SD - Staying at the Bahia
I'm going to be at the Bahia for work and I'm looking to escape the clutches of hotel food and work tedium. Within walking distance (10-20mins - do people walk around that area???):
Inexpensive places for breakfast and lunch. A coffee shop, breakfast spot, pho or bahn mi, taco place, casual sushi, healthy veg food - I'm open to all cuisines.
From what I can tell the Pacific Beach area might have more options. What are the traffic and street parking situations like in the Pacific and Mission Beach areas?
Your hotel is only a couple of blocks from Mission Blvd. that runs north/south from Mission Beach to Pacific Beach. There is also a boardwalk on the Bay side that goes from the Bahia to the Catamaran. The area is very walkable and pretty safe. I don't know that I'd be out and cruising about on foot in the wee hours of the night, but during normal (i.e. 6 am to midnight/1:00 am-ish) you should be perfectly safe.
There are any number of small places along Mission Blvd. where I am sure you could find something to suit your tastes. I don't live in that area, and MB is not the beach area I frequent, but I'll bump this thread up for you so that other posters who do have better familiarity with the area can provide suggestions.
The Mission has a great breakfast on mission blvd..
Rent a bike or maybe they have them at Bahia..I know you can rent them at the castle at Hamel's across from the roller coaster..best way to see the ocean/bay and eat along the way..
Kono's for breakfast too in PB at the foot of the pier..cheap and excellent.
Saska's on mission blvd for late night burger and cocktails..they have sushi too.
Coaster Saloon across from the roller coaster is a great dive bar and makes an pretty decent burger and fries..
Surfer Hotel has some good food and drink..oceanfront on the boardwalk.
Taco Surf in PB and I think there is still a Roberto's right near your hotel..
Cafe Athena for Greek is excellent in PB and Los Panchos too.
Chow-worthy food in Mission Beach is a little spotty, especialy with the loss of the Liar's Club. A couple of recs would be:
The Mission, 3795 Mission Blvd, Breafast, Lunch
La Playa Taco Shop, 3973 Mission Blvd just south of the Catamaran Hotel, Good carnitas tacos, home made albondigas soup. This may actualy be in South Pacific Beach, and on that note:
Rent a bicycle and keep it at your hotel. This will give you quick access to most of Pacific Beach which has many, many more chow-worthy options than Mission Beach does. Pacific Beach is walkable from The Bahia, but it is a long walk. The bicycle will be worth its weight in gold. It will alleviate parking hassles as well.
Do a search on this board for Pacific Beach as the many options have been well documented in the past.
There is a "ferry" that goes between the Bahia and the Catamaran every half hour. Once at the Catamaran, there are many great spots within walking distance. Try World Famous for great fish tacos, or Kono's on Garnet and the ocean for breakfast and people-watching. There is a Vegetarian spot called Vegan Zone on Hornblend and Mission. I've included some links.
I don't know your walking range, but walking is very doable. The entire bike/walking path along Mission Bay from the area by the roller coaster all the way to Crown Shores is 3 1/2 miles. Walking on the beach boardwalk (more crowded, but much to look at) is also great, and I can go from the roller coaster area up to Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach and back in around an hour and 15 minutes. So if you really are a walker, getting around is easy.
As for food, Karinya Thai in PB has many friends on this board. Also Latin Chef has great Peruvian food. Both are on Garnet in PB.
I would avoid the Roberto's at Mission Beach and Kono's. Yeh, I know I"m in a minority on these but I think both are totally mediocre - on their good days. The other recs you've gotten are good, but as others have said, the food is better in PB than MB.
re: Ed Dibble
Ed brings up an interesting point regarding Kono's. I live 3 blocks away and know them well. There are only two items on the menu that are worth ordering, the egg burritos (#1 through #4), and the Kono's potatoes. Both of these menu items rock and are worth the hassle (eg: parking, long lines). No locals that I know would order anything else. The rest of the menu is like crap Denny's food. The burritos (which are the size of a small cat) and potatoes are what put Kono's on the map.