tobey’s 19th hole

This is a resurrected post from when I wrote about Tobey’s 19th Hole for a local San Diego site back in the day (2012, to be exact). I didn’t realize I still had the text and photos lurking around in my Google docs, so here’s a “blast from the past” article that CC encouraged me to repost (thanks, CC!). I had a few extra photos that I threw in as well. Please note, the prices may have changed since this was written. Enjoy!

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I don’t know about you, but when I think about golf courses I think about lots and lots of bright green grass and men wearing funny golfer pants. I don’t ever think, “I bet they have some good food there!” but after a recent visit to Tobey’s 19th Hole on the Balboa Park Golf Course, I may need to change my line of thinking.

Tobey’s 19th Hole is a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that’s easy to overlook. It doesn’t seem like much once you walk in, but the excellent food and breathtaking view is enough to settle and keep you in. Once you look over their simple menu and try some of their homestyle eats, you’ll be hooked and want to became a regular here, too.




And this shot is from 2013!


The waitresses have all been here for years. There’s really a family atmosphere between the regular customers and the staff and any of them are willing to sit and talk with you for a spell. We found out by chit-chatting with the long time waitresses that the place has been in the same family since it opened. The grandsons are now running the place, getting up early in the morning to make everything from scratch. You can tell It’s all made with love as soon as you sink your teeth into a few bites of their delicious, simple food.

On my first visit to Tobey’s, my boyfriend and I came here for lunch. We waffled for awhile on what to get and he decided on the BBQ Beef Sandwich with tater tots for a mere $5.75.


The BBQ beef was tender and sweet – like heaven on a bun. The beef had a really nice crispy edge to it and the BBQ sauce perfectly complimented the sandwich. And the tater tots! Oh man. Perfectly crispy little nuggets of golden goodness. I kept eating them off my boyfriend’s plate and he ended up giving me a little handful to deter me from grabbing more. Delicious!


I decided on getting the Club Sandwich with potato salad for $6.85. The club sandwich came with freshly made turkey and ham, slices of bacon and American cheese along with tomato and lettuce. No strangely processed meats here, my friends. This is the real deal. I got excited about the crispy bacon and just fell in love with this simple sandwich.

The potato salad is also superb. You can tell this is home-style. That’s just how they roll here at Tobey’s. Tender bits of potato with a good amount of crunch and seasoned well. I’ve always been a sucker for potato salad since I love it so, but I only love it if it’s homemade. That mass-produced potato salad isn’t even worthy of the name. This potato salad will restore your faith that humanity can make a good potato salad. Though, afterwards, I kind of wished I had gotten those tater tots.

I decided that we HAD to go back for a second visit to try out the breakfast at Tobey’s. Oh man. If you love breakfast, you will love this place.


(2012 pancakes!)


(2013 pancakes!)

I personally like a mixture of sweet and savory items for breakfast. The best way to achieve this is by sharing. My boyfriend and I shared the 2 pancake breakfast which also came with two eggs and bacon for $6.75.

Take a look at these super duper fluffy pancakes! I don’t know how they get their pancakes to be so fluffy, but they are. They’re thick and soft. They put their maple syrup in a squeeze bottle, which I think is a brilliant idea. Cover the pancakes in syrup and you’ve got the perfect sweet note to start off your breakfast.


The bacon here is extra crispy – which is just how I like it. A good thickness and a super crunch – I loved this bacon. The eggs were also nice and fluffy and not overcooked – perfect scrambled eggs.





The other breakfast we shared was the Chicken Fried Steak breakfast, which came with hash browns, eggs and toast (in our case, we got the biscuit to share). The chicken fried steak comes smothered in country gravy and is perfectly cooked. The steak is very tender and is seasoned well with a variety of spices. The coating is perfect – it’s not too thick and it creates a good, outer crust that compliments the steak really well. The country gravy has bits of sausage in it and a lovely flavor to top off the steak. It’s by far the best country fried steak I’ve ever had.

All in all the food here at Tobey’s 19th Hole is top notch. You don’t even have to wear any funny golfer pants to enjoy the food here – just park and walk in and grab a seat anywhere. The waitresses will make you feel like you’re at home and the food will comfortably fill your belly with goodness. The homemade, comfort food really hits the spot and the spectacular view makes Tobey’s one of the best little spots in town for locals and out-of-towners alike.

Tobey’s 19th Hole
2600 Golf Course Drive
San Diego, CA 92102
Cash Only 
They now accept credit cards, woohoo!

Tobey's 19th Hole Cafe on Urbanspoon

7 thoughts on “tobey’s 19th hole

  1. Best chicken fried steak you’ve ever had?!! Them fightin’ words 🙂

    What about our beloved defunct Keith’s.

    Now I want to go back there and try that dish again. I just remember the gravy being sooo sooo sooo good!

    That bbq sandwich looks delicious too. I think I’d frequent this place more often if it wasn’t a long drive for us.

    1. Hi Faye! Oh Keith’s definitely had a good chicken fried steak. But now it’s too far back for me to remember it (but the hash browns will be forever in my heart, sniff sniff). Something about their gravy is just so darn good… and I haven’t even been in awhile! I must go again soon.

  2. Man, you are fast!!!! Now, I can link your post (along with Cathy’s) when my post goes up (who knows when that will be, I’m so behind). Bert really enjoyed their chicken fried steak. They also had great crispy hash browns. We lucked out and got the last table with a window view. Even their bathrooms have a great view, haha. Although it was cloudy the day we went, we still thought the view was spectacular. From our window, we saw several birds flying about, including a couple of bluejays (I was reminded of Mordecai, from The Regular Show, haha).

    1. Hi CC – Haha, thanks for encouraging me to repost it. I didn’t even realize I still had it all! I should go back and repost the others, but eh, I probably won’t. I don’t like re-reading that editor’s old email replies to me. For some reason I never erased them. Last I remember, I think I like the hash browns at the Huddle slightly more, but the hash browns here are also good. I don’t watch Regular Show very much but I do actually like that show, haha!

  3. Forgot to mention that it was both your post and Cathy’s that made us really want to come here. I’m glad you were able to resurrect this post since the original link it was on is broken

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