Recently, my family took a trip to visit my brother in beautiful San Diego! This is his fourth year living "down South" and this trip was more relaxed than visits in the past. We have already been to many of SD's big "landmarks" like the Gaslamp Quarter, La Jolla, Hotel Del Coronado, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach - all the beaches. We've been to Legoland, albeit a decade ago.
As with all of our family vacations, there was lots of eating! Below are some of our favorite restaurants from this trip and past visits. Plus, some recommendations from my ultra cool baby brother.
We ate dinner at Queenstown Public House, in Little Italy. It was on Richard's list of places to take us, and also recommended by many blogs I read, while researching where to eat in SD. Little Italy is such a cute area with residential units, dining and shopping all mixed together. It's perfectly hipster vibe lends itself to restaurants with great atmospheres and more importantly, yummy food! It was empty in the photos, because we got there at 5pm on a weeknight. The tables on the patio (with heaters) filled in as we ordered.
We started with the Salmon Croquettes and Porch Board. Mom ordered the Pacific Shrimp with fried plantains. I had the 'Lil Bitties' burgers and fries, which hit the spot. Everyone liked their food and we left stuffed- too full for dessert.
For breakfast one morning we went to a popular spot called Snooze, located in Hillcrest. There was a wait, but we circumvented that for the most part, with their reservation app that allowed us to put our name in once we were within 5 miles of the restaurant.
I had the Snooze Classic (my semi boring go-to breakfast order) which was good! Mom got the "OMG! French Toast" which I think goes without saying, was delicious. Other highlights from the menu include: the pancake of the day, a flight of pancakes, and six different Eggs Benedict options to choose from.
We had Mexican at the Lucha Libre Taco Shop in North Park. The line was long- a good sign, except when you're really hungry, and the menu was "different" but the food quality was good. I wouldn't rush back to come again personally, but I can see why the locals love it. The vibrant wrestling inspired decor was very on theme. And disco balls always deserve a quick photo.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Places we either love and try to visit when we end up in San Diego, or that my college-aged brother recommends.
O.B. Smoothie Bar and Subs | Ocean Beach: home to my absolute favorite acai bowl. Originally recommended by an old college friend, Molly, who grew up in SD. I got to see her for a few hours during this trip, which made my heart really happy.
Oscars Mexican Seafood | N. Pacific Beach: I went once with Richard, just him and I, and it was the best shrimp taco I've ever had. I still dream about those tacos. Go to this location if possible.
Ballast Point Brewery | Miramar location: a little out of the way from downtown, but a big brewery with an extensive tasting menu. Cool place to check out if you're a beer lover. We ate off their dinner menu which was just right for salads and flatbreads, etc.
A San Diego foodie? What places should we add to our ever growing list of favorites?
In between meals we did a few fun activities, too. During this visit, we spent a few hours at Balboa Park in their beautiful rose garden, which led to lots of pretty pictures on my sister's DSLR camera. Look out for that 'guest post' of sorts in the coming weeks!