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Enjoy the many delights offered at each dining station in Ironside Fish & Oyster

California

Discover San Diego’s Food Culture in 3 Delectable Days

By: Heather Lalley

Andy Boyd
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  • States:
    California

Embark on a cultural tour through the many culinary delights that San Diego has to offer.

With a taco culture unmatched for its authenticity, an innovative — and award-winning — craft beer scene and ultra-fresh seafood you can eat within view of the docks, this San Diego, California, itinerary combines three foodie explorations into one delectable weekend.

Day 1: The Ultimate Taco Crawl

San Diego’s taco culture is unlike that of any other U.S. city, offering the most authentic tastes you can find on this side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Start in the Barrio Logan neighborhood at Las Cuatros Milpas for freshly made tortillas and spicy chorizo rice bowls. Then head to the latest rage in La Jolla: Galaxy Taco, where creative ingredients are heaped inside the shells. Sample the “Cali-Baja” tacos that San Diego is known for (a blend of California and Baja, Mexico, styles) at TJ Oyster Bar in Bonita.

In La Jolla, Galaxy Taco heaps creative ingredients into hand-made tortillas.

In La Jolla, Galaxy Taco heaps creative ingredients into hand-made tortillas.
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Day 2: Craft Beer Paradise

Welcome to craft beer paradise! The San Diego area boasts more than 100 craft breweries, and the most innovative among them have brought home major awards from international competitions. For your taste, start with big-character beers and local, organic food at Stone Brewing Co. (with two locations in Escondido and Point Loma). Don’t miss 30th Street in the North Park neighborhood, with more than a dozen restaurants and beer-centric bars including Hamilton’s Tavern, Toronado San Diego and Ritual Tavern, plus breweries including Mike Hess Brewing and Thorn Street Brewery. If you’re in town in November, get to San Diego Beer Week to celebrate the city’s brewing culture with tastings and other events.

Stone Brewing Co. sets up at San Diego Beer Week, an annual November event that celebrates the city's brewing culture.

Stone Brewing Co. sets up at San Diego Beer Week, an annual November event that celebrates the city's brewing culture.
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Candice Eley

Day 3: The Ocean’s Bounty

With more than 110 kilometers of coastline, San Diego serves up some of California’s freshest seafood — and incredible views. If it’s Saturday, visit the Little Italy Mercato, filled with farm-fresh produce and prepared foods. Try the live uni (sea urchin), a San Diego specialty. Nearby, the Embarcadero hosts a weekly open-air seafood market, the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. 

Don’t miss the ocean-to-plate fish market known as Point Loma Seafoods, located at the hub of Point Loma’s sport-fishing docks. Here, you’ll dine at picnic tables while watching sport fishermen haul in their daily catches.

Save room for the ultimate seafood dinner at Ironside Fish & Oyster. Located in an old ironworks factory, this restaurant features different dining stations that range from a raw bar with bivalves, oyster flights, crab claws and more to a five-foot-long tank of live lobsters.

At the Little Italy Mercato, try the live uni (sea urchin), a San Diego specialty.

At the Little Italy Mercato, try the live uni (sea urchin), a San Diego specialty.
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