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SD Trip With Kids - Missing Anything (did lots of research)

We are doing the usual SD tour with stops at the zoo, gaslamp and seaworld. There will be 6 of us including 2 kids ages 20 months and 28 months. I've been to SD quite often so need help narrowing down our choices because I've never been down in the area with kids. We are staying by Petco and would like to stay in the downtown area.

Pizza - I always hit up Luigi but have had Basic Pizza or Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano. Will probably just stick with a known entity since they have lots of options and kid friendly.

Fish tacos - Bahia or Blue Water Seafood. I know they are not necessarily in the same vein of fish tacos but both seem to rate highly. Is Lucy's still closed on weekends? If you had to choose one for a Friday fish taco lunch where would you go?

Early dinner - Cucina Urbano over any of the Brian Mularky restaurants. Am I making a good decision and is CU a kid friendly restaurant?

Breakfast places that are open early - I haven't had a lot of success finding many. It seems like a few that come up often are Farm House or Urban Solace.

We'll probably try to brave Hodad's when we go to Seaworld. We'll see about that. Anything else you recommend? Thanks ahead of time.

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  1. I like Blue Water's tacos, especially their grilled shrimp. BUT!

    The line in that place is intolerable, and I wouldn't consider it with a two-year-old. I no longer go, and I live within a mile.

    Cucina Urbana is friendly to children, but I don't remember a "kids menu".

    Sea World had great ribs- some of San Diego's best (ok, a poor playing field) but if you're going there, I'd eat there.

    Breakfast- try Snooz. Opens at 7 (verify that) is big and colorful and interesting. Get there at 7, you'll be fine. By 730/745, you'll be stylin' with the other sheep standing in a herd on the sidewalk. The food is good, but nothing is worth that wait, especially with young-uns.

    Brunch at Urban Solace (or any meal, actually) is excellent.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Fake Name

      Fakey....Il' n'est pas beaucoup personnes ici dan le board avec joie de vivre.

      You're staying in the Gaslamp and I would hit up..

      Basic for pizza
      Bay Park Fish Company in Bay Park or Tin Fish in Gaslamp for fish tacos..next to Petco
      Snooze for breakfast
      Urban Solace or Farm House or Searsucker for brunch
      Bencotta or Cucina Urbana for Italian
      Hodad's in the Gaslamp
      Water Fine Foods on Morena if you want to grab fab food before Sea World and save it for your mortgage payment..

      www.Gaslamp.org

      1. re: Fake Name

        Our kids are actually very adventurous and we don't order off kids menus.

        Thanks for the advice on Blue Water. Based on other recommendations we'll probably try Bahia.

        We're not expecting greatness for breakfast just someplace with good food that opens early. Snooz is close to the hotel so we'll add to the list.

        1. re: js76wisco

          Not in an area where there is anything else to see but fairly close to downtown is Mariscos Negro Durazo in Lemon Grove. Interesting Mexican Seafood preparations and very kid friendly. They serve an early breakfast as well, the Marlin Machaca was good.

          1. re: js76wisco

            It is so nice to find another "foodie" family that shuns the kids' menus. Most places look at us sideways when we order adult sized meals with the real food for our kids, but my two boys are adventurous and would rather eat the regular menu items.

        2. Don Bahia is a local, family place. Sometimes it's busy, but you'll always get a table and see other children there. The tacos are pretty good (definitely as good as any I've had) but you'll experience a non-tourist side of San Diego, and after you eat, you can walk a block down the street and stand on the ocean cliffs. Parking is easy. It will feel like an ocean breeze after Sea World or downtown.

          I can't imagine taking kids to Cucina Urbana, but then, people take kids anywhere now. To me the noise was deafening, and the vibe was too hopped up and frantic. Maybe early it would be fine?

          For breakfast consider Mission Coffee Cup, La Jolla (not Mission Beach) or Cantina in Pacific Beach. Not sure what time they open, but you can google. The same chef owns Barrio Star but it doesn't open until later in the am.

          Don't know where you're coming from, but Tender Greens is a great family place with excellent food. After/before you eat, there's a terrific green space for walking and running with kids. (A former naval parade ground) and a rare piece of preserved San Diego history.

          I love Farmhouse's brunch but their space is so tight that unless you go very early, it may not be easy for them to accommodate your group.

          1. For breakfast, there's a Broken Yolk on 355 6th Ave, good all american comfort food and very kid friendly. Agree with Fake, the BBQ place at Sea World is credibile, considering this is SD. Also, as mentioned, Bahia Don Bravo is easy to access with the ocean a block away. Lastly, Harry's in La Jolla is another good kid friendly place for breakfast.

            1. Blind Lady Ale House is family friendly if you go during the day and has excellent pizza and beer.

              I haven't been since we had our son so not sure how child friendly, but Cafe 222 downtown is walkable to Petco. The Mission gets mixed reviews here, but I like it for breakfast as well. Did not think the Brooklyn Bagel place was worth a stop, though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JRSD

                Cafe 222 is fairly family friendly particularly if you arrive early. The waffles are really good, better than the composed plates.

              2. Your research looks good.

                Cucina Urbana is kid friendly if you go early. They let the kids make their own pizza - which might be a little messy w/a 20 month old but probably fine for your older one.

                My kids love Cafe 222 for breakfast and also Cafe Chloe (but not sure what time they open).

                An alternative to Hodads on your Sea World day is California Kebab in PB. We ate there last weekend and they have a sunny deck with ocean views, great craft beers, and pretty tasty kebabs. My girls split a plate with pita & hummus, chicken kebab & french fries. They LOVE the fries. It's probably a much easier experience than Hodads if you have little ones who might not want to wait in that line. Validated underground parking too.

                Have a great trip!

                1 Reply
                1. re: melee

                  Thanks for the recommendation on California Kebab. The wait at Hodads is brutal even at 11am especially on the weekend. The menu here is probably better for us with more choices.