San Diego recommendations

Traveling and dining beyond Phoenix metro
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jayj
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2023 7:39 am

San Diego recommendations

Post by jayj »

I'm heading to San Diego was 3 days, before Thanksgiving and need some food recommendations from y'all.

I am an eater of all food—there is no food I won't try at least once. I adore seafood and all genres of food. Not a picky eater whatsoever. I just like really good food.

However, I am travelling with my husband who's a vegetarian (eats dairy and all that though) but also not a picky eater.

And, my brother-in-law, who can be a little particular, but isn't vegetarian. Doesn't do fishy tasting seafood. Eats all the meats. Mostly.

We're all really adventurous eaters. Looking for recs for breakfast, (second breakfast!), lunch, and dinner. We're thinking about having one splurge meal, if there's a place that's worth it.

Oh, if there's an Ethiopian place you can recommend in SD, we're all over that.

Thanks in advance!
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LaPan
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2023 10:56 am

Re: San Diego recommendations

Post by LaPan »

It’s been awhile but Cafe 21 was a top spot. They used to have 2 locations but I believe one closed during Covid.

https://www.cafe-21.com/
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jayj
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2023 7:39 am

Re: San Diego recommendations

Post by jayj »

Thank you! Will try to check 'em out and report back!
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jayj
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2023 7:39 am

Re: San Diego recommendations

Post by jayj »

So, we didn't end up going to Cafe 21. And overall, my mind wasn't blown away by the food scene in SD. I honestly think Phoenix is a sleeper city for some great food! But here are some places that were brilliant:

Blind Lady Ale House
Great bar with a solid tap list and wonderful bar pizza.

Mothership
Quirky themed cocktail bar. The cocktails were good—not amazing. But it's worth a quick pre-dinner drink just for the vibe in there.

The Mission
The best breakfast we had in the city. Low-key spot. Best chilaquiles of the trip. Should have just gone there for every breakfast!
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Wilbur
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Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2023 9:41 am

Re: San Diego recommendations

Post by Wilbur »

Our top SD recommendations are based on a lot of trial and error - as JayJ mentioned, as a visitor it is easy to eat at places without much merit in San Diego. However, we do have some real hits.

Azucar, which is a couple blocks from Ocean Beach. If you enjoy JL Patisserie or Essence here in the valley, then a smaller, sweeter, Cuban-ier version is available to you at 4820 Newport Avenue. We have learned that if you sit inside and drink your coffee and eat your sweets, you will almost certainly end up going up to the register and purchasing something else, so it can be safer to sit outside or take it away with you.

Con Pane Rustic Breads in Liberty Market was purchased by an investor not too long ago, but they continue to be a superior version of Proof or Noble Bakery. The bread plates are way, way too much food for one person. The roast beef sandwich offering is exactly to my taste, and I will order it there at breakfast, lunch, or dinner without a second's hesitation.
2750 Dewey Rd #105, San Diego, CA 92106

Out in El Cajon on Jamacha Road there is a strong replica of the Sakana restaurants called Hana Sushi. This is a frequent first stop for us after the long drive out to the coast, and everything is always solid, from katsu to ramen to sashimi to sushi. We started eating here after summer basketball tourney games with our kids, and it has never disappointed.
749 Jamacha Rd, El Cajon, CA 92019

Finally, Old Town San Diego has a lot of interesting restaurants and bars and Superlative Touristika, but some of the eating establishments are quite good.

Bhouhan Grija (on Google Maps it is called Bhojan Griha) at 2367 San Diego Ave is a really tasty Nepalese restaurant. North Indian cuisine can struggle to succeed in the States, but this place splits the difference by offering some of the real thing as well as items that Americans expect on the menu.

They serve momo that are perfectly formed, aromatic and succulent on their own, and their sauce is just fantastically spiced to taste. Likewise, they offer up Kadai dishes with the right sort of spices which pull up the diner and remind them of what food in the shadow of the Himalayas really tastes like.
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And to put the cherry on top, or rather chop them up with cashews and peanuts and mix them with yogurt and cook them inside the bread, they do Badami Naan right, which is another dish that rarely seems to hop the ocean successfully. My brother could put away about three pounds of this stuff alone, and never even sniff the other dishes, it is so much to his taste.
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Finally, if you journey deep into the dark heart of the Tourist Zone in Old Town, you will find Nibble Chocolate at 2754 Calhoun St. My wife insists that while some chocolatiers may equal, none surpass the truffles that they offer. Personally, I would like to engage in a contest of the chocolate chip cookies, featuring those served here and those from Azucar. A man needs to have some dreams, after all.
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