Día de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration to remember past family and loved ones. Despite its title, the celebration is a vibrant and colorful tribute to the lives of those who have passed.
Celebrated annually on November 1 and 2, Casa Guadalajara will continue the tradition of paying homage to the deceased with an elaborately decorated alter, and offer traditional Day of the Dead dishes such as chicken pipián tamales and mole negro.
The festivities will continue next door at Bazaar del Mundo. As part of Old Town San Diego’s Annual “Tour of Altars,” produced by the Old Town Chamber of Commerce, the Bazaar del Mundo shops will be transformed into a walkable trail of altars, complete with traditional sugar skulls, handmade papier-mâché decorations and guest artists selling Day of the Dead-themed jewelry, handbags, accessories, prints and cards to promote the holiday. Exotic sounds will be provided by Latin American folk group Tinku.
Children and families can enjoy a sugar-skull decorating class on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and face painting both days. Hot chocolate, mini churros and coloring sheets will be available for the children, while historical handouts will be provided to adults.
The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Monday, Nov. 2, the Bazaar del Mundo Shops will highlight its alters and offer treats and children’s crafts through closing at 5:30 p.m.
The event is in conjunction with Old Town’s Día de Los Muertos three-day event, from 2 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, which includes “Tour of Altars,” a candlelight procession, face painting and mask decorating throughout Old Town at participating sites.
Parking tips: park for free across the street at Caltrans all day Saturday and Sunday, or take the trolley.
Old Town San Diego is rich in history and steeped in tradition – the best place in San Diego to experience the vibrant beginnings of California, and to enjoy some of the most authentic Mexican cuisine in the city.
On September 10, from 6 to 9 p.m., visitors and locals alike will have the opportunity to experience the delicious food and drink options Old Town has to offer during the second annual Taste of Old Town.
As one of the most popular dining destinations in Old Town, and an event sponsor, Casa Guadalajara is the first stop along the Taste of Old Town trail. We’ll be serving up our “Carnitas Fabuloso” street tacos: carnitas with grilled onions, cilantro and Serrano chiles in a mini tortilla topped with our homemade smoky salsa quemada and avocado salsa.
In addition to the delicious eats, the event will feature special tequila tastings and cocktail pairings, music and live entertainment. A designated Trolley will run throughout the event to help move you along the trail.
Pre-tickets are $35, and bound to go fast! Purchase yours at Taste of Old Town or at the Old Town Chamber Visitor Center.
Bazaar del Mundo Shops’ annual Latin American Festival and Mata Ortiz Pottery Market returns to Old Town, July 31 – Aug. 2, to showcase one of the most extensive collections of genuine Latin American folk art, traditional clothing and textiles, colorful collectibles and dazzling jewelry this side of the border.
Mata Ortiz pottery, based on a centuries-old art form renowned for its detailed process and hand-painted geometric and ancestral symbols, will be the highlight of the event with several skilled potters showcasing their wares, including returning artist Jorge Quintana – a principal Mata Ortiz artist whose work has been displayed in museums all over the world.
Live demonstrations will be performed for eager festival-goers, as artists hack away at wooden stumps to reveal life-like animal figures, weave hand-pulled wool into intricate textiles and skillfully paint delicate designs onto hand-formed clay pots.
Other traditional crafts and sought-after handmade goods include: San Antonino embroidery, tinwork, Talavera pottery, Oaxacan wooden animal carvings, Guatemalan weaving, various colorful and symbolic wall art and sculptures, Huichol yarn and bead paintings and one-of-a-kind pottery from the farthest regions of Mexico.
TINKU, a Latin American folk band, will perform over 19 musical rhythms from throughout Latin America on authentic native instruments. Mouth-watering Mexican cuisine from neighboring Casa Guadalajara restaurant will be for sale, completing the cultural aesthetic, making visitors feel as though they’ve stepped into one of Mexico’s rural markets.
The event runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Casa Guadalajara is celebrating its 20th anniversary next week! While many San Diegan’s have come to call the restaurant their favorite San Diego Mexican dining destination, we bet few remember how Casa Guadalajara came to be. In honor of the milestone, here’s a little history behind the Old Town icon:
Casa Guadalajara was once known as Romaine’s Guadalajara Grill. Upon discovering that Romaine’s former owner intended to cut down a majestic, 250-year-old California Pepper tree on the property to make way for a parking lot, Diane Powers purchased the land and transformed the restaurant into Casa Guadalajara – saving the tree and making it the focal point of the restaurant’s festive courtyard. Casa Guadalajara officially re-opened for business on June 12, 1995.
The tree isn’t the only thing that has been around since Casa Guadalajara’s beginning. Head Chef Jose Duran and General Manager Filiberto Horta joined Powers’ team in 1995 and have been working together ever since. Long-time guests of Casa Guadalajara might also notice that several of the servers and other staff members have been working at the restaurant for 10 years or more.
To celebrate the occasion, Powers and Casa Guadalajara will be throwing a week-long fiesta, with special entertainment including Folklorico dancers, strolling troubadours and mariachis, and special promotions. Starting Monday through Thursday, June 22 to 25, from 4 to 7 p.m., a special “Happier Hour” will take place in the Garden Room with tequila vendors on hand to present a special seminar. Thursday and Friday, June 25 and 26, will feature a special “throwback” menu with five favorite dishes that date back to the original menu, each with a 20 percent discount, and a commemorative T-shirt giveaway provided by Casamigos Tequila.
Come join the party and see why Casa Guadalajara has been a San Diego favorite for the last 20 years!
Join us for Margarita Month! Throughout the month of May, visit Casa Guadalajara and try our “La Milagrosa Rosa” margarita – a delicious blend of Milagro Tequila Silver, Cointreau, lime juice and agave nectar with a splash of pomegranate juice.
Then, help this perfectly pink drink become #1! Upload a photo of your “La Milagrosa Rosa” on Instagram using the hashtags #MargaritaMonth and #CasaGuadalajara. You can also rate our drink HERE. Cast your vote for a chance to win $1,000 in gift certificates from participating venues!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Why not show mom a little shopping-spree lovin’ to make her feel extra special this year? Diane Powers invites all mothers to come spoil themselves, while dads and kids shop for the perfect present, at the Bazaar del Mundo Shops in Old Town for a “Mother Lovin’ Shopping Spree,” May 9, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Whether she’s a fashionista, foodie, free spirit, or a little bit of it all, this Mother’s Day shopping party will host artists creating special gifts fitting the taste of all kinds of mothers. From themed cookbooks to handcrafted necklaces, there is sure to be the perfect gift for every mom.
And to say “Thank you!” for all those delicious home-cooked meals, treat mom to Mother’s Day brunch at Casa Guadalajara on Sunday, May 10. Between the gifts and a well-deserved birdbath margarita, she’ll be smiling for weeks to come!
It’s almost the weekend, which means you’re in need of a little fun! We’ve got the perfect way to spend your afternoon in historical Old Town.
You can’t do anything on an empty stomach, so grab some friends and start your day with lunch at Casa Guadalajara. With a satisfying selection of appetizers and entrées, we’re sure to have the right flavors to fit your mood. Enjoy your favorite dish with our famous birdbath margarita as you relish in the San Diego sun on our beautiful outdoor patio. After finishing up that fried ice cream you’ve been craving all week, it’s shopping time!
Head next door to the Shops at Bazaar del Mundo. With thousands of treasures from around the world, you and your friends are sure to find something new to love. Treat yourself to a pair of festive earrings or a beautiful silk scarf, or rejuvenate your wardrobe with vibrant blouses, sweaters and dresses to match your mood.
Maybe it’s your kitchen that needs a makeover! The Kitchen Shop’s unique and vast array of colorful dishes will have your next dinner guests saying, “Where did you get these?”
You’ll find the afternoon has breezed by after taking in all that the Shops have to offer. Before you know it, you’ll have to head home, but we hope you’ll be back soon!
Recently, The Daring Gourmet visited Casa Guadalajara and wrote this review about their great experience! We loved hearing about the extra-tender beef in their Enchiladas de Guacamole, tasty Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri and kid-approved Deep Fried Ice Cream.
Be sure to check out their site for more great dining tips.