What you see here is what awaits you on a walking food tour of downtown San Diego. SD was my college town. Back then, the only reason to go downtown was… uh, well, there was no reason. The closest I may have gotten was my stint working in a Mexican restaurant in Old Towne, but I lost that job quickly (not destined to bus dishes there, my attitude needed adjusting). Time to return. Food tour, anyone?
Over the decades, I attended oodles of food trade shows at the convention center in SD. But too slammed to get out and nose around. My sister Gretchen has lived in a nearby beach town since we were roomies in college. She grew a family there, her brood took one 5-year respite in Eugene, OR, and returned. SD is appealing. And downtown has caught up.
Today, downtown appears to be a great place to live, not just visit. Wrench yourself away from the Gaslight District and fairly dead Horton Plaza, wander a few blocks toward the new baseball stadium. Suddenly, the touristy feel evaporates and city hip emerges.
Lofts. Bistros. Sidewalk dining. Parks with locals and their happy dogs. Sit on grass and watch the ball game on a jumbo screen. Bakeries. Cheese shops. Handsome men (let’s see if you read this far). Apparently the area has a name, “East Village.” Downtown San Diego has a “village?” News to me.
Larry and I took a food tour, of course. A Taste of San Diego had a three hour walking + eating adventure which was actually about 90% eating and 10% walking. Segway tours zipped by — if you haven’t done one, definitely try (ours was Long Beach, A BLAST.).
Our tour was run by Annette Legaspi, a food enthusiast, passionate tour guide and third-generation San Diegan. She LOVES San Diego, you can really tell. Annette helped us get to know Bread on Market artisan bakery, Valentine’s Mexican Food in the old San Diego tradition, the best falafel you will ever taste at The Kebab Shop, a very village-y Venissimo Cheese shop, Asian modern mix at J-Wok and killer desserts at posh, but comfortable J-Six (hottie chef Christian Graves walked us through our king-sized sample personally. Both were yummy – chef and dessert. Larry was sitting right there with me, so no need to comment on my shameful flirting).
- A Taste of San Diego
- Several options for tours, not just East Village (the Triple D Food Tour would be pretty fun, visiting sites from Diners Drive-Ins and Dives televisions how)
- More info about each tour is here.