Each month we ask one of our favorite San Diegans the question:
If you only had 24 hours to show a friend the best that urban San Diego has to offer, where would you take them?
Live: Normal Heights
Work: San Diego Beer
If you’re up the arduous task of spending the day with me in my home town, I will show you what’s amazing about the places I frequent regularly. Make sure your Lyft app is up to date, ‘cause we ain’t gonna be able to drive! The only challenge we’ll face is capacity of your stomach. And by stomach, I mean liver.
Before we start, coffee! I’m partial to Lestat’s due to proximity to my apartment, but Dark Horse is also in heavy rotation on my caffeination playlist. Feel free to order your 7 word concoction, I’ll be sticking with coffee: cold brew if it’s over 65 degrees out, hot if under.
We’ll be starting off at Small Bar for breakfast, right when they open (10am). This is the secret to having the run of the place, getting food quickly, and being able to joke with the bartenders. San Diego, as a city, is not usually up and out before noon on the weekends and I use that to my full advantage. The best part about breakfast at SB? Your first beer or bloody mary is included in the cost of your food! Order what you want, but if it isn’t Lil’ Soul or the Brunch Burger, you’re wrong.
We’ve got a second to kill before we’re ready for lunch, so let’s hit one of my favorite places in North Park: the Brewery Igniter Craft Building. Three breweries in one spot to enjoy, offering something for every beer drinker; take your pick of San Diego Brewing, Eppig, or my personal spot, Pariah Brewing (full disclosure, I built the tasting room).
Now that you’ve had at least two (five) beers, let’s mozy over to Ponce’s for lunch. If you’re not familiar with this epic restaurant marking the beginning of Kensington, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Having just celebrated their 48th anniversary, they are a Mt. Rushmore of SD Mexican restaurants. Order the Chile Colorado. Or don’t. I’m going to regardless! You can expect amazing food, a happy staff, and a great margarita (if you’re into that sort of thing).
You know what we need now? More beer! I’m all about the amazing independent beer we have here, so we’re off to one of my favorites, North Park Beer Co. Amazing house beers, astounding guest beers, and pork nugs. Oh, you didn’t know it was snack time? Well, it is. Mastiff Sausage is inside NPBC and they make crispy, pork belly bites with a gochujang glaze that will change your life.
It’s time for dinner and there’s only one place in NP that’s going to top everything we’ve already experienced: Urban Solace. Luckily it’s only a 4 minute walk away. Want to change up your beer stream to an amazing cocktail? They’ve got you covered. There’s also at least 6 taps of terrific craft beer, so I’m still happy. Cheddar-chive biscuits are a must for starters and feel free to throw a dart at their menu to decide what to have for dinner; you simply cannot go wrong at this establishment!
If, somehow, you’re still up for a nightcap after all that, Tiger! Tiger! is there for us. We could even walk there while we’re moaning about being too full. Maybe the night air refreshes us enough to try a few stellar indie beers. T!T! Only features true independent breweries for you to enjoy and that’s one of many reasons I love that place!
Now that you’ve been in Normal Heights, University Heights, Kensington, and North Park in one day, get in your favorite rideshare vehicle, go home, and sleep it off; tomorrow’s Sunday, and if you’re a champion, that means poutine at Alpine Brewing for breakfast!