie pizza, classic margherita, gluten-free pizza, cheesy breadsticks, or a calzone.

#9: Mal Al Sham

Cuisine: Mediterranean restaurant
Address: 388 E Main St, El Cajon, CA 92020
Mal Al Sham’s Website 

Mal Al Sham is a fantastic eatery to check out in El Cajon. A Mediterranean restaurant with authentic dishes like tabbouleh, chicken shawarma, falafel sandwich, kibbeh, and mutabal, you’ll find something no matter what you’re craving.

#10: El Cotixan Mexican Food

Cuisine: Mexican restaurant
Address: 762 N Johnson Ave Ste 107, El Cajon, CA 92020
El Cotixan Mexican Food’s Website

The tenth restaurant in El Cajon to add to your list is El Cotixan Mexican Food. You can find this spot serving lots of great food and drinks like huevos rancheros, carne asada tortas, carnitas tacos, shrimp enchiladas, and horchata.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.
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Alison Bentley

Alison is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about housing affordability and home interior design ideas. Her dream home is a cottage-style house with a chef’s kitchen and a cozy room to store and play vinyl records.

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