San Diego Cool?

So it seems San Diego may be inching up the culinary ladder…

Travel & Leisure magazine has an article (not yet on line) entitled When Did San Diego Get so Cool?

Have we arrived? Can our “moment” be far behind???

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I’ve always felt San Diego was cool. In fact, I feel like it’s one of the most underrated and even under appreciated destinations in the United States.

What San Diego may lack in culinary gravitas it more than makes up for culinary ambiance. The weather and climate is so nice year round that it invites, sometimes literally urging, a person to go out and eat. And getting in/around the city, while not necessarily completely public transportation friendly, it is easy to navigate by car with accessible parking and not so spread out as to make Uber/Lyft impractical. Few places, if any, in the contiguous United States can say that.

Is It works class? No, of course not but then I don’t think it wants to be. Nor, for that matter, should it be. The demographics in the area simply wouldn’t support such a culinary scene.

We love SD. Our favorite weekend trip just 90 minutes from the OC. The food scene is much better today than when we first started going to SD 8 years ago. There usually aren’t enough days and nights to go to all of the places we want to go. My only complaint would be the non existent parking in downtown. Our kids are older so we’ve started to Uber/Lyft more.

NYT article today about Hidden Fish in Convoy


San Diego has always been a “cool”, laid-back pseudo-city. Just not getting very many kudos in the culinary context.

Recently there have been so many new openings city-wide that it’s mind-boggling. No one, especially an old fart like me, can possibly keep up with them all.

But it’s great to see culinary “hot” spots in town aggregate, like North Park and (once again) Mission Hills.

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Just saw this. We live in Reno and IT’S getting cool also. Not too many years ago I thought I was one of the youngest people here; now I’m feeling like one of the oldest. But they treat me kindly :slight_smile: I wish you the same!

Any place y’all love in particular these days? Preferably in what I think is probably central San Diego (North Park adjacent? Though we’ll have cars and don’t mind a drive) casual-ish/appropriate for a group of 6 (a group who loves food, but still a bigger group).

We have a night or maybe two in SD as part of the mentioned-elsewhere Tijuana trip coming up, and I was doing a bit of research. Group whims may mean we do a brewery crawl and some California burritos, but I’d love to have some alternate options to pitch.

And in general - I really enjoy San Diego every time I’m there, though it’s mostly day trips for breweries, baseball, and the occasional college football bowl game.


Tribute, Urbn for pizza
Trust for a nicer restaurant where you’d probably need a reservation
Grand Ole B.B.Q. y Asado
Tiger tiger or Toronado for drinks

Tried to stay away from Mexican since you’re on your way to TJ.

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@DoctorChow @RedDevil thank you, much appreciated!!

Forgot to report back! Thank you again @DoctorChow @RedDevil for the recommendations. We ended up just walking everywhere from our Airbnb in the center of North Park, which turned out great.

Had beers at Poor House (:-1:), Pariah (:-1:), Rip Current (good), North Park (shockingly very good despite the bro party atmosphere), Toronado (great tap list), and Tiger! Tiger! (also great tap list and liked the feel in there).

Ate at Tiger! Tiger! and really liked their sausages - chicken shawarma and bratwurst were both great, and had a nice cheese board and some roasted veggies too.

Next night went to URBN very late and enjoyed the pizza a lot - super greasy, but really deliciously sooty crust. Weird hybrid pizzeria/nearly empty nightclub vibe in there late at night, but we had plenty of space and enjoyed ourselves.

Friend had a burrito from Lucha Libre because we walked by and he felt inspired, but he was disappointed.

Walked over to Blackmarket Bakery in the morning because it was close, and enjoyed their breakfast sandwiches and pastries.

Tijuana report coming soon!


Thanks for the follow up. Look forward to TJ report!

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