Since San Diego is known for its Old Town Mexican food and fresh-off-the-boat seafood, you may be surprised to learn that the city’s Little Italy has become a prime culinary attraction.
One reason for that, says Candice Woo, founding editor of Eater San Diego, is that the concentration of restaurants makes Little Italy wonderfully walkable. In a city with perhaps the best weather in the country, there are sidewalk cafes galore.
Little Italy, though, is a bit of misnomer. Sure, you can find a great plate of pasta or two. But this foodie district is very much a melting pot of cultures. Bird Rock Coffee serves organic and free-trade espressos to coffee lovers. For a casual lunch, check out the Crack Shack for a fried chicken sandwich. And if you’re a beer enthusiast, Ballast Point has its research and development brewery here. You can sample three of its new brews for only $5.
The San Diego staples are of course here as well. You can get great seafood—and great deals—at Ironside: $1 oysters and drink specials during happy hour.
If you’re ready for Mexican food, try Bracero Cocina de Raiz, a new restaurant that has been nominated for a James Beard Award.