San Diego recommendations?
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.
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 !
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
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
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.
2929 Fifth Avenue