The BlogHer 2011 conference is coming to San Diego. When I attended this conference in Chicago two years ago, it was evident that people wanted to know where to eat and where to drink. Well, since this is my hometown, I thought I’d write a little guide to some good food nearby. And when you think of San Diego food you should think of Seafood and Mexican food. That’s where I’m going to focus on. But if you have any questions, hit me up and I’ll try and help.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room This is an upscale restaurant that has locations throughout the U.S. The food is good and fresh and has a very robust menu with plenty of options ranging from oysters to lobster. In fact, the specials vary due to the availability of fresh fish. A complete wine menu is available and you can even call head to reserve a private group (which I know some enterprising BlogHer women would take advantage of!).
Address: 400 J Street
Walking time from hotel: 10 minutes.
Price: $$$ (Entrees range from $22 – $42)
Escape Fish Bar
This recently opened restaurant is small with a limited menu but the food is excellent. The seafood is fresh and the sides are creative. You can sit on the sidewalk cafe or inside. Limited but good beer and wine selection. Not great for a big group but perfect for a handful of friends looking for good seafood. Try the Pumpkin Seed Slaw.
Address: 738 5th Avenue
Walking time from hotel: 10-15 minutes.
Price: $$ (Entrees range from $8 – $15)
Point Loma Seafoods If I was going to bring anyone from out of town to taste local seafood, this would be it. Ambiance is out the window as this is more of a fish market than a restaurant. However, they serve delicious seafood plates and sandwiches (I love the scallop sandwhich) for a great price. You get your food on paper plates or wrapped in paper and you take your food to eat outdoors overlooking the marina. The food is great but beware the seagulls!
Address: 2805 Emerson St
Walking time from hotel: Too far to walk quickly – 10-15 minutes by cab.
Price: $ (Entrees range from $8 – $12)
Since San Diego sits on the border of the Mexico, it’s only natural to steer you towards to good Mexican food. Unfortunately, the really good food is usually a greasy hole in the wall and not a sit down dinner in downtown San Diego. However, I’ve thrown a couple downtown joints for convenience sake but you might have to travel to get some of the best stuff.
Las Cuatro Milpas This is a true hole-in-the-wall. It’s in the heart Barrio Logan, just south of downtown and the heart of the Mexican community. The food is authentic and delicious and cheap! Las Cuatro Milpas closes at 3:00 p.m. so it’s definitely a lunch location.
Address: 1875 Logan Ave (1.5 miles from the conference center)
Walking Time from Hotel: 15-20 (But this is towards the industrial part of San Diego and might be better to take a cab or the trolley)
El Indio This restaurant was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It’s a short cab-ride from downtown. The food is good but the ambiance is straight diner/dive. There is a nice outdoor eating area down the street and another across the street, so this is a “nice day” kind of place to eat.
Address: 3695 India Street
Walking time from hotel: Too far to walk quickly – 7-10 minutes by cab.
Price: $ (Entrees range from $8 – $10)
El Vitral I have not eaten here but I have visited the restaurant and it’s beautiful. One wall creates a boundary for the park within Petco Park, home of the Padres. The decor is beautiful and I hear the food is ok. Yelp says the service can be s0-so but the real attraction for this restaurant is the Tequila bar. Want a place to sample every tequila under the sun? This is your place.
Address: 815 J Street
Walking time from hotel: 10-15 minutes
Price: $$ (Entrees range from $10 – $12)
Old Town I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Old Town. There are several Mexican restaurants in Old Town San Diego which is a short cab ride from downtown. There are a few restaurants along San Diego Avenue and Casa Guadalajara in the Bazaar Del Mundo which is a fun place to go with a small group.
Address: 4133 Taylor Street (Bazaar Del Mundo)
Walking Time from Hotel: Too far. 10 minute cab ride.
There are a couple of places that come to mind when it comes to indulging the sweet tooth. There’s Extraordinary Desserts and Ghiradelli Chocolate shop. I have pigged out in both.
Extraordinary Desserts This is one of the best dessert shops in San Diego. About a 15-20 minute walk from the hotel, it is totally worth it. They also have light food that is very stylish to go along with the out-of-this-world desserts. Go. You won’t be disappointed.
Address: 1430 Union Street
Walking Time from Hotel: 15-20 minutes. Little over a mile.
Ghiradelli Chocolate Shop This is for the pure chocoholics out there (you know who you are). Milk shakes, sundaes, and lots of chocolate. Lots. Tons.
Address: 643 5th Ave
Walking Time from Hotel: 10 minutes
Other Places Nearby
Hard Rock Cafe The Hard Rock is minutes from the hotel, right across the street from the convention center. With it’s roof top bar and two interior bars, there’s a lot to drink do.
Gaslamp Quarter Info The Gaslamp Quarter is the area surrounding the convention center. This link will provide you with all the information of other restaurants, bars and wine bars. Have fun!