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Visiting San Diego - Need restaurants "fit for foodies"

Hi! my boyfriend and I are going down to San Diego for July 3rd...and I was hoping someone could give us good recommendations for a nice place for dinner. We live in LA and he's a chef and I'm a foodie, so we are looking for a good place, but not too pricey.
I used to love Chive, and always went there when I visited, but it's closed down now. Anyone have any places in that same kind of vibe to suggest?
Somewhere in the Downtown, Gaslamp, Little Italy area would be great since we'll need to take a cab...

thanks!

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  1. Cafe Chloe, a board darling, would fit your requirments. I always enjoy dining there.

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    Cafe Chloe
    721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

    1. The woman that owned Chive has open Cucina Urbana in the Banker's Hill area. Big darling of this board, give it a search. Solid food, fun atmosphere, nothing over $20. Make a RSVP now and keep fingers crossed you can get in.

      1. My suggestions:

        The Linkery - locavore cuisine at its finest
        Super Cocina - a wide selection of recipes from Mexico that rotate every night or so
        Avenue 5 - great restaurant, and I went to school with the chef, so gotta give him props
        Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano - true Neapolitan pizza

        And now, I'm drawing a blank.

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        Linkery
        3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

        Super Cocina
        3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

        The Linkery
        3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

        Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano
        4203 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

        Avenue 5
        2760 5th Ave Ste 100, San Diego, CA 92103

        Avenue 5 Restaurant & Bar
        2760 5th Ave Ste 100, San Diego, CA 92103

        3 Replies
        1. re: jmtreg

          Wine Vault & Bistro has a 5 course tasting menu for $30 every Saturday night. You can also do the wine pairings for an additional $20. 5 courses and 5 wines for $50 is a steal, especially given the fresh, quality ingredients used and the sizes of the portions. We always wonder how they can deliver the level of quality at that price - but we're glad they do! It's a quick, easy cab trip from downtown too. Reservations strongly recommended.
          www.winevaultbistro.com

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          Wine Vault & Bistro
          3731 India St, San Diego, CA 92103

          1. re: mimosa

            Great idea but I am pretty sure they are closed this Saturday. Open Thursday and Friday.

          2. re: jmtreg

            I'm dropping off a cake at avenue 5 on saturday, so I'm guessing they are closed for a wedding, I'd call ahead on that one!

          3. Starlight might be a good bet. Similar vibe, great food and drink.

            But everything in this list is excellent so far...

            1. Jaynes gastropub in North Park is fantastic. Delicious food and incredible wine list. My husband and I live in San Francisco and eat very well here, but have a house in San Diego and made a big effort to find a place that compared to home. We have been to Cucina Urbana a few times and the restaurant itself is very beautiful and interesting but I find the food completely lacking. Trying to be sophisticated rustic Italian, but doesn't quite pull it off.

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              Jaynes
              4677 30th St, San Diego, CA 92116

              1 Reply
              1. re: mrsgodfrey

                Second Jayne's! I love the jidori chicken with currants and cippolini onions and the gambas al ajillo served with grilled bread from La Brea Bakery. Once or twice, the gambas have been a bit overcooked, but they are usually right on. If it's warm enough, try to get a seat on the back patio. I've enjoyed CU, but have not been overwhelmed by it. I think that is in part due to my ordering choices, though. I chose not to eat mammals, which limits me from ordering some of the board faves there, like the corn risotto with guanciale or rabbit pappardelle. Love the wine options though - big fan of Melville and Siduri.