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San Diego recommendations?

  • n

Hello. Will be in San Diego for the first time ever the weekend of April 12th for a Navy graduation. Staying at the downtown Motel 6 on 2nd Ave. We won't have a lot of time, but would love some breakfast or dinner suggestions. Did a search, but would like to see if anyone has recommendations more specific to downtown or Coronado since our time is limited. Thanks.


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  1. For breakfast, don't, under any circumstances, miss Cafe 222 in downtown San Diego. One of the best breakfasts in America, hands down. Have the pumpkin waffles. See link below for details.

    Link: http://www.cafe222.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: Molly

      I definately second Cafe 222.

    2. Check out the California Board. There are a lot of active hounds posting about San Diego eats.

      BTW, don't miss a stroll through the Hotel del Coronado.

      1. j
        JENW aka wuman_child

        This may not be in your plans, but if you chance by some late-night celebrating, one of the (extraordinary) gems of San Diego is Extraordinary Desserts on Fifth Avenue (one way street). They always do something a little more special on their desserts and usually add edible flowers for garnish. High attention to detail and wonderful, beautiful ambience.

        Extraordinary Desserts
        2929 Fifth Avenue

        Link: http://www.extraordinarydesserts.com/...

        1. Blue Point Coastal Cuisine (Gaslamp District 565 5th Ave) is almost as good as the Water Grill (best seafood in LA), but not quite as expensive.

          1. c
            Caitlin McGrath

            You should post your query (and read past threads) on the general California board. There's a quite active SD contingent there.

            1. You know... I lived in the Gaslamp for two years and saw every restaurant come and go... Blue Point is good... order the whole striped sea bass... cafe 222 is good during the week but on the weekend it's a different story... small kitchen, rushed food... a definite skip personally

              Candelas is by far and away the best in the Gaslamp...it's not on 5th, so NO TOURISTS..just locals who know about good quality, non-touristy food... it's mexican fusion.. .the manager and owner Alberto is acts as an exquisite host.. mexican wines mix superbly with the unique dishes... I think it's on 3rd...but it's simply a walk from the overcrowded gaslamp...

              For flights of wine, head to The Grape, pre-dinner... a lot of fun.... Greystone is great for steaks (but overpriced)... Breakfast... take a drive and head to Encinitas (25 minutes from the Gaslamp)... to the favorite hangout... the potato shack... ask for jim the owner and tell him Tracey sent ya

              1 Reply
              1. re: tracey

                Thanks, Tracey. (And everybody else.) I was starting to wonder myself about Cafe 222 on the weekends. Maybe we'll be able to fit it in Monday morning . . .

              2. All the other posts have mentioned great places for sure.
                To save a little $$ and get the local SD experience if you're on a budget, I'll list some of my favorite cheap/take-out places in San Diego somewhat close to the downtown area.

                These places are close to Balboa Park & are nice finds before heading to the Zoo or the park:
                1) Berry Pancakes at Cafe on Park--just northeast of Balboa Park on Park Ave.
                2) Shrimp burrito at La Fuente taco stand on University in Hillcrest
                3) Carne Asada burrito at El Cuervo taco shop on Washington heading into Hillcrest

                Heading to or from Old Town:
                4) Saffron--grilled Thai chicken place on India right east off the Washington offramp (next Northbound exit off 5-fwy is Old Town)
                5) Waterfront Bar--I think on Kettner just north of downtown--good Bloody Marys

                A little out of the way favorites when making a detour in the nortern beach areas:
                6) Bully's for a French Dip made with Prime Rib (on La Jolla Boulevard near the Bird Rock neighborhood)
                7) Oatmeal Honey & Almond Pancakes at Encinitas Cafe
                8) Sandwiches from the Cheese Shop on Avenida de la Playa--can walk up the street to eat them sitting on the wall & watch the ocean looking over La Jolla Shores beach
                9) Epazote's in Del Mar Plaza for Margaritas & the sunset (don't know if this place is still there)
                10) Drinks at sunset on the patio of La Valencia hotel in La Jolla

                1 Reply
                1. re: KeikoG

                  Wow. How'd you know I love pancakes?

                  This is super helpful. Thank's so much. I'll check in one last time in the morning before we leave in case you or anyone else has any last minute brilliant ideas.


                2. If you love pancakes/waffles, then you must, must go to John's Waffle Shop, in La Jolla ( I think on/near Gerard and or Silverado ?). This place is a true institution, been at the same site since the '40's I believe, and some of the waitrons look like they may have opened the place ! Seriously the place has a lot of character (very small, so go early if it's a weekend morning, and the waittress will call you Hon! The pancakes are v.g., esp. if you like whole-grain/other variations. They also do lunch but not dinner, I'm pretty sure. Anyway, La Jolla is an essential stop for anyone visiting SD. The world famous LJ Cove is just a few longish blocks north and is a beautiful walk, esp. along the shoreline. Go !