San Diego 2023: food & drink

by | Jan 30, 2023 | Travel


Beer at California Wild Ales: Tom yum (spicy), Citrus x, Meyer, Maul, Peach. I’m not 100% sure I got the right flavors, but it was tasty nonetheless! Leandra liked her super dark and fruity porter.

Deft Brewing – I met up with several other scientists to check out this brewery, which specializes in European beer styles. I tried the Tripel, while Leandra went for the (darker and less ABV) dubbel, and we split a small pour of the quad later. Nice space indoors and out, definitely got busy after 6p.

Dinner at Wood Ranch BBQ was a little strange. The tri tip was tasty but didn’t feel like beef, and the meat was white like pork? Leandra got the beef brisket. Wines were reasonable pours (Sauv Blanc for me and the standard corporate J. Lohr Pinot Noir for Leandra).


We’ve driven past The Waffle Spot many times, and since we were within walking distance we decided to try it for breakfast. My chicken and waffles were fantastic, both were done just right. Leandra got the chorizo con huevos which was delicious and filling. And we both enjoyed all the local crayon-driven artwork hanging from the walls!


Duck Foot Brewing – We met up with Leandra’s brother and his friend for an afternoon beer and smash burgers from the Big Dawg Burger pop-up tent outside. The sour advertised on the website wasn’t listed, so I got the Tripel instead. Leandra got two small pours of the Turn of Darkness.

After a long day at the conference French comfort food was in order, so we headed to French Gourmet in Pacific Beach. The restaurant was virtually empty at 7:30pm on Sunday, but we were not disappointed. I quite enjoyed the beef cheek tagliatelle, while Leandra went classic with the carpaccio (a little thicker than normal). Their baguette slices were very light, and the double dark chocolate cake for dessert was fantastic.


Since it was right next door we had to go for breakfast at Konas. Portions were just as big as we remembered! The egg burrito #3 was just as tasty too.

After another long day at the conference Leandra picked me up and we headed over to North Park. Our first stop was Part Time Lover, a Japanese-inspired music and cocktail bar. It’s a very cool space with lots of warm lit wood and cozy nooks, plus a great sound system, and even Japanese toilets. The passion fruit cocktail was great (I got two), and Leandra enjoyed a whisky highball and then a red wine.

Next we stopped at Pretzels & Pints for dinner. We both got Philly pretzels –  I paired mine with the Victory tripel, while Leandra got Tabula Rasa Porter. As a bonus, we won bingo twice, earning us two $10 gift cards, plus a t-shirt!


It had been a few years since we visited Hash House A Go Go, so we decided to return on this trip. Their portions are ludicrous, so thankfully we remembered to split a chicken and waffle tower. Note that there is a layer of bacon inside the waffle and the crispy leek/onion topping was nice too.

That evening we hit happy hour at Waterbar on the beach for drinks and oysters. Their beer list is OK, the wine list is a little better, but their views are pretty stunning.


For dinner we walked over to the SD Taproom where we split some appetizers, including the beer soakers (cheesey bread) and fries, and of course a selection or two from their draft wall.


On our final night in San Diego we met a colleague at Kingfisher for dinner. We made reservations for the bar, which meant the cocktails were under happy hour when we arrived.    Their menu isn’t extensive but it is well curated – most items have a Vietnamese lean, and everything was quite delicious. I can especially recommend the jungle fang cocktail, plus the halibut and wagyu short rib plates.

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

San Diego, CA (Jan)
Sarasota, FL (Feb)
Valencia, Spain (Mar)
Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)</br />Rome, Italy (Oct)
Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
NC Mountains (Nov)
Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)