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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Ultimate Mexican Food at Polanco Kitchen & Bar in San Diego

We dined as a guest of Polanco
Hilton Mission Valley 19

Mexican food is our family’s favorite cuisine. We have eaten at almost every Mexican restaurant in Orange County, and we love visiting San Diego because it is known for having some of the best Mexican restaurants outside of Mexico. When we had a recent family staycation in San Diego, we did something that we have never done before when staying in the area and had dinner at the hotel restaurant, Polanco Kitchen & Bar. I’ll be honest..the last place that I thought I would find some of the best Mexican food in San Diego would be in a hotel restaurant until now.




Polanco Kitchen & Bar is located inside of the Hilton Mission Valley Hotel that is conveniently located near hotel circle, Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. Inside the hotel, the restaurant is located next to the lobby and has an open air feel with a large bar, high-top tables and semi-private dining booths (with televisions..yes..televisions). When your kids are exhausted from a long day at the zoo and unable to keep from melting down, those television sets are like gold to parents like myself to have an enjoyable dining experience.


Before dinner, we shared a plate of chicken nachos in the separate lounge. Our family was able to talk about our day in the semi-private seating area while savoring the delicious nachos. The plate came piled high with a large helping of freshly made tortilla chips, aji pepper salsa, avocado, beans, cheddar cheese, jack cheese and crema.




Once we took our seat in the restaurant, we were served some of the best salsa we have ever had along with freshly made guacamole. My husband and I paired the appetizer with a freshly handmade margarita. All of the margaritas are freshly infused handmade craft cocktails. They were not too sweet and not too strong – just right.



When it came for the main course, the kids ordered a pizza and burger. The portion sizes were larger than most restaurant kids meals ensuring that their big appetites were satisfied after a busy day exploring San Diego.



My husband was in burger bliss with the Polanco Burger. While he would never normally order a burger at a Mexican restaurant, the server recommended it, and it quickly became his all-time favorite burger. It’s a burger that’s worth driving all the way down from Orange County to enjoy. The burger came topped with pepper jack cheese, avocado, slaw, salsa rosada, and a giant jalapeño pepper on top. It was paired with a large helping of chile-limon french fries and sweet potato salad. The combination of spices melted in his mouth with every bite of this juicy burger.


Since I have been trying to watch my weight, I ordered the Tajin-Crusted Salmon. The salmon came on top of a bed of papaya salsa seasoned with cilantro pesto. While it was a lighter dish on the menu, it was not light on flavors. The freshly grilled salmon boasted bold flavors that tantalized my taste buds.

It was one of the most enjoyable dinners that we have had in the San Diego area, and one of our new favorite places to dine together as a family. Polanco Kitchen & Bar is located at 901 Camino Del Rio S in San Diego.


Every day is a fiesta at Polanco. They have happy hour Monday through Sunday from 5-7pm with $5 Ballast Point Sculpin IPA and $5 house-infused pina parrilla pineapple margaritas.

Polanco Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

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