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May 29, 2012 03:59 PM

Trendy but casual place for dinner in or near downtown

Hello San Diego Chowhounders! My old girlfriends and I are visiting San Diego this weekend (staying close to Downtown SD) and are looking for a couple of places to go for dinner. We would prefer a casual yet trendy restaurant, moderately priced. We will have a car but would like to stay fairly close to the downtown area. I believe our hotel is near Seaport Village, the Gaslamp area, and Horton Plaza, just to give you an idea. Also, we are looking for a good Italian restaurant one of the nights this weekend. Recommendations for other ethnic cuisine (including American) for the other nights are also welcome! Thank you!

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  1. I'll say PrepKitchen and Bencotto - both in Little Italy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: karaethon

      Thank you for your suggestions! We ended up trying both of them! We really liked PrepKitchen. The atmosphere, decor, and food were exactly what we were looking for. Their famous chicken dish did not disappoint and neither did their desserts! Thank you!

      1. Cucina Urbana or Urban Solace or Alchemy . Italian is very weak in SD, better look for something else

        3 Replies
          1. re: Idyllwild

            Not really. I would call it Italian inspired but if you compare it what you would expect in Italy there is quite a difference.

            1. re: stevewag23

              Cafe Chloe looks so cute! We will have to try this restaurant on our next trip! Thank you for your suggestion!

            2. I'm going to encourage Urban Solace and/or Prep Kitchen as well. I was pleased with appetizers at one visit to La Villa, and the setting was great - but can't comment on much else.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Rodzilla

                Thank you for your recs! We ended up at Prep Kitchen but Urban Solace took a close second! We also went to Bencotto, Burger Lounge (for lunch), and Extraordinary Desserts. Bencotto was just okay in book. I think I have to agree with the earlier posts about weak Italian in SD but then again, that was just one Italian restaurant. Thanks again for your suggestions!