Ready to know more about San Diego?


Vega Caffe Mexican Deli Replacing Lolita’s Next to Petco

Plus AleSmith hosts their annual fundraiser, Happy Medium is now open in North Park, and more in food news
Vegga Cafe Mexican deli and restaurant opening a new location in San Diego next to Petco Park featuring a table full of food and drinks
Courtesy of Vegga Cafe

First Lolita’s, then Juan Soto

The end of 2023 wasn’t great for the greater Petco Park area, losing two icons within weeks of one another. A collective groan rose across San Diego when Lolita’s Mexican Food closed Lolita’s at the Park. Sure, there are five other locations, but it had been a must-stop spot as far back when the Padres had Tony Gwynn, Jr. And then to lose Soto… well, Padres fans never do give up hope (even if maybe we should). 

But then came Michael King. Randy Vásquez. Jhony Brito. Kyle Higashioka. New life entered the ballpark and now new opportunities have arisen outside as well. Vega Caffe Mexican Deli is opening in the former Lolita’s space at 202 Park Boulevard this month.

Owners Martha and Omar Vega opened the first Vega Caffe in Otay Mesa 22 years ago, first as a Mexican restaurant and then taking over the suite next door to expand into a deli. The Mexican-American deli fusion proved so successful they opened their second location in Eastlake 16 years ago, and had been looking at spaces for a third location before the pandemic hit. Those plans (naturally) went on pause, until a friend approached them about the Lolita’s vacancy in November 2023. It just fit, says Martha, and they signed the lease in January.

Vegga Cafe Mexican deli and restaurant opening a new location in San Diego next to Petco Park featuring a table full of food and drinks
Courtesy of Vega Caffe

Each Vega Caffe offers traditional deli items like salads, sandwiches, and fresh juices, while also serving taco shop favorites like tacos, burritos, and their best-selling tortas. Martha adds they also offer menudo and birria as weekend specials at their Eastlake location. Each location’s menu is slightly different, but she says the downtown location will be the largest so far, with additional items like chile rellenos, combination plates, taco salads, and carnitas.

She estimates the new downtown location will open sometime the week of March 11, after they complete a remodel into a family-friendly space open for dining in or takeout. Initial opening hours will be seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but they’re open to adjusting based on demand and will offer extended hours and special menus for game days. And yes, Martha promises, they’ll have birria and menudo on the weekends and have applied for a liquor license to eventually serve beer as well. 

“We want the place to feel comfortable and inviting,” she says. “That’s what we’re shooting for.”

Anvil of Hope fundraiser on April 20 in San Diego featuring their limited edition beer
Courtesy of Anvil of Hope

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

Help Raise Money For AleSmith’s Anvil of Hope on April 20

On April 20, AleSmith Brewing Company will host their annual Anvil of Hope fundraiser and anniversary party to commemorate four years of providing mentorship, career counseling, financial assistance, and other charitable initiatives through the brewery’s non-profit. Tickets are available here and bring your best Day-Glo spandex for the ‘80s cover band. 

Puesto Brings Back Clara to Petco Park

I love a good beer as much as I hate waiting in line. So when I heard that Puesto was bringing back cans of Clara, their 4.7 percent ABV Mexican lager, to Petco Park, I was happy. But when head brewer Doug Hasker told me they were 19.2-ounce cans instead of 16-ounce, I was thrilled.

“People are tired of standing in line for another beer,” he says, adding that 24-ounce cans are often warm and flat by the time you get to the end of one. (I agree.) Last season, Puesto’s beers were only available on draft at their three locations inside the park, and as much as I love draft beer, trying to juggle nachos, Friar Franks, cotton candy, and whatever else my kid wants along with a beer is just easier when it’s in a can. 

The bigger, but not too big Clara cans will be available in kiosks all over the place starting around Opening Day, or so Hasker hopes. “Fingers crossed!” he says. 

Happy Medium bar opening in North Park this week in San Diego
Courtesy of Happy Medium

Beth’s Bites

On March 13, North Park’s Black Radish will host a five-course menu with wine pairings from El Molino Winery in Napa Valley. With words like “excellence,” “symphony,” “meticulously,” “unforgettable,” and “gastronomic delight” used to describe the event, it will definitely be a night for people who love thesauruses and taste, flavor, aromas, zest, sip, savor, palate, perception…

Happy Medium is now open in North Park. Christian Siglin and Eric Johnson are basically the Simon & Garfunkel of San Diego bartenders, so best of luck to the potable pair and their piquant pours. 
I’m still not 100 percent sure what’s going on inside Hi Guest Music BBQ… but I’m interested in finding out.

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA