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Where to eat, what to drink PoliteProvisions_SD_sized
Gwynne Spann

Where to eat, what to drink

Where to eat, what to drink
Endless Sun, Oceanfront Dining & Craft Breweries

With its endless sun and oceanfront location, as well as strong influences from Mexico, San Diego offers plenty of dining options—from flaky fish tacos in house-made tortillas to chef-driven menus featuring hyper-local ingredients presented elegant surroundings, and capped with a California sunset view.

For an easy first night in San Diego, head to Old Town for classic margaritas and Mexican food served with a side of mariachi music. Try the gooey cheesy chile rellenos at the always-lively Old Town Mexican Café. The Gaslamp Quarter in town has trendy eateries; sample farm-to-table dishes at celebrity chef Brian Malarkey’s Searsucker restaurant. Or go retro with a flaky favourite from San Diego Chicken Pie Shop, a San Diego tradition since 1938. Further up the coast in classy La Jolla, try Chef Malarkey’s Herringbone, with oversize wicker chairs and a live olive tree centrepiece. Also in La Jolla, take in wraparound ocean views at George’s At The Cove, where Chef Trey Foshee presents a California Modern tasting menu that focuses on hyper-local, ultra-fresh ingredients. For an unforgettable experience, put your order in Chef Foshee’s capable hands with the TBL3 experience: each thrilling dish is custom designed that day based on what’s freshest and in season. At The Marine Room, also in La Jolla, Chef Bernard Guillas serves up memorable creations with an equally unforgettable view: the restaurant is literally perched atop a seawall foundation, right on the ocean’s edge. Sit here in a winter storm, sipping a craft cocktail, for a truly wild experience.

Gastropubs and craft breweries are a big deal in the San Diego region. The North Park neighbourhood, on the north side of Balboa Park, has standouts serving great food and local beers; local favourites include always buzzing Urban Solace and The Smoking Goat. In Carlsbad, relax post-Legoland California with a Blackball Belgian IPA paired with ahi sliders at expansive Karl Strauss Brewing Company. It’s one of the pioneers of the region’s explosive boom in craft breweries (more than 85 breweries dot the county). Experience them on guided tours, such as the fun and informative Brew Hop—you not only taste great beers but you learn the history behind them. And you don’t have to drive.



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Marcela Valladolid on San Diego's Culinary Scene
Celebrity Chef Marcela Valladolid on San Diego's culinary scene.
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San Diego Chefs Dish On the Cali-Baja Culinary Movement
Food critic and TV personality Troy Johnson meets with Cali-Baja chefs Trey Foshee and Javier Plascencia to explore a taste revolution. Cali-Baja cuisine is San Diego’s unique (and delicious!) food culture that comes from open collaboration between chefs on both sides of the border.
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Carol Highsmith

Southern California

Discover San Diego County

Where to eat, what to drink vca_maps_sandiego
Average (°C)
Mar - May
June - Aug
Sept - Nov
Dec - Feb

Imagine 70 miles of sun-drenched coast, an inviting ocean, and a year-round daily forecast of 70°F, and you’ll understand why this southernmost stretch of the state is all about outdoor fun. Discover top theme parks and attractions like SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and LEGOLAND California.

The first European explorer to land in California, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, came ashore in San Diego in 1542.

Relax at legendary retreats like Hotel del Coronado, find art and culture in San Diego and surrounding cities like luxurious La Jolla, and enjoy world-class golf at Torrey Pines, and enjoy culture and diversity, all at the edge of a sparkling blue sea.

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Roy Bartels/Getty Images

Chula Vista

San Diego County’s second largest city boasts authentic Mexican food, a burgeoning craft beer scene and outdoor activities galore

About seven miles from central San Diego in one direction and the Mexican border in another, Chula Vista is quickly developing its own strong...

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Stretching 1,942 feet, the historic Oceanside Pier is the longest wooden pier on the Pacific Ocean.
Giraffes at the San Diego Zoo
Giraffes at the San Diego Zoo

Spotlight: San Diego Zoo

Where to eat, what to drink vca_maps_sandiego
See rare and endangered species

Visiting this expansive zoo in San Diego’s Balboa Park is more than a chance to see animals from all over the world: it’s a chance to see one of...

Discover quintessential sun and fun at these coastal charmers

Take one part water, one part sand, one part sun-soaked coastal charm, and you’ve got the recipe for some of the Golden State’s most appealing destinations....

Where to eat, what to drink SanDiego_LaJolla_preview_686x885
Lucas Himovitz
Where to eat, what to drink PoliteProvisions_SD_sized
Gwynne Spann

Where to eat, what to drink

Endless Sun, Oceanfront Dining & Craft Breweries

With its endless sun and ocean front location, as well as strong influences from Mexico, San Diego offers plenty of dining options—from flaky fish...

Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for child-friendly fun zones that...

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John/ Flickr
Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind the scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of actvities...

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Photo by Michael Saechang/Flickr
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Legoland California by Lucas Himovitz

Spotlight: Legoland California

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Magical Recreations, Rollercoasters & Smiles

It’s hard to say who enjoys Legoland more: the little ones running around in a magical world created by 60 million LEGO plastic bricks or...

Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate play lands

From Disneyland classics to beachfront carousels, the Golden State’s best-in-class theme parks deliver something for everyone, from tots and teens to film buffs and daredevils. Find out what is...

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Lucas Himovitz
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The historic 101 Café in Oceanside is the oldest continuously-operating restaurant on historic Highway 101.
A lion cub at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
San Diego Zoo Safari Park by Miller

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Where to eat, what to drink vca_maps_sandiego
Find out where the wild things are

Like a journey to Africa, a day at this spectacular park lets you see some of the world’s most magnificent—and endangered—animals at close range...

Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisan cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets are...

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Laura Flippen
Thanks be to God, I arrived this Port of San Diego. It is beautiful to behold, and does not belie its reputation.
Father Junipero Serra
Make memories at some of California's family-favourite beaches

Sand, water, and children-it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. These sandy beaches offer appealing, family friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for...

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Alex Farnum
Surfers on a San Diego Beach
San Diego by Dave Lauridsen

San Diego Surfing & Surf Culture

Try your hand at hangin’ 10—or at least get the look

Sometimes it seems as if everyone surfs in San Diego County. When the surf is up, there’s a steady stream of dudes (and plenty of dudettes,...

World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class hotels and resorts. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills,...

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Lynn Gately/Flickr
Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a pastel coloured pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State. And even if you don’t know these chefs from the TV...

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Dave Lauridsen

San Diego Golf

Get your daily dose of greens at ocean front courses

Perfect weather, challenging courses and incredible settings make San Diego County a golfer’s dream destination. It’s not surprising that many of...

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Dave Lauridsen


Visit a surprising mountain town that’s as American as apple pie

Poised between the desert and the coast, a little more than an hour’s drive east of San Diego, this surprising mountain town makes a great day...

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
Jacques Yves Cousteau
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Head north of downtown San Diego to experience one of the best surfing cities in the world

Encinitas isn’t just a city; it’s a vibe. Visit the coastal community 25 miles north of downtown San Diego and you’ll instantly get a sense of ...

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Joe Polillio/Getty Images


Find exceptional restaurants, inventive breweries and a thriving local art scene in Northern San Diego County

It doesn’t take an etymologist to figure out how Oceanside got its name:...

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Steve Skinnery/Getty Images


This family-friendly coastal town has feel-good appeal

Carlsbad’s legacy as a tourist hotspot dates back to the 1880s, when a local farmer tapped into mineral-rich springs and a spa...