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: North Park
Work: South Park
How Long: San Diego native
Let’s assume an early arrival time and limitless amounts of unbridled energy. I’ll pick you up from the airport at 7am and we’ll hop on a Deco bike: PCH to the San Diego River BikePath and into OB we go! We stop for a quick café cubano and pastry at Azúcar, do some window shopping on Newport and make it to Little Lion Cafe before the fog clears. We order poached eggs on toast with seasonal fixings and wash it down with a glass of sparkling rosé. We take a few minutes to appreciate Sunset Cliffs and then head back in to the heart of OB to drop off our Deco bikes and impulse-purchase some earrings from Noon. Before we leave, I make you go grocery shopping with me at Peoples, and we both leave with new patchouli-laced hand cream. We call an Uber and it takes us back to mi casa in North Park.
It’s almost noon and we’re hungry! But first we have to walk the dog, which takes us right by Modern Times’ Flavordome, so we stop in for a liquid appetizer. Two Universal Friend saisons later, we walk Miss Mabel back to the pad and take off for Panama 66 for lunch. We avail ourselves of a house made charcuterie board and some delicious salads. I have a mezcal margarita and you enjoy a Harlot Belgian ale from Societe Brewing.
After lunch, we hit up the San Diego National History Museum and take in the astounding diversity of Southern California through the Coast to Cactus exhibit. I take this opportunity to tie in biodiversity with the diversity of San Diego’s food systems: largest number of organic farms of any county in the country, dry-farmed grapes making great wines, the re-emergence of a healthier commercial fishing community at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market… You tell me to stop talking, but that you are interested in that wine business so we Uber to The Rose to try some!
We sit in the sun dappled shade of jacaranda trees on the patio and share an order of empanadas. You want to try some Baja wine and go for a glass of Casa de Piedra sparkling rosé while I throw back a chilled glass of J Brix “CouCou” Counoise. It’s 5 PM now and we want to save some steam for dinner so you take a couple bottles to-go: Los Pilares La Dona Pet-Nat of Muscat and Vesper Vineyards Vermentino. All in all, you’re impressed and excited to share the gospel of San Diego wine with your friends back home! “There’s something really cool happening here,” you say!
We head back to the house to drop off the bottles and make our way to dinner at Bracero Cocina. As we sit at the upstairs bar, eat hiramasa aguachile and watch people hit on each other with the neon lights of bonafide high rises setting the mood, we reflect that, “Wow, San Diego really has a little bit of everything for everyone!”
(And I didn’t even make you sit through a Padres Game! which I could have.)