San Diego is one of the top tourist destinations in America, and for good reason. There is so much to do and see here. But with all the options available, narrowing them down can be a challenge. When embarking on your luxury travel excursion, be sure check a few review sites to see what other travelers recommend as far as dining, entertainment, shopping and accommodations are concerned. Often these sites will have special promotions on top family destinations like Sea World — San Diego’s most popular attraction. But after visiting the famous marine park, you will surely work up an appetite and a thirst. Continue reading for some recommendations to help make your vacation planning a little easier.
With San Diego’s close proximity to Mexico and its seaside location be prepared to have some great Mexican cuisine and seafood. There are several neighborhoods that not all tourists get a chance to experience, and these areas offer some exceptional dining. More popular destinations include Old Town and its wide variety of Mexican restaurants with homemade tortillas and award-winning margaritas. Or if you want Mexican food with a modern twist try Baja Betty’s in the Hillcrest neighborhood where you can build your own burrito.
Downtown’s Little Italy has some outstanding Italian restaurants and is a short walk from the harbor. But if seafood if what you are craving, try the Fish Market or Anthony’s Fish Grotto on Embarcadero.
However, if you want to get away from the main tourist areas and get a good feel for local neighborhoods while enjoying quality cuisine that typically wouldn’t be highlighted for “San Diego flavors”, check out the Kensington neighborhood and enjoy some quality French dining at Bleu Boheme. Be sure to go during happy hour and try the escargot and your choice of specialty prepared muscles.
San Diego has a great nightlife, and some pretty unique bars. If you want to know what it feels like to walk onto the set of a David Lynch film amidst some entertaining characters with a subtle sideshow ambiance, check out Albie’s Beef Inn at Hotel Circle. Walk back into the early 70s in this dimly lit den of older patrons in leisure suits flirting vivaciously while the piano bar stylings of Burt Bacharach play on. The bartender makes a stiff cocktail and the food is exceptionally good. You will also enjoy the rather “cheeky” art that covers the walls. However, reservations in the piano bar are always mandatory, as the hipsters are on to this place.
For a great dive bar try The Aero Club Bar on India Street where you can choose from over 600 kinds of whiskey. Or if you want to visit a popular hot spot in the LGBT community check out Babycakes where you can eat a homemade cupcake while sipping a cocktail of your choice.
San Diego has won more micro brew blue ribbons than any other city in America. Finding a good beer bar can pose challenges for the unfamiliar tourist who sticks to the Downtown area. ‘Food and Wine Magazine’ did a story on San Diego’s craft beer scene and recommends visiting some of the local breweries where you can sample their labor of love in the tasting rooms. From Ballast Point and Stone to Green Flash, San Diego County has some of the finest breweries that will leave you longing for more once you return home.
Check out Toronado in North Park for some rare beers and locally brewed favorites. They have over 100 beers at your disposal. Then make your way across the street and have dinner at The Ritual. Their classic rustic menu meets fine cuisine at affordable prices. Don’t miss Small Bar on Adams Avenue for some amazing craft beers, and be sure to visit Hamilton’s in South Park for a wide range of specialty beers that are hard to come by.
Do Your Research
San Diego offers some amazing dining and drinking options that, sadly, most tourists never get to experience. Be sure to do our research so you can hit some of these amazing spots on your next trip.
Great overview! A trip to San Diego sounds like it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ve read that the weather is beautiful, the beaches are sandy and there are tons of fun things to do.