This is a list of my favorite food places in the San Diego area. There are a lot more places I haven’t been to yet. I still consider myself quite new to the area. If you’re ever in the area check them out.
Papa’s Donuts in La Mesa, CA
The owner of this donut shop is originally from Hawaii. They sell Hawaiian themed donuts and malasadas. I’m not convinced their malasadas are actually malasadas because I’ve tried the ones from Leonard’s Bakery in Hawaii. However, they have a chocolate covered donut filled with haupia that is to DIE FOR. Haupia is coconut pudding. This gem is sprinkled with chopped macadamia nuts to make it even better. This is one of my favorite donuts of all time. They also have a glazed one filled with pineapple and topped with chopped pecans but I haven’t tried it.
Lil Dipper in La Jolla, CA
This ice cream shop is a hidden gem in La Jolla. Parking kind of sucks unless you come after 6pm so it’s free. They make one of the best pumpkin ice creams I’ve ever tasted. If you buy the container like I did you could bring it back to refill for a cheaper price. It’s a win win situation. I got a combination of pumpkin and maui waui. The maui waui taste like passion fruit. It reminded me of Hawaii without being overwhelming.
Casa Guadalajara in San Diego, CA
Casa Guadalajara is a San Diego favorite. They have amazing Mexican food! I had the tequila lime shrimp which was amazing. It’s fairly priced. I haven’t tried the margaritas yet but it’s next on the list. They also serve chips and salsa as appetizers. There’s lots of tables and decent parking.
Mendocino Farms in La Jolla, CA
I love this place! It’s sort of like a high end sandwich shop that serves sides and drinks. I think they serve alcoholic beverages too. I usually come here for lunch. I’ve tried their potato salad, pork belly banh mi sandwich, and steak sandwich. The pork belly banh mi (sandwich in Vietnamese) is pictured above.
Alfonso’s in Solana Beach, CA
I used to work in this area so my old coworkers and I came here for our holiday party. This place is like a cross between a hipster bar and restaurant. I had the grilled lime shrimp with a strawberry margarita. The margarita was delicious. I’m not a fan of super sweet margaritas and this one is just right.
El Pescador Fish Market in La Jolla, CA
I love this market. They have all kinds of seafood. It’s super fresh but a bit pricey. My mom ordered me to buy seafood from here for hotpot. Good thing I listened because it was delicious! I tried the octopus, squid, jumbo Mexican shrimp, clams, and scallops. I bought ½ lb of octopus, squid, and shrimp and then 1 lb of clams and scallops. The total came out to be around $80. It’s pricey but worth it for special occasions. I’ve also tried their red snapper sandwich, ceviche, and sashimi. I’m not a fan of their ceviche. It’s too sour and salty for my liking. Their red snapper sandwich was amazing! It taste like a filet-o-fish from McDonald’s but made with fresh ingredients. The sashimi was pretty tasty as well.
Bottega Italiana Gelato in La Jolla, CA
This gelato shop is located in a strip mall. I was really craving ice cream and didn’t want to deal with the parking situation at Lil Dipper. I ordered a scoop of strawberry basil and a scoop of pineapple gelato. The flavors were delicious! It felt like I was in Hawaii. They also sell a variety of coffee drinks and use Illy coffee.
Julian Pie Company in Julian, CA
I LOVE THIS PLACE. I’ve never had anything here that I didn’t like. That part really surprises me but this company is the real deal. They have a few locations and sell their pies to different grocery stores from San Clemente all the way down to Chula Vista. I’ve tried a variety of goodies from here. Their apple cider donuts are to die for! My favorite pie from here is the peach and apple pie with a crumb topping. It’s the only pie that I’ve had that taste good hot or cold. It goes great with a scoop of their cinnamon ice cream. Their apple cider is also delicious. I use this company to send pie to wounded warriors who don’t live in CA. They love them.
The Great Maple in San Diego, CA
I’m a huge fan of brunch and before I moved to the SD area I made a list of restaurants I wanted to go to. I came here with a wounded warrior for brunch. He gave me flack for choosing this place but I love it. I ordered the beef brisket benedict and maple bacon donuts while he ordered sliver pancakes and a side of eggs. The maple bacon donuts from here are the best ones I’ve had. Their beef brisket benedict was also amazing! The only down side is the seating is super close and makes you feel like you’re sitting with the strangers next to you. Oh and the lack of parking. Their parking lot is so tiny and many times the drivers cannot maneuver in or out of the spots. It’s kind of comical.
Wow Wow Waffle in San Diego, CA
I’ve never tried their waffles. It’s the lemonade that I’m after. I love lemonade. There’s a location in Hawaii that is dedicated to the lemonade aspect. This location is dedicated to the waffle aspect. I ordered the lava flow lemonade (strawberry and coconut) and the lilikoi (passion fruit) lemonade. They were both amazing! I can’t wait to try the Hawaii location.
Cravory Cookies in La Jolla, CA
I think Cravory Cookies is actually based out of San Diego. I found them at the La Jolla farmer’s market on Sundays. They have a rosemary basil cookie that makes no sense but makes my heart sing. I’m usually open to trying all kinds of cookies. My favorite is chocolate chip, but their rosemary basil combination won me over. The last time I saw their booth I didn’t bother getting any chocolate chip cookies.
I’m planning on blogging on different food favorites in different cities and states. xoxo, J.