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Dec 21, 2010 11:45 AM

Out of Towner Recommendations please

I'm a Philly chowhound who will be in SD in early January, staying in Se San Diego, and looking for what your city does best.

Knowing that's broad, I'll say I LOVE good gastropubs, prefer to eat local/organic when I can, and also like a super spicy meal every now and then.

Also, any markets that are good for gastrogifts and other goodies would be much appreciated as well.


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  1. Will you have a car?

    If so, then these are the places I'd go:

    The Linkery - gastropub, local/organic

    Blind Lady Ale House - great beers, local/organic pizzas and charcuterie

    Mariscos Beyer Truck - Imperial Ave. and 20th St. (close to SE SD) Currently my favorite of the Mexican seafood trucks, they also have one of the spiciest food items in town, the 7 Chilies taco.

    Spicy City Szechuan - Kearny Mesa. Great spicy Chinese.

    3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

    Blind Lady Ale House
    3416 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA

    Spicy City
    4690 Convoy St, San Diego, CA

    8310 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111

    1. Rent a car for sure.

      We rock craft beer, so tastings at various breweries would be fun. Bars like Toronado, Small Bar, and Hamilton's feature a lot of local brews. Beer would be a great gastrogift, although it'll be a pain to transport. We don't have markets like Reading Terminal and San Diego doesn't exactly have any signature dishes that are easy to transport. So, beer might actually be one of your better bets.

      Check out the farmers markets at Little Italy and Hillcrest for local producers of various goodies. San Diego also does Vietnamese food pretty well... I didn't recall Philly having a great Viet food scene. This thread has some great recs.

      1 Reply
      1. re: geekyfoodie

        I'd also add The Ritual Tavern to that list.

        Ritual Tavern
        4095 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

      2. Sab E Lee is the best Thai in town - and it can prepare dishes Thai spicy for those who really like it hot.

        Ba Ren does Sichuan well and prepares food hot with chilies and sichuan peppercorns.

        I recently had an outstanding chef-driven meal at Wine Vault and Bistro. Amazing food paired with unusual (mostly California) wines.

        San Diego also has some good sushi - and arguably the best uni anywhere. And as geeky says, a lot of good Vietnamese places - try the bun bo hue or bun rieu at Mien Trung, for something different and very good.

        Mien Trung Restaurant
        7530 Mesa College Dr Ste A, San Diego, CA 92111

        1. Um, okay, the food of choice after imbibing too much (*ahem*), is the burrito, preferably the carne asada burrito (steak, guacamole, salsa fresca), the california burrito (steak, cheese, french fries, and guac or sour cream), or other derivations. Given that the San Diego style of burrito is somewhat unique, its worth a try. If you do, avoid the places in the Gaslamp and Old Town, and stick to the rundown looking places - if there's an "A" in the window from the Department of Health, its safe to eat there. It also helps to have had a few drinks prior to consuming.

          La Posta De Acapulco's
          3980 3rd Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

          Mexican Fiesta
          1460 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

          Las Brasas Taco Shop
          1890 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110

          4 Replies
          1. re: jmtreg

            No love for JV's Mexican Food?

            JV's Mexican Food
            1112 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

            1. re: RB Hound

              Actually, I forgot about JV's. Love is shared for all SD taco shops.

            2. re: jmtreg

              Had an al pastor burrito from Mexican Fiesta this weekend, and it was DAMN good. One of the best burrito experiences I've had, and trust me, I've had more than my share.

              They don't, however, have a drive thru, so style points have been removed from my review.

              Mexican Fiesta
              1460 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

              1. re: Fake Name

                But they're a concrete shack surrounded by office buildings! Surely that has to count for something! Oh, and big second on the al pastor.