|The patio at Carnitas Snack Shack on San Diego's University Ave.
"What food is San Diego known for?" asked Matt as we arrived at our AirBnB accomodation in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. "Besides beer, that is," he qualified. I was kind of stumped. There's all kinds of amazing taco and seafood artistry going on just south of San Diego in Tijuana and Ensenada, but we were just in San Diego for a chill weekend and didn't want to bother with the border formalities just to have lunch in Tijuana.
"Um, fish tacos?" I ventured, not really knowing if there actually were any renowned fish taco places in the city. After perusing Chowhound and various blogs, I and came up with short list of places to try, though the general opinion seemed to be that Mexican food isn't as impressive there as one might expect. Don't let the haters dissuade you: In addition to being probably one of the best beer towns anywhere, San Diego has lots of fun places to eat as well as a flourishing cocktail scene. Here are a few:
|smoked turkey, left; carnitas taco, right at Carnitas Snack Shack
|Cocktails on tap at Polite Provisions
3) 24-hour taco shops: By midnight or so, we were finally hungry again, and found out that San Diego has a wealth of drive-through 24-hour taco shops. We stopped for fish tacos at Los Panchos, which is probably not the most amazing Mexican food ever, but it's cheap and probably way better than what you can get at midnight in most of the country.
|Mariscos El Pescador truck, Chula Vista
|Mangoneada -- mango sorbet topped with fresh mango and chamoy sauce at Neveria Tocumbo
5) Neveria Tocumbo: A quick Yelp search led to Chula Vista's Neveria Tocumbo, which hit the spot with mango-topped mangoneada sorbet sundaes and ice cream in flavors including queso and mamey; other concoctions included numerous varieties of paletas and Tostilocos.
|Modern Times tasting flight of Fortunate Islands, Black House, Lomaland and Blazing World
|happy beer drinkers at Modern Times Brewery in San Diego
Next time, we'll have those meatballs for sure with a house made almond soda at Soda & Swine, try homestyle Mexican at Super Cocina and finally get to Alesmith Brewing, among others. What are your San Diego favorites?