San Diego

Popular food joints to try – In no particular order

Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop (Mexican)
4 stars, ~800 reviews, $
Excellent decor and vibe, think Nacho Libre.  Featured on Man Vs. Food tv show.
Gotta get the surf & turf burrito and/or carne asada fries

Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill (Seafood)
4 stars, ~600 reviews, $$

Choose a fish sandwich with lemon garlic butter sauce.  Add avocado for extra.
Also recommend the clam chowder and onion rings.
Parking can be tough, go early to avoid the lines!

South Beach Bar & Grille (Mexican, Seafood)
4 stars, ~670 reviews, $$

Lobster tacos, calamari tacos, fried oyster tacos, fish tacos
Bar type atmosphere, no reservations, located right in the ocean beach town, crowded, open late

Hodad’s (Burgers)
4 stars, ~1200 reviews, $
Right across the street from South Beach Bar & Grille, you’ll see another line for burgers.
Recommend the double bacon cheesburger and onion rings. Casual, fun atmosphere

Jake’s Del Mar (American)
4 stars, ~200 reviews, $$$

Classy restaurant with breathtaking ocean views.  Perfect for a date.
Also has happy hour on food on the weekends which include Angus Burger, Seared Scallops, Calamari, etc.

George’s at the Cove – La Jolla (American)
4 stars, ~300 reviews, $$$
Another restaurant known for its views.  Looks right over the La Jolla shores cove.
View is so stunning, I can never remember what I ate there.

Phill’s BBQ (Barbeque)
4.5 stars, ~2100 reviews!, $$
Known for their baby back ribs, the meat falls right off the bone.  Also good onion rings.
Expect a long wait to eat there.  If you’re impatient, you can call in for ToGo and pick it up.

Punjabi Tandor (Indian)
4.5 stars, ~400 reviews, $
Get the dinner combo#4 which includes two curries.  Get Chicken Makhani and Bengan Bhartha, which is eggplant.  Really, ghetto, hole in a wall, small place in the middle of an industrial park.  It’s so worth it though.

Sab e Lee (Thai)
4 stars, ~230 reviews, $
All the dishes here are more flavorful and tangy than any other thai restaurant I’ve been to.
Recommend the duck larb, panang curry, noodles and their soups.
Another hole in a wall joint, limited seating, cash only, delicious

Sushi Ota (Japanese)
4.5 stars, ~770 reviews, $$$
Best sashimi in san diego.  I fell in love with the Deluxe Chirashi set meal that includes everything from uni to toro over rice.  Reservations recommended.

Donovan’s Steak and Chop House (Steakhouse)
4 stars, ~230 reviews, $$$$
Famous San Diego specific SteakHouse.  Make reservations and get the filet mignon.

Bencotto Italian Kitchen (Italian)
4 stars, ~200 reviews, $$
Located in little Italy.  I haven’t gotten a chance to eat here yet, but I’ve only heard good things.
Yelp recommends the gnocchi and pasta with pancetta sauce.

Extraordinary Desserts (Desserts!)
4 stars, ~1000 reviews, $$
Most FAMOUS dessert place in San Diego.  Get the German chocolate creme brulee.  There’s a few locations within San Diego, but the downtown one is the most popular.

Places for Breakfast & Brunch

The Cottage
4 stars, ~600 reviews, $$
Get the STUFFED french toast filled with strawberries.  Also try the Eggs La Jolla Benedict with Canadian bacon.

Hash House
4 stars, ~1400 reviews, $$
The wait time can be crazy.  The portions are super huge.  It’s no joke.  I can eat leftovers for 2 days striaght.  There’s also another Hash House in Las Vegas.

Tom Ham’s Lighthouse Sunday Brunch
4 stars, ~167 reviews, $$
Recommend the Sunday brunch buffet for $28.  All you can eat cold snow crab legs, king crab legs, dungenous crab legs and lobster claws.  Also has bottomless champagne!  Located near the airport, make reservations.

Activities

San Diego Zoo
4.5 stars, ~650 reviews
It’s world famous for a reason.  Check it out.  Usually you can buy admission for both the Zoo and Wild Animal Park.

Seaworld
3.5 stars, ~400 reviews
It is what you expect to be.  Killer whale shows, dolphins, a few rides for the kids.  Good for families.

Balboa Park
5 stars, ~350 reviews
Pack a lunch and eat in the gardens during the summer.  Historical site with many museums.

Torrey Pines Golf Course
4.5 stars, ~40 reviews
If you play golf, you know you want to play at this famous course.  Overlooking the ocean!

BEACHES
La Jolla Shores
4.5 stars, ~100 reviews
Beautiful beach, you can rent kayaks, surf, boogie board, etc.  Family beach

Mission Beach
4 stars, ~50 reviews

Beach boardwalk type atmosphere with old rollercoaster, carnival games, street food, bars
You can rent bikes and ride along the beach bike path

Coronado Beach
4.5 stars, ~75 reviews
Take the bridge over to Coronado island.  Famous Hotel Del and nice beach.

Other beaches include:
Del Mar Beach (rich area beach), Pacific Beach (clubs & nightlife), Ocean Beach (beach town)

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