We both look forward to seeing many of our fantastic friends and colleagues at the ATA conference in San Diego in a few days! We are busy putting the finishing organizing touches on our lunches, dinners and meetings, and now our friend, colleague and fellow foodie Marianne Reiner, who lives in San Diego, has kindly put together this list of restaurants. We are grateful to Marianne for taking the time to do this for all her colleagues. We hope you find this list helpful. We are really hungry now....
San Diego Restaurants nearby conference hotel (Hilton San Diego Bayfront)
In addition to the limited on-site eatery options, there are numbers of good to excellent restaurants in downtown San Diego. I will focus here on a part of downtown called The East Village, which I think has better options for lunch and dinner.
-My absolute favorite is Café Chloé , 721 9th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101. www.cafechloe.com
The food is of very high quality with mouth-watering fares such as Mushroom and Bleu d’Auvergne Tarte or Smoked Trout and Apple salad to their Mussels or high-end version of Mac & Cheese! The place is small and popular for lunch and dinner. So call ahead for reservations.
-The Mission, Soma East Village location, 1250 J Street, San Diego, CA 92101. www.themissionsd.com
This is a highly popular place in San Diego, with 3 locations. The place is known for having long waiting lists on week-ends. The East Village location is in a very cool building and within walking distance from the conference hotel. The lunch menu is delicious and stays close to classic fares with a Mexican influence. Again, you are better off calling ahead or planning to wait. The Mission is not open for dinner.
-Lolita’s at the Park, 202 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101. www.lolitasmexicanfood.com
This is a good option for a quick and inexpensive lunch within walking distance to the conference hotel. This place offers classic Mexican fares and is also open for dinner.
-Jsix Restaurant, 616 J Street, San Diego, CA 92101. www.jsixrestaurant.com
This is an excellent restaurant, with a young, innovative Chef, whose focus on sustainable and local ingredients has given him a great reputation in San Diego. The place is pricey but if you are willing to splurge, it is worth it.
-East Village Tavern and Bowl, 930 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101. www.tavernbowl.com
This is a restaurant and a hipster bowling alley! It has a surprisingly good lunch menu and as well as easy fares on their dinner menu. The place gets very loud in the evening. But it is a really fun place if you feel like a strike or spare in the middle of the day!
-Neighborhood, 777 G Street, San Diego, CA 92101. www.neighborhoodsd.com
This is a great option for a good salad, burger, wrap or a warm soup for lunch. They are also open for dinner. And I have to give it to them for their humor. Their website opens to a drawing of Jesus eating a burger!
-Venissimo Cheese, 871 G Street, San Diego, CA 92101. www.venissimo.com
Venissimo was the first high-end, European style cheese shop in San Diego. Their first location was in the Mission Hills neighborhood. This is not a restaurant but a cheese shop but if you are craving a great cheese sandwich, this is the place to go to. They will make you a sandwich with the cheese of your choice, on one of their ciabatta or baguette bread and will accompany it with fresh grapes or an apple. A delicious and easy treat. And if you are curious, I would suggest taking your sandwich few blocks away and eating it at the ball park downtown. The baseball season being over for our local Padres, the park is now fully open to the public. The stadium and its surroundings will allow you to see a good example of the downtown revitalization.
-Café 21, 750 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101. www.cafe-21.com
This is a wonderful option for lunch. I only know their Normal Heights location but I am sure the downtown one cannot disappoint. As their motto says this is a place for a “Neighborhood fare with flair.”
-Zanzibar Café, 707 G Street, San Diego, CA 92101. www.zanzibarcafe.com
This is another good option for lunch and dinner. The place is very popular and gets loud but the food is worth it.
-Saffron, 3731-B India Street, San Diego, CA 92103. www.saffronsandiego.com
This is a great Thai restaurant in San Diego. But you will need a car or take the trolley to get there. The food is totally worth it. Su-Mei Yu has received accolades from food publications from around the world. This is a lunch and dinner place (closes at 9PM though…). If you go there, you will need to beat the lunch crowd. So get there just before noon or after 1PM. The place is highly popular as you can imagine and people from all around the county drive to get some of Su-Mei Yu’s best recipes.
-The Brooklyn Bagel Company, 1000 Island Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101. www.ordermybagel.com
I have not personally gone there yet but it was recommended by some foodie friends. It is a bagel shop with what promises to be great sandwiches for lunch. It may not satisfy our friends from NY or Montreal but I still thought I would share it! And it is also a nice stroll from the conference hotel.