Where to Eat in San Diego
Top Chef Richard Blais helms two hot spots in the Little Italy neighborhood: at Juniper & Ivy, chef-driven, refined new American food spotlights cutting-edge technique. (But don’t skip the humble sounding buttermilk biscuit! It’s a smoke-infused stunner.) On the other end of the spectrum lies The Crack Shack, which slings elevated pub fare like fried chicken sandwiches, deviled eggs, and poutine.
Vegan sushi? Why not? At Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub, chefs treat their veg with the same respect they do their thoughtfully-sourced seafood. Expect irreverent takes on tradition (see: wings of the sea, or kama in Korean barbecue sauce) and an extensive roster of plant-based bites like the Patrick the Great roll of sweet potato and pickled onion.
Rooftop bars are a serious thing in SD, and two haunts with peaks worth summiting are Born & Raised, a swanky steakhouse, and Kettner Exchange, which serves standout progressive American eats, both in Little Italy. Inside, focus on the top-shelf food, or allow it to take a backseat (admittedly a tall order with grub so good) upstairs, where the emphasis is on seeing and being seen.
Godfather’s orders! For your Italian fix, get thee to perennial favorite Biga in the Gaslamp for delicious pizzas and pastas that feature exquisite ingredients—house-made mozz, sausage, and charcuterie—and an authenticity that’ll have you humming O sole mio.
Waterfront sweetheart Mitch’s Seafood serves up local seafood every way you can imagine: From poke and tacos to grilled oysters with corn, leek, and bacon, you can’t go wrong, particularly because the setting is second to none.