Will be staying 4 days in the San Diego area. Looking for places to eat and unique experiences around Downtown and in the La Jolla area. Please let me know your thoughts. Cheers!
Posted on Dec 02, 2010
My hometown! You'll find lots of non-touristy places to eat through my Yelp link...just filter my reviews by city.
In La Jolla, my favorite is Whisknladle. I think Spike & Mike's Animation Festival is still going on at the Art Museum there...that's always fun. Walk down Sunny Jim's Cave for a different view of the cove. There's also a path along the water that's a great walk...and, of course, the tide pools.
In downtown, you can take a tour of Petco Park (baseball stadium), listen to a great reggae band on Friday & Saturday nights at The Stage on Fifth Avenue (no cover, no drink minimum), or Flamenco guitar/dancing at Cafe Sevilla, and go dancing at one of many clubs in the area.
Have a great trip!
Posted Dec 02, 2010Add a comment
I just moved to New Orleans from San Diego. Here are my ideas;
Roppongi for Asian Fusion tapas and sushi - Happy hour is daily from 4-6pm and tapas and sushi are 50% off. The drinks are not discounted. This happy hour is a favorite for locals and it can get busy. The HH menu is their normal menu so it is a great deal.
I also like the Burger Lounge - there are a few locations in SD County including La Jolla;
Piatti in La Jolla Shores neighborhood is also a great meal;
For breakfast, I love The Cottage. Awesome eggs benedict.
The Comedy Store in La Jolla is a great place to check out some up and coming comics. Also, the scenery is amazing, take a walk down near The Cove and check out the seals at Children's Beach.
The Birch Aquarium is small but if you are interested in aquatic life they have some good exhibits;
Downtown; (not my first choice for good restaurants)
Petco Park is definitely cool as Janet mentioned. There is a Wine Steals now right in the park where you can grab a glass of wine and a cheese plate.
Extraordinary Desserts; really a special place not to be missed. Two locations, Hillcrest and Downtown SD (Little Italy)
In terms of small bites and margaritas, I like La Puerta in downtown SD
If you are in the mood for seafood. check out Oceanaire. It is a chain but they have local West Coast oysters at a $1 each for Happy Hour. And their crabcake is to die for.
Brian Malarkey from Top Chef used to be at Oceanaire but he recently opened Searsucker in downtown SD. This is really new so I do not have any feedback. But if you are fan of the show, it is always fun to try the restaurants! I seek them out on my travels :)
There are so many upscale hotels in downtown San Diego. You can try any of them for a great drink or a good view (Altitude Sky Lounge at the Marriott - rooftop bar or J Bar at Hotel Solamar)
My sensibility is a little more casual, I love El Dorado bar just on the fringe of downtown. I am less inclined to wait in long lines and pay cover charges to get in, so this place works out great for me! Good drinks and a very chill atmosphere.
Also, there is a secret bar called Noble Experiment behind the wall near the bathrooms at Neighborhood. The bar is very small and you have to text them in advance for reservations. It's a great experience to get into that bar. They modeled it after some of the best bars in the country (PDT in NYC / Bourbon and Branch in SF). Neighborhood also has great burgers and beers. That used to be our favorite pre-Padres game stop.
You can't visit SD without having a fish taco, So you will need to head out to Southbeach Bar and Grill in Ocean Beach. It is right on the beach, so it's not much of a hardship!
If you are at all into the beer scene (which has exploded in San Diego) you will need to head to North Park and other areas near downtown for Toronado, Blind Lady Ale House, Small Bar and Hamiltons Tavern. There are so many great breweries in San Diego - that is really worth exploring. Ballast Pt, Alesmith, Green Flash and Lost Abbey are some of the great local breweries that do not have huge distribution. We miss those beers terribly here :(
Or for a great meal, head oustide downtown to University Heights to Farmhouse Cafe - great local restaurant.
Enjoy San Diego!
ps - I never recommend fast food, but I have to mention In N Out Burger. If you have never had one, it is not to be missed. There is one in Pacific beach, between La Jolla and downtown. In N Out is one of the places I miss most here. A good burger is not always easy to come by. In N Out is a west coast chain and most of us feel it is one of the best burgers out there. They are open late night, so it's a great post-drinking stop :)
Posted Dec 02, 2010Add a comment
San Diego is a fantastic city with loads of things to see and do. I would lool into what is going on at Balboa Park while you are there. http://www.balboapark.org/in-the-park . If you have a chance go sailing in Mission Bay or go and walk/run/rollerblade around Coronado island, making sure to stop at the classic Hotel Del Coronado. I have not been to the new ballpark, but have heard it is fantastic. The Star of India and the Maritime Museum definitely make you realize you are in a seaside harbor town. http://www.sdmaritime.org/
Have a great trip!
Posted Dec 02, 2010Add a comment
Where are you staying in San Diego? I use to live in Hillcrest near Downtown. Definitely hit up the Hash House a Go-Go for breakfast. You'll want to go before 9am if you can otherwise, you'll wait for 30 minutes to 1 1/2. Their plates are massive & ridiculously delicious. I believe its on 5th Ave. You'll need quarters for parking -- the street is metered. But, it's about a 10 minute walk from Balboa Park if you want to cruise around the park after to walk off breakfast. OR, there's the Mission on University in North Park. There's one in La Jolla, as well.
In La Jolla, I love Cody's -- a quaint, quirky lil house off Prospect (I think..sorry..). It's right near the water. Small, yet tasty menu. You can go for a walk after and see the seals.
For dinner? Our Local go-to places were Pizza Nova (Hillcrest or Point Loma), Bombay (on 5th across from Pizza Nova). For happy hour the Prado in Balboa Park (they have live music Friday and Saturday night, I'm pretty sure, and a cheap small plates late night menu. I love the ambiance there) or Cafe Bleu (one on Washington & one on University).
If you're looking for decent food with fun atmosphere, Baja Betty's (in North Park, on University) is always an interesting scene. And there are a few other great places within walking distance from there.
That's all I can think of at the moment, but if you're looking for a certain area, certain type of food, price range, let me know!
Posted Dec 03, 2010Add a comment
Even if 4 days is a short time, you will most definitely hit the Seaport Village, the Balboa Park, and the Gaslamp.
While by the baseball Park area take a ride up to the 30th floor of the Downtown Marriott to the Altitude Sky Lounge for the amazing views. Speaking of hotels, take a walk through the Marriott Courtyard on Broadway -- it's a formal 1920s bank and they kept most of the features in the lobby; don't miss the vault in the basement.
Try one of the Extraordinary Desserts places -- I like the one on 1430 Union Street (easy to walk to). They have amazing design and food.
I love the Prado Restaurant in Balboa park - it's amazing for lunch, especially if you'll have it in the patio. Mind that on Tuesdays most of the museums have free entrance.
For a different experience, try the Counterpoint (830 25th St) - this is a neighborhood joint and you'll need a ride.
Posted Dec 03, 2010Add a comment
wow you've gotten a lot of great suggestions!! the only thing i can add is check out the performance space in the East Village of downtown SD called "Sushi". you never know what they might be doing but it's always something new. here's their contact info:
Posted Dec 05, 2010Add a comment
Downtown: Cafe Chloe, Neighborhood, Bencotto, Rama, Extraordinary Desserts, Pappalecco, Vela (Hilton Bayside), Currant (Sophia Hotel), Altitude Sky Lounge (roof of Marriott Gaslamp).
Uptown/HIllcrest: Kous Kous, Celadon, Buonissimo 2, Arrivederci, Charisma, Saigon on 5th, Bread & Cie, Tapas Picasso, Bertrand at Mister A's (view).
North/South Park: Alchemy, Vagabond, El Camino, Sea Rocket Bistro, El Take it Easy, Urban Solace, Alexander's, The Smoking Goat, The Linkery, Il Postino.
La Jolla: Brockton Villa (view), George's at the Cove (view).
Posted Dec 07, 2010Add a comment
Oh yes, I forgot one of the best restaurants in the city: AR Valenien's at The Lodge at Torrey Pines.
Posted on Dec 07, 2010
George's at the Cove is an excellent choice for dining in La Jolla. While we've never eaten at the frou frou main dining level, my wife and I frequented their roof-top terrace, which overlooks the cove, in college. Their chicken with black bean soup is memorable. You can check them out here on Yelp: http://bit.ly/hpAGUC.
Posted on Dec 08, 2010
http://www.hashhouseagogo.com/ - zany fun in Hillcrest (near downtown).
Local La Jolla faves are:
http://www.brocktonvilla.com/ (make reservations for bfast)
I wrote an article years ago for the SD Union Tribune but most info is still current (mostly La Jolla focused): http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/superbowl/entertainment/20030123-9999_z1w24lajolla.html
Posted Dec 08, 2010Add a comment
Karl Strauss Brewery in La Jolla is really good, amazing beer selection if you drink alcohol and great location - If you like Thai food La Basil Thai located in the Bird Rock area of La Jolla awesome. Best taco stand Bahia Don Bravo. Not far from the beach and cool atmosphere.
Hope these suggestions help, enjoy your trip
Posted Dec 12, 2010Add a comment
If you love your desserts you definitely have to check out Extraordinary Desserts there's two locations one in downtown area and the other by Balboa park. The Balboa park location is more intimate and cozier while the downtown location is more industrial & noisy, but more space.
Plenty of great restaurants in Hillcrest many of which Michael Daligdig mentioned above.
Great steak place that stays open late is Bully's east.
Posted Dec 13, 2010Add a comment
We LOVE Kono's for breakfast..we eat there almost every day we are in San Diego. Located right across from Crystal Pier at Pacific Beach you can get a HUGE breakfast for $4. It is a place the locals frequent. Don't let the long line keep you away it moves quickly. Then grab your food and sit outside or at a table and watch the ocean.
Kayak in LaJolla Bay and see the baby sharks that stay in the bay until they mature. Don't worry, they are harmless. You can take a tour to the 7 caves that line the bay. We loved it.
Make sure that you walk over from downtown La Jolla to Children's Beach to see the seals. No one can swim there anymore because it was taken over by the seals. Then walk about a block or two North to find the tide pools...Look closely in the tide pools and you will see lobsters, and all sort s of interesting creatures. We spend hours here. Then head over to Cold Stone Creamery for an ice cream reward!
Posted Dec 16, 2010Add a comment
My favorite restaurant is Blue Water Seafood on India St. It is pretty small and very casual, but they have phenomenal seafood that you can take home or order there, and their fish tacos are the best I have ever had.
Also, if you are looking for a great hike, check out Cowles Mt. It's about 15 min from downtown, and it only takes about 1 hour to get to the top, although there are other trails you can take too. It's the tallest mountain in San Diego you can get an incredible 360 degree view of the area.
Posted Dec 17, 2010Add a comment
I like all the responses...but am curious to know what you like to do...I live in the normal heights area and find that the "burroughs" of San Diego offer you the most unique things to do.
Normal Heights has one of the best vegetarian restaurants (I know it sounds crazy) that I have ever been to- Tyoti Biyanga and then there is the Blind Lady Ale house with lots of beers on tap. There is also a vietnamese restaurant that makes its own tofu on premise- Tao. Jaynes Gatropub is also definitely a winner. Cafe Cabaret is a great coffee shop that has a mediterranean breakfast that is to die for (but the service is slow:)
South Park has El Camino (Mexican) which is really good and then there is a desert place (Scoops, I believe) that has the best red velvet cupcakes. There is also some great little boutiques there.
University Heights- Again, amazing places to eat- Muzita Bistro, Farmhouse Cafe, Park House Eatery
Northpark- Smoking Goat (restaurant) great!! along with Alexanders and Urban Solace. Also cute boutiques here as well.
Hillcrest has alot of good eats as well as bankers hill (near balboa park)
Anyway...if you want more let me know...hope this helps.
Posted Dec 29, 2010Add a comment
Brandon, I see you have received plenty of advice. I didn't have time to read all of it, so this may be a repeat. One of my favorite places to go is Old Town in northern San Diego. It has a rich Spanish history, and some of the best Mexican restaurants I've ever been to (and I've been to LOTS of Mexican restaurants!) They also have a farmers market that is fun to wander around.
The San Diego Zoo is about as good as it gets. The animals are well cared for, and the presentation is beautiful. This one is worth a whole day to really appreciate everything it has to offer. The zoo also has an extension a little way outside of San Diego that is a savannah theme park. The animals roam around free, and the humans are caged up.
I believe nightlife was covered pretty well by others. The Gaslamp District and the Waterfront Park are fun with plenty of places to eat, some good, some iffy. Go with the recommendations.
Posted Dec 30, 2010Add a comment
There are soooo many things to do and see. First, go to the San Diego Zoo and the Wild animal park. Also, at Balboa park is a science exploratorium. My favorite beach (right beside La Jolla), is Pacific beach. It's about a 3 mile boardwalk with an amusement park. You'll see everything from executives to skate boarders. It's great to rent a bike.
In San Diego, the Gas Lamp quarter has literally tons of great restaurants and entertainment. It's a lot of fun to go at night. You can stay at the U.S. Grant hotel for a sense of history, or the W for chicness. Both are close to the Quarter. Here is a url to a restaurant rating site - http://www.sandiegorestaurants.com/top10.cfm. For breakfast, at Pacific Beach, there is a great place right near the crystal pier. It's normally got a small line to get in, but great food.
Posted Dec 30, 2010Add a comment
Don't miss taking a walk along La Jolla Cove, its much more relaxing and has the more laid back San Diego vibe than Seaport Village. There are tons of great restaurants there - but my favorite is Nine Ten for their "Mercy of the Chef"
Posted Jan 03, 2011Add a comment
I had a great experience with Mercy of the Chef as well. We had a family dinner there to celebrate a birthday and it was SO memorable. I agree!
Posted on Jan 04, 2011
I lived in San Diego for 5 years and it absolutely deserves the title "America's finest city" As for food/restaurants, I would check out the following places that were my favorite:
Burgers: http://www.hodadies.com/ (in Ocean Beach)
Sushi: http://www.harneysushi.com/ (in Old Town)
You can find pretty good, cheap Mexican food just about anywhere in San Diego. However, you have to have "Carne Asada Fries'; which is a delicacy that can only be found in San Diego! :-)
My favorite thing to do in SD was going to La Jolla Cove to see the Seals and sipping a cocktail/margarita while the sunset on the beach at the Hotel Del Coronado. :-)
Posted Jan 05, 2011Add a comment
New restaurant downtown called Searsucker...fabulous food, happening spot. LaJolla whaling Bar is a staple, along with kayaking the LaJolla Cove. Head up to De Mar and go to the poiseden to have a cocktail and watch the sunset...right on the beach. Have fun......
Posted Jan 09, 2011Add a comment