One of the things we love most about travel is the opportunity to check out new restaurants and regional cuisine. Some of our vacations have actually been built around the places we wanted to visit for lunch or dinner. Now that’s full-fledged foodie commitment!
With San Diego’s close proximity to the ocean and Mexico, we were excited to dive into some great seafood and Mexican dishes. And there’s always time to fit in a top pizza joint too. Here are some of our favorite restaurants from our recent visit to San Diego.
El Pescador Fish Market
After a morning hike along the coast at Torrey Pines, the sound of the surf and the salty air had us craving fresh seafood. And lunch at El Pescador Fish Market in La Jolla turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip.
Although there is not a lot of seating, this little fish market serves some of the freshest and tastiest seafood I have ever eaten. And the guys behind the counter know their stuff too. From amazing tuna and salmon sashimi and outstanding clam chowder, to some of the biggest and tastiest oysters I have ever eaten, we couldn’t stop going up to the counter to order more. If you love fresh and tasty seafood, you will LOVE this place.
I heard a lot of great things about Basic – and the star of the show is definitely the pizza! A word of caution – this place is VERY popular. You can’t make reservations, so if you arrive at prime dinner time, expect to wait. We arrived around 7:00pm on a Saturday and ended up sipping wine in the bar area for 45 minutes or so before a table was ready. You should also be aware that Basic likes their music LOUD.
We really liked the fun and casual warehouse nightclub vibe. It would be a great place to hang out with a bunch of friends on a Saturday night – but we still felt welcome and comfortable with our 7 year old daughter. Like the restaurant name, the one page menu is very basic: pizzas and one salad. Lucky for us, it was one of our favorite salads. Mixed greens, pears, candied walnuts, Gorgonzola and housemade vinaigrette. The perfect segue to some delicious pies.
We went with a traditional custom built pizza (pepperoni, sausage, mushroom and green pepper) along with a kick-ass house specialty pie. The 10th & J is a white pie featuring muchroom, roasted red pepper, eggplant, mozzarella and wiat for it…buttery mashed potatoes! In a word – amazing. Loved the thin bubbly crust and top-notch toppings. One of the best pizzas ever. Highly recommended.
Fat Fish Cantinagrill
And a visit to San Diego would not be complete without some Mexican eating! And a long list of creative Margaritas doesn`t hurt either. Fat Fish Cantinagrill is a very lively restaurant with a huge outdoor patio and live music. We really enjoyed their contemporary take on Mexican cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood.
The fish and shrimp tacos are outstanding, and if you want a real treat – try the tequila lobster bisque. The fresh salsa and guacamole is the perfect accompaniment to all dishes on the menu. Definitely worth checking out when around the Mission Beach area of San Diego. For now, back to the cage.