Pssst… potential visitors… I may lose SD citizenship with this next bit of advice so I do hope you’ll take it to heart:
Skip the taco shops next time you’re in town.
I’m crossing into arguably heretical territory here but what we’re known for isn’t necessarily the best that’s on offer. In my last post I suggested that there might be more culture to this town than just beaches and sunny skies. It’s in the same spirit that I aim to challenge how you might think about culinary SD.
Here are some local culinary joys that aren’t your standard tourist fodder:
1. Kafe Sobaka
It’s odd how Georgian/Russian/California fusion cuisine doesn’t come to mind when planning a trip to SD, no? The food and service here is phenomenal every time, making this Golden Hill gem equally great for a sumptuous feast or just a quick bite. The beer isn’t local but you’ll like it anyway. And if you’re still not convinced, the dish descriptions alone should be enough to get you through the door.
2. Sultan Banoo
This Persian delight in University Heights is another neighborhood fave. Special dishes are offered daily and, in true SoCal style, everything can also be prepared without meat.
You’re not likely to spot an Irish sports bar on any other best restaurant list but this place is consistently the best bar food in town. And it is run by two of the nicest, most dedicated barkeeps you could ever hope to pull your pint. It is impossible to find atmosphere, service, and food this good anywhere else in the Gaslamp.
Located in Normal Heights, this place is the best pizza in San Diego. Period. End of discussion. Grab several slices and check out this lesser-frequented, yet equally awesome, artsy area of town.
North Park’s first Izakaya, this place has it all: outdoor seating in the coolest neighborhood in town, a superb beer and sake list, and outstanding dishes you didn’t quite expect in NP’s increasingly bland ‘taco tuesday’ landscape.
Photo Credits: ulterior epicure