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10-28-2015, 09:41 AM   #1
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Greetings from San Diego!

Greetings from San Diego!

This is my first time posting, but I've been lurking around the lens reviews section for a while now.


10-28-2015, 09:47 AM   #2
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Welcome! I'll be in San Diego for the first time tomorrow. Any suggestions?
10-28-2015, 10:42 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!
10-28-2015, 10:48 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DennisH Quote
Welcome! I'll be in San Diego for the first time tomorrow. Any suggestions?
Heh, I'll copy paste from a list that I send to my friends visiting for the first time.

To see:

The San Diego Zoo is entirely worth the visit. Now that it's not high summer, the lines to see the pandas are pretty reasonable. It's easily an all-day-park if you want to see everything. Also, the zoo has beer, including local selections from Stone and Ballast Point: Welcome to Home Page | San Diego Zoo

There are a lot of small museums in the middle of Balboa Park just south of the zoo. Stay away from the Prado restaurant, as it's overpriced and better food can be had at Panama 66 across the plaza next to the museum of art. The Timken museum is always free, and so is the botanical garden.

The USS Midway museum is a great way to spend half-a-day: USS Midway Aircraft Carrier | San Diego Museum | San Diego Tours

Torrey Pines State Reserve has some great views: Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve | This site is managed by the Torrey Pines Docent Society

The areas around Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are great touristy spots.

To eat:

San Diego has turned itself into a mecca for mid-range dining, even more so than San Francisco (and i'm a native Sanfranciscan, so I can say that).

There's excellent Mexican food seriously everywhere, and there must be some mythical city ordinance prohibiting the sale of bad fish tacos, because I haven't found a bad one in four years. Some folks are squeamish about eating at these hole-in-the-wall mexican places, but I'll insist that they're perfectly safe.

Taco shops: Saguaros (30th and Gunn, just south of University Ave, North Park, open 24 hours and I swear it's better after 1am), Alamillas (NW corner of 6th and A, Downtown), Oceanos Mariscos (a truck in the parking lot of Miller's Market at 30th and C, Golden Hill, $1.50 fish tacos which are seriously great). For good cheap Mexican food in more of a bar setting, also look for Cabo Wabo and Cabo Wabo II down in National City. If you eat Mexican in the Gaslamp area you are paying too much and not eating well enough.

If you like sushi, search the yelp for Sushi Ota, Sushi Hane, both excellent (and expensive) omakase experiences. Make a reservation. For more casual Japanese, head 12-15minutes north of downtown to the Kearny Mesa area: Tajima has very flavorful Ramen (my recommendation, tonkotsu broth, fat noodles, add kakuni) and other noodle dishes (convoy st, just north of Balboa Ave) . Tajima Izakaya (Mercury st, nearby) is less of a ramen shop and more of an... izakaya (small plates, fried things, sushi rolls, etc). For a nearby Chinese joint there's also the Dumpling Inn & Shanghai Saloon (convoy st again, just south of Tajima), for pretty darn good Shao Long Bao (steamed pork dumplings). Next door to them is Kula Revolving Sushi Bar, which is a pretty good conveyor belt sushi joint (part of a Japanese chain). Manna Korean BBQ and Gyu Kakku Japanese BBQ (farther north, Mira Mesa blvd off I-15) are also excellent.

If you like big IPAs and other strong beer, you've come to the right place. As far as the actual beer goes, I'm very partial to Modern Times (tasting room on 30th in NorthPark just north of Upas st). Ballast Point is also great, but their tasting room in Clairemont Mesa gets pretty busy. Stone also has a beer garden in Liberty Station (just west of the airport).

Burgers and other sandwiches:

Big Front Door pairs foodie-ism with the sandwich, making for some incredible things like hoisin-ginger pulled-pork (Park Blvd, just S. of El Cajon Blvd) and a truly amazing boneless BBQ rib sandwich. Carnitas Snack Shack on University Ave has amazing food, including a hear-stopping "Triple Threat" sandwich/burger consisting of carnitas, pork schnitzel and bacon (yes, you read that correctly). The Stout pub on 6th ave in Downtown actually has a very good burger, and the Guinness is always fresh (but no Murphy's on tap, kitchen closes at 10). For the most epic burgers you will ever encounter, Slaters 50/50 in liberty station (a stone's throw from... Stone) has a signature "50/50" patty made with 50% ground bacon (a recurring theme...), but be careful, because the weights they list for their patties are *after cooking*.

For italian... go to Little Italy (India St, north from downtown, a decent walk). You can hardly go wrong, but Davanti Enoteca is one of my favorites. Nelson Photo is also in Little Italy for a few more days before they move to Point Loma (the property owner wants to build condos where the current building is). There's also Buona Forchetta in South Park for a homely but excellent meal (the lamb shank risotto special if they have it is more shank than risotto).

Lastly, a couple of recommendations in the South Park area (east of Balboa Park, Upas st is sort of the boundary between "north" and "south"). Eclipse Chocolate is both a chocolatier and a restaurant, in which everything on the menu is either paired with chocolate or includes it. The Station Tavern is a great place to go if you have kids, since *you* can have a (local) beer while *they* play in the sandbox.

Finally, you have to have breakfast at Big Kitchen on Grape at 30th. This place is like a portal to Berkeley or some other weird place, run by Judy the Beaty on Duty (yes, she will call herself that, and says "Tres Bien!" in a voice reminiscent of Marge Simpson's sisters). The menu doesn't appear at first glance to be anything special, but everything is extremely well done and the portions will keep you happy for a long time. Whoopi Goldberg used to wash dishes there, and there's a spot that she wrote on in the kitchen that says "Whoopie's Spot."

10-28-2015, 10:57 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Wow thanks!
10-28-2015, 02:34 PM   #6
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No recommendation of Luche Libre!?
(I lived in San Diego for 3 years in Mission Valley) :P

10-28-2015, 02:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by darbo Quote
Greetings from San Diego!
Welcome from Loch Ness.
10-28-2015, 02:56 PM - 1 Like   #8
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San Diego welcome

Heh, I'll copy paste from a list that I send to my friends visiting for the first time.

Read more at:

Good thing he cut and pasted....

Nice list. There are some worthwhile adds, though

Gas lamp is generally overpriced - but Blue Point Coastal Cuisine (seafood) is very good.
Little Italy also has Buon Appetito - much better value I think (unless you do breakfast at Davanti Enoteca with their bloody mary bar) - It is next door to Davanti. Little Italy also has the Queenstown Public House - a New Zealand food place. And really inexpensive but good Italian fast food is Pappalecco.
For breakfast you could also try the Hash House A Go Go in Hillcrest - you'll be full all day.
And if you must have a dessert, then Extraordinary Desserts will knock your socks off - there are now two locations, too.

On the to do list you can add Cabrillo National Monument - great views of the city - just a couple bucks to get in.
If you have the time the deep sea fishing is outstanding right now - El Nino has brought warm water north and big fish are much closer to SD than they have been in many years.
And if you are here to photograph then Scripps Pier at La Jolla cove is a great sunset location.

10-28-2015, 04:30 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by KevinG Quote
Heh, I'll copy paste from a list that I send to my friends visiting for the first time.

Extraordinary Desserts will knock your socks off - there are now two locations, too.
Yeah, you're not kidding about that. Ultimately there's too much to fit in one short list...
10-28-2015, 07:02 PM   #10
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welcome to the forum.

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