Tropical Temptations: Indulging in Exotic Flavors at El Sueño

Among the quaint historic sites of San Diego’s Old Town neighborhood, lies a culinary oasis that transports diners to the lush depths of the Mexican jungle. El Sueño, which opened its doors in 2023, is not merely a restaurant but an immersive experience curated by The Vibrant Project’s business partners, Pietro Busalacchi, Sal Busalacchi, and Gustavo Rios. Their vision seamlessly blends Busalacchi’s extensive travels through Mexico with Rios’ rich Huasteca heritage, resulting in a dining establishment unlike any other.

As patrons step into El Sueño, they are enveloped by an ambiance that whispers of verdant jungles and hidden treasures. The restaurant boasts spacious indoor dining areas adorned with vibrant murals depicting scenes from Mexican folklore, while the outdoor patio offers a tranquil oasis under the canopy of swaying ferns. At the heart of it all stands a luxurious large jade granite bar, where skilled mixologists craft concoctions that tantalize the senses.

The menu at El Sueño is a testament to the culinary prowess of its creators, offering a tantalizing array of elevated Mexican cuisine that celebrates both tradition and innovation. Each dish reflects a careful balance of flavors and textures, inspired by Busalacchi’s culinary discoveries and Rios’ ancestral roots in the Huasteca region.

Among the menu highlights are the lobster tacos, a decadent fusion of succulent lobster meat nestled in warm tortillas, and the roasted half chicken mole, a symphony of smoky, spicy, and sweet notes that dance on the palate. However, it’s the Rolled Tacos that steal the show, filled with tender Chicken Tinga, creamy guacamole, tangy crema, crisp lettuce, and crumbled cotija cheese—a true indulgence for the senses.

But the culinary journey doesn’t end there. El Sueño’s cocktail menu is a testament to the artistry of its mixologists, who have crafted libations that are as adventurous as they are delightful. Here are just a few highlights:

No Tears Left To Chai:

This cocktail is a harmonious blend of rich and comforting flavors, featuring Chai-infused Teremana Reposado, Vanilla Liqueur, Oat Milk, and Egg White. The chai infusion adds a delightful spiciness to the smooth tequila, while the oat milk and egg white create a velvety texture that lingers on the palate. Served in a frothy and aromatic presentation, the No Tears Left To Chai is a testament to the skill and creativity of El Sueño’s mixologists.

Que Rico:

A tropical explosion of flavors awaits with the Que Rico cocktail. Combining Teremana Blanco with the sweetness of mango and the tangy kick of Chamoy, this drink is a delightful balance of sweet, sour, and spicy notes. Firewater Bitters add a layer of complexity that elevates the overall experience, making it a true fiesta in a glass.

Bad Bunny:

For those seeking a more adventurous palate, the Bad Bunny cocktail offers a bold and smoky journey. Infused with Jalapeño Arette Blanco and Mandre Espadin, this drink packs a punch. Carrot juice adds a hint of natural sweetness and earthiness, complementing the spiciness of the jalapeño infusion. It’s a unique blend that surprises and delights with every sip.

At El Sueño, every dish and cocktail tells a story—a tale of exploration, tradition, and the endless possibilities of flavor. Whether indulging in lobster tacos under the stars or sipping on a Bad Bunny cocktail at the jade granite bar, guests are invited to embark on a culinary adventure unlike any other. So, come, immerse yourself in the magic of El Sueño, where every bite and sip is a journey into the heart of the Mexican jungle.


  • Mon-Thu: 11:30am – 10pm
  • Fri-Sat: 11:30am – 11pm
  • Sun: 11:30am – 10pm

Phone – (619) 510-9813

Address – 2836 Juan St, San Diego, CA 92110