Carnitas’ Snack Shack Embarcadero
This very popular American fare spot has expanded to its third location at the Embarcadero. Carnitas’ is a local favorite, and specializes in “pork-centric” American fare. You can also get SoCal favorites like tacos and tortas.
This location is especially fun because you get a beautiful view of the bay while you chow down on slow cooked pork sandwiches and fries with bacon ketchup. They’ve also added a full cocktail service in addition to their already excellent selection of craft beers.
Campfire has been very popular since it opened late last year. A new project from the owners of a Little Italy staple called Ironside, this new restaurant offers a selection of excellent seafood dishes and cocktails. It has great plates both for more adventurous eaters and for those who want to stick to something more tradtional.
It’s a little bit north of the city in the cute “village by the sea” of Carlsbad. Grab dinner at Campire and walk around the town to pick out a dessert spot.
The newest addition to the Urban Kitchen Group, Cucina Sorella follows in the footsteps of Cucina Urbana by offering awesome Italian cuisine. This menu is slightly different as it is more pasta-based than the other restaurants in the Urban family.
You really can’t go wrong here, but I’d recommend the Gnochetti Sardi. Stop by early to grab a cocktail at happy hour!
Beer. Fish. Oysters. What’s not to love? My favorite thing to do here is come for happy hour, of course. $2 off beer and wine and $1 oysters. This place has a solid oyster selection and a much more casual vibe than at some seafood spots. For dinner, go with the Wild Coho Salmon. One of my favorite fish sandwiches.
Certainly one of the more upscale places on our list, The Hake has become a La Jolla favorite pretty quick. This is place is hard not to love based solely on the gorgeous environment. You get a beautiful view of the La Jolla Cove while you eat a top notch meal.
The Hake offers a variety of surf and turf options. Believe it or not, my favorite is probably the lamb here. It comes with these incredible dumplings that I could not get enough of. Also, another great happy hour for after your tour!
Admittedly, I am pretty new to the poke scene, but have no idea what took me so long to get there. The Grass Skirt offers a great selection of Korean BBQ, hand rolls, and poke bowls. They also island-themed drinks that are fun, if not a bit kitschy (but fun!).
The East Village neighborhood of San Diego has been up and coming for some time now. It has been helped along by places like Harvest by the Patio. This restaurant serves up excellent local, fresh food. You always feel here leaving satisfied and healthy, which is a big part of their business model. Go here if you’re feeling like you’ve indulged a bit too much on vacation!
Author: Scott Nickley
Scott Nickley is a writer, actor, cyclist, runner, and cafe loiterer living in Los Angeles. You can find his work on the Fly Rides website and find him in the flesh following all cycling laws in your nearest bike lane.