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Feb 25, 2008 08:58 PM

In San Diego/La Jolla this Saturday and need help!

Hubby has a conference in SD this weekend and we're staying at the Hilton Torrey Pines. Thanks to these boards, we've already made a reservation late Friday night at Costa Brava right after getting off the plane!

But I still need help identifying places to eat breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and then a bakery/cheese shop where I can pick up some desserts and/or cheese for friends who are having us over for dinner. Saw a few mixed reviews of dessert/bakeries but some also have closed since the thread posts so I thought I'd just go ahead and post a new query. I'll have a rental car and am thinking of going shopping at the outlets (not sure which ones yet and would love recs!) so it doesn't *have* to be near Torrey Pines.

We're from SF, so I prefer avoiding Asian food or other stuff that I know we can easily get up here. I'm looking for someplace with classic American breakfasts (corned beef hash, eggs benedict) that is not too far from the hotel if possible and then am game for anything for lunch. Is there anything you think SD offers that is difficult to get up here? Or is there a place that just rocks?

If I could figure out what I'm going to do on Saturday, it would make picking a lunch place easier but I'm just as happy to pick a lunch place first and then figure out what to do later since food is the priority! Budget is not an issue. I am eating alone though, so nothing too formal and stuffy.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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  1. Am sorry to say, the only thing near the Hilton Hotel is the Torrey Pines golf course.
    Everything ilse is good drive into LaJolla or the other side of I-15 Freeway like Whole Foods with major cheese and dessert selections.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nutrition

      "Everything ilse is good drive into LaJolla or the other side of I-15 Freeway like Whole Foods with major cheese and dessert selections."

      The other side of I-15? I-15 is 10 miles to the east. You mean I-5, and in fact Whole Foods is on the *same* side of I-5 as Torrey Pines (the west). It's a pretty short drive from the TP Hilton to Whole Foods, at least in a San Diego sense. :)

      Bristol Farms, on the west side of Genesee just south of La Jolla Village Drive, has a pretty extensive cheese and dessert selection - it might be worth a visit. Just east of there on the other side of the UTC Mall, off Towne Centre Drive, is Wired - a cafe that has gotten decent press on Chowhound.

      Also, as others have said, the AR Valentien restaurant at the Torrey Pines Lodge has gotten pretty good reviews on Chowhound - certainly an option for lunch and breakfast (if they are open for it - I think they are but I am not certain).

      1. re: RB Hound

        Thank you for the correction for the Freeway being I-5.

    2. For your dessert/cheese needs, I'd suggest Bread and Cie for the former, and Venissimo for the latter. Both are in Hillcrest.

      The Mexican food here is better than what you'll find in SF. You should check out Super Cocina on University Ave. It's good for breakfast or lunch. It's not anywhere near your hotel, unfortunately.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Josh

        Venissimo has a store in the Flower Hill Mall in Del Mar, about 10-15 min north of the TP Hilton. That would be my first pick for cheese. Stuff is fresher and better than Whole Foods and Bristol Farms. It used to be known as Aniata Cheese.

        In La Jolla, Mission Cup Cafe has Latino-Asian-American style breakfasts (pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs w/ chorizo, breakfast tamales) and lunches. Bristol Farms offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've only been for lunch and thought in comparison to Whole Foods, the hot foods weren't as tasty or interesting.
        Nine-Ten also has breakfast, lunch and dinner. We've only done lunch and dinners but all of them were good. Piatti's in La Jolla Shores has a Sunday brunch which is pretty decent.

        Pacifica Breeze Cafe and Americana in Del Mar both have good American style breakfasts.

        formal dining--one of the best and closest to you is AR Valentien.

        1. re: daantaat

          wow. it's only been a year since i left del mar, and i'm already forgetting places.

          the portobello & goat cheese omelette at americana in del mar was always one of my favorite breakfasts. it's insanely good...but the service there is abominable.

      2. you should plan to spend the day down at la jolla cove. you can check out the shops & galleries, go for a stroll on the beach...and there are some great places to eat.

        for "a place that just rocks" for breakfast, i'd suggest the cottage.

        for lunch, you can get terrific fresh fish at el pescador or rimel's...or if you want a great setting, try george's at the cove. the food on the terrace isn't spectacular, but the view is.

        1. The Torrey Pines Lodge is "next door" to your hotel (still a long walk) and has two restaurants, one somewhat formal and one more casual - both are good though, better than what they will have at the Hilton.

          For the cheese - I suggest going to the Flower Hill Mall in Del Mar (north on the 5 fwy to Via de la Valle) and looking for a cheese shop that used to be called Aniata Cheese - they recently merged with another shop in Hillcrest called Venissimo and may have changed their name. Whole Foods is also relatively close, just one fwy exit South at LJ Village Drive.

          For lunch alone I'd recommend Cafe Zinc in Solana Beach or Stratford Cafe in Del Mar both are also good for light breakfast (more cafe style than down home eggs/bacon, etc.) I also like Brockton Villa in La Jolla for their Coast Toast, and Piatti down at LJ Shores also does a nice brunch, but they don't open until 11 AM.

          Other possibilities for coffee-shop style breakfast in LJ - Harry's, The Cottage, Mission Coffee Cup, and Cody's.

          Shopping is kinda off topic for this board, but the best outlets are north, in Carlsbad - there are also some great boutiques on S. Cedros Ave - near Cafe Zinc in Solana Beach, and along PCH in Encinitas. Have fun!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Alice Q

            did the mission coffee cup finally reopen?

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              it did..

              I would also suggest The Breeze in Del Mar for breakfast or lunch.. outside.. so good weather only..

              Bristol Farms is also at Costa Verde.. right off of La Jolla Village for cheese and dessert..

              1. re: butterbutt

                i'm so happy to hear that! i wanted to suggest it, but the last time i did someone said they'd had a fire & were closed indefinitely.

                ok, so in addition to my recs, the mission coffee cup in la jolla also does killer breakfast/brunch.

                oh, and the place at del mar plaza is called pacifica breeze, not the breeze.

            2. re: Alice Q

              My wife and I had too many business lunches at The Torrey Pines Lodge and the Hilton and the more casual restaurant at the Lodge is not really better than the Hilton restaurant.

            3. If you want an easy lunch in the La Jolla area you could pick up a sandwich from El Pescador. They have some of the best fish in San Diego and their sandwiches are excellent.

              I agree with Josh's recommendation for Super Cocina but that's a bit out of the way (probably a 20 minute drive). Likewise, most of the good American style breakfast places are in the North Park/Hillcrest area. Original Pancake House is somewhat in between in Clairemont Mesa.