1. Fish Tacos
With so much fresh fish about, and the Mexican border just a hop, skip and a jump away, it’s no wonder fish tacos are the flavour of the day in San Diego. Served in a fresh corn tortilla with white sauce, salsa and crisp cabbage, make sure you go somewhere where the battered fish is fresh and flaky. Locals love the award-winning tacos at The Brigantine which are served with sushi grade tuna and wonton crisps. The Brigantine on Shelter Island Dr is also a great place to eat before or after the incredible whale and dolphin watching cruise, which leaves from very nearby on North Harbour Drive.
An acquired taste, uni is a type of sushi made from sea urchin’s gonads. And if that sentence doesn’t put you off, then you’re probably the perfect person to go out and try it! The gonads of the sea urchin produce a glossy orange roe which is supposed to be a tasty delicacy if you’re a fan of sushi. Even more bizarrely, the roe normally comes served with its original casing, i.e. a spiky black sea urchin on your plate!
3. Carne Asada Fries
One for if you’re feeling indulgent: french fries cooked to crispy perfection, topped with roasted beef, guacamole, sour cream and sprinkled with cheese! This might not be the healthiest or most photogenic dish you eat during your time in San Diego, but you can at least console yourself with the fact that this dish is really only found in the SD area, so if you’re there, you really just have to try it. We recommend burning off the 2000+ calories you’ve just eaten with a Segway tour – just enough exertion after all that food, we think.
4. Over-the-top sandwiches
Americans do sandwiches like nowhere else in the world, and San Diego is a fantastic example of this. Sandwich shops in the La Jolla area are stuffed with delicious deli-style sandwiches – The Cheese Shop La Jolla is famous for its Turkey Jack Avocado creation: bread smothered in turkey, avocado and pepper jack cheese. Great if you’re on a budget, or if you’re just looking for a tasty snack to take down to the beach and enjoy a relaxing day of sunbathing.
5. Double Hopped IPA
If you’re into craft beers, San Diego is the perfect place to try double and triple hopped IPAs. Don’t just limit yourself to trying them in the many San Diego bars (although definitely do that as well!), book a brewery tour or just head to one for a tasting so you can be sure you’re making the best choices! Stone Brewery is one such brewery where you can take the tour and learn about the history of their San Diego craft beers.
6. California Burrito
OK so this one you can find out side of SD, but its prevalence can only be attributed to its unrivalled deliciousness. Remember the carne asada fries from earlier? Roll these up in a burrito and eat it after 3 hours of catching waves on a surf board and you’ve got yourself a traditional San Diegan speciality. All this rich food can only really be justified after all that exercise you see (or maybe you can just get away with it by saying you’re on holiday? We hope so.)
7. Fresh fish
Rounding it off with something a little simpler (and healthier!), the ultimate thing you must try, which you’ll find in abundance, is the quality of the fresh fish caught off the coast of San Diego. Do your research and find a restaurant with sea views so you can enjoy the beautiful sunsets over the ocean.
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