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?


Michele Willard

Beverage Director + Brand Ambassador,  URBN + Basic + Kikori Whiskey,  http://urbnnorthpark.com
http://kikoriwhiskey.com
Live: North Park
Work: All over town
How Long: San Diego native

Let’s start out with an early breakfast — come on we only have 24 hours! Hold on to your seats, it’s going to get aggressive.

Breakfast for me always includes chilaquiles. So we’ll kick things off in Bankers Hill at Jimmy Carters Mexican Café. It may have an odd name for a Mexican spot, but it won’t disappoint and it usually doesn’t have a long wait. From there let’s head to La Puerta for second breakfast and some amazing brunch tequila and mezcal. Try Fortaleza Tequila and La Niña Mezcal — they are my favorites. The chips and salsa there always put me in a happy trance.

Now we’re ready to brunch… so let’s head to Trust. This new restaurant has the most amazing service, and the food can’t be beat! Honestly, ANYTHING here is amazing! Maybe have a digestif after a couple of bites to keep the ball rolling.

Next up is Park & Rec to play a game or two and have another brunch cocktail. That should keep us til around 2pm, when it’s time to aim for North Park to grab a shot and a beer — and a taco! — at Cantina Mayahuel. Then down 30th to Coin Op to catch up on some videogames while drinking Seth Marquez’s world famous Ramos Gin Fizz.

Since we are now a little tipsy and need to soak up some of that booze, let’s head to my home away from home for my favorite pizza ever. Go to URBN North Park and grab a mashed potato pizza and a tasty beverage. One of my faves is the Christopher Oaxacan — a mezcal Manhattan variation with La Niña, Mandarine Napoléon, cynar, and orange bitters.

After that we might need an afternoon nap by the pool, so let’s hit the Lafayette to take in some sun and a snooze.

It’s almost time for dinner, so let’s freshen up and hit the town! I like to roll into Little Italy and start at Ironside for the best octopus north of the border. Then down to Kettner Exchange for a Tuttle tiki cocktail that Paulina will make you. She is fast as lightning and has the prettiest smile in town. Don’t leave Little Italy without stopping at Bracero Cocina. Christian Siglin and Brian P’s cocktails are the best in the city and could NEVER be beat.

Don’t get too tired now — we have three spots to go!

The Lion’s Share is our next spot. It’s got everything, including some of my favorite bartenders. Please see Jason O’Bryan for an amazing cocktail and some crazy cocktail and spirit knowledge. Then have a gamey slider or two…or three. The décor, the staff, and the cocktails are some of my faves. My favorite cocktail on the menu? The Hunter Thompson (mezcal, pineapple-infused rum, agave, raspberry, lime and barrel-aged bitters).

After that stop by the Noble Experiment to see Adele Stratton for some fancy fun! The cocktails are pretty, and pretty tasty! GET A RESERVATION! It’s a super cool experience, and should not be missed!

Last but not least (at all!) we have our late dinner and our last stop before we head to Mexico…

No night is complete in my world without a steak and a shot of Tequila Ocho at Turf Club. Probably the coolest spot in the city in my personal opinion. The décor, the simplicity, and the fun can’t be replicated.

Now it’s about 1:30am and its time for Mexico….