Western Living Magazine
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This winter, treat yourself to a food adventure along the sunny beaches of San Diego.
When the temperature dips below zero, you may start thinking of the perfect paradise getaway – beautiful beaches, gentle ocean breezes and ideal sunny skies. And if you’re a so-called ‘foodie’, you’re probably thinking about culinary marvels to discover and experience.Welcome to San Diego, California.San Diego, the birthplace of California, is home to a unique collection of neighbourhoods and beach towns that host a thriving food scene just waiting to be discovered.The Cali-Baja food experience is unique to San Diego, blending fresh California cuisine with traditional Mexican cooking. Given that San Diego is right on the border with Mexico, you will not find this truly awesome cuisine anywhere else in the entire U.S. It is something that is 100 percent San Diego and is just what your taste buds will crave while you enjoy the laid-back beach life in La Jolla. Some of the most famous Cali-Baja restaurants can be found in this neighbourhood, like The Hake, Galaxy Taco and Puesto.The fresh food matches the phenomenal weather that can be enjoyed in San Diego no matter when you chose to visit. But it is especially great as a winter destination, as there is zero snow-fall and the temperature sits between 16°C and 25°C with little to no humidity. This makes dining at a beachfront restaurant in San Diego somewhat of a dream for any Canadian looking for a place to head south in the winter.You will also want to check out beach communities like Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach where you can dine on a rooftop lounge while gazing out at the beach. Cannonball in Mission Beach is the one not to miss, being the city’s largest oceanfront rooftop bar and restaurant.Mexican fare goes beyond the Cali-Baja culture, with enclaves like Barrio Logan and Old Town serving up some of the most authentic Mexican food that San Diego has to offer. Cali-Baja Cuisine (SAN DIEGO TOURISM AUTHORITY)These neighbourhoods are the real deal, with the food being truly Mexican or a contemporary take on the popular cuisine. Don’t miss eateries like; ¡Salud!, Las Cuatro Milpas and Casa Guadalajara. The food is matched with the overall cultural scene in both of these neighbourhoods, being colourful and lively, and making you feel as if you are actually in Mexico.If it is Asian food that you crave, Convoy Street (aka Asian Restaurant Row) in Kearny Mesa is the place to head to. This strip is dotted with fabulous Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants, with some often having a line that goes right out the front door! Make sure to finish the night off at one of the karaoke bars in the neighbourhood.No visit to San Diego is complete without dining along Kettner Boulevard in San Diego’s Little Italy neighbourhood. This strip has been nicknamed “Top Chef Alley” because it is where many celebrity chefs (like Richard Blais and Brian Malarkey) have opened restaurants. The vibrancy of the dining experience on Kettner Boulevard is what you would expect in big cities like New York or Chicago, but you get the added charm of the fabulous weather and year-round option of dining outdoors. Little Italy (SAN DIEGO TOURISM AUTHORITY)Little Italy is also THE place to head to for some of the best authentic Italian food in the USA!San Diego dining doesn’t stop here, with daring dishes such as sushi burritos and lamb barbacoa tacos on menus across the city. You will also find things like doughnut ice cream sandwiches, duck fat fries, tiramisu pancakes and duck confit mac n’ cheese.What goes well with awesome food in perfect weather, you ask?San Diego is also known as the Craft Beer Capital of America, being home to over 150 craft breweries. This is a definite box to be ticked for Canadians, as we do love our beer, and there is more than enough of it in San Diego.The beer culture in the city is just as vibrant as the food culture, with beer menus being just as prominent as wine menus, and staff being just as knowledgeable about pairing beer as they are about pairing wine. Famous breweries throughout the city even host a special Brewers’ Dinner, where head chefs and head brewers work together to create a menu to complement certain beers. OB Brewery (SAN DIEGO TOURISM AUTHORITY)For a casual and instagram-worthy day, spend some time in San Diego’s hipster hub, North Park. This neighbourhood is home to trendy eateries that are mixed in with unique San Diego craft coffee shops. You also won’t want to turn down the experience of having a delicious San Diego West Coast-style IPA on a patio, surrounded by friendly locals, along 30th street dubbed “Beer Boulevard”.Awesome food, world-renowned chefs, amazing beer, perfect weather, endless beautiful beaches. Discover your winter paradise in San Diego, California.