San Diego Restaurant Review

I recently spent 8 days in San Diego with my wife. We stayed in a downtown hotel near Little Italy and walked everywhere. Rather than give you a daily account of our urban vacation I’ll opt for a series of posts by categories. Today’s category: food!

Did I mention that we stayed near Little Italy? It’s a great district for food in San Diego. The first night we saw this line out the door of one restaurant and we figured that we had to check-out this one. Filippi’s Pizza Grotto is a San Diego tradition with locations all over San Diego. This is where it all started. A huge no frills menu just lists the traditional Italian meals – Spaghetti with meat ball, lasagna, etc. We waited over 45 minutes as the line slowly crept toward the door. Once inside we were surprised to enter this tight aisle through the deli/grocery part of the restaurant that extended the line another 20-30 ft! Being just two we got seated ahead of some larger groups. It seemed pretty obvious that we should go with the pizza – a simple green peppers and sausage version. Wow!! That was some pizza. Hot and tasty. We liked Filippi’s so well that we ate there two more times while in San Diego. It’s truly a landmark destination restaurant that should be on your San Diego ‘bucket list’ although the pasta dishes were pretty average.

Besides Filippi’s we also ate at the Burger Lounge three times – twice for their signature burger (simply amazing!) and once for the vegetable salad which we split. Burger Lounge is a very trendy stop for great gourmet burgers. At $8.95 for a burger without fries it’s not cheap fast food but cheap fast food never tasted this good. And it really looks and tastes as good as the pictures look!

We ate another dinner at Petrini’s that was also tasty but lacked some of the ambiance of other Italian restaurants in Little Italy. We wished we had eaten at more of the Little Italy signature Italian places. Other Little Italy locations that we included in our stops included a new coffee shop called Tazza D’ Oro with a great staff that was our frequent after dinner stop and Pappaleco for gelato.

In Old Town we scored a nice breakfast for $2.99 at the Old Town Mining Company, enjoyed a great lunch at Fiesta De Reyes (the best Mexican food on the trip) and stopped by the Living Room Coffee House for a late afternoon break.

In Coronado we had lunch twice – once at La Salsa (nice fresh ingredients) and once at Villa Nueva (French bakery and deli). Both restaurants are on Orange Ave.

At Balboa Park we ate on the patio at Prado. Very nice. Good selection of fresh salads and sandwiches. Really good service! This is THE restaurant of Balboa Park. I had one of the best tasting pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever had! The flat bread and humus appetizer was a nice starter.

It sounds like all we did in San Diego was eat but we enjoyed visiting this great city and exploring their many neighborhoods and attractions, too!

Where have you eaten in San Diego? What would you recommend?

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