Traditional Mexican Food In the Heart of Old Town San Diego


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Avocados + SuperBowl Sunday At Cafe Coyote

Did you know that more Avocados are consumed on SuperBowl Sunday than all other days combined?! A staggering 53.5 million pounds of avocados will be consumed on Sunday!

Every day at Cafe Coyote we serve up fresh avocado in many of our traditional Mexican dishes and of course, to make our famous homemade guacamole(a guest favorite).

We know the Superbowl is a time for families to get together, so we hope we can accomodate you and your family this SuperBowl Sunday in our Puerto Vallarta room for the game where we will be offering up specials and delicious fare and showing the game on our numerous HD televisions.

If you will be spending the game at home, we  still wanted to give you the ability to bring a little fiesta, Cafe Coyote-style,  to your SuperBowl feast.


Cafe Coyote’s Fresh Guacamole Recipe

best mexican food in san diego

3 Ripe Haas Avocados (we only use Haas because of rich buttery flavor)

½ Med White Onion chopped finely

1 Small Bunch of Fresh Cilantro Chopped

1 Jalapeño chopped finely

Juice of one Lemon

Salt to taste

One diced tomato, optional

Mash Avocados and Add all other ingredients.  Stir to desired consistency.  Add extra Jalapeño if you like it a little spicier.  Serve with Fresh Tortillas Chips or cut Vegetables for a healthy snack.

My Vacation!

What a vacation!!! August and September was work, work, and work when it came down to tequila events and Mexican holidays.  In August I participated as a judge in the 7TH annual Spirits of Mexico tasting competition. Trying almost 200 agave spirit entrees is always a challenge. Two weeks after I flew down to Guadalajara, Jalisco to educate myself even deeper on the art of tasting tequila. I took a four-day course with one of the most recognized tequila masters in the world, Francisco Hajnal Alfraro. Mr. Hajnal is one of the master distillers that created Jose Cuervo’s famous Reserva De La Familia “Extra Añejo” Tequila. Two days of theory and two days visiting 6 distilleries. I now obtain expert certifications on tequila from both, La Academia Mexicana de Tequila A.C. and La Academia Mexicana De Catadores de Tequila Vino y Mezcal, A.C.

September, was a month long celebration. On September 15th we hosted the first annual Sangrita Cocktail competition finals. Finalist from tequila and Mezcal brands created a signature cocktail made with traditional sangrita ingredients. The party continued when I reenacted Miguel Hidalgo’s cry of independence, “el grito”.  Long live and all the heroes that that fought for Mexico’s independence! Reenacting a two hundred year tradition was an honor for me to share with all my friends, customers and family that joined me for this historic event.


Who can forget the fiesta de flavors in the Old Town’s main park and the grand tasting at the Cosmopolitan Hotel?  After my seminar on the Evolution of Tequila I enjoyed the rest of the night talking to tequila celebrities and enjoying the rest of the night sipping on quality tequilas, mescals and sotol.

September ended with a two-week vacation down to Guanajato and Jalisco, México.

For the last 12 years I travel with my family to these two states to visit family and for the past 8 years to discover tequila and its myths. I had never taken my family with me to explore tequila country until this last trip. It is really not about the drinking. It is about the magic of this place called, Tequila. The people, food and the landscape are what lure me to visit this place so often. Finally my family understands why the land where tequila is produced is so important to me.

Tequila and Mexico is a symbol of my identity, my roots and the place that I come from. Sharing the wealth of knowledge I acquire from every trip I take to Mexico helps me educate our guest at Café Coyote to make their experience at this great restaurant more fulfilling and rich.

More Photos From my Trip!

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Live Stream at Cafe Coyote for the Spirits of Mexico Festival!

Lippy, The Tequila Whisperer, will be streaming a LIVE VIDEO from the Spirits of Mexico Festival at Cafe Coyote this evening!

The Spirits of Mexico Festival, the world’s best and biggest Agave Spirits festival in America is hosting over 150 spirits who haveentered into the tasting competition.

On tonight’s show, Lippy will BLIND-TASTE the top three winners in each age category, (blanco, reposado, anejo) then he’ll pronounce HIS OWN ranking of 1st to 3rd place for each of the blind samples. Watch in nail-biting anticipation as he reveals his winners, and see how close his own finely-tuned palate matches the results of more than 15 Master Judges!

Join Lippy & Cafe Coyote and see the results– LIVE steaming from the internet!

When: Thursday, September 16, 7:00 PM (PST)

Maestro Catador and expert on Tequila Certification

Maestro Catador

My four day educational experience in Jalisco is one I will never forget. Francisco Hajnal Alfaro, President of, La Academia Mexican de Catadores taught a four day “Expert Seminar on Tequila”. Two days consisted in theory classes in Guadalajara’s luxurious Hotel, Victoria Express. During our stay in Guadalajara we got to visit the Tequila Regulatory   At the C.R.T. we learned from scientist that explained the scientific approaches behind the tequila process and “Terroir”.

Tequila Certification
Maestro Catador

During our last two days we visited six different distilleries. Three in Los Altos (highlands) and 3 in the “low lands,” Tequila Jalisco.  We learned from Maestro Tequileros, jimadores (harvesters), chemist, distillery managers, and brand owners. The distilleries visited were: La Primavera, El Centenario/ La Vencedora, Quiote, La Fortaleza, La Alborada and La Rojeña.

Tequila Certification

Maestro Catador

Our graduating ceremony was held in the José Cuervo gardens. Just before our award ceremony we toured “La Rojeña, the first ever licenced tequila distillery (1795). We were priveledged to fill our own Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia bottle, dip the top with wax, glue the required labels and take home this great gift. We even got a chance to go down to their private cellar and drink right out of their aging barrels. Our evening concluded with Aztec dance representations, folkloric dancers, a musical group, delicious dinner and finally our Maestro Catodor (Master Taster) and Expert on Tequila certificates. Thank you everyone that helped us with this “blue dream”.

Maestro CatadorMaestro Catador


Mario Alejandro Márquez

Tequila Ambassador

Cafe Coyote y Cantina

Cafe Coyote Gears Up for Mexican Independence!

Speaking to the gathered crowd in Dolores, Guanajuato, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the famed “father” of Mexico, expressed his beliefs in a people’s revolt for Mexican Independence. His war cry or “El Grito de Dolores / El Grito de la Independencia” marks the anniversary of Mexican Independence and evokes national pride.

Not to be confused with Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), September 16th marks the celebration of Mexico’s War of Independence. Every year at midnight on September 15, Mexicans join together in solidarity and led by the President of Mexico, shout the El Grito.


Nestled in the heart of San Diego’s historic old town, also known as “The Birthplace of California”, Café Coyote, a traditional Mexican cantina and café, is one of only two Academia Del Tequila certified Tequila houses in the United States.  At its home within walking distance of Old Town attractions such as the Whaley House, the “Little Adobe Chapel,” the Old Town Cemetery “El Campo Santo,” and The Old Town State Park (California’s most visited State Park), Café Coyote has become a landmark in and of itself being Voted Best Mexican Restaurant in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

In honor of Mexico’s robust culinary history and to help mark the 200th Anniversary of the Mexico’s Independence, the Spirits of Mexico Festival presented by The Polished Palate will be returning to Historic Old Town the week of September 16th. The oldest and most comprehensive agave spirits Festival in the United States, will coincide with Café Coyote’s Independence celebrations, culminating on the night of September 15th, where Café Coyote will host an El Grito reenactment by Mario Marquez, our famed Tequila Ambassador.

Coinciding with the Independence Celebration, Café Coyote will host the Finals of the Sangrita Challenge presented by Living Liquid Magazine on Wednesday September 15 to mark the opening of the festival ($25 per person in advance; $30 cash only at the door, 21+).  Guests will be able to taste all 5 finalist entry cocktails as well as enjoy Café Coyote’s famous Mexican fair. The esteemed judging table will be headed by Judges Ryan Kelley of the National Tequila Examiner and Café Coyote’s own, Kenny Kaufmann.